How to Mix Reggaeton Vocals

Reggaeton began as Spanish reggae in Panama. The music eventually became reggaeton in Puerto Rico. In the 1980s, Vico C mixed reggae and hip-hop to craft the early reggaeton sound, which ultimately produced Reggae Rap in Spanish. Mixing the music and vocals often follows the producer or artist's vision for the song and vocal, but features almost equally the heavy snare drum machine beat, or "riddim," used in almost all reggaeton recordings.

Things You'll Need

  • Audio mixing software
  • Riddims
  • Existing audio track
  • CDs


    • 1

      Record a Spanish language vocal on a separate track. "Audacity," a freeware recording software, does most of what the expensive pay software can. Keep the vocal tracks separate from the beat tracks to enable the use of production effects.

    • 2

      Mix the vocal with Auto-Tune. Auto-Tune is the best known pitch correction software, allowing you to produce the distinctive hiccup effect in the reggaeton vocal track. Double track the vocal to enrich the vocal timbre, and perhaps augment the Auto-Tune effects.

    • 3

      Center the vocal track in the mix. Place the snare drum beat and effects in the center or slightly to the left of center. Also, keep the Auto-Tune effect in the same position as the lead vocal track.

    • 4

      Add additional sound effects. Echo, EQ and additional percussion effects that heighten the snare's pop "sweeten" the reggaeton sound to increase its audibility over beat or music tracks.

    • 5

      Use parametric EQ in the final stereo mix. Parametric EQ adjusts frequency and bandwidth. It permits a touch-up to the frequency response of the vocal's presence -- and any rhythms or other sonic effects within the adjustment band. Create a stereo final mix, and burn a CD or flash drive of the final mix version.

Tips & Warnings

  • "Dem Bow" is the seminal reggaeton beat, and modern recordings often incorporate this rhythmic structure.
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  • Photo Credit Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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