Recording Vocals - The Basics
When it comes to recording vocals, in order to produce a good audio recording, you will need to consider a multitude of factors including: equipment, vocals, environment and location. If you are aiming for a top notch production, you will need to have good recording equipment and vocal skills.
The quality of a sound track is dependant upon the equipment used during production as well as the singing capability of the performer. However, there are techniques that you could implement you're your recording that will help to enhance or improve your vocals, including:
Recording Vocals - Quality Microphone
One of the most important pieces of equipment that you will use while recording vocals is a microphone, it has a substantial contribution to how the end product will sound. So, in order to get a good recording, you will need to have a good microphone.
Although having a good quality microphone is a great start, having the right microphone is not enough to produce high quality vocal tracks. You will also need substantial knowledge on microphone placement , microphone handling techniques, and vocal processing tools.
The most common types of microphone that you will come across are dynamic and condenser microphones. Condensers microphones are usually used in the studio since they have a greater frequency range and transient response as well as a louder voice output. Dynamic microphones are a preferred option for stage use due to their moisture resistance and durable diaphragm.
Microphone diaphragms range from large to small. Large ones diaphragms tend to give vocal tracks a deeper sound, while the small diaphragm microphones are best suited for live recording due to their capability to offer wide transient and frequency response.
Recording Vocals - Microphone techniques and placement
Microphone proximity will affect the sound output, when a singer gets closer to the microphone the voice increases in bass. Other factors to consider would be volume and pitch.
The rule of thumb is to put the microphone further from your mouth when you are hitting a high pitch and closer for a low pitch. Also make sure the microphone is away from any walls in order to attain effective sound response and reduce sound reflection.
Recording Vocals - Recording Gear
A good recording interface should have a bit depth of 24-bit and offer up to 192 kHz sampling rates. You also want to consider the use of vocal processing effects.
There are many vocal effects units on the market in the form of physical effects as well as software effects “plug-ins”. These vocal effects can add character to your vocal tracks and can even help keep your vocals in tune with the rest of the musical composition.
Although, the quality of your recording equipment is extremely important, you could have great equipment and still miss the mark if the recording room is not isolated. Noise and distractions are key things you need to avoid.
You should be comfortable when singing in order to give a top notch production.
If the presence of other people in the room causes you to become nervous or distracted, it would be good thing to clear the room in order to perform at your best.
Apart from that, you should emotionally connect with the song as this is often reflected in the end result. Before recording a track the vocalist should ponder on the song, connect with it in order to be able to draw inspiration from it.
A less technical method for creating great vocals is to know how to control your breath. The most effective way to achieve this is by conducting vocal exercises. General body exercises are essential but the most vital would be breathing exercises targeting your respiratory system for example diaphragm and nasal exercises.
You could do this by lying on your back with your hands on your waist as you face your fingers on your belly, breathe in and fill up your lungs with air by taking slow but deep breaths.
Breathe out at the count of one to ten, count slowly as you let out small gulps of air. Repeat the exercises ten times daily. This exercise should be a daily dosage for a singer who wants to elevate his/her vocals.
Another way to realize a diverse vocal range would be to exercise your larynx. The Larynx makes up and down movements when you use your vocal chords. For an expert vocalist the larynx should remain still when singing. Regular exercises would help you control their movements and improve your singing.
Another factor that would impact your vocals is posture; make sure your posture is not strenuous in any way.
Let the weight of your body fall, let the weight of your shoulders fall on your body then adjust to your preferred and most comfortable state of posture. You could get you posture right by assuming the sitting or standing position beforehand and do some rehearsals.
A singer might delay in realizing their vocal range or make a lot of vocal mistakes while recording. In order to avoid these mistakes it would be ideal to attend voice lessons or hire a voice coach.
A coach would help you tap into your rich voice or help you realize your vocal strength much earlier than you would when training by yourself. Find a voice coach who is flexible or able to work with your schedule.
A professional voice coach might be a bit expensive but you could consider it as an investment since you could get the money back once you start selling your record. A coach will improve the quality of your recording vocals.
However, if you are on low budget, you could seek a more affordable voice coach, their services might not be on the same scale as the former but they will definitely have something to offer.
Alternatively, you could check out online for online courses for more affordable deals. Online courses are mostly available as immediate download and some have video and audio lessons. They have courses for beginners, singers at intermediary level or a professional that needs just to polish up or expand on vocal range.
They will also offer professional tips on vocal tricks, techniques, posture and breathing. The advantage of online vocal lessons is that you will learn at your own pace and at your own time. So, you do not have to worry about your accommodating a voice coach on your tight schedule.
Overall, producing great vocal tracks takes time and patience. If you are diligent when recording vocals and experiment with microphone types and placement strategies, you are sure to find the right combination that takes your vocal tracks to the next level.