I Want To Sound Like Garth Brooks

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

What do you do when a client asks you to make them sound Garth Brooks? Is anything possible?


The Thunder Rolls

Some vocalists have super powerful abilities; lots of line in their voices, tremendous breath control, and two to three-octave ranges.

This vocalist has great pitch control but is a super quiet singer. Certainly great in laying down tracks quickly and efficiently, but, he ain’t Garth Brooks.

And I get asked to do this?

It’s like a bald guy asking the barber to make him look like Jason Momoa.

Vocal Sub Mix Compression. I really dig Smack. Squished but not Smacked.

How I made My friend Sound Like Garth Brooks

Okay, I’m guessing he wants more depth in his voice.

His vocal tracks were cut with a Neumann TLM 102 through an LA 610 preamp.

I duplicated the original tracks four times and routed the tracks into a sub-mix. I did a high and low shelf Eq on the sub-mix, cutting off those frequencies that did not affect the vocal track’s tonality, and reduced or flattened nasty ones. Track 1 had no plug-in assignment with a bit higher volume than the others. Track 2, set at a lower volume, had no plug-in assignment, but I put a little sub-mix of delay. I used a two-millisecond slap delay with a Waves H Delay plug-in. On tracks 3 and 4, I put two more delays of varying time delay, panned hard right and left. When those tracks were auditioned as solo, they sounded like a big gobbilty goop of delay bouncing all over the place. Putting those tracks way down in the mix, almost to the point of inaudibility, thickened the overall vocal landscape.

(Side note, I really suggest watching Funkscribe’s break down video of Stevie Wonders Superstition. What Stevie did with delay is awe inspiring.)

I then added a vocal plate with a low pass filter, cutting off most of the verb frequency at 2 k, boosted the vocal eq sub mix with a bit of 100 hertz, and, surprise, not Garth Brooks, but one happy singer.

Is there anything we can do to help?

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