Krumhansl proposed that we’ve heard enough songs in major keys to be able to pick up on what songs in major do, and how they should sound. Just like when you watch enough spy movies, you can basically predict what’s supposed to happen in the spy movie you’re about to watch. Cui says, “I’m assuming that most people hearing ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ would know that it’s in major even though they might not know it’s called major.”

Finally, use an aux send to create a parallel compression chain for the vocal. Use extremely fast attack and release times, super-aggressive ratios, and excessive amounts of compression to create a pumping, slamming performance that’s full of energy. Then, gently blend in the results with the original. A common trick is to use an 1176 in “British Mode” or “all-buttons-in,” as it adds a colorful distortion that helps vocals cut through the mix.

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