Distorted electric guitars and lead vocals often take up energy in the same frequency spectrum. This poses a problem. We still want the guitars to sound crunchy and present, but the vocal must sit on top of the mix and maintain its clarity. The solution? Using side-chained multiband compression.
Rather than merely EQ the conflicting frequencies out of the guitar, we’ll get more creative. This method allows us to keep the energy in the guitars when the vocal is not present, and back off this frequency area when the vocal is present.
In the end, we now have a way to keep all of the energy in the guitars, while keeping the vocal on top of the mix. Neat! The best part is, it happens so transparently because we’re only working in the mid channel with smooth compression. You don’t hear pumping or dullness, but the vocal maintains priority.
Listen to the example below: