It is a common music production technique in rock music to have vocals distorted. So how are you going to do this nicely in your multi-track mix? This tutorial is using Adobe Audition DAW software and Antares Tube plug-in to accomplish this objective. This is a pretty simple technique that can also be applied with any DAW such as REAPER, etc. This assumes that you already completed tracking the vocals.
Note: If you are not using Antares Tube plugin, there are lots of similar plugins that you can use. As long as it provides slight distortion (not heavy metal type of distortion), any types of plugin would work even the free ones. Reaper DAW includes so many open source plugins that you can use in your mixing projects. These are the Reaplus VST plugin in REAPER. If you are using that software, try installing those plugins and see how it works.
Installing the Antares Tube Distortion Plugin
1.) First, you need to secure the Antares Tube distortion plug-in; you can use either a VST or Direct X type. You can download it here. If you encounter downloading and installation issues, please contact Antares support here.
2.) You need to install the plug-in to your recording/mixing software. If you are using Adobe Audition, you can read these following tutorials:
For those that are using REAPER, you can read this tutorial.
3.) Once successfully installed, confirm if the plug-in is working. Launch your software, load up your multi-track session project and then check if you can see Antares Tube as one of the VST/DirectX effects. In Adobe Audition multitrack view, you can see it by right clicking “FX” tab, and then click “Rack Setup”, so you can see it under “Installed Real-time effects.
In Reaper, this is also available in its effects/ FX tab.
Implementing the FX
Now it’s time to actually apply this effect in your multi-track, you have three options in applying this effect to your vocal tracks and it depends on the music style being mixed:
First option: This option is recommended if you are mixing music for pop-rock style where the vocals needs to be distorted very slightly just to get that “scratchy” and “throat” effect while maintaining clarity. To do this, just add the Antares Tube effect as the first effect in your “Effects Rack” (before the vocal compressor or any EQ effects).
Adjust the settings as follows for the Antares Tube:
Mode= Little Angel
Drive= +3.0 db (minimum), +6.0dB (max)
This is how the vocals sound like if applied with the distortion settings above: