How to Record Vocals | The Definitive Guide

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How to Record Vocals | The Definitive Guide


1 Jan, 2023


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Input level and mic position are critical. Sit the vocalist in a comfortable position where they can be loud if need be. If you are not using a sound booth, be sure to get the right amount of distance between you and the vocalist while still maintaining good communication with them throughout the recording process, make sure that no pesky background noises are present during the recording process, make sure that there are no overbearing frequencies coming through on any one specific track. The last step is very important — make sure you don't let anything clip or peak above zero into your DAW throughout recording.

Recording vocals is a huge part of the music production process. It's important to know what you're doing when it comes to vocal recording. In this article we'll take a look at 7 simple steps that will help you record vocals like a pro!

Step one: Position the microphone to capture the purest tone of the vocalist. Moving the mic around a bit while the vocalist is singing is the best way to find accurate mic placement.

Step two: The input signal shouldn't peak higher than-6db on in your DAW. For a nice balanced input average aim for in between-12db and -6db.

Step three: Make sure that no pesky background noises are present during the recording process. Turn off any fans, television, radios, a/c, etc. Roll off the low end with a high pass filter. Depending on the microphone, you may have settings on the mic itself for this, if not, do it in your DAW.

Step four: Maintain good communication with the vocalist throughout the recording process. Make sure they are comfortable.

Step five: Some vocalist may want to hear some space while recording. Create two sends on the input track to a reverb and a delay. Add as necessary.

Step six: Avoid sibilance and plosives. Sibilance is that harsh ssss sound when recording certain words and plosives are the ppp sounds you get with certain words You can use a de-esser for this but a simple fix is angle the vocalist slightly to the side of the microphone capsule instead of head on. Use a pop filter, if you don't have one get creative, maybe stockings or a sock. Be sure not to muffle the sound too much.

Step seven: if the recording comes in too hot, you will have unwanted distortion that you will not be able to remove later. If distortion is the effect you're going for , its best to apply it after you have a clean recording so you have range on how much or how little you want to apply.

And that's it for the definitive guide to recording vocals! If you take these seven steps into account, then your vocals will be off to a great start in any song! Remember to always experiment and find what works best for each individual song. There is no one perfect way to record vocals, so make sure you use your ears and intuition to get the best results. Thanks for reading!