How to Record Better Vocals: The Beginner’s Guide

Finding the Right Microphone

1.Popping

Stedman Corporation ProscreenOne strange thing about the human voice is…

When pronouncing “P” and “B” sounds, a robust blast of air is expelled from the mouth.

In normal speech you don’t even notice it.

But on recordings, these air blasts strike the diaphragm of the mic…

Creating a punchy low frequency sound referred to as Popping.

To understand it better, do this exercise:

Place your hand ahead of your face as you say these two sentences:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

  • Better businesses build big boxes.
  • Feel the air hitting your hand? That’s popping.

2.Sibilance

The OTHER strange thing about the human voice is…

When pronouncing “S” and “F” sounds, the mouth emits a high frequency blast of air, commonly referred to as sibilance.

You don’t notice it in daily conversation…

But on recordings, when your mouth is true up against the mic, it often sounds painfully obvious.

Let’s do another demonstration:

Using a condenser mic (which is more susceptible to sibilance), record yourself saying this line:

She sells sea shells by the ocean shore

3.Proximity Effect

Which is that the standard polar pattern used on vocals…

Whenever a sound source is found within a couple of inches of the diaphragm…

The microphone exhibits a clear low-end boost in its frequency response.

The closer the sound, the stronger the effect.

With certain instruments like guitar , this will function a useful gizmo in adding warmth.

On vocals however, when inexperienced singers use it unintentionally…

4.Acoustics Room

But the very fact is…

If the acoustics in your room suck, so will your vocals.

And without proper acoustic treatment, you’ll just about guarantee that your studio’s acoustics WILL suck.

So if you don’t have any yet, make it your top priority. Here’s a piece of writing to assist you get started:

Acoustic Treatment 101: Getting Your Room to Sound Great
If you don’t have the cash or space to try to to it the normal way

5.Foot Noise

Every single footstep are often heard loud and clear throughout the whole house.

When singers tap their feet, those vibrations travel up your mic stand, and onto the recording.

The common solution to the present problem is to feature a shockmount, which works by creating acoustic isolation between the mic and therefore the stand.

To find out if you would like one, here’s what you do:

Setup your mic as you normally would, record enable the track, and crank up the gain.
Put on your headphones, walk round the mic stand, and listen

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