Tips for Recording the Human Voice in Music
For almost any song with lyrics, the vocal recording is one of the most important things to get right in a final mix. When the vocals get lost in a mix, it can make a song muddles an indeliberate. While some genres make great use of a messy vocal mix, the vast majority of projects today need at least a clean vocal track to use, even if they rough it up later. Here are some tips that you can utilize to record the human voice in your vocal tracks...
Isolate Your Subject
As with most recordings, your environment makes a huge difference in the final product, as it pertains to the clarity of the sound. Ideally, especially for a vocal track, you want to make sure that your singer’s voice is completely isolated without interference from unwanted reverberation or outside white noise. The best way to do this is to use a professional sound studio that is equipped with soundproofing material.
Even if you aren’t renting out or using a professional sound studio, there’s a lot you can do by minimizing the amount of hard surfaces in your recording area, making sure that there are no utilities or electronics that are creating hums or rumbles, and making sure that there is no outside noise getting into the room.
Use Minimal Compression
When you get to mixing the vocals into a song, you absolutely don’t want a track with any type of reverberation or other effects that were added to the voice during the recording process. If you want those in the final mix, it always works to add them later. As such, the only thing that you might need to do to your initial recording is add a little bit of compression, but only if necessary.
If your singer is moving further and closer to the microphone as they perform, or if their voice has an extreme range between their loudest and quietest parts of the performance, then adding compression will make it a little more manageable to make sound coherent and natural in the final mix.
Use the Appropriate Tools
While you may not need to rent a professional sound recording studio for your recording, you still want to make sure that you are using adequate equipment that enables you to capture the full richness of the human voice.
To do this, you’ll need the following: a dynamic or condenser microphone (check how they rate for recording the human voice, first), a pop filter to reduce unwanted pops and harsh sounds (microphone placement also plays a large part into this, a preamplifier, digital recording software, and a recording interface to connect to your digital software.