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BASS (47) COMPRESSION (32) DRUMS (41) EFFECTS (47) EQUALIZATION (27) GUITAR (101) HOME RECORDING (81) IMPULSES (21) INTERVIEWS (19) KARAOKE (1) LIVE (10) MASTERING (56) MIDI (18) MIXING (164) REVIEWS (131) SAMPLES (56) SONGWRITING (18) VOCALS (29)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

How to record a song part 5/6: vocals!



Now that the instrumental part of our song is ready it's time to lay down the thing that most of the times is the center of our mix: the vocal section.

Let's assume we already have a good vocal arrangement, a nice chorus and some meaningful lyrics, the singer is ready and knows exactly how to interpret the song (which is already a lot), what we need now is to choose the microphone.

The choice of the microphone depends on many factors, and obviously the first one is the budeget: if we have a good budget and we can afford a place without too much room reverb we can use a condenser microphone, which will capture much more details, otherwise we can use a good dynamic one, which are usually directionals, so they will focus on the sound source.
A dynamic microphone is also more suggested if we are recording extreme genres, in which the singer screams very loud, as they are not afraid of high sound pressure and usually are less sensitive in the low frequencies.

Once we have the microphone we can place it in the mic stand and add an antipop filter that will catch the little "saliva projectiles" and prevent the singer to touch the microphone.
The singer needs to find a distance from the microphone in which he will not accidentally touch the mic stand with the feet and mantain it for the whole recording session in order to give continuity to the takes.

If the room is not treated it could also be a good idea to use a vocal microphone shield, a small styrofoam barrier that blocks the room reverbs to come back to the microphone.

The microphone should be plugged into the soundcard or mixer, but if the audio interface is cheap (and we have a better preamp at hand) it's a good idea to bypass the in built preamp and sing through the better one, plugging it into the return of the interface.
If we have some other external gear such a good Compressor or an Eq that could make our track sound better we could also use them, although it's risky: using those, once the processed signal is in the Daw, there's no turning back. I suggest if we are using some outboard to dial a very soft compression, just to shave off a couple of db of gain to reduce a little bit the dynamic range, and in case of an eq, to use it just as a de-esser.

To know more now Click here for an in depth article about how to record vocals!

Once our vocal track is ready we can consider making some overdubs to thicken it up, or creating some vocal harmony. We can even completely double the whole vocal track, if we feel it needs more weight.

Once our vocal session is perfectly recorded, it's time for some editing and autotuning (only if needed!), and we're ready for the next step!


CLICK HERE FOR PART 1/6: PREPARATION!

CLICK HERE FOR PART 2/6: DRUMS!

CLICK HERE FOR PART 3/6: BASS!

CLICK HERE FOR PART 4/6: GUITARS!

CLICK HERE FOR PART 6/6: KEYBOARDS AND EXTRA ARRANGEMENTS!


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