“Mixing Rap Vocals” (review) from Matt Weiss and The Pro Audio Files.

Please know that the “Mixing rap vocals” has grown to become a two part video training series with a title change, “Mixing Hip Hop“.

Matt has two complete video packages up for your downloading now, and each one is packed full of amazing information. He does the impossible in both series, and mixes vocals to perfection in each series too. The two series have been reviewed in length, by yours truly. Here is a link over to “ Mixing Rap Vocals 2“.  Please note that they each have hours of mixing training and each is a unique look at Matts way of mixing vocals.

Mixing Rap Vocals” is a new offering, in the form of seven training videos, from mixing engineer Matt Weiss and the website The Pro Audio Files. Matt Weiss knows mixing and rap, and I am super excited to check out these videos. There is an introduction video, followed by four videos chop full of mixing. Get ready to get schooled in EQ and compression technique, as well as a whole lot more.


As a cool extra bonus, there is a video in the series that covers some vocal techniques. The video is an interview with vocal producer Laura Zahn. The basic “diaphragm, lungs, and mouth stuff” is hit upon, but it also goes into holding notes and exercises that we can all do to become better at delivering those great vocal moments.

So, just to pre-count the videos with you, there are seven videos, total, found inside ” Mixing Rap Vocals“. One video titled “Interview with vocal producer Laura Zahn”, one is titled “Intro”, and that is an introduction. There are four parts to the series, and also a video titled “Complete Treatment”. This last video is a vocal mixing session dealing with a completely different session then the four prior videos deal with.

I am not known for my rap mixing skills, but I recently gave it a shot. I mixed a great rap song from an online friend. I was shocked at how quickly I found myself “swimming over my head”. I ran out of ideas rather quickly and found myself wondering how to get more body out of the vocal. I wish I had watched ” Mixing Rap Vocals” first. Why must I learn the hard way?

Ultimate offer

OK, hold on. Since you are reading through this review that tells me that you are looking to improve your mixing skills, so let me “sweeten the pot” a tad. Let me toss in one great big special bonus offer, just for you.

 As my way of saying thank you for using any of these links to make your purchase, I will give you some very special, very detailed gifts, aimed right at you, the person that is willing to learn more about recording, mixing, and mastering.

Let me tell you about the new Home Recording WeeklyUltimate Bonus Offer” that is all set to go and just waiting for you. Inside the Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” you will find not one, but two amazingly helpful video training products that will transform how you approach recording, mixing, and mastering in your home studio. They are titled, “The Pro Mixers Playbook”, “DIY Mastering”.

Each one of these two video training products contains lots and lots of “How to” style videos that are made up of “screen capture” style videos, shot right inside my very own home studio, like you are sitting down with me. Each training product inside the Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” has been recorded, edited, and mixed down with a few main things in mind…

First, I know that “Content is king”. Each video contains quality, unique content that I, personally, just could not find anywhere else.

Next, the quality of the audio and the quality of the picture is the best I have ever produced. I worked very hard to create video training that is helpful in nature, unique in content, and killer in features like audio and subject. These are the best mixing and mastering tips and techniques that I have learned, that have taken my music over the top, and rocketed my skill sets to the best they have ever been.

Let me break down, quickly, what is covered in each training series:


The Pro Mixers Playbook

Learning how to mix like the pros can be the most rewarding thing we ever do. It can also be the most frustrating thing we ever do. Why does learning how to mix have to be so difficult?

The truth is there is a lot of information out there, broken up into quick little video chunks, some over here, and some over there, and, well, in a lot of different places. Learning just one brand new mixing technique can take you to many different places that all seem to have somewhat competing information.

For this very reason, I have been hard at work, putting something rather special together that I call “The Pro Mixers Playbook”. I have made over 4.5 hours of training videos together, in one easy to download PDF file. I have listed, and then made corresponding videos for the most powerful, the most “mix-shaping” 15 Pro mixing plays that have had the most impact (hands down) with my own mixes. This is a mixing foundation just waiting to happen. There is something new and rewarding, for new mixers and pros alike, inside in “The Pro Mixers Playbook”.


