5 Bad Habits of Vocal Recording that could be Ruining Your Productions

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5 Bad Habits of Vocal Recording that could be Ruining Your Productions


21 Jan, 2023


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Bad habits can be tough to break. We all have them, and unfortunately for the audio engineer, bad habits are often times what ruin productions. Audio recordings are no exception to this rule. Here are 5 common vocal recording problems that you could be making without even realizing it!

Audio engineers are typically required to have some sort of formal training in order to work with audio equipment, but most people simply pick up their skills through tutorial videos or personal experience.

As an Audio Engineer it's important for you to know what key your singer is singing in at all times! This helps you set microphone levels properly so that they always sound crisp and clear without any distortion whatsoever! If you're recording a song featuring vocals that change keys frequently during the course of the track (like many metal songs do) then it's especially crucial that you keep accurate tabs on this information, because if singers don't sing back in the same key as they were originally recorded in, it can make for a very messy and cluttered mix.

Another bad habit that's common among Audio Engineers is overcompensating when recording vocals. This means cranking up the gain on your microphone or pre-amp to an excessive level in order to ensure that you're capturing every last nuance of the singer's voice. The problem with doing this is that it often results in distortion which can be difficult, if not impossible, to fix during the mixing stage. A better approach would be to start by setting your levels lower and then gradually increase them until you reach the point where you're still getting a clean signal but without any clipping or unwanted noise.

Thirdly, another mistake people often make when recording vocals is not taking the time to properly position the microphone. This can be a real issue, especially if you're working with a singer who has a lot of dynamics in their voice. If the mic is too close to the mouth then all of the subtle nuances and accents will be lost, but if it's positioned too far back then you'll end up getting a lot of room ambience which can also be difficult to fix during mixing. The best way to find the sweet spot is by experimentation, so take your time and move the mic around until you get the most pleasing results.

A fourth mistake that people often make when recording vocals is using incorrect EQ settings. When you first start out tracking vocals it can be tempting to cut out all of the low end and boost the high frequencies in order to make things sound as bright and airy as possible, but this is often counterproductive. Audio professionals rarely employ such an extreme approach when recording vocals because it's much more difficult to achieve a smooth mix with audio that has been recorded so harshly. And besides, if you're working on a metal song then chances are your guitars have already scooped out most of those upper mids anyway!

Lastly, one big mistake people tend to make when recording vocals is not listening back carefully enough afterwards . It's important for Audio Engineers (and musicians) alike always go through their recordings after they've finished tracking them and pick up any mistakes or unwanted noises which may need fixing. This is especially important when it comes too vocals, because if there are any errors or inconsistencies in the performance then they'll be very noticeable once the track has been mixed and mastered. So make sure you take your time and listen critically to each and every recording that you make —s that's the only way you'll be able to improve your skills as an Audio Engineer.