Why You Cant Get The Post Malone Sound


Every time an artist gets big, there’s a slew of unsigned artists that pop up out of the woodwork trying to sound just like them.

I’ve seen this countless times in my twenty years in the music business, from hearing people that tried to sound like Jay Z to hearing people that still try to sound like Drake: with Post Malone racking up another #1 with Rockstar featuring 21 Savage, a new crop of aspiring artists are asking, “How can I achieve the Post Malone sound?”.

Well the short answer is you can’t. Why?

Post Malone, pretty much like every great artist, has their own unique voice.

There are no fx that’ll help you get Post Malone’s voice, you can’t eq your vocals to sound like his.

No amount of reverb is going to mask your real voice and make you sound like Post Malone or anyone else for that matter.

Post Malone’s audio engineer just does what every professional audio engineer does: adds the right amount of compression, eq, reverb and delay to Post Malone’s vocals.

And if you ask me his mastering engineer didn’t do such a good job on his first album Stoney cause the album sounded over compressed and harsh.

What Post Malone Sound?

Another thing to keep in mind is when people say they want the Post Malone sound, what sound are they referring to?

The mixing on “White Iverson” is completely different than the mixing on say “Candy Paint”.

The former having much more thinner vocals and longer reverb tails, while the latter sounds like a more traditional hip hop mix.

Do the vocals on these songs sound anything alike? No.

The more important question aspiring artists should be asking themselves is: how can I be as good as Post Malone? Not how can I sound like him.

So what makes Post Malone sound so good?


It really doesn’t get more basic than his voice!

Your voice is the foundation of your music and no amount of mixing and mastering is going to fix your voice.

Now Post Malone doesn’t have a great singing voice as he does use a fair amount of Auto-tune but what he does have is a unique voice: he sounds like a British cowboy who grew up on equal parts hip hop, R&B and country.

He almost sounds like if James Blake had grown up in Houston, instead of London.

Obviously you can’t get Post Malone’s voice as that is unique to his upbringing as well as the physical structure of his throat, mouth and the way sound moves through his airways.

Don’t Copy Post Malone

Believe me I’ve mixed songs where the artist sounded eerily similar to Post Malone, and while it was cool they could mimic him so well, it felt empty like when a comedian does an impression.

Instead of doing what is essentially an impression of another artist, what you can do is focus on what makes your voice, personality and upbringing different and unique.

It doesn’t matter how bad you or even others think your voice sounds, everyone has a unique voice.

What makes it “bad” is that you haven’t found your sound yet.

Be More Like 21 Savage

Let’s look at Post Malone collaborator and rising rap star, 21 Savage.

The first time I heard 21, I was dumbfounded like “wow why didn’t someone think of this deadpan delivery earlier, it’s so easy to do!”.

21 sounds kind of like a guy who just started rapping, except he’s much more in the pocket, albeit not the usual one rappers inhabit and he’s way more polished than a guy who just started rapping in his proverbial basement.

There’s literally nothing special about 21’s voice but it’s his deadpan super serious delivery that makes you think “Okay this guy might kill me”.

21 Savage, has learned much like all great artists, that the key to mastering one’s voice is is to turn what would be perceived as a weakness into a strength.

I believe every aspiring artist can do this: take what’s unique about you, particularly what’s the weakest part about your voice and sound and focus on that.

I know it sounds crazy, but I think it’ll help you get a better idea of what your sound should be and what it shouldn’t be.

Remember you won’t be cool, trying to be someone else.

Flows and Melodies

I can’t finish this without speaking a little about flows and melodies, which depending on what your musical background is, are basically the same thing.

It should go without saying that every great artist from Elvis to The Weekend has catchy flows and melodies.

If you want to be great, you need to master the ability to craft catchy flows and melodies.

But how do you do this?

In Future’s Like I Never Left documentary, Future spoke on his love of crafting melodies and using nursery rhymes as a muse.

If you are from or familiar with 80s and 90s hip hop, you’ll know that purposely making your flows sound like nursery rhymes is heresy.

But just like with all great disruptions that challenge conventions, nursery rhymes may be the key to the Post Malone sound.

For instance, if you’ve heard any of Post Malone’s songs, particularly the aforementioned Candy Paint, they definitely have a nursery rhyme feel to them and I don’t mean that as a slight.

But if you want to have that Post Malone sound, it’s a good idea to start by making your flow more nursery rhyme like and less complicated.

An easy way to do this is to come up with a simple flow that you can repeat over and over with slight variations at the end and from there you just basically fill in the blanks with words.

Does Post Malone Use Autotune?

Yes he does and if you don’t believe me, just watch his performance at the recent American Music Awards. Unlike Travis Scott who performs with heavy autotune live, Post Malone used no autotune in this performance

What’s Post Malone’s Autotune Setting?

Here you can find more on Post Malone and Drake’s autotune setting.



Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering, which he helped found in 2012. For the last 10 years, he has made it his mission to empower aspiring artists and musicians from around the world. You can see more of Andre's writings on our Blog.


  1. Everyone, shit anyone can sound like this guy. He’s so heavily autotuned he has no actual voice. Gimmie a fuckin break. Seems like a decent kid but he has no singing talent. Or if he does you’d never know it

  2. I wouldn’t say Post Malone isn’t a good singer. He sings with a lot of confidence and can therefore pull off a lotta stuff (Nirvana tribute!?). And he uses Autotune also as an “artictic tool”, particularly when singing long vocals, that vibrato effect, I love that. I listened to some live songs where these effects are missing and he sings good. Not Mariah Carey level but who cares. I like most of his albums songs and that’s what makes him so good actually! I can’t remember the last time I listened to someone new where I didn’t skip 60% of the album’s tracks. He’s simply got a whole lot of cool tracks!

    • He’s a much better guitar player than singer. Actually, he’s a great guitar player, but not terrible singer at best

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