How to Mix R&B Adlibs | Mixing R&B Vocals in Pro Tools | How to Mix Vocals 2022

How to Mix R&B Adlibs | Mixing R&B Vocals in Pro Tools | How to Mix Vocals 2022

How to Mix R&B Adlibs| Mixing R&B Vocals in Pro Tools

Intro to Mixing R&B Adlibs

Hey! Hope all is well with you today. My name is Byron Hill and I’m a professional mixing engineer of 10+ years. I’ve worked with thousands of clients worldwide including both major and indy artists and in this blog post we’ll be diving into how to mix R&B adlibs.

If you are interested in learning how to get those creative sounding adlibs for your mix, keep reading! You can also check out my YouTube video above in which you can watch me mix mix the r&B adlibs live in real-time.

Thought Process on Creating Unique/Interesting Adlibs

Towards the end of the song I have a couple of ad-libs and i just wanted to show you how i make my ad-libs sound more interesting and have a little bit more character to them. Creating fun and interesting ad-libs and backing vocals is one of my favorite parts of mixing and i’ll show you my creative approach to doing so. The first thing that I do is I listen to the ad lib in the context of the mix to hear how it sounds within the overall mix. Let me go ahead and play these 2 for you to here (listen below).

Mixing The First Adlib – How to Apply Reverb

The  first plugin that we’ll be applying to the vocal chain is Autotune and the second one will be Valhalla Vintage Verb. Valhalla Vintage Verb is a very versatile plugin that allows you to adjust the parameters to suit whatever it is that you want to achieve within the mix. By adjusting the mix knob and decay time, we are able to create a very smooth sounding reverb effect that allows this adlib to sound like it’s floating in the mix.
If you set the mix knob to 100 it’ll make the vocals 100% wet and the longer you increase the decay time that’s the longer time it’s going to take for the reverb to decay.  For this particular ad-lib I like the settings around 33 percent wet and the decay time around 4.17 seconds.

Applying a Doubler for “space” and “effect”

Now next up we have this vocal doubler right here and as I mentioned before, just get creative with whatever kind of effects you want to add to your
vocals. There are no rules to mixing and you can do whatever you want. I like the way that this vocal doubler sounds on this ad-lib. It has a really cool effect to it that’s almost like a flanger type effect and it just adds a sound to this ad-lib that sounds solid to me.

Ways to use EQ on adlibs

Last up for this ad-lib we have the FabFilter Pro-Q3 plugin. With this eq, you can apply a lot of interesting effects to the ad-lib such as push the ad-libs further back in the mix by rolling off a lot of the high frequencies or just taming a few frequencies to sculp out some of the low-end from the reverb and any muddiness.  Our Pro Tools Templates as well as Logic Pro Vocal Presets have some of these effects already built into in some of the R&B templates and rap templates (make sure to check those out).

Mixing The Second Ad-lib

Here we have the second ad-lib that we’ll be focusing on in the song that is played during the hook (right under the lead vocal). We’ll start off applying Valhalla Vintage Verb reverb and then applying some panning. Have a listen below.

Creating movement for your adlibs with panning

I like to create movement in my mixes as well as keep everything sounding interesting. For this ad-lib we will be applying an auto-panner for movement called “PanMan” by Soundtoys. This is a plugin that allows you to set the BPM for your audio source and adjust it based off of “bars” or a set parameter that you choose. Since we applied the reverb to the vocal before the panning, the reverb will also move with the panning. Have a listen below.

How to Freeze Your Tracks in Pro Tools For Consistency

When creating effect tracks or tracks that plugins that create constant motion or algorithmic changes (such as panning and reverbs) it is a good idea to freeze the audio track so that the effect will sound the exact same way each time upon playback. You can do this by right clicking the last plugin on your audio track and selecting “freeze up to this insert”. Now the audio track is frozen with it’s audio and will play back with its effects the exact same way each time.

Final Words on Mixing R&B Adlibs

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on how to mix R&B adlibs! Remember that the most important aspect of the mixing process is the recording process and getting a solid vocal recording right out of the box. If you are in need of professional recording templates or mixing templates, feel free to check out the ones that I have personally created and used on thousands of mixes by going to the menu, clicking “Pro Tools Templates” and selecting one that fits your genere/needs. We also have FL Studio Vocal Presets and Logic Pro Vocal Presets as well.

Also if you need professional mixing and mastering services, feel free to reach out to me and shoot me an email as well! Looking forward to hearing from you and working with you.

Mixing Services

Feel free to check out our mixing and mastering services on our home page if you are in need of having your song professionally mixed and mastered.

Pro Tools Templates

Check out our Pro Tools recording and mixing templates as well if you are in need of a professional recording and/or mixing template.


Hey! My name is Byron and I am a professional music producer & mixing engineer of 10+ years. Contact me for your mixing/mastering services today.


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