How to Mix R&B Vocals | Mixing an R&B Song With The God Particle Plugin

How to Mix R&B Vocals | Mixing an R&B Song

How to Mix R&B Vocals | Mixing an R&B Song

Intro to Mixing R&B Vocals

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 vocals as well as how to mix an R&B song (drums/etc)

If you are interested in learning how to get those clear, clean, up front vocals with reverb that just seems to surround the vocal, continue reading! You can also check out my YouTube video above in which you can watch me mix an R&B song from scratch in real-time as well as see the processing that I’m using on the vocals.

Mix Bus Processing for R&B Vocals

For this specific song, we will be continuing to use The God Particle plugin from our last video/last post. The God Particle plugin was able to apply some smooth dynamic compression, subtle and natural sounding stereo width and just seemed to glue the mix together. For this reason, we’ll stick with using that plugin on our mix bus. If you haven’t checked out our video review on The God Particle Plugin already, make sure to check that out either on our YouTube page or Blog page.

R&B Mixing Session Overview

Here you can take a quick glance and the mix window the session to see what we’ll be looking at. If you click the video link, you will be able to see the full session as we scroll through the lead vocals, backing vocals, adlibs, hook, drums, instruments, etc.

Mixing R&B Drums

The very first aspect of the mix that I always like to start with is mixing the drums! For me, the drums set the volume, loudness, width and dimension of the track. After mixing the drums, I usually either go to the vocals or to the instruments and work on those next. For the drums here: everything is very simple, we only have a kick, snap, hi hat and bass. We carefully dial in the volume of the kick using the god particle plugin and then adjust the volume of the snap to match.

The hi-hats sounded like they needed a little something to make them more interesting so I applied MAutopan from Melda Production to apply a slight panning.

After dialing those in, we move to the bass in which I applied a plugin called “Spectre” to slightly enhance the harmonics of the low-end of the bass. This added a nice bit of weight to it to make it sound a lot more round and full in the low-end.

Mixing R&B Instruments

The instruments section is fairly simple when it came to mixing as all we needed to do was balance out the piano and synth sound. You can click the link below to have a listen and see how we were able to balance everything.

R&B Vocal Chain

Now this is the bread and butter of mixing an R&B song, the vocal chain! If you want to have a similar R&B vocal chain for mixing and recording, make sure to check out our R&B recording and mixing templates. The chain that we used to mix this song comprised of :

-RVox (to add slight compression to the vocals)
– FabFilter Pro-Q3 (for getting the EQ right)
– MCDSp MC404 (for multi-band compression on the vocals)
– CLA Vocals (to add character to the vocals)
– Softube Harmonics (for adding harmonic saturation)
– Slate Digital VMR (for adding high-end sheen)
– Fabfilter Pro-DS (for de-essing the vocals)

You can watch how we dial in the settings for all of these by clicking the link below to watch the video.

Best Reverb for R&B Vocals

The next step is adding a nice smooth reverb to the vocal chain! The one that I generally use on most of my mixes in the LiquidSonics “Lustrous Plates”. This plugin sounds very natural, clean and spacious and sits really well in the mix. I apply this reverb to R&B vocals as well as rap vocals depending on the song. Using the send knob, you can dial in the perfect amount of reverb for the mix. Watch below as I dial in the right amount of reverb to help the vocals sit in the mix.

Applying Delay to R&B Vocals

The last step in our vocal chain is adding delay to make sure the vocals don’t have that “Dry” sound. When mixing vocals, I like to apply a very slight amount of delay to be “felt” but not necessarily heard. In this mix, I went with the Waves H-Delay plugin, set it to “ping-pong” and lowered the volume to where it could barely be heard. This helped it blend right into the mix. Have a listen below to hear how the ping-pong delay helped add that last bit needed to the vocals.

Final Words on Mixing R&B Vocals

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on how to mix R&B vocals! 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 and selection “Pro Tools Templates” and selecting one that fits your genere/needs.

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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