Recording Your Own Vocals

Singer in the booth
"These are the questions you should ask yourself before you press record and go in on the verse you've spent time perfecting..."
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So, you have written that perfect verse or song in your home studio and want to try recording your own vocals. I must admit, I’ve been there and have empathy for your passion.

There are a few things yo can do to obtain professional sounding vocals. As a mix engineer, “fixing it in the mix” is taboo. It leads to more work. Be that as it may, most issues are correctable. But, you should fix it in the recording phase. In others words, do it right the first time. It’s worth it. 

“For a young band about to make a record, make sure you get the vocals right.”

– Jerry Harrison

With that said, before you go in on the verse you’ve spent time perfecting, you should check some important factors before you press record.

Here is a quick check list to reference:

Vocal Recording Set-up

1. Mic position – tone is affected, so search for the best sound for you

2. Pop filter – 3 to 6 inches away from microphone

3. Input – loud enough to hear all the words without distortion

4. Output – pre-fader meters should read around -10 to -14 db. (-12 db is good)

5. Performance position – about 3 to 6 inches from the pop filter, staying within the circle to avoid exaggerated dynamics

6. Always record dry – effects can’t be changed once recorded and leave the EQing to the mixer. Unless its you!

The purpose of this post was to share a little insight on recording your own vocals and getting them to stand out on a song, podcast or live performance. With the above techniques, you can record professional quality vocals.

Now go record something that sounds good and maybe one day you can end up an all time favorite.

Check out TOP 25 Hip-Hop Songs of all Time

Best of luck!

Digital Media Designer Torrey L. Adams

Torrey Lawrence Adams

Torrey's a digital media designer at Tact Boogie Digital Media and partner at Khykel Music Enterprises. He's been in business over 15 years, starting with an idea and a business card. His passion is helping people make meaningful statements that enhance the lives of others. You can connect with him @tactboogie and Linkedin.

If you are interested in learning about progressive digital media solutions for start-up brands, Contact me.


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