Recording Tips Vocals 2
Posted By: Michael
Tips to Deliver a Perfect Vocal
The human voice is what we are most familiar with
and this makes it the focal point of any and every song. Any mistake or
stupidity in the studio can cost you time, money and energy. Precaution and
preparation are your best bet at minimizing loss.
If you are responsible about your vocal chords and
have a good engineer, then consider half the battle is won. Here are a few
things to keep in mind to make the most out of your vocal take and studio
Before the Studio:
Prepare yourself well in advance. Don't depend on
a sheet for the lyrics, don't fumble your words and don't leave things to the
Don't just practice your vocals but also take time
to understand the rhythm, melody, stops, breakdown or any other elements that
are important to the song.
Avoid talking loudly or screaming for a few days
before the performance.
Bar talk or hooting can cause swelling in the
vocal chords due to the strain it causes. This will affect your performance
in the studio.
As the studio date approaches, take more and more
care of your vocal chords. Do NOT spend the previous night drinking with your
buds. If you have a hangover, so will your voice.
On the other hand, don't spend the whole night
rehearsing either because you need to be rested.
Talk as little as possible during the day of the
recording. Try and schedule the vocal recording early in the
This way you are still fresh, energetic and ready
to give it your best shot.
Watch what you eat because certain foods can have
a detrimental effect on your singing.
Dairy products, chocolates and foods with high
sugar content are a big no-no. They add a layer of film that make cause
irritation in the throat and restrict the full movement or you vocal
Lemons on the other hand are believed to be great
for clearing the throat of mucus and residue.
Just slice a lemon into half and squeeze it in to
your mouth. Drink a glass of lukewarm water over it and you are ready to
Don't sing without a warm up! Just like a good work out, a good
studio session must start with a warm up. Cold vocal chords (when they aren't
warmed up) can get strained easily.
Take 10 minutes to get them into the groove of things.
Singing is no walk in the park. Any song that is
vocally demanding requires energy.
Don't stress the
vocal chords too much if you are having trouble giving the perfect take.
Remember to take frequent breaks to let them regain their
Have say in the
reverb will go a long way but the best option is to rig a system where the
vocalist can handle their own levels.
essential for giving a good take. This confidence can depend greatly on how
the artist hears himself in the headphones.
Placing pop filters
or pop shields between the singer and the microphone can help cut out the
plosive ‘p’ and ‘b’ kind of sounds. These ‘pops’ can’t always be fixed later
so it is best to avoid them to begin with.
If the studio allows
you to choose your microphone then do a test recording with each to see what
works best with your voice.
Thin and bright
voices may work better with a dynamic mic but open sounding vocals may be
better suited to a capacitor mic.
Even without getting
into the technicality of these, a test recording will help you decide what is
Don’t use excessive
EQ or effects in your vocals while recording.
This can make it
difficult for you to realise what you are doing wrong. Reverb, for warmth, is
fine but don’t use more than the song requires.
A good vocal
performance is a hard day’s job. Don’t walk in expecting to do it perfect in
one single take. But that doesn’t mean you ignore the option of punching in
and out the phrases that need re-doing.
The best thing to do
is to record several takes so that the engineer can compile a single take
from the best parts.
Don’t compromise on
quality. Blood, sweat and tears are poured into every piece of art or music.
You song is no less special and deserves nothing less than the
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