I was working on a piano style pop track this week and it made me think of a great blog topic! This seems obvious but with very dynamic songs like piano songs or ballads, there is a need for vocal automation. Most likely the song starts off lower in volume so the first vocal section will probably need to be turned down if you set the volume for the vocal at the loudest and biggest part of the song. This is normally how I approach the vocal level anyways. Find the loudest section which most times is the chorus, and set the volume fader to cut through the mix.
Now that the chorus is set, the quieter sections like the verses are going to sound overwhelmingly loud. Use your ears and play the parts over and over to set automation to turn down just those vocal sections. Once that is done, now there’s another challenge! Does it sound right blending from the quiet section to the loud section? It should sound like the vocal is one volume throughout the song. So now use you ears and loop the playback where it transitions from the quiet section to the loud section. Sometimes a slight gradual increase from the end of the soft section to the beginning of the loud section can do the trick! This way we can have the level we set for the quiet section, but then transparently fade up the volume into the louder part. If you can’t get that to sound right, keep playing and experimenting with the volume of each section until it blends beautifully! I hope this was helpful! Look out for video tutorials on the Perfect Vocals Academy youtube channel in the near future that will go into more detail!