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Recording Vocals: Quick Start

Posted by Ms.Tris On March - 10 - 2009

What’s good with you ? Hope all is well and the beats are bangin! The unthinkable has occurred…my main pc is super dead ..but I won’t let that stop me. I’m sure I just need to replace the power supply, guess I’ll hit up the Geek Squad or something… anywho’s… I must carry on either using my laptop or all hardware. Looks like I’ll be having an interesting week…

I have a vocal session this week which reminded me I hadn’t done another post about recording them. I’ve been practicing and I have some suggestions from the few sessions I’ve done.

Professional studios usually spend high dollars on microphones and hardware needed to record vocals as clear as possible. There are several types of microphones on the market as well. You may have heard the names: condensor, cardoid, and omni-directional. All serving specific purposes. One of the most popular for vocals being the “condensor ” type.

With anything, we will all get what we pay for. Mics can be more expensive than Mpcs and Keyboards. What ever your set up, always remember you will need a “good clear vocal signal” going into your multitrack environment. If we pay 30$ , then we’ll get a 30$ signal most likely. If you have a low end mic you may be able to tweak out some of the hiss and noise. In the long run, the low cost mic will become time consuming because it takes so much to fix the recordings. Overall you may have to adjust levels using eq and effects like “hiss removal”. The better the mic signal going into the recording software/hardware means less chance of recording unwanted noise signals.

If you plan on doing vocals seriously, I suggest a good mic. I started with a RadioShack mic, which cost between 40- 50 bucks. I upgraded to a $199 audio technica which serves my set up well. Without any knowledge of mixing, I heard the difference immediately after changing them over.

I’d consider this a starter mic. Since I’ve purchased it, there have been several mics that have been released within the same price range. You will have to google the specs and compare what’s best for your work flow. I have suggested to someone setting up a studio on a small budget to start around the 200$ range. After researching, and hearing stories from other studios, the mics around that price work fine for new engineers. The recordings may require a little more labor..but they work!

Then next thing is how you will record the mic. This could be a whole site worth of info. You could use and Mbox, or soundcard with pre-amps. You may want to get external hardware pre-amps, or get a mixer with phantom powered mic inputs and pre-amps on board. The list goes on to compressors and vocal processors. You will have to think ” what will work best for my budget”, and help me get the best quality.

In addition to the mic/ hardware, you will need good audio cables and an isolated place to record your vocals. I discussed how to build a make shift booth here:Vocal Booth On a Budget . This helps with the signal you will record, and controlling outside noise elements.

Let’s get into a few videos that will give you more ideas on pop filters and mic placements. This quick start post should get you thinking about the beginning steps to recording vocals. I will continue to post more on signal levels and mixing vocals soon, so check in often…

Pop Filter Quick Tips

Vocal Mic Position by www.VocalRecordingSecrets.com

Recording Vocal Tips
This is a little over 8 minutes and basically sums it all up.. it’s a little dark but very nice by Solemn Servant on youtube

Happy Vocal Recording To All
Pz Til Later!~

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3 Responses to “Recording Vocals: Quick Start”

  1. vairon says:

    Well i Will just stay doing beats

  2. DUGA says:

    Yo Good post. The last video was golden!

  3. Ms.Tris says:

    Hey DUGA thanks for commenting and I do agree with you !~ I’ll be trying some of this next wednesday

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Introducing Ms.Tris Beats a Hip Hop Producer, Artist,and Blogger from Baltimore, MD. Currently producing for a host of Maryland\'s hottest Mc\'s, and artist from all over the country. Her music is in demand to the who\'s who in Baltimore Hip hop. Please enjoy your visit as Ms.Tris takes through her musical journey of production, hiphop and life....

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