Lead Vocal Tracks in Popular Music Go Quiet

Lead Vocal Tracks in Popular Music Go Quiet

An analysis of top popular music from 1946 to 2020 shows a marked decrease in volume of the lead vocal track and differences across musical genres.

Estimated lead-to-accompaniment-ratio, LAR, for songs in five genres from 1990-2020. Purple circles correspond to solo artists and green squares to bands. Credit: Kai Siedenburg

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2023 – A general rule of music production involves mixing various soundtracks so the lead singer’s voice is in the foreground. But it is unclear how such track mixing – and closely related lyric intelligibility – has changed over the years.

Scientists from the University of Oldenburg in Germany carried out an analysis of hundreds of popular song recordings from 1946 to 2020 to determine…click to read more

From the Journal: JASA Express Letters
Article: Lead-vocal level in recordings of popular music 1946-2020
DOI: 10.1121/10.0017773