Skip to main content

Recording Rock Vocals

Lesson 1 of 26

Introduction and A Capella Demo

Andrew Wade

Recording Rock Vocals

Andrew Wade

staff favorite

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

1. Introduction and A Capella Demo


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
3 Soundproofing Duration:24:20
4 DIY Acoustics Duration:12:34
5 Signal Chain and Microphones Duration:21:12
6 Preamps, Compression & EQ Duration:23:20
7 Working with a Vocalist Duration:36:53
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Editing Overview Duration:34:31
2 Fades and Basics of Melodyne Duration:13:53
3 Editing Female Vocals Part 1 Duration:27:39
4 Editing Female Vocals Part 2 Duration:09:51
5 Editing Vocals with VocALign Duration:17:34
7 Editing Screaming Vocals Duration:28:18
8 Vocal Effects Part 1 Duration:33:20
9 Vocal Effects Part 2 Duration:32:18
10 Intro to Mixing Duration:18:07
11 Mixing Softer Vocals Part 1 Duration:32:42
12 Mixing Softer Vocals Part 2 Duration:14:21
13 Mixing Screaming Vocals Duration:32:11

Lesson Info

Introduction and A Capella Demo

I am really excited we have a lot of great stuff to go over let's talk about me just for a second because I'm sure some of you guys don't know who I am I, uh these are some of the bands that I've done a day to remember is probably the one that you might be the most familiar with, but I've done the ghost inside motionless and white the word alive with diversity merge tons of other bands sometimes I forget bands that I've done till I go back and listen, but uh so yeah, I've been doing this for years would do it for like ten years or more eso I've gotten I've gotten a lot of knowledge I haven't had any actually haven't had profession like technical training it's all just been me figuring stuff out on my own and kind of talking to other people that have been in the industry and finding out what their favorite things are and what works for them and then I tried it apply it to myself and, uh, she's my favorite everything. So what I'm going to be talking about is like, stuff that really works...

