How to Mix Your Vocals Like JVKE - Mixing Guide

How to Mix Your Vocals Like JVKE - Mixing Guide

JVKE took the internet by storm during the COVID-19 times with savvy use of social media and a different approach to pop music. He pairs expressive vocals with a polished production style to create a stand-out sound. This guide will walk you through mixing vocals to emulate the lush, layered, and emotionally rich style that has become JVKE's signature. 

Record Your Vocals

A great mix serves as a foundation for a great-sounding recording. Find a quiet space in your home or studio to record. A good quality microphone with a large-diaphragm condenser mic often works well for pop vocals. Give your best while recording. Take multiple takes until you are satisfied with the outcome. You can hear the emotion and energy in every song JVKE releases. Try to capture that in your mix.

Correct the Pitch 

Fine-tune the pitch to match the sound for which JVKE’s recordings are famous. Start with tools capable of precise pitch adjustments. It allows you to adjust individual notes easily. Some pitch correction tools can even tweak parts of notes. Use it to correct any obvious pitch issues. Pay attention that you do not over-correct. Some natural variation adds life to a vocal performance.


Some tools can correct the key of your song. Experiment with the retune speed; faster speeds will give you that recognizable Auto-Tune effect, while slower speeds will sound more natural. Play with the formant settings as well. Adjusting formants can change the perceived size of the vocal tract. It helps make your voice sound bigger or smaller. Find the sweet spot that complements your voice.

Play Around with EQ

Adjust EQ to shape the tone of your vocals. Start by cutting low frequencies to remove rumble and mud. A high-pass filter often works well. You can boost high frequencies to add an airy clarity to the mix. A gentle boost around can add sparkle to your vocals. Go easy on it though, as too much high-end can make vocals sound harsh or sibilant. Find any harsh resonances in your vocal recording. Use your preferred tool to cut these frequencies. 


Don't just EQ your main vocal track. Apply EQ to your effect sends, such as reverb or delay. It helps keep your effects clean and prevents them from muddying up your mix.

Apply Compression

Use multiple compression stages to control dynamics. It can add character to your vocals. It helps you achieve a polished vocal sound. Start with a glue compressor. Adjust the threshold so you get your desired gain reduction on the loudest parts. It will help even out the performance.


You can try a vintage-style compressor to add character to your vocals. A multiband compressor can help tighten up specific frequency ranges in your vocal. 

Add Some Distortion

Adding distortion can help your recording achieve that modern pop vocal sound. It brings more presence to your vocals. The right distortion techniques can add harmonics. It can help your vocal cut through a busy mix. Adjust the mix to blend the distorted signal with your clean vocal. Follow this with a touch of extra saturation. This plugin can add fullness to your vocals. Tweak your vocal to make it sound pristine, like JVKE, without any fuzz. 


Experiment with the placement of your distortion plugins in your chain. Placing them before or after your compressors can yield different results.

Introduce a Little Reverb

Reverbs in the mix can add depth to your vocals. It creates the ethereal sound that is often heard in JVKE's productions. Set up your reverb on a separate bus or aux send. It gives you more control over the effect, which can help keep your dry vocal clear and upfront.

 

Adjust the reverb time to fit your song. Longer reverbs are well suited for ballads, while shorter reverbs suit faster songs. Play with the pre-delay setting. A longer pre-delay can help maintain clarity in your vocal while adding space. 


Automate the reverb send to create dynamic changes. You can see that JVKE uses more reverb in the choruses and less in the verses. It helps create contrast between different sections of your song. Cut low frequencies to prevent muddiness. Cutting some highs helps the reverb sit back in the mix. You can see a good implementation of this technique in the viral hit “This is what falling in love feels like”.

Widen the Vocals with Delay

Delay can add rhythm and width to your vocals. Set up your delay on a separate bus. It helps you to process the delayed signal independently from your dry vocal. Use your preferred plugins to add charm to your delays. Set the delay time to match your song's tempo. Feel free to experiment with different rhythms. 

Layer Your Vocals with Harmonies

JVKE's vocals often sound full wide due to the clever use of layering. He uses harmonies to make his voice sound larger than life. Record multiple takes of your main vocal. You can comp these together to create the perfect performance. Try duplicating this comped vocal by panning the copies slightly left and right. Process each of these layers a bit differently to create a wide soundstage. You can play around to add depth to the vocals further. 


Add harmony parts to create even more width to your sound. Record separate takes for each harmony part rather than copying and pitch-shifting your main vocal. It will sound more natural with a lively sheen. Process each layer a bit differently. You could use more reverb on your harmonies than your lead vocal to create a sense of depth in your mix. Experiment with different vocal effects on your background layers to add interesting textures to your mix.


These steps will help you achieve that contemporary pop vocal sound that's taking over the airwaves. If you want to spend more time recording and less time tweaking the settings of your DAW, we have the answer. Check out our JVKE Vocal Preset to get that vibe in a few clicks. It works with all your favorite DAWs right out of the box. Get busy belting out tunes while we do all the heavy lifting for you!
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