I stumbled across a fun trick the other day while recording  vocals for a song.

I was recording myself. If you’ve ever recorded yourself singing, you know that it’s almost impossible to really hear what the recording sounds like while you’re belting away.

So you need to record a snippet and then play it back for a quick listen. Make adjustments. Rinse and repeat until you’re happy with the sound.


What if you want to apply some EQ on the way in?

Normally, when I’m tracking a singer, I’ll simply adjust the EQ on the channel strip while she’s singing a warmup take. But when it’s ME who’s singing, I can’t really do that.

The solution? It’s so simple I can’t believe I’ve never done it before.

I recorded a snippet of my vocal.

It sounded fantastic except for a little bit of harshness around 3 kHz.

So I ran the recorded track through an EQ, found the exact frequency that needed to be cut, and turned it down until the track sounded more balanced.

THEN I applied that same EQ setting to my channel strip.

The end result? A great-sounding vocal track at the source. By applying EQ on the way in, I got rid of the slight harshness without having to resort to an EQ plugin later.

The recorded vocal sounded better.

And that, my friend, is what it’s all about.

Try it on your next session.

If you have a channel strip, but you’re a bit afraid you’ll mess things up with it, use this method. It’ll give you one more tool in your arsenal to help shape the tone of your recordings…even before they get recorded.

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Joe Gilder
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