DIY Mastering

Learning how to master can be confusing too. Figuring out how to get our stereo tracks to sound clean, wide, big, phat, and massive is a struggle. There are a lot of conflicting videos online that all help to confuse the viewer and help wreck your music. There is nothing else online quite like “DIY Mastering”, I guarantee it.

Included in “DIY Mastering” are training style videos that explain some of the most helpful, most impactful mastering techniques that have all come together to make my masters sound clear, clean, and huge. Video after video we go deeper and deeper into the strategies that really matter when it comes to getting great sounding masters.

The entire Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” is just my way of saying “THANK YOU”, for using any one of my links to purchase any one of the training videos that I have reviewed for you, right here, on Home Recording Weekly.

If you are interested in learning the best of the best of the best techniques, the best techniques that have taken me years and years to learn and master, the best techniques for creating the best mixes and masters, all in “over the shoulder” training video form, then get your own copy of Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” today. Make that purchase.

Here is how:

When you use any of the links that I have provided for you in this review post to purchase, I will allow you a download code for the Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer“.

As a matter of fact, before you purchase any studio training videos or memberships, come to Home Recording Weekly and use any of the links that I have provided in any of my reviews. That way I can view the sale and send you your free “Ultimate Bonus Offer“.

All you need to do is send me an email (kern@homerecordingweekly.com) with the words “Ultimate Bonus Offer” in the subject line. Tell me the product that you have purchased, using my link, and I will send you your free copy.

If you are thinking about purchasing any of the training video products that I have reviewed, than now is the time to make that purchase! Get you own Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” today!

OK, back to the review of  ” Mixing Rap Vocals“……

Before I start on my “video by video breakdown”, let me tell you a secret of sorts. The ” Mixing Rap Vocals” series has changed the way I will forever mix vocals of all types. Matt showed my things I never knew. Matt gives tips and tricks freely, throughout the video series, and gives clear and easy to understand details, explaining just exactly what he is doing, step by step. Matt has a good habit of explaining what he wants, tone wise, and then explaining how he gets that tone. After a quick explanation of where he is going, Matt opens plugins, turns knobs, moves sliders, and explains why. That is just what we need, and exactly what you should expect.

O.K., now the “video by video breakdown”…

The first video in “Mixing Rap Vocals”  is a quick introduction video where Matt outlines his four steps to mixing rap vocals. The four steps are 1) Clean up, 2) Dynamic Control, 3) Enhancement, and 4) Ambience. He quickly discusses each step, and what we can expect to be using to accomplish the four steps. I am excited indeed. Now, on to the next video!

Matt is using Pro Tools. Please do not let that fact ruin your chance to learn a lot about mixing. Pro Tools is just Matts’ D.A.W. of choice. Learning the basics, or the techniques is the key here, not which D.A.W. we do it in. Point is, if you can use one EQ, or one compressor, then you can probably figure them all out.

vid1 EQ

Video one starts off with a quick explanation of the task at hand. Then, it is all business. We get a first listen to the rap vocal. Then we dive in with EQ. After all, the first step is “Clean up”. As Matt works along he is constantly explaining what he is doing, and he constantly gives cool tips. This is where the value is.  He details what he is about to do, why he is doing it, and then he does it. I like this flow. I also like the fact that we can see inside his home studio. Although it is a little bit on the messy side, it reminds me that Matt is inside his home, and not in a fancy studio. I feel like I can do this too.

vid2 comp

Video two begins with an explanation of why we need compression when mixing things like vocals. Then we get a simple but effective explanation of how compression works. Matt has a video completely dedicated to compression, and he would like us to know it is available for purchase. But you get a step by step explanation of how to compress a rap vocal here, in ” Mixing Rap Vocals“, so do not worry. Matt takes us through each knob, and how to apply compression for the best results. Well, best results for a rap vocal anyway.

