how to record great vocals
This is what I do when I'm tracking vocals.
First, there's a lot of variables when recordings
the vocals.
Microphone's makes a big difference in terms of
the sound quality.
MaybeI have control over you as a singer, But I don't
have a whole lot of control which microphones are
available.

Okay but two things you can control are
distance from the mic, mic placement, and
then gain staging.

Those two things make a huge difference
in terms of the quality.
It's really only two steps for
recording any vocal. this is what I do.

So today I'm using a rode nt1
which is a large diaphragm condenser
microphone. It's a great all-around Mic,
real simple real affordable has no
bells and whistles it does one thing and
one thing only. So it's great for
for vocals.
Comes with a pop filter that attachs to the
shock mount.
You need one is right! you need a pop filter
or popscreen popper stopper whatever you
call it.
It's like 20 bucks if you don't have one of
these you go get one today.
What this does is it kills all the bees
and the peas.

When you say those sounds air blasts of
your mouth and overloads a microphone.
You probably heard that sound.
It sounds really immature so don't record
any vocals for anything and not have one
of these.


Distance from the mic is important.  
But also any movement or variation in
distance matters.

The further away from the microphone you
are that's a movement of an inch or two
has a drastically different affect.
 

8 inches to a foot away is great.
Anything farther away than that
becomes a problem.
It only hears what's in front of it and
so the further you are away the more it's
gonna hear you plus all the reflections
in the room.

A soundproof room which is great
could be super quiet but this just minimizes
some other reflections.
They exist.
What you want to do is not allow the
microphone to hear you and the
reflections in the room equally.


I have found a sweet spot between
eight inches in a foot away.
Distance is key.

Number two is gain staging.
This is so critical for a lot of new
recording engineers.
This is the easiest thing you could ever do
and have huge impact on recording.


You don't need to record things loud.
If you're recording at 24-bit
which most people are you have plenty
headroom.
The noise floor is not really an
issue if it's a super clean environment.
Even in a simple 150 dollar USB audio
interface.

So here's what I want you to do. I
want you to turn to preamp down
when you're singing or your vocalist is
warming up.
Record a little bit, keep your eye on the
meter in Pro Tools or whatever your recording
into.
See how hot it's getting and adjust
the volume actual gain on that box on
your preamp.
See that you're not peaking anywhere
close to the top and not clipping red.


This is critical to getting a great
sounding vocal.
So I hope that makes sense. It's simple.
Distance from the mic and gain staging.
Those are the two steps. That's all I'm doing.
Really at the end of the day distance
and gain staging is the key to recording
great vocals.
Okay hope that helps.

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