Background Vocals Mixing Tricks

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Stacks on Stacks of Tracks

Now that you've prepared your background vocals the correctly, it's time to mix them.

Background vocals can be the hardest tracks to get just right in mixes. They often disappear into the distance or are awkwardly close to the listener.

In this tutorial Fab Dupont gives you the tricks necessary to nail your background vocal sound.

Join Fab with his in-depth explanations of how to:

  • Manage the distance of the singer from the microphone
  • Understand masking problems
  • Move the background vocals from front to back in your mix
  • Decide on their stereo panning to improve cohesion
  • Enhance with pitch tricks and other special effects
Exercise files
Equipment & Software
  • Avid: Pitch
  • Sonnox: Oxford EQ and Dynamics
  • Universal Audio: UAD EMT 140 Plate
  • Soundtoys: Microshift
  • Waves: Doubler 4
Featured Music

Banda Magda El Pescador on iTunes or Spotify

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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


David Crosby

Queen Latifah

Jennifer Lopez

Mark Ronson

Les Nubians

Toots And The Maytals

What do you have to say?
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2020 Oct 17
WOW, this video was so good. I learned so many things in such a short amount of time and it was so clear. You are helping me think about concepts I can apply to other tracks that are not BGVS as well. You helped me learn about how to make something sound closer or further in the mix, how to give space to something, and how to have that amazing chorus feel. AWESOME!
2019 Dec 18
Hi,mr Fab ,thanks for this video,but here I Get a question, in the conclusion you say its easy to make backvocal front and back, to make separate from lead, to make depth...... I don’t really get the method ..... what’s the exact step that concern about the depth ? Is that the send amount of micro shift, or the send amount of delay? Since you have said the plate reverb is concern about the tail ...... this question is really important to me ....... and plus, is the depth method general to apply to all the other instrument? ........... need ur help so much .................
2019 Dec 10
Awesome! Enjoyed this video on how to make your background vocals sound excellent!
2016 Dec 25
this tutorial is awesome!!! thaks!!!!
2016 Dec 11
super helpful!
2016 Dec 05
I liked the tricks with the Doubler - very cool and helpful!
2016 Nov 27
Awesome info as usual.. Thanks Fab..
2016 Aug 01
Hi! Thanks for very valuable info. I really like that you teach us the thinking behind your descisions and not just the plugin settings. And I also like that we get access to listen to this wonderful music and not just background vocals from pop recordings. However it seems like the quality of the screen recording is not HD, it's very hard to read some of the settings on the plugins, really wish you could fix this (as it's also a problem with other videos). Tip: At the end of the video, Fab uses EchoBoy (Soundtoys), it should be listed in the plugins overview at the end of this page ;)
2016 Feb 29
Great video but streaming slow on my comp peace st808
David Einer
2016 Feb 11
Muy bueno, demasiado interesante, lo que hacía falta, saludos...
Fabulous Fab
2016 Jan 31
@69bluesman: i do have a bricasti and i do use it but i will always go for a plugin first, for simplicity and failsafe recall. when i cannot find the tone i want in the box then ill reach for the bricasti (the chambers are really nice), thr pcm70, the bx20 or the bx10
2015 Dec 04
Thanks Fab, great stuff here! Question... I see the Bricasti M7 in your rack. Would you substitute that for one of your plates or halls plugins? Or add it to the list of available FX for your mix? The M7 has been a recent new toy in my setup...I would love to hear how you employ it within your projects.
2015 Nov 28
fFab,I've not seen anyone do Tutorials to this standard before; my hat's off to you . A lot requires developed listening skills but that is what is needed if we want to be very good at what we do, Cheers, Ross
2015 Nov 27
Hello Fab, nice tutorial and very usual. Just a quick question: In cases like this that you have many Background Vocals, do you compress the Reverb so it does not spread very much? Best, Iannis
2015 Nov 10
Very helpful. Much appreciated. Thanks Fab
2015 Nov 07
Fab, since all of your tut's are great helpful and awesome I have only two words to say today: Thank you.