Basic Vocal Recording Techniques

If you’re trying to record vocals, there are a few techniques you should be aware of that are not only easy to implement, but they will also make your vocals sound much better. Oftentimes, the quality of a vocal recording has little to do with the person singing, and more to do with other things like extra sounds or unclear enunciation. Here are some of the most commonly used techniques and how to utilize them.

Choosing the right microphone

You may not know, but there are different types of microphones and they don’t all do the same thing. If you’re recording vocals, there are certain types that will work better than others. You’ll also need to position it correctly in order to get the best sound. If someone talks or sings with the microphone too close to them, the sound can greatly suffer. For this reason, you’ll want to do some test recordings, so you’ll know what type of orientation sounds the best.

Sectioning off an area

You will need a special space to record. This can be a whole room or a little booth that you made for yourself. Soundproofing is always an option and it will help you control noises that can interfere with the sound quality. You may not notice all the sounds that are present in your home, but there are likely a lot of ambient noises that a microphone will be able to hear that you may not even notice anymore.

Using filters and tricks

If more than one person is going to be using your microphone, you’ll want to get a filter. This will protect your equipment from germs and other things, and it can even make it sound better. Certain filters, called pop filters, help eliminate certain sounds from being able to be heard in a recording, which will make the overall vocals smoother. They are called pop filters because you shouldn’t hear a lot of pops on the audio when you’re using one. If you can’t afford any filters, there are other tricks you can employ as well. You can do a quick search online to find tricks to use, such as the pencil trick. This involves securing a pencil vertically on a microphone, with a rubber band, so it can help stabilize the sound. It helps shield it from harsh sounds and is a quick and easy alternative to a pop filter, if you don’t have one.

Adding effects

Any time during the recording or editing process, you can add effects. This includes things like reverb or distortion. These effects will help your music sound the way you want it to, and it won’t be flat, since you’re adding more dimension to it.

Coaching the vocalist a bit

Another thing you can do is make sure that your vocalist is comfortable and ready to sing. We all have our off days, where we don’t feel like doing anything. If your singer isn’t feeling it, your recording will suffer, so keep them comfortable and let them be a major part of the process. Give them little cues and praise to help them feel confident, and that will come across in the tracks you’re recording.

Enhancing things after recording

If you want to add even more effects or change other things about the music after it’s recorded, you can do that too. Many do this with digital audio software programs, which are easy to learn how to use and are also affordable. They take the place of physical pieces of equipment, like mixers and turntables, but can still do the same functions. Furthermore, these programs make it easier to do other things with your recordings, like slow them down, speed them up, or make beats or hooks.

Other tips

Always remember that you need to be getting the most out of your equipment. That means that you should be reading all the manuals and other material that comes with it, so you are familiar with the features, how everything works, and you’ll be aware if there is a warranty you can take advantage of. It is doing you no good if you don’t know how to use something, so be familiar with all your tools.

You should also be sure to do an adequate amount of research and testing. On the research side, look at all the items you will need and see which are said to perform well. You don’t always need the top-of-the-line items to get a professional sound, so don’t think that you have to break the bank. You can look at online reviews or go into music stores and ask for suggestions. Chances are you’ll find plenty of people who can help you out. As far as testing goes, you’ll want to try everything and see how it works, so it can be just right when you go to start your project. This involves making sure that your area is as soundproof as possible, checking out mic placement and things like that.

It doesn’t have to be hard to record in your home or somewhere else outside of a conventional studio, but you may have to do a little bit of work to get the recording to sound like you have envisioned it. It’s mostly a game of trial and error, so don’t worry if things don’t always work out how you intended them to.

Conclusion

There are a few techniques when it comes to vocal recording that can make your life easier. Most of them are effortless to implement and won’t cost you a lot of money. These are things like making sure you get filters for your microphone and keeping your singer confident, both of which will make the vocals sound richer. You’ll likely need to do a lot of practice sessions to get it the way you want it, but after a while, you’ll have a better understanding of how to make everything work the way it should. This can make your recording dreams come true.

 

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