Mixing acapella with instrumental


Any tips. I think i can make a decent instrumental but how to add acapella to it??? Any tips.

Maybe the same way i make instrumental the same way i can add vocals but duuno how.

Or i need to glue acapella to instrumental?


Just figure out the key of the acapella and work from there.



I had already stopped panicking, it was too late to delete the topic.


So whats the differences about regular edm track with no vocals vs pop/rock/rap tracks. Because i know it’s something different. I want to know how i should mix instrumental behind the vocals in pop/rock/rap tracks you know what i’m saying


Might be more on the arrangement side than anything. If you listen to instrumentals without the vocal track, you’ll usually notice that there aren’t a whole shitload of blaring leads going on because the vocals are the leads, if that makes any sense. And of course, the vocals are usually front-row (loud), and centered, although playing with width (by actually using separate ‘voice’ takes) can really open up those choruses.

(Cool experiment: if you use FL Studio, use the stem separator to isolate vocal tracks and you’ll hear what I’m talking about. Vocals themselves can be really complex on their own, which is really cool!)

The only ‘mixing’ part about this (IMO) is that if there are leads, they need to mostly get buried into being some kind of garnish so they’re not in direct competition with the vocals. Everything essentially becomes a supporting member for the vocals, because if you bury the vocals in a track that’s supposed to have them, you’ve kind of ruined it from the start. None of these are hard and fast rules, obviously, but you’re probably going to get into some really experimental territory (even if by accident) if the vocals aren’t clear.

Overdubbing, mic placement and trying out different vocal techniques are a shitload of fun, too. Don’t forget that in the real world, there’s much more that goes into a song than just mixing, even if that’s what brings it all together. You can frankenstein shit together, for sure, but people who actually like music will notice. Just look at AI :smiley:

Oh yeah, and 9/10 of your mixing issues can just be solved with the fader, etc


Thanks for reply


I’m stuck with these sh*t. I can’t make tracks with vocals because i don’t know how it should sounds. I tired of mixing that. I have some knowledge about how it should be. I have one way of mixing, maybe even two. But I’m not sure why or when it works.

I create instrumental tracks with ease. Where only music is playing.

But tracks with vocals are another planet, it seems. Very strange!


If you want, you could always bump it down and post it here to see if anyone can spot what’s going on in the mix! My bets are usually on the vocals being too quiet or the mix being too busy, but there could definitely be something else at play here. Would be down to check it out and let you know my opinion at least


@Slime ok what do you think about vocals here ? is it ok ?
I can also glue the whole mix even more so that the vocals and the instrumental are one, so that the vocals don’t stick out like that


Yeah, just as I suspected it sounds really busy with the type of synths that compete with vocals (smooth, narrow, centered, etc). Technically this mix could work perfectly well, since nothing sounds utterly destroyed by EQ, compression or anything like that, but it seems to have more to do with the arrangement than anything else.

I definitely think it’s a compositional struggle more than a production struggle. Making room for vocals sometimes means doing things in a completely different way so that they can really shine as the main element.

Sometimes even lowering the offending synths can help, but this can also lead to restructuring the melodic content of the track, using wider pads and chords to accent the vocals, and making lots of other really important decisions along the way. It’s difficult, but definitely rewarding once you get it to your liking!



What do you think about vocals on top and mixing in general? Is it possible? Etc. i think vocals need some compression to even dynamics. other than that mix and vocals are sitting good maybe


I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but I don’t think the problem is the mix. I think it has to do with composition, melodic content and general theory knowledge more than anything else. The fact that these particular ‘vocals’ are just spoken words also gunks up the whole music experience and makes things even harder to get right because it sounds like a lot of independent noises firing off back to back.

Also, being a fan of noise (although mores so in my younger years), there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this at all. I just know that you’re struggling and want to improve, so it’s unfair for me to not say that I think it’s all the dissonance. Dissonance can be wonderful in music (think of buildups, intros, breakdowns, etc), but when it bombards the listener (or even creator?) I think I can hear what your issue is.

Sometimes it’s worth it to take a step back from all of the production tools to see it (the problem area, song, etc) for what it really is. Compression and EQ are more like necessary evils that can sometimes make room for other elements, but alone can’t fix a song that sounds really disjunct in ways that weren’t intended. Most of the problem with songs that people don’t like, IMHO, just comes down to the writing.




Speaking about lead instruments that you said that vocals are leads , but i have tracks where synth are leads and and this synthesizer intersects with other synthesizers and simultaneously plays 3 synthesizer parts, it turns out that they are all leading? Here is such a discrepancy. It turns out that the vocals are not about a leading instrument, but something else.


Just my 0.02$, but imho there are a few factors that might be relevant:

  • composition, like Slime explained
  • sound selection, think about the different areas in the frequency spectrum that get occupied by certain elements. If everything is in the same area, it will get muddy and/or harsh, depending on which part of the spectrum.
  • You can also change octaves, use other sounds, panning and Filter, EQ or volume modulation (kinda similar to sidechaining) to make more room.
  • You can also make sounds shorter, give them faster attacks or use transient shaping to make elements punch through.
  • basic EQing, check your frequencies, if you have to use layers to overlay each other and don’t want to automate stuff to make some room (see above), you can clean it up a bit by distributing some different and ideally fitting EQ peaks, cut out the low end of elements that don’t need it (and also the high end if things get too harsh)
  • volume levels and panning to make a clear rank order of elements and spread them out in a room

In the track you posted above, I think a lot of sounds have a lot of mid-lows and low end, but everything sounds a bit undefined, also in the higher areas of the spectrum imho.
It’s hard for me to really evaluate it objectively, since I’m not listening to that genre (and I sometimes really like dissonances, although it really depends on the track for me), but imho there are some stressing dissonances especially with regard to the plucky synth that comes in later, that one def is not my fav, but there is also a lot of room to improve sound selection and mix.
I think most people will probably agree with Slime that a track stands and falls with the composition, but in my workflow, since I’m doing a lot of sound design with synths but also in post-process terms, I often change the feel of a track completely with strong processing (such as spectral or granular stuff, microediting or other forms of glitching, simple trancegating or other forms of volume modulation and so on) long after the main composition is done (you could also view that approach as going back-and-forth between different stages). But I think in general it’s easier to start with something that fits together and sounds great right form the start.


Thanks @metaside
I will post time to time my experiments here but im not sure if i deleted it from my youtube. thanks.


Hope this helps…




Lupe is just great, one of my fav musicians in general. I can’t count how often I listened to some of his albums such as Food & Liquor, The Cool or Drogas Wave. :heart:

@st3aLth: The second version def sounds better than the first version imho (and better than the first track I commented on)! I think it has some problems similar to the previous track: vocals are a bit loud and have a lot of low/mid-low frequency content (and reverb in that area I think) - I would cut that back a bit. BUT, as I noted, it’s not my genre and I think it still kinda works out nicely overall in the second track, I like it much better than the first one (and that’s not only explained by the choice of vocals :laughing:).


Thanks. I still need to refine this track, I don’t like the synthesizer and there are problems with it. I need to completely redo the synthesizers, yesterday I just didn’t have time for it.