A high quality vocal performance is one of the best things that a vocal producer can look towards. With the vocal parts being an integral part of any song, it could always be overlooked. This often happens due to the vocals not being produced well enough or recorded properly. Changing up a few things here and there could turn a decent vocal into an amazing vocal. These simple tips could show you how to perfect your vocals and make them as vivid and as perfect as possible.
Firstly, it’s very important to notice how your voice is doing. Making sure you’re at peak performance before recording the track will be optimal. Considering how this is the base line for any vocal performance, you’d want this to be as polished as possible. For example if your peak is early in the day, then that’s when you should be recording. If it’s later at night, then you could organize your schedule to fit that time. Also make sure that you are pushing air from your diaphragm to make your voice as polished as possible.
Choosing a Good Microphone
Different people should use different mics, of course that fully depends on your voice and capabilities. However, there are a few options that you should go with no matter what kind of voice you have. First of all, a directional mic would be optimal, preferably with a cardioid pickup pattern. If that won’t work, try going for a high quality omnidirectional vocal mic. A microphone like the Audio-Technica AT4050 provides multiple patterns. You could also check out our top 5 microphones for voice overs at our website.
Condenser Mic Diaphragm Size
In terms of sensitivity, you’d find that the large diaphragm condenser mics are more sensitive. However, the tone is less bright. Having both could often be more beneficial in the long term though.
With different mics, you can achieve different sounds depending on its placement. This also can be different depending on where you’re standing away from the mid. Being further away can provide an entirely different sound for example. Moving away from the mic can create a very diverse and unique effect in that sense. Try to experiment with this and see how it goes.
Obviously, you’d want to make sure that there is as little noise and echoes as possible. Our guide on how to reduce that using different techniques can help with that. However, when it comes to mouth noises and headphone leakage, a noise gate could work. Hiss reduction also works out when you’re trying to capture a noiseprint, reducing hiss by more than 10dB is often a bad idea though, so try limiting to between 6-10dB. In terms of other noises such as mouth-clicking, the iZotope RX 7’s algorithm for de-clicking works the best.
Reducing Breath Noises
Very often when recording voice overs, you will come across breathing, inhales, etc. This is a normal part of your voice so it shouldn’t be completely removed. What can be done to enhance the recording, however, is to decrease the dB level. Reducing the inhales by about 10-12dB is often enough to make the recording still sound natural while also making it sound clean and not too intrusive. You don’t want the inhales to be obvious but you don’t want to completely get rid of them either.
By using programs such as Melodyne, you will be able to adjust the pitch of certain notes and make sure they sound exactly how you want them to sound. Very often, the voice gets pitchy and unstable. Even if not noticeable at first, they add up and it could result in way better sound if fixed. To make sure everything sounds natural, correct the notes that sound unnatural, not the ones that look unnatural. This ensures that your voice over doesn’t sound too unnatural. You don’t want them sounding too perfect (robotic), but at the same time, you want their voices to be as polished as possible.
With all that being said, working on improving your vocals with these small fixes here and there will optimize them. Small changes such as these are changes that novice producers tend to forget about or full out ignore. Giving these changes enough attention can bring your vocals from a novice level to a professional level. For more articles such as this, visit Mello Studio’s website.