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We Can't Be Friends - Ariana Grande

Just catching up reading the mix review. I've somehow not listened to much current music of late. It's great to have a growing curated list of interesting things to check out via the mix review site that otherwise might have passed me by completely.

I also do love a well acted video intro to set the scene. I'm glad to see that it's still very much a thing Smile.

First Verse Vocal Level

I don't think I would have picked up on that in quite the same way if you hadn't mentioned it. My take is that the vocal level is set to sit and feel right with the backing track. As well as the more obvious consideration of long term dynamics (chorus impact) that you mention. The first verse backing is more sparse, hence the lower level? Maybe it's no more complicated than that?

Effects, etc

Yes. I feel this is something that a lot of people don't pick up on, especially with more pop oriented mixes. If you've ever really listened to these tracks - perhaps with a view to recreating or transcribing them - then you do really notice all the layering, spot effects and other subtleties that go on, and really appreciate the hard work that goes in to crafting them.

Vocal mixing/layering

I think this is insanely good in a lot of Ariana Grande's music.

There's some great studio footage of Ariana recording, layering and comping vocals on youtube. It's quite incredible to watch, well worth checking out I think.

It has been pointed out that perhaps a lot of it has been closely edited. Whether this is the case or not - it does strike me how fast the vocal recording engineer has to be to keep up with her ideas, ensuring the session keeps flowing whilst also maintaining the vibe in the studio too. Not at all easy I would imagine, especially at that level.

Does anyone recognise the engineer doing the vocal comps in this clip btw?

Just uploaded a mix/master?  Waiting for comments? Why not give back and critique a mix/master, or two!
(26-06-2024, 07:10 PM)mikej Wrote: Does anyone recognise the engineer doing the vocal comps in this clip btw?

Hah! Glad to see she's getting her hands dirty with the Pro Tools! To be honest, I think every vocalist should do their own comping, at least in the first instance.