Saloni | Desi Nwantiti
Saloni's 'Desi Nwantiti' was a highly anticipated track after her rise on TikTok. After accumulating over 30,000 followers on the platform, she reached out to our team to help produce & sound engineer the record.
The track is an R&B focussed track with fusions of Modern Bhangra alongside some Bollywood classics.
The track released in December 2021 and has since accumulated over 200k streams on all streaming platforms and is one of Saloni's most successful singles in her discography, with fans on TikTok consistently using the track as well as consistent radio support from BBC Asian Network, Asian FX and more.
The Overall Process
T H E M I X I N G P R O C E S S
The mixing process brings together the vocals and the track to create a cohesive well-put record. The goal of mixing is to provide a professional sound that is sonically engaging in a way that aligns with the artists vision.
Saloni had a goal to create a mix that had space and a production that was big enough to bring her vocals to the centre of attention in the track.
Stage 1: Dry Vocals
After our discovery call, Saloni provided us with the dry vocals to begin the mix. The following vocal has no processing, giving us a foundation to start the mix with.
Stage 2: Partially Mixed Vocals
After being provided the dry vocals, we used Audacity, a digital audio editor software, to lightly polish the vocals before we fully process the vocals in the third stage. This included making the vocals louder, brighter, and organised before the final mixing stage. For this we use 3 key elements:
EQ (equalisation) was used raise the high end of the track and
reduce the unnecessary bass (low-end) of the track.
This gave for a brighter and more clearly sounding vocal.
Secondly, compression was applied to raise the overall level of the
vocals, making them louder which will allow them to fit into the mix.
Dry vocals that are recorded straight into the microphone
are usually at a significantly lower volume, so compression is
a key foundational element in the mixing process.
Before Limiter No.6
Vocals have peaks and troughs
Vocals fluctuate from low to high
Lastly, we used a limiter called Limiter No.6 which
organises the vocals after they have been compressed.
This results in the vocals being roughly the same volume
throughout the mix. Quiet parts of the vocals become
louder and louder parts of the mix become quiet.
The diagrams below show the effect of applying a limiter.
After Limiter No.6
Vocals have a more streamlined look
Vocals are closer to being at the same level throughout the mix.
Partially mixed vocals:
Stage 3: DAW Mixing
The final stage is mixing in the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This stage bridges the vocals & the production together using mixing techniques such as adding reverb, delay, harmonic stacking, as well as re-applying previous mixing elements from stage 1 to intensify the vocals.
This stage is what gives the vocals the 'professional' and 'industry standard' sound that our team has accomplished over the years. We use a simple but highly effective mixing order that caters differently for each artist. The DAW we use for our projects is Ableton.
In the discovery session with Saloni, her aim with the mix was for her vocals to be sonically engaging.
For this reason, we commenced the mix by applying light Auto-tune to the vocals to be certain that the track stayed in key throughout. The key for the track was E Major.
The retune speed controls how rapidly the pitch correction is applied to the incoming audio. We kept the level between 55-60%. This was to ensure the vocals were smoothly in tune, allowing the natural-feel of the vocals to be present.
The 'Humanize' setting controls the the robotic effect of Auto-Tune even more. Since Saloni wanted a 'natural' feel to her vocals, we kept is at 100% to prohibit any robotic & unnatural textures from entering the mix
We then applied a similar EQ effect called EQ Eight. This further
highlighted the brightness in the vocals which helped them
to be the centre of attention within the production.
An Ableton stock plugin called 'Harmonics' was applied to give the vocals more space. The plugin has a 'panning' effect which lifts the vocals in the mix to make them sit in a different area.
This results in the vocal becoming the focal point in the track, as the vocals are centered with the production being placed around it.
The dry/wet level of this effect was at 21% - this gave the vocals a subtle noticeable lift.
To give the vocals the finishing touch of space, we applied an Ableton reverb names 'Vocal Hall'. The reverb was adjusted to last longer with the 'decay time' and sound wider with its 'size' setting.
We had a high value for 'size' in order to make the vocals sound treated to a larger 'hall' type room.
Final vocals (with :
harmonies & ad-libs)
Finishing the project
After multiple revisions with Saloni, the track was finalised and was ready to be distributed.
Since it's release the track has accumulated over 10,000 YouTube videos and has 170,000 + Spotify streams as wel' consistent radio play on BBC Asian Network & Radio 1. Saloni's social media presence, especially TikTok, stood as one of the biggest elements in her success. We pride ourselves by providing one of the key foundations in an Industry-Standard, clean & catered mix.