mixing voice-over

Hey all;

My thread title is a little misleading, but it seems, in effect, what I’m trying to do.

I run a project studio out of my house and typically record bands. Recently, a client came in wanting to do some hip-hop vocals.

Strike one: his backing tracks are already in mp3 format
Strike two: most of them are already compressed/limited at the master bus, and some clipping is already evident.

Aside from that two (albeit significant) issues, the backing tracks are otherwise well-recorded, and well-mixed.

I’m using a Rode K2 mic into a Steinberg MR816X, so the problem should hardly be attributable to my signal chain. (Cubase 5)

The problem is that I just can’t seem to get the vocal to sit IN the mix just right. It sounds like an add-on.

The first thing I have asked my client for is mixes that are not compressed or limited at the master bus, and that do not clip. That shouldn’t be a problem. But even then… one of the tracks he gave me fit that criteria, and it was the hardest of the lot to work with.

The second thing I have asked my client for is wave or aiff files. He’s not sure if he can get those, as his “beat maker” is overseas, and sends the files to him via the web. I don’t know if he has access to or the savvy to access an ftp, or a dedicated server, or whatever that would allow him to transfer files that might be over 50MB. (say, 24 bit wavs…)

Will this (or should this) work, or would I be much better off asking for the individual tracks so I can mix them myself?

Why do I feel like I’m flailing about in my own incompetence when mixing would otherwise come fairly painlessly?


You are asking people that can´t even have a listen about what you are talking, on what will or should work for you?
Obviosly if it doesn´t work for you the one way, you´ll have to try it the other. If that also doesn´t work, it will not work, no matter what anyobne else here thinks should work.

Well, I could post a sample.

Given that, there seems to be a tacit suggestion that the problem is something I am doing, rather than simply the process I am trying to follow.

So, I should be able to do this?

I was kind of expecting that people would have tried this sort of thing before and have either battled with it, or had fairly easy success with it and would be able to simply report that.