Recording can be tricky.

Some days it’s super easy.

Some days you wish you could throw your entire studio out the window.

Repetition seems to be the key.

With every singer you record, you learn a little bit more. Maybe one day you learn a great new mic position for recording a female singer with a breathy voice. The next day you might dial in a cool compressor setting on your channel strip.

That’s not to say you won’t face frustrations, but the more times you record vocals, the more comfortable you will be in dealing with common problems.

Then…once those vocals are recorded, they’ll still need some work to get ’em to site nicely in the mix.

I’m always amazed at how much I’m able to transform and enhance a vocal with just a little EQ.

Usually I’m doing an EQ cut in the low mids and another one in the high mids (like I talk about in Understanding EQ). It’s those little tweaks the take a vocal from being “nice” to “Mmmm…”

Speaking of “Mmmm…”, Graham and I have a new podcast episode for you.

The topic?

Recording and mixing vocals.

Lots of good, actionable advice to help you get better vocal recordings.

Grab your iPod and head over to:

SimplyRecordingPodcast.com/Vocal-Recording-Mixing

Joe Gilder

  • rgfeaster

    Speaking of the podcast, I listened a few days ago. Great stuff, as usual. My question regards your workflow while recording. You and Graham discuss trying alternative mike placements, etc. to find the sound you are looking for and auditioning the vocal tries “in the mix.” I get the fact that it could help the final product, but it seems like a LOT of work. So, how do you go about accomplishing that? Do you record all the elements of the mix, or just a portion, in order to try out the various alternatives? In ProTools, do you use alternate takes, or create different playlists? Can you give us a brief rundown of how you do that? Thanks!
    Ralph

    • Hey Ralph,

      When we say “in the mix,” we simply mean in the mix of all the stuff we’ve recorded up to that point. For me, lead vocal is one of the last things I record, so everything else should already be there.
      It doesn’t take that much time. Set up a mic, sing for a couple seconds, then sing into a different mic for a couple seconds, then quickly compare the two. Shouldn’t take very long at all.
      And yes, use playlists to record the various takes.

      • rgfeaster

        Hey Joe,
        Ah yes, that makes perfect sense. I was totally forgetting that you probably have a scratch vocal there anyway that will be discarded, so the rest of the song, or most of the elements are already there. Thanks!
        Ralph

  • JOE!!!

    this week you made a very prolific list lol

    Well you made my list.

    I recorded the first episode of The MKai Audio Podcast and the segment covered the useful resources I have found on the interweb! Home Studio Corner and The simply recording podcast both made the list.

    The podcasts available from the blog if you fancy a listen

    Congrats lol

    James – Mkai Audio