Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced singer, improving your singing voice is essential for mastering the craft. To help you out, we have put together this step-by-step tutorial that covers topics such as vocal range, breathing techniques, pitch control and microphone placement. With our tips and tricks, we hope you will be able to perfect your vocals quickly and easily. So let’s get started!
Find The Ideal Recording Space
To get the best sound in your recordings, you have to start by finding a space where audio will be optimized. While many think they need an expensive studio and lots of gear to succeed, a great vocal recording can easily come from even just a bedroom or living room! This means carefully selecting which environment produces its own distinct acoustics based on size, shape, furniture type – or any factor that affects how sounds resonate within four walls. You should take into consideration all these factors before deciding: it could make the difference between average and extraordinary audio quality!
Before recording, it’s important to consider the acoustics of your chosen room. This is critical for getting optimal audio quality – too much ambient sound will make recordings seem reverberated and echoy, while a lack of deadening can lead to muffled tracks. Treating the space with absorber panels or mic screens helps maintain an ideal balance between “deadness” and clarity in your final product!
When recording in a space, the quality of your mic setup can be drastically improved with the addition of acoustic absorber panels. Household objects like sofas and curtains may provide some relief from room reflections, but for truly crystal-clear audio output professional absorbent materials are essential.
Unwanted reflections can easily muddy the acoustics of a room. To combat this, try decorating with natural sound treatment – you may already have what is needed! Cover hard surfaces such as windows or walls with carpets and blankets to absorb the reflection –or even liven up your space by hanging curtains for an added decorative touch. For extra absorption on floors, consider investing in larger fluffy furnishings like rugs or comforters which will help minimize sonic reverberations from below. If you are tight on budget, this Hofa Acoustic Curtain Iso S is a great starting point.
Choose A Microphone For The Job
A large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone is an ideal choice for capturing nuances in human vocals and rejecting background noise. Microphones such as the Rode NT1-A or the Warm Audio WA87 are a great and affordable choice.
If you’re recording louder, aggressive rock tracks, then opt for dynamic microphones which can handle higher SPLs with less distortion than their condenser counterparts. One of the most popular Dynamic Microphones that we recommend would be the legendary Shure SM7B. Ribbon mics are worth considering to add further depth and complexity to vocal recordings too. One of the most affordable and popular Ribbon microphones is the Golden Age Project R1 MK2. One thing to keep in mind though is that Ribbon microphones are extremely sensitive – so you have to take good care of them.
When recording vocals, proper microphone placement is essential. With the right positioning of your mic you can achieve a clean and professional sound – but if done incorrectly it could result in an unclear mess! To ensure optimal performance first try to stay away from having the mic located centrally within the room; this will reduce standing waves creating interference with your recordings. Additionally make sure that walls are not interfering by placing as far away from them as possible – although slightly closer towards two of them may provide better results for those looking for more distinct sounds. Pointing its back at one corner would give further distance between any on-axis wall reflections aiding clarity in audio output too!
Distance & Angles
When recording vocals with a condenser microphone, the importance of distance cannot be overstated. Too close and you run into proximity effect – an increase in low-end frequencies due to being too near the sound source. Here, 6 inches is recommended for warm and intimate performances, whereas 12 inches away produces more airiness to your recordings without capturing excess background noise or causing annoying popping sounds from certain English phonemes like “p”, “b” , etc..
To ensure your recordings have the desired sound quality, try experimenting with a pop filter to diffuse air blasts and angle adjustment. When using microphones, turn it slightly away from the vocalist’s mouth at an initial 15º shift as this is often a good starting point for varying voices. Each scenario will be different but there are no hard-set rules – find what works best for you!
Set Your Levels
Ensuring that the levels of your audio recordings are just right is essential for capturing perfect sound. Your volume should generally sit around -18dBFS, with a peak level at no higher than -10dBFS – anything further can risk distortion or clipping down the line. It’s equally important to remember not to record too quietly as otherwise you’ll end up getting mostly hum and hiss from electronic equipment in your final product. Be sure to get it just right by carefully monitoring gain settings before recording any session so you don’t make an irreversible mistake later on!
Get In The Mood
In order to get the perfect recording for your vocalist, make sure their mental state is conducive. Take some time beforehand with them and ensure they feel comfortable in both the physical setting and mentally; talk through any anxieties or other issues that could potentially hinder their performance when it comes time to hit record! Encouraging good vibes by telling jokes or listening intently can also give a morale boost. In short: don’t rush straight into recording without paying attention first to how relaxed (or not!) your musician might be – this careful preparation will have an eventual impact on the final outcome of what you’re trying to create.
Finally – Hit ‘Record’!
Before you hit record, there are a few important things to consider. Sure it takes extra time and effort – but if you don’t put in the work upfront, your perfect vocal performance may never make its way out of the studio! Avoid endless re-recording sessions by taking that bit of extra care into prepping for recording; investing up front can save mountains later on during mixing and editing.
Recording vocals can be a tricky process, but with the right preparation and knowledge, you’ll have the perfect take in no time. Remember to pay attention to your vocalist’s mental state before recording; encouraging good vibes will ensure that their performance is at its best. Additionally, setting up the microphone correctly and ensuring levels are just right for optimal sound quality should also not be overlooked! With these tips in mind, you’ll soon master recording vocals like a pro – so get ready to hit record!
If you are looking to professionally capture vocals, contact us here today at Mello Studio – we’d love to help you!