Here’s a guest post from our friends over at ZingInstruments.com who are as obsessed with music as we are!
Having a home recording studio is a luxury most people can never afford. Recording vocals that sound as crisp and clear in said studio is another. Famous singers often use professional studios, where the equipment’s worth is in the thousands. Don’t fret, you needn’t spend the amount Jay-Z would to get those clear vocals. But you should know some tips of the trade on how to record vocals at home.
Can you go too cheap?
The answer to this is an astounding YES! Never buy the cheapest equipment around. You will be shocked at the quality of some budget pieces. Cables that fray quickly. Microphones that emit static. Do you really fancy like cheaping out on a pop filter? Enjoy those popping sounds if you’re recording rap.
Check reviews, do your research. Sometimes a deal is too good to be true. You can find bargains, but I would buy cheap only if recommended or has a plethora of great reviews.
Choose the right room
Getting the vocals crisp can be tricky in the wrong conditions. Large rooms with open spaces can create a cavernous effect. Reverberated sound is a mixer’s nightmare. Quality control for editing is essential, you need a small room.
If you haven’t got a small room for the microphone; try using a stand/bookcase/anything tall with blankets on. Anything to make a smaller space.
Recording vocals, no matter where you are, is a special task. You need to be feeling the moment. Warm ups, practise, relaxing and having fun are all part of the process. A problem recording at home can come in the form of kids and pets. Nothing in the world can be as detrimental to recording vocals then a sudden burst of toddler tantrums or the zoomies from your puppy!
Find the right time to record. The time in the day, preferably when the house is empty. The time for you; could you sing a sad ballad on your birthday?
If you’re a budding editor trying to do this from home, you will most likely not be a professional. It can be hard editing vocals to a standard in which you are used to hearing artists in mainstream. Take care. Read up and know your stuff, know how to use all the features on your editing software. Practise on simple vocals first.
Be careful with autotune. It’s a useful feature but can be overused. You want to focus on the actual vocal performance. Leave the parts that are sung well and tweak smaller issues until you’re more comfortable with the software.
I Need Everything!
No. You really don’t. You could spend thousands on getting all the equipment you think you need. In reality there are only a few necessary items to record vocals at home.
Essential items: Computer, Digital Audio Workstation, microphone stand, cables, audio interface, headphones, microphones, pop filter, studio monitors. This is all you need to record vocals in a home recording studio.
Recording vocals in your own home studio is a wonderful thing. Follow these few tips as a baseline on how to record at home and enjoy.