Recording vocals at home | How to Avoid 12 Common Mistakes

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Recording vocals at home | How to Avoid 12 Common Mistakes


5 Jan, 2023


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Recording vocals at home is an increasingly popular way to produce high-quality music. The equipment and software has never been more accessible, and there are a lot of tutorials online that can teach you how to set up your own studio for recording vocals or any other instrument. But while the opportunities have never been greater for people who want to record their own music, many people still make mistakes when they try it on their own. In this blog post we'll cover 8 common mistakes made by beginners when they're trying to set up a home studio and what you can do about them!

Mistake #01: Not having the right equipment

One of the most common mistakes people make when they start recording vocals at home is not having the right equipment. This usually means not having a good microphone, mic preamp, and audio interface. If you're just starting out, it might be a good idea to invest in some quality equipment. Otherwise, you might have a hard time getting the right sound and in some cases having to use an external mic preamp which can get quite expensive if you're not recording anything else at home (and I know that's like half of us!).

Mistake #02: Having bad acoustics or no acoustic treatment

The second most common mistake beginners make is having bad acoustics or no acoustic treatment. In a room with poor acoustics, it can be very hard to record anything that doesn't have a lot of reverb and other unpleasant noises in the background. If you're just starting out, try recording vocals somewhere where there are fewer walls (facing away from walls is usually best) and where there's some furniture to help absorb sound (rugs, curtains, couches, etc). If you already have a home studio and are struggling with bad acoustics, then consider investing in some acoustic treatment like foam panels or bass traps.

Mistake #03: Not monitoring your vocals

A lot of people assume it's safest to monitor their vocals through the headphones that came with whatever audio interface they're using. While this is better than nothing, oftentimes those headphones just aren't good enough for monitoring your own voice back into a microphone while you sing. You want something that will be able to reveal any unwanted sounds in your recording and which offer a neutral sound. Plus, you'll want near field monitors so your ears won't get tired after long recording sessions!

Mistake #04: Not having the right software for setting up a home studio

Another common mistake beginners make is not have the right software to set up their own home studio. This could be because they don't know what software is available or they're not sure which software is best for their needs. In general, you'll want some kind of DAW (digital audio workstation) to record and edit your vocals, as well as a plugin for adding effects like reverb, compression, and EQ. There are a lot of different options out there, so it's best to do some research and find the software that fits your needs.

Mistake #05: Not having enough patience

One of the most important things you need when recording vocals at home is patience. This is because it can be a lot harder to get good results if you're not taking your time and doing multiple takes until you get the perfect sound. And doing multiple takes can be very time-consuming, especially if you're not used to it! It's important to know that good results don't come fast and they only happen when you take your time recording vocals at home.

Mistake #06: Not interviewing before a session for best results

Another common mistake people make when they're recording vocals at home is not interviewing their singer before a session. This means that the engineer isn't familiar with the singer's voice and how it sounds in different styles. By taking the time to interview your singer before a session, you can get an idea of what kind of sound they're going for and what style of song they're interested in recording. This can help you get better results during the session and avoid any surprises.

Mistake #07: Not having a plan for each session

The final common mistake people make when they're recording vocals at home is not having a plan for each session. This means that they're not sure what they want to achieve in their recording session and how they want to get there. Without a plan, you can run into problems like having unnecessary vocal takes that don't fit together well in the song or not completing songs by experimenting too much with different styles of vocals. Having goals for each session will help you stick to your plan without veering off course while also helping make sure you stay on schedule.

Mistake #08: Not knowing the best techniques for recording vocals at home

One of the most important things to know when recording vocals at home is that there are certain vocal "techniques" that will help get good results in various situations. Some great examples include using a pop filter before singing, breathing correctly, and knowing when it's best to use a wireless mic. It's important to research these techniques so you can get the most out of your recording sessions at home!

Mistake #09: Not having good isolation in your studio space

Another common mistake people make when they're recording vocals is not having proper vocal isolation in their studio space. This means that you don't have a way to keep your vocals away from the rest of the sounds in your space, like instruments or outside noises. Isolation can help prevent any unwanted sound from finding its way into your recording and is especially important if you're planning on mixing with other sources later.

Mistake #10: Not using a microphone stand for recording vocals

One mistake many people make when they're doing vocal recordings at home is not using a microphone stand. This means that the singer has to hold their own mic, which can lead them to singing out of tune or in an uneven way. Having your singers use a mic stand will help keep their voice consistent throughout each take and will also help them stay in tune.

Mistake #11: Not having a quality microphone for recording vocals at home

People often make this mistake when they're recording vocals at home by not using a quality microphone. This means that they're not getting the best sound possible from their recordings. By using a high-quality mic, you can avoid many of the common mistakes people make when recording vocals and get better results in your recordings.

Mistake #12: Not taking the time to properly set up your microphone

The final mistake people often make when they're recording vocals at home is not taking the time to properly set up their microphone. This means that they're not getting the best sound possible from their recordings. By taking the time to set up your microphone correctly, you can ensure that you're capturing the most accurate representation of your singer's voice.

In conclusion, there are a few common mistakes people make when they're recording vocals at home. By avoiding these mistakes, you can get better results in your recordings and make the most of your time at home.

Thanks for reading!