In my last post I wrote about how to excite vocals for hip hop using the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter Plugin. But for those of you who may not have access to this plug-in, I thought I'd go ahead and show you how to excite hip hop vocals without the use of any third party plug-ins. The DAW that will be used in this guide is reason 9.5. While the program used for this demonstration might not be the same as yours. The techniques and principles can be applied to any DAW of your choice using stock plugins.
While simple yet very effective this technique can be used in other genres of music. For this process you'll need to create a copy of your vocals, while canceling out the low and some mid range frequencies of the duplicate track. This will require you to use additional processing like eq compression or a limiter and any other stock plugin of your choice, in the event you need to push or clean the signal of the duplicate track.
Step 1- Create a duplicate track of your vocals. As seen in the illustration below:
Step2- Remember to label your tracks. Depending on the number of tracks your working with it can easily get confusing if your not organized. As seen in the illustration below:
Step 3- Apply an EQ on the copied track and adjust the frequency value anywhere between 5 to 6 KHZ while Bring the high frequency decibel setting to its highest. As seen in the illustration below:
Step4- Adjust the High Pass filter and sweeping out the low end and midrange frequencies. As seen in the illustration below:
Step5- (optional) You can now add some compression or distortion (or both) to the duplicate signal. As seen in the illustration below:
Step6- Play the original track and slowing bring in the levels in from the excited duplicate track and slowly bring it in until you've reached a level you're satisfied with. As seen in the illustration below:
This technique will allow you to have just as much control if not more over frequencies that you wish to excite. It also leaves room for you to add other saturation effects to help you achieve the sound you want. And if the signal is too harsh just add a DEesser or eq , to tame those unwanted frequencies.