Vocal recording can be the hardest part of the whole recording process, here are a couple of things to keep in mind while capturing your vocal sound.
Make sure if you are recording in your house that all fans, heaters and other loud noises such as dishwashers are turned off. The noise might not be apparent at first, but once you start compressing the vocal in the mix all these background noises will be louder. You can also hang blankets on the walls to help from extra noises and bad room sounds coming through on to your recordings.
Skip it (for now) you can always compress the vocal as much or as little as you want in the mix, if you compress during tracking then you will have less options later.
Since we are in the digital age we don't have to worry as much about getting a super hot level. You are better off getting a level that is around -12. For best results you can keep a hand on the mic pre and turn it up for the verses or quiet parts and turn it down when the Chorus or loud parts come, this is an "Old School" approach to compressing;-)
Microphones can cost as much as a small car but you don't have to spend thousands to record your vocals. For about 200 bucks you could get an SM58 this is one of the most widely used microphones out there, if you want to up-grade you could get an SM7 for under $500.00 or step up to a TLM 102 for about a grand.
Microphone position can effect the sound as much as an Eq can. Experiment with getting closer and farther from the microphone and listen to how this effects the sound, the closer you get the more bass response you will hear, the further away the more thin the sound will get.
These are most commonly circular hoops with woven nylon mesh stretched over it. these reduce the big pops that can come from "P's" in words by breaking up the air as it travels to the Microphone. These also protect your Microphone from excess saliva getting on the diaphragm.
I hope this helps you get started, happy recording!
Stay tuned for our next blog on Producing Vocals
By: Producer Geoff Ott