Question for Laura about vocals

hello, thanks for doing this Q&A.

What plugins and processes do you tend to use the most when mixing vocals? There a certain smooth character on your vocal sound that is pleasing to the ear. Softened consonants or something and they never get harsh or abrasive. It’s like the vocals were Soothed and Spiffed but without making them lifeless.

(For example, Clairo’s Sling. I guess a big part of it is her vocal and way of singing but I hear kind of the same quality on other records you’ve mixed)

Hey thanks so much for this! I think with vocal processing, the more minute and specific you can get with it, the better. Of course, as you pointed out, a big part of the final mix is the artist’s vocal tone, but in general I find spending the time to automate breaths and consonant sounds makes a bigger impact on the overall tone without impacting the air on the melodic parts of the vocal. Clip gain, volume automation, fades for adjusting breath starts, and rx-ing specific frequencies out of specific consonants are probably my most commonly reached for tools. As you adjust EQ and compression on the vocal, you’ll hear new things pop out, so my advice would just be keep listening and adjusting the tiny details all the way through the end of the mix.


Yeah, that makes sense. I use clip gain and automation for that purpose too.
And do you rely on modern plugins like soothe and spiff or you go for a more classic approach?


I do love soothe, but more often I’m using RX on specific words or consonant sounds.


Any examples you know of for using rx for this?