You’ve put in some hard work to achieve the perfect lead vocal mix. Now, it’s time to bring the song to a new level by adding the background vocals to the mix! Below are some great unknown tips on how to attain some prized background vocal textures…
1) Add Silk: Unlike the up front full-bodied texture of your lead vocal track, take a different complimentary approach with your backing vocals. Add some silk by applying an overall high-pass filter as high as 900hz to the background vocals. The higher the high-pass the more sheen and silky the texture becomes. Also, for even more sheen, boost 11-12khz 1-4 decibels using high-shelf EQ.
2) Add Depth: To ensure a large impressive sound, you need to record several tracks of background vocals: double takes, triple takes, as well as, stacking harmonies. Take advantage of this multi-tracking by assigning each track its own panning placement. For example, pan low vocal/harmony tracks hard left & right. Next, pan medium vocal/harmony tracks 75% left & 75% right. Lastly, pan high vocal/harmony tracks 40% left & 40% right. Now your backing vocals will hug around your lead vocal perfectly!
3) Add Distance: To further add contrast apart from your lead vocal, apply different effects settings to your background vocal tracks. Typically, heavier effects should be applied to background vocals when compared to lead tracks. This helps add distance & a unique character apart from your lead mix. Some good background effects to apply are subtle ping pong stereo delays, hall reverbs, plate reverbs, and choruses!