Adele - 30? Production and mix - WHY?

Bought the CD (the small round disk in a plastic case) from Best Buy two weeks ago. Put it in my car. The whole record has the most crazy vocal-forward mix I’ve ever heard. It’s just too frickin loud. I can’t get used to it. It reminded me of a Nashville publisher demo from the 1990’s or church choir music sampler disk where they pretty much wanted the vocals 3x louder than would ever make sense to simply listen to.

Looked at the credits, and the people working on it certainly knew what they were doing. It’s not like it was mixed by some college kid intern.

Why??? Why would you do that?? Why would you make a vocal that loud??? I must just be missing something here.


It seems to be becoming more noticeable across the board I reckon. I can’t honestly say I’ve critically listened to the vocal level of chart music for that purpose, but having been working on a more pop based project with a phenomenal female vocalist, I do admit that I am struggling to find the right balance to showcase her voice but make sure it does not dwarf the music as well.

I generally tend to sit the vocals into my mixes a little deeper than on top and it seems to be a tough habit to break!

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I think it would feel unnatural to mix a vocal that far forward, because it goes against your instincts about natural balance. Huh. Glad to know I’m not the only one who noticed this!

Speaking of which - just saw this now:

This is quite interesting. Simple and likely correct with the +1 theory. Something I should probably adhere to.

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I know this is true, but it is hard to do. Every little blemish becomes emphasized. If you are a 1 person band you need to spend 75% of your tracking time on vocals to be comfortable with them that far up front. It’s the " My vocals aren’t beautiful, but they have great personality" syndrome.

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Wow. That is interesting!