I am noticing some things that I really like as I watch and listen to ” Mixing Rap Vocals“. First, Matt does not “mix with his eyes”, but instead he “mixes with his ears”. He points out, as he works along, what he hears and what we should listen for. That is the secret sauce here, or the good stuff. We can’t get there if we don’t know the direction, or what sonic target we should be aiming for. This will take a long time to hone, but at least I understand the principals now.


The third video in the series is all about “Enhancing” the vocal. Matt is fast to point out that we first removed the unwanted frequencies, and then leveled out the volume spikes. We did those things because we only wish to enhance the good stuff, and not the unwanted parts. We start the enhancement process with some more EQ steps. Matt talks us through his established processes, and together we sweeten the vocals that were already sounding rather sweet. ” Mixing Rap Vocals” is very good thus far, and an amazing value!

Things quickly get very good here in video three. We get a heaping dose of value for our money. Matt shows us how he likes to use parallel compression on rap vocal tracks. He explains what the process is all about, and why we do this cool trick. He shows us the compressor he likes to use, and how he likes to set it up for maximum punch. Then Matt shows us a cool tip. I learned something , here in video three, that no one else has ever been able to teach me before. I do not want to give it away, but just know the ” Mixing Rap Vocals” series just paid for itself. I love it when that happens!


The fourth video in this series is titled “Ambience”. Matt first details the steps that he is about to take to make the vocals sound big and epic. The cool factor is raised here as Matt not only shows us how he does this with his favorite plugins, but also plugins that we all might have.  Matt begins with reverb.


Matt shows us his choice plugins and settings at the start. More importantly, Matt explains why he likes those effects as his first choice. Next, Matt gets us close to the first choice using more common and even stock plugins. Awesome! Matt talks us through how to set up the sliders and settings that make up a reverb and a delay. Matt explains how to create space without the listener hearing reverb and delays. I love these tips and tricks.

complete treatment

The next video in the ” Mixing Rap Vocals” series is titled “Complete Treatment”. Matt has a brand new track to play for us, and then and fix with us. He focuses only on the vocals, as is the title of the series. This time we start with a De-esser. Matt takes us right through the entire “De-essing” process with us, explaining what he is aiming for, and what he is doing. That is how we learn the best, if you were to ask me. Also, Matt sticks with using stock Pro Tools plug ins in this particular video.

Next, we EQ the vocals to sit better with the backing tracks. It is amazing how well these little tweaks make the song sound so much better. Matt then moves on to get dynamic control on the vocals by using a compressor. The next step is to perfect the vocal with another, slightly different purposed, EQ.

Parallel compression follows, and this time Matt makes it rock. Matt teaches us about modulation distortion by means of over compression. Then he uses the distortion to his advantage, and makes the vocals sound big and life like. This tip has changes the way I will forever mix vocals of all types.

Matt sweetens the pot by showing us how he adds reverb. Well, adds reverb to this particular rap vocal anyway. That is to be expected. However, matt does the unexpected and breaks things down. Matt explains things reverb pre delay, and he goes into great detail as he talks about these things. That is where the value lies here. Matt is all the time giving us these great insights that will certainly help your mixes out.

Do yourself the favor and purchase “ Mixing Rap Vocals” right now, by using the link provided. That link will take you over to the website where you can download the videos right now. Then you can get started learning how to get much better vocals in your mixes. I will come back and watch this series many times, well into my mixing future.

My mind has been blown wide open, but not in a bad, “I am now  lost” sort of way. I now have a much better understanding of parallel compression on vocals. I have a better grasp of how mixing engineers add distortion to vocals without using a distortion plugin. I had a good understanding of EQ and compression when I started watching ” Mixing Rap Vocals“, and now it has been vastly expanded upon. Get this video series! Please do not forget about ” Mixing Rap Vocals 2“, the perfect companion training video!

Please feel free to check out some other reviews for Matts amazing training video products, “Mixing with Compression“, “Mixing Hip Hop“, and his awesome sample pack, Weiss Drums, “The Maio Collection“.


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