I’ve got another guest post for you this week! I’m hard at work behind-the-scenes with clients, my blog and vlog, but I’m always willing to have other experts step up and give us some great information. This week’s comes from Ben Jacklin, a blogger and musician who writes about music equipment, production and the music industry at http://subreel.com
He has five tips to recording yourself while singing. If you’re not a pro session singer (or maybe you want to be but aren’t sure how to get started), here are some simple tips to help you on your musical journey!
There are so many reasons why, in 2018 and beyond, you may want to record yourself singing instead of going to a pricy recording studio. The results may not be as amazing, but you can definitely get a professional sounding recording of your vocals at home if you follow the right steps. Whether you are nervous about singing in front of others, don’t want to spend money on recording studio time or simply want to learn more about recording, the following tips will help you get clean, polished home recordings.
1). Use a Decent Microphone
In many ways, the classic microphones haven’t changed a huge amount, but they certainly have become more convenient and easy to use now that we all have access to computers. There’s very little excuse for not using a good microphone, as you can get a decent USB microphone without splashing out a huge amount of money at all, and no difficult setup either. USB technology is much debated by music tech lovers, but this truly is a solution anyone can take advantage of for recording vocals at home.
2). Record to a Backing Track
Many vocalists sound great even with nothing else going on, but recording to a backing track is a huge help for most of us. Use headphones to ensure that the backing track doesn’t ‘bleed’ onto your recording, and the backing track will be an easy way to stay in time and in tune. It may seem obvious to some, but I’ve known many vocalists not to record to backing tracks, and it can cause real problems at a later date should you wish to use the recordings.
3). Don’t Feel You Have to Listen Back Right Away
Your first recording probably isn’t going to be your best. You may be lacking in confidence or not be properly warmed up, or you may forget the words or struggle with the track. The worst thing you can do is listen to that take again. In a studio, the recording engineer will know this, at home it may not be the case. If your recording isn’t what you’d hoped for the first time it can be extremely demotivating.
4). Think About Acoustics
Generally speaking, most people record vocals with as little reverb and ‘ambience’ on them as possible. We can add this back in at a later date, but once you have a recording drenched in echo it is impossible to salvage. Strip it down and use something like an isolation shield to keep your vocal recording clean, or at least think about the acoustics of your room. Adding more cushions, sofas and blankets around the room can absorb a lot of the reverb.
5). Record Again and Again and Again…
Most songs we hear are not one recording, they are a combination of lots of recordings, and audio engineers take the best sections of each, whether it is drums, guitars or in this case vocals. You don’t have to go into a huge amount of detail, but it is easy enough to select the best verse in each take and combine them into a superb version of your recording.