5 Quick Tips For Vocal Recording

1. Use A Decent Mic

Don’t use a $10 mic and expect to get anything to sound half way decent. We recommend at least a $150 mic from a Sam Ash/Guitar Center/Sweetwater.  You can achieve a good sounding vocal with this in combination with a good preamp. And always use a pop filter!

2. Use A Preamp

The preamp can make a big difference in the recording. We have used $500-$2000 preamps and you can definitely notice a difference. Working with a budget is obviously an obstacle for every engineer, but don’t be scared, you can get a good sound without the $2000 preamp.

3. Placement Of Mic

Whether it’s in your house and there’s a washing machines or outside noise, or you’re in a small studio with other rooms around yours with their speakers up to the max, you want to avoid as much noise as possible. Luckily, for vocals, your voice will be the main sound source going into the diaphragm, and faint noise in the background will only be heard when the vocalist pauses (which you can fix with a gate or automation).  Avoid any reflective materials around the mic, this will cause (usually ugly) reverb and delays that you cannot change.

4. Loop Record

Setup loop record in Preferences under ‘Operations’ to automatically create new playlists.  If you’re recording yourself, or you’re an engineer recording a client, allow them to do a bunch of takes in a row.  This will really allow them to get warmed up. The ‘created new playlists’ will be extremely easy to comp and edit in Pro Tools.

5. Volume Awareness

Don’t have the headphone volume too loud as where it’s picking up in the mic a lot. That being said, the vocalist needs to be able to hear themselves, so be attentive to the playback level of their vocal track.

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