Layering vocals is a great way to make a performance thick and wide 🗣 But what’s the best way to layer your vocals?
As with most things, there’s no single “right” answer, but I’ll walk you through my go-to!
🎙 Put your lead vocal in mono, right in the middle. Aside from any aesthetic panning choices, keeping your lead in the middle will help it remain front & center (this is usually good for hip-hop).
🎙 Record two layers of backing vocals and pan them off a little (25% or so) so they sit a little bit beside your lead. This will thicken things up, but keep things clear and uncluttered as long as your takes are lined up well.
🎙 For extra emphasis, I’ll sometimes record 2-4 more backing layers and pan them off hard left and hard right. This helps make things really wide when you want a segment to sound bigger. Great for a chorus.
🎙 When harmonizing, keep your lower harmonies closer to the center (you can pan a little), and pan your higher harmonies farther left & right. I’ve found this helps create a great separation while still keeping the layers cohesive.
As I usually recommend, experiment!! I love playing with layering and panning, and even with throwing some effects in there (delay and/or distortion on backing vocals can sound pretty dope). Play around and see what you come up with 🔥🔥🔥