Expert tips and tricks for getting
best out of recording your vocals
If you are recording
an album or even just a demo disc, the most important sound you'll
record is the vocal.
Annoying as it is to us die-hard musicians(!), the fact remains
that no matter how good the music is on any recording, the average
listener (Joe Public) only listens to the singers voice. This
makes sense because on all but instrumental recordings, the singing
is always forefront in the mix.
What this means to you as a singer, is that the quality of the
vocal on anything you record can make or break you. You could
be the best singer in the world, but if your vocal doesn't shine
through on that recording, the reviews will be less than favourable.
To make matters worse, the human singing voice contains so many
constantly changing dynamics, recording engineers all agree that
this makes it one of the most difficult things to record.
However, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to help ensure
you capture the purest vocal quality possible on your recordings
One of the most important things in capturing vocals is the quality
of the microphone. If you are just starting out and using the
Free Audio Editor And Recorder we give free to our subscribers,
then a standard computer/PC microphone might be ok just to get
you started, but later on, as you become more and more adept at
recording, you really should consider investing in a good quality
professional microphone (see http://www.mp3backingtrax.com/microphones.htm).
Good quality microphones are not expensive and have many uses.
As well as improving the vocal recording quality of your Free
Audio Editor And Recorder, a good microphone will also improve
other audio programs running on your computer like MSN messenger
(plus you can also use it to sing at your live gigs too).
No matter which type of microphone you use, there are some basic
rules you should follow to acieve that perfect vocal sound.
1. Keeping a good distance from
the microphone is essential. Too close and it'll distort. Too
far away and it'll pick up noise from your surroundings. Keep
your mouth about 6 inches away from the microphone. At louder
parts of the song (where you are singing loudly), ease yourself
back another 1 or 2 inches from the microphone and at quieter
parts, move closer to the microphone by 1 or 2 inches.
2. Always keep an eye on the input level meter of your recorder
while you're singing to make sure it never goes too high - if
it does, this will cause distortion to be introduced in to your
recording and you don't want that! Digital distortion is the worst
type of distortion there is - it grates on the listeners ears
and is an immediate turn-off. Don't say you haven't been warned!
3. Once you've captured and
recorded a nice, undistorted, clean and well balanced vocal sound,
it's time to bring that vocal further to life by adding some reverb
effect. Try not to use echo - not only is echo a very old-fashioned
type of vocal effect which is only used nowadays for specific
purposes, it's also synonomous with "bad karaoke singers"
so you don't really want this type of label attached to you! Reverb
is a much smoother, less obtrusive vocal effect and will subtley
lift up your vocal recording as long as you don't overdo it. A
little reverb is good - a lot of reverb is bad (you don't want
it to sound as if you are singing in an empty aircraft hanger
or a cathedral)! A little reverb is just enough to give the vocal
some ambience and is all that's required. Use your ears and trust
what you hear. No-one knows your "sound" as well as
If you follow these few tips, your
vocals will sparkle and you'll end up with a professional quality
vocal sound that will be just as good as any expensive recording
Article Written by Kenny Campbell
(This article cannot be reproduced without express
(all rights reserved)