Recording Vocals In Your Home Studio
By Jimmy Cott
Before we get to the good stuff we need to set up properly. Don’t get into a rush when it comes to setting up, make yourself comfortable and make sure your vocals or vocalists are warmed up. I assume you guys have a digital audio workstation (DAW) like Pro Tools, Logic or any other and a recording interface. First of all you need to pay attention to the level of audio going into your DAW and adjust your recording interfaces gain knob so the recording level of your vocal in your DAW is at about -15db. You need to make sure you are not going to experience any problems with latency so configure your DAW and interface so that doesn’t happen. You also need to make sure that what you will be recording will be heard in the headphones by the vocalist and that it will be easy to sing along with. If your recording along with a full band than just mute whatever is distracting and record along with just the drums, bass, guitar or keys. It is very important to have a set up that will make for an easy and comfortable recording session for your singer.
So now you’ve hopefully gotten everything ready to go. Go through your checklist and make yourself at home because you don’t want your session to end until you’ve gotten what you wanted and it doesn’t always happen that easily. Now we will go over the most important and sometimes tricky thing to capture which would be the human voice.
So you’ve got everything set up and you want to record some vocals. People tend to make this more complicated than it actually is. If you have a good vocalist and a quality microphone than it can be very straight forward and simple. It’s when you lack quality in vocal performance that you can run into the most trouble. Your microphone, mic placement and effects set-up WILL NOT make a good vocal performance. A good and well prepared vocalist is the real key to recording a great vocal track. There are three things you need to get a high quality vocal recording. You need a good vocalist, a quality microphone and a quality pop filter. These are all equally important and are a must for your vocal recordings. Remember to check the input levels in your DAW and keep them around -15db.
When it comes to microphone choice a condenser mic is most popular for its frequency response and clarity. Dynamic mics are also used for popular recordings especially if you are recording rock vocals with a lot of dynamics. If you have a choice I would go with a condenser in most situations.
Now when it comes to recording vocals just keep it simple and start with these basic positions. Here are the most widely used mic techniques. The most usual and recommended mic placement for your vocalist using a CONDENSER MIC would be about 3-8 inches between their mouth and the microphone. Using a DYNAMIC MIC the usual space would be about 1-6 inches. This all depends on how loud or soft your vocalist is of course. A singer who is really belting it out might be as far as a foot away from the mic. You want to make sure your vocalist stays still when recording to limit input level variations. Adjust mic position slightly up or down until vocals sound the way you want them to in your mix without going above -10 db in your DAW. Remember to always use a good pop filter.
Some people will tilt the microphone up or down (usually with a condenser mic) to get a slightly different frequency response, reduce sibilance or to decrease the proximity effect. The proximity effect causes a nasty low frequency noise in your vocal recordings and usually means you are to close to the mic. You also get this effect when there is too much air hitting your mic. If your vocalist has poor breath control and exerts a lot of air out when they sing then you might try tilting the mic although this will decrease vocal clarity. If you are a vocalist who wants to make professional recordings make sure you practice proper breath control. Vocal sibilance can also be improved through proper breath control.
If you or your vocalist is having trouble hearing themselves in the mix than just take one headphone off one ear and put it on the side of your head to hear yourself in the room. You can also mute other distracting instruments in the mix or just turn down their volume. The more comfortable the vocalist is the better recording you are going to get.
That’s All You Need To Know Guys! So Start Recording!
For More Tips Visit My Website http://themixingspot.com/
My name is Jimmy Cott, I am a singer/songwriter who has a passion for recording and mixing music. I have a website that provides information about recording and mixing your own music. The link to the website is at the end of the article, it is called The Mixing Spot.
Hope to see you there!
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