Recording Vocals

Whether you are recording vocals in your bedroom or in a professional recording studio, the concepts stay the same. The most important aspect that you would need to consider is your choices of microphone, if you are in the position to be able to experiment with different microphones, do so. The human voice is a very unique and dynamic instrument and varies immensely from person to person, so you would need to spend time and figure out which microphone works best for the artist you are recording. Usually a large diaphragm condenser microphone would be the best choice.

When recording vocals in a large space, it’s important to take the ambience and room sound into account. In a professional studio I would suggest setting up acoustic panels about 1,5 meters around the vocalist, in your bedroom you can use a simple mic stand with a thick blank hung over it.

Consonants like the letters ‘B’ and ‘P’ can be a problem while recording, as they move a lot of air from the singers mouth, and can cause a popping sound on the microphone. To stop the air from hitting the microphone diaphragm, put up a pop filter about 5cm, (4 fingers width) from the microphone, as this won’t affect the tone of the singer’s voice, and only block the air.

Another aspect to take into account is the Proximity Effect – a build up of bass as the sound source – in this case the singer – gets closer to the microphone, this can help add body to a thin vocal sound, or be problematic if the singer already has a boomy voice – in this case, move the singer a little bit further away from the microphone, keeping the room sound in mind.

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