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5+ ways how to make the vocals bigger in the song's chorus


If you want to have really big-sounding vocals in the chorus, you probably need to do something more than you are doing in the verses, right?

You need to change or add something.

There are several ways how to make the vocals bigger in the chorus.

And some of them can be even combined across the whole song.

If you want to make a big gradation for the song, you have to create a "map" of how to make the gradation that works for the song.

In most cases, that "map" builds up during the actual recording session.

It's normal.

An engineer has some ideas, a producer has some ideas, even bassist always has some ideas...

OK, let's go through it.

Here are 5+ ways how to pump the vocals in the chorus up:


Obviously, the most simple thing you can do to emphasize your vocals in the chorus is to double or triple the main vocal track/line.

Well, it can be really challenging to record 3 good takes if the vocal line is difficult to sing or is really high in pitch.

So it can NOT be the simplest one, haha :D

I have been writing about my "great-again" approach in my older blog:

(don't forget to record at least 3 good takes in your next vocals recordings!)

This approach is something I do everytime I record vocals.

For some songs it's enough.

Those are songs where I want to have the intimate feeling and I do want to force the listener to really focus on lyrics.

Harmonies can distract the listeners attention and make the vocals feel not that grave or weighty and definitely not that intimate.

For some songs it's not enough, but the song almost always benefit from doubled or tripled main vocal line.

It depends on the actual song, of course.


This way is very very very popular.

There are people who are really obsessed with harmony vocals.

There are even people who are convinced that every single song should have vocals harmony.

Me not.

Some people even automatically sing the 3rds hramony to the main vocal line when they hear their favorite song

(even the song does not have the vocals harmony and really doesn't need it because it would ruin the mood of the song).

I am always thinking about what is the mission of the song, what are lyrics about and how to support it.

If the song calls for it - of course I do harmony vocals.

But the question is:

Does the song really need the harmony vocals?


Some songs definitely not.

After 15 years of professional music production, I tend to be a little resistent against harmony vocals, so take it easy.

For me, harmony vocals are sometimes leading more to quantity over quality approach which I don't like, especially when the singer is amateur.

I like to get the highest quality of the main vocal line and not to get 4 harmony vocal lines that are just normal.

Normal is not enough.

Harmony vocals can't save the crappy main vocal line.

But if the song calls for it, it's great and empowering!

So this way of emphasizing the vocals really depends on the song's mission, mood, genre and some other factors.


This is my favorite one over the years.

Yes, it definitely doesn't work for every song.

But if it works, its awesome.

It brings another level of awesomeness.

When I do gang-bang vocals to support the main vocal line,

I like to ask at least 3 singers to get enough diversity of voices.

I like if there are both women and men in the team.

Even a kid between the man an women can make wonders.


Because a kid always brings absolute wildness to the crowd.

If a kid even cannot sing in tune it's getting even better.

Real crowd, real diversity, real depth, real wildness.

I always record per-person first.

Up to 10 takes per person, separately.

So I can edit and tune every take precisely.

Those tracks are bringing a clear mass, supporting the main vocal line.

All are sung quite precisely and following the main melody, unisono.

Then I record the whole gang together on 1 microphone.

The fun starts.

Because there is no chance to tune the vocals afterwards.

So those tracks are the "wild" tracks, bringing the liveness and freedom to the song.

I am always asking all the singers to NOT sing at all.

Just shout!

Try different intonations, intonation fallings etc.

Be creative and free :)

Once all the tracks are recorded and edited (the clear ones),

I am finding the right balance between the clear tuned tracks and the wild tracks to fit the song.

I love the process of emphasizing the main vocal line this way

It's always fun and everyone is enjoing it.

This month I was doing a gang-bang vocals for a song I have written for a client.

The song is Ellie Goulding electro-Pop ballad.

And I have recorded the gang-bang vocals in the setup:

Me, my wife and our 8-years old son.

The result is pretty good!

I will share the song once it's released.


When a "great-again" approach is not enough, but the song really doesn't need vocal harmonies and a gang-bang vocals would be too wild,

try to record the simple higher octave vocal line.

The same melody as the main vocal line, but one octave higher.

If you are a man and you can't sing one octave higher above the main vocal line, ask a female singer!

I was surprised several times when I tried this.

Worked so good!

Even I thought that female octave will probably not work for the actual song.

Higher octave vocal line feels simple and not distracting too much, but adds some extra tension and air to the song.

Not every song benefits from this, but for some songs this is the right way to go!

I always record at least 3 good takes of this higher octave vocal line so I can combine this approach with my "great-again" approach

to make the higher vocal line nice, big and wide.


This is obviously very similar approach to the higher octave approach.

But for some songs the higher octave is not working good.

Some songs need more earthy and solid feeling.

That's why the lower octave is relevant.

And it's relevant for a lot of songs.

You know that the vocals need something more but not much more.

And you don't want to distract listeners from really focusing on lyrics and intimate emotions.

Or the song you are just recording is a raw rock song and harmony vocals don't work.

That's the case when lower octave vocal line makes wonders.

Sometimes only a combination of higher and lower octave vocal lines at the right places are the right ways how to make the song better.


Try to add whispering below the main vocal line.

This usually works better on verses than choruses, but try to experiment with it!

Even some choruses can benefit from it.

Record the whispering and blend it slightly with the main vocal line.


Be careful with this!

It can sound really cheesy.

But for some songs, it is a great way how to make your chorus alive.

How does it look like when a music producer works with a singer?

Check out a little documentary video of one of my vocals recording session.

I speak Czech, but there are English subtitles encoded in the video

Watch here:

Could be valuable for someone to see...

  • What is your experience with emphasizing the vocals in the choruses?

May the muse be with You!


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