Producer’s Corner with Universal Audio featuring Jay Sean’s “Hit the Lights,” Mixed by Miles Walker

Posted on by Miles Walker on 4/25/11 5:07:46 PM PDT

Miles Walker

Miles Walker

Miles Walker mixes and produces records for some of today’s most successful pop acts. Getting his start at Silent Sound Studios in Atlanta, GA, Miles worked alongside songwriter and producer Sean Garrett for acts like Beyonce, Usher, Enrique Iglesias, and the Pussycat Dolls. He moved on to work closely with the amazing production duo Stargate, with whom he mixed #1 records from Rihanna, Katy Perry, Wiz Khalifa, and more. Still based in Atlanta, Miles works from his studio at Parhelion Recording using a UAD-2 QUAD DSP Accelerator — the perfect pop vocal production setup for many of today’s hottest acts. 

Hey everyone, I’m going to be looking at a mix I did for Cash Money artist Jay Sean called “Hit the Lights,” one of the lead singles off his new upcoming album, Freeze Time. I love Universal Audio’s “Producer’s Corner” articles, and wanted to share some of the vocal mixing techniques and ideas I use when approaching a song for an album.

As background, this record was Jay Sean’s return to the radio after his mega-hit “Down,” so I wanted to pull out all the stops and really make it work for club and radio. The record was produced by OFM, consisting of Jeremy Skaller and Bobby Bass, the same amazing production duo that whipped up “Down” for Jay Sean a few years back. With all these elements in mind, I set out to maintain a great clean sound on Jay’s vocals, while putting in some spicy mix effects to create the ear candy that I love in today’s pop records.

I’m mostly going to focus on the vocal settings and approach here, though I can tell you that the rhythm elements of the track would not have been bumping without some help from the UAD-2 QUAD card as well.

So you can check it out for yourself, here’s the video for “Hit the Lights” by Jay Sean –

Want it on your iPod? Here’s a link to buy it off iTunes!

There are several great things about the vocal performance on this song that made this record fun to mix. Jay killed the performance, which is a mixer’s dream because all I had to do was clean it up and give it some shine and effects, instead of trying to inject energy into the performance. (Hey UA, that’s the next UAD plugin you should make, “Lazy Vocalist Energizer!” I’m pre-ordering it right now.) Also, the arrangement was good; there were great transition vocal parts and good harmonies to create the mix from. With those lucky numbers off my checklist, I was able to focus on just adding space and delay on the track, as well as a bit of clarity and presence to make the record ring out. To accomplish this, there were a few key UAD plugs that made this mix rock. Let’s take a look at the sections of this song….(read full post on