And this from your's truly:
In addition to viewing tutorials I offer this advise…
Any 'quality' track begins at the source, as simple as that sounds. For "professional sounding" vocals this means starting with a good voice and studio/microphone technique, in a well treated room. From there, a good microphone, preamp, and A/D is essential. "Good" in this case depends on the voice and the style of music being recorded, so what works well with one singer/track may or may not work as well on the next.
Choosing the "right" EQ/compressor is next in line. In many cases you'll only need minimal EQ or compression on a well performed and recorded vocal, using well chosen EQs and compressors. But it's only after doing all of these things that you can begin to discuss the settings to be used to create "professional sounding" vocals IMO. Otherwise you are more likely going to be discussing the settings required to fix a poorly recorded vocal rather than settings required to create a great vocal.
This is not said to discourage you, but to explain why there are no 'magic' settings for EQ and compression that work on every musical style/vocalist/recording/mix. There are many variables, and the eventual quality of the finished product will always depend on the quality of each step along the way in my experience (garbage in/garbage out applies here too!).
If any one of these stages is less than ideal, like a boxy sounding vocal booth for example, it can create issues difficult to 'fix' later in the production process. You'll potentially end up spending precious creative time "fixing" things to get them passible rather than polishing them to get them spectacular.
So my suggestion is to look at vocal production from a holistic viewpoint, not just thinking that the right EQ/Compression setting is 100% responsible for that professional sound. And I can tell you from experience, 'polishing' is MUCH more fun than 'fixing'. ;-)
So search for videos on all aspects of the subject in question, including vocal technique, microphone technique, studio acoustic treatment, gear comparisons etc., in addition to videos on how to EQ/compress a vocal.
And also, check out the person writing the articles/videos - if they produce tracks you love, follow their advice. But if not, try to find another video or at least take the information with a grain of salt as it pertains to your personal stylistic goals!
Good luck - it can be a life long journey, but one worth taking IMO! :-)
Giles Reaves, aka 'selig'
Audio Illusionist, Musical Technologist
Selig Audio, LLC
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