Recording vocals is one of the most important parts of making music. After all, it’s the voice that expresses emotion and brings a song to life. But getting great vocal recordings isn’t always easy—it takes practice and patience. To help you get started on the right foot, here are seven common mistakes to avoid when recording vocals in your home studio. From choosing the wrong microphone for your needs to not taking into account acoustics, understanding these pitfalls will ensure you capture quality vocal tracks every time. So if you’re ready to take your recordings up a notch, let’s dive into what not to do when recording vocals!
Bad Room Acoustics
If your home studio isn’t equipped with a full-on vocal booth, there are still ways to reduce room reflections and resonances in the recording. Using stand-mounted reflection filters such as SE Electronics’ RF Pro or Marantz’s Sound Shield can be helpful; however, an even more effective solution is to create a corner “booth” by hanging up a duvet using mic stands between two walls – that way both vocals and recorders can face into it for superior sound quality!
Not Using the Right Microphone
When selecting a microphone for vocal recording, your choice is critical. Not only will it affect the end result of sound quality and character, but you’ll want to consider both the genre and delivery style as well. For most modern music styles like pop or R&B, large diaphragm condenser mics are ideal – however when seeking edgier tones such as those in rock or hip-hop recordings; try using dynamic microphones instead. Additionally, ensure that whatever mic chosen has either a cardioid or hypercardioid pickup pattern so there’s minimal resonance from surrounding rooms captured on audio tracks.
Keeping the Talent Uncomfortable
Creating great music can be hard enough even when everyone’s on the same page. Even the most talented musicians and vocalists can sound bad when they’re not feeling comfortable in the recording booth. As a home studio musician, it is your responsibility to make sure that your talents feel as at ease as possible. From providing a comfy space with pillows and blankets to giving them plenty of breaks, doing whatever you can to make sure people feel welcome will go a long way in getting quality results from your sessions. Don’t forget to take into account any special needs particular talents may have, such as their favorite snacks or acceptable noise levels—being attentive to these small details can make all the difference.
Not Allowing The Vocalist To Have A Good Monitor Mix
To get the best out of your vocalist, set up an inspiring auxiliary mix in their headphones before they arrive and ensure you can adjust the levels if necessary. Additionally, it’s essential to provide a reverb on the vocal channel with parameters that meet what is requested by them – such as size tail length and dry/wet mix. This will avoid singing completely “dry” allowing for both performer satisfaction as well great listening pleasure from all present!
Not Using Your DAW’s Comping System
If you’re still tediously piecing together single-track vocal takes, it’s time to explore one of the most efficient recording tools available today. Most major DAWs feature a comping system that allows for multiple recordings within subtracks in cycle mode – meaning no more tedious editing by hand! All it requires is dragging your selection across all stems and finalizing playback—offering improved speed with minimal effort. Try this modern technique next time you hit record -you won’t regret it!
Not Using Processing Properly
When mixing for a natural vocal sound, be mindful of the impact effects may have on conveying an authentic performance. The aim is to achieve perfect positioning without compromising its organic quality; apply compression, EQ and de-essing accordingly with caution. AutoTune/Melodyne/ReVoice can also play an important role in shaping vocals but using them too much (or too little) should be avoided at all costs!
If you’re trying to find the perfect sound for your vocals, consider investing in some powerful specialist plugins – from Unmask by iZotope’s Neutron 4 and Nectar vocal suite, Oeksound’s Soothe2, SSL Native Vocalstrip 2 or Waves’ Vocal Rider. All of these plugin suites offer a unique range of audio processing capabilities that can help bring out the best in any track!
Don’t Overthink It
As you prepare to mix the vocal track, make sure not to become so preoccupied with details that you lose sight of the song as a whole. With an energetic and pitch-accurate performance captured on tape, your job is almost done – all that’s left is to trust your ears and work quickly! Of course, it remains important to address technically irritating issues such as sibilance or plosives; but if what comes through sounds great then don’t let plugin visuals distract from this fact no matter how convincing they may be.