for me and specifically works for whenever you're kind of you're working with strangers you're working with, you know, bands were coming in, you don't know what you're getting into like whatever you're just doing your own vocals for instance, you get familiar with your own voice they kind of know what what to expect but you don't always know so we're gonna get into that a little bit later but that's that's mainly what this class is aimed towards uh I'll go over what what we're going for in detail uh the weight studio is my studio the way through the dot com is uh the web site for my studio so all right we have ah I'm just going to play some clips for you guys I do a lot when it comes to vocals that I unfortunately think some people might not realize that I do oh, I always put a lot of work into the vocal tracks specifically so I'm really excited to show some songs that you might already be familiar with but this is just the vocals parts that I you know really liked and I thought the production was really cool and we're going to talk about how to achieve uh these kind of results so uh I'll just play the clips now so a few of these I get to spend a lot of time with the day to remember they usually are in the studio for a while and I'm good good friends with jeremy singer so it's really me and him one on one a lot and we get to try new things and spend a lot of time doing stuff so you're gonna hear me talk about that a lot esso and most people are familiar with them I'm assuming you probably know there uh anyway so this track this is an acoustic track called I'm already gone uh I'm gonna play in the music and then without the music just so you can hear everything that's going on wait and here's the acapella trip yes way way ah from a reason to come back home so yeah sometimes that one might be a little easier to hear what's going on because that you know it's just acoustic but I just really like toe that was I love that awesome thank you thank you beautiful. Um so the band one more time the data remember data data remember? Yeah. So what happens in the studio is usually for instance what happened with this track specifically is jeremy just saying the main melody with the acoustic and I literally put everything else in there like I arranged all the vocals I wrote all the backups and the odds and all that stuff and then I we'd go through track by track uh and just until all the layers air in there so I love doing this stuff so I'm glad to share this stuff with you all right here's another one this is ah a little more upbeat it's called the document speaks for itself also a day to remember ah so it is just for cols why can't you say with three little words side toe may I never knew I wass you turn your back you broke this way so long to find you in the ass suzanne your recent why just wanted a face to be a writer or list for just tonight so there's like some little backup like repeating vocals in there that you might not have heard in the actual track um and this one is ah has a really common technique that I use which I'll do the main vocal and then do an octave under it to kind of like really make the regular vocal sound a lot fuller and then on top of that we'll do harmonies and then do the repeating vocals and then do harmonies on those maybe an octave on that too um that one I don't think had in it so how many vocal tracts are you actually talking about when you're doing so you have an octave do you do multiple takes of the main vocal octave yeah, yeah so some of these one of the other ones I'll get teo has actually looked because I was curious one of them has about thirty vocal tracks are and that's the one coming up here uh this is a different band the ghost inside I might know who they are they're another heavy band uh this was a cool part vocally this has a group seeing part in it which is something that will get to today well have some volunteers just for never jane never wear shades theo keep swinging and fun one there uh now this next one is the one that has about thirty vocal tracks if I don't know if it sounds like it but uh it does um this is one of my favorites uh it's called right back at it again it's by day to remember and wait wait so here I am right school friends just wait so anyway that I really that was really cool something else I didn't put in the acapella which is technically acapella the little beatboxing part still that probably adds another like fifteen tracks to the to the vocals so yeah there's vocals are vocals are really important and you can have a lot of fun with um okay, so those are things I've done in the past you're familiar with this is another thing this is a song that we're actually going to be singing with just icka who's going to be coming in later and we're gonna have a live tracking of this but this is an example of the before and after uh, of edited they're not not edited and then edited vocals um it's me singing so uh it's kind of embarrassing because it's not the greatest uh but uh so you'll get to hear what you can take but what you can make something out of something else that's that might not sound all that great so here is a track it's called this is part of a track called take it slow but the small things like still matter that I got up and the whole thing shatters related from it's enough to break it it's enough to bring it up with small things like just isn't cricket then here's the edited track that the small things like this they just still matter let them build up in the whole thing shattered roll it on for a late off it's enough to break it up but the small things like kasich is still matter aboutthe thing shatters roll it roll it it's enough to break it up but the small things like such is so matter let him end up in the whole thing shatters related for little kids and I have to break it and you sound so good thanks in the second one that's uh but I don't mean to make you any way that that track has tons of lots of layers and I'm actually gonna go into that session and show all the way I think that one might have like forty tracks I don't I don't know but uh so I'm sure what you notice going from the first one to the second one is there's there's more clarity and tightness um and obviously the pitch is better um now another thing that I'm also going to be talking about is is how to arrange something like that successfully where you have a bunch of layers and it doesn't sound john bold, you can still come here, everything on dh will be going over the mixing and aspects of that how much of the stuff we're going to be learning is, like pro tools specific or just universal. The most specific stuff is not pro tools it's, actually melody line okay and vocal line, those are going to be my the biggest plug ins I'm actually going to be talking about specific plug ins, and some of it is pro tools plug ins, but, um, it's still like regular compressor there's nothing like really crazy like, you know, you could only find this if you're if you're in pro tools, it's all yeah, it's all the same like concepts and okay and workflow and order of doing things and stuff like that. Okay, so thanks, let's, get back tio, who is this class for anyone that makes music with vocals? Obviously, producers and songwriters vocalists themselves. Even if you're not recording somebody, uh, you will probably be recorded, so you kind of need to know what to do when you're in the studio what to expect, um and you might even realize whether or not you had a good studio experience like you might go to someone who made you feel comfortable and you didn't realize how good you had and then you go to another studio and it's like just the most nerve racking thing and things there's disorganized so this will be, uh good for vocalist mixers, re mixers even djs we're gonna be getting some really, uh crazy effects that you guys may or may not know about I don't know uh okay, this is what we're gonna cover in the two days um we're gonna start with, uh day one set up prepping tracking gear and environment uh we're gonna actually talk about how to get your environment ready whether it's acoustically or the way it looks the way it feels the gear stuff that's like high end or if you're using you know you don't have that much money or maybe you're just using an interface how to make the most of your equipment uh vocal arrangements like the complex arrangement that I just played for you the track take it slow uh and you know, tricks tricks on howto do it easily uh actually working with the vocalist, which is how many of you guys have do record bands like people that come in? Yeah so you know how some some both of us can be difficult some vocals can be really easy but I'll be talking about howto work with both of them uh yeah sometimes that could be tricky and there there are a lot of cool techniques that will talk about, uh editing uh, effects and mixing the editing is huge. Um if you're not editing right you're just probably ruining the vocals you got to keep the field I don't show how to how to do all that stuff pitch correction uh shortcuts, tips and tricks and we'll be talking about yeah effects that's it's not there so we'll be talking about the live vote coders and harmonize er's and kind yourself like that. So let me ask you guys why is a great vocal so important? Um a ce faras what the audience is listening to in music your vocal performance is the number one thing that people relate to it's it's got to be the top of the mix it's it's the one thing that immediately will identify your band too because everybody can use the same guitar tone or how about amazing snare reverb so they sound like def leppard but assumes the singer sings that's the number one identity of of a group yeah that's great that's uh that's exactly right it brings me to these next points like you said, this could be the difference between also if if a band is okay or if they're great um and there are songs where the vocal is almost the only thing that's there. Uh, if you guys are familiar with imogen heap, they have, like, a track where it's just just a vocal. And that song got pretty popular. There's uh, yeah, the song out right now, royals it's like a super simple beat and just like a baseline or something. And then it's mainly vocals with backups and harmonies and all kinds of cool stuff uh, and that's what makes the song? I mean, you guys heard these off capella tracks. They almost sound like their songs in themselves. And then the stuff that you do around it kind of just adds the meat to it, uh or the puts it in a certain genre. So here's, another really good point that I was thinking about a lot of the top songs right now. How the same chord progression. There's actually a wikipedia page uh, that I found that talks about all the songs that use the same chord progression these air just a few here, um but they use the same court. It might be like in a different order, but they all use the same chord progression might be different tempo or key or whatever, but, uh, you can listen to all these songs back to back and it kind of you don't you don't think hey you know this is the same exact song and well, why not? And it's the vocal that's setting apart you might listen to him instrumentally if you're not familiar with him, you might listen to him instrumentally and think uh that they sound similar but assumes that vocal is on there suddenly you know what's on it is, you know, a bandit is um and that's what makes the song so a lot of ah I'd say a lot of like especially musicians and bands like they really they really think about their own like a guitarist or a drummer or whatever they think about their own part and you could write on entire song that's really awesome then suddenly put vocals on it and it's either terrible or it is amazing so that's just something that I really want to drive home with this class is vocals can be your song I mean how many instrumentals go platinum or number one like there are some there are some but they're pretty few and far between it's usually all about the vocals I'm sorry guitarists and basis and drummers out there keyboard is you are important but if you have somebody with a terrible vocal saying over what you did, nobody cares nobody is gonna listen to your band so that's why we're doing this class because I love vocals I found a bunch of cool tricks with him, and I can't wait to share this stuff. Uh, andrew, from we have a question from a chat room, andrew from evanston's wondering, will you be showing examples where the the like layering of vocals is more minimal? So when you're working with just one yes, vocal, yeah, we're definitely gonna do that. Um, in segment three after lunch, we're going to be actually having someone tracking vocal in a song that is just going to be a single vocal. I'm going to be talking about when two single vocals when these doubles and triples and and, uh, went he's, a complex arrangement first it's the example that I did. I've tried to make it when I wrote it. I made it complex on purpose, just so we could get through these examples, but sometimes that's, not the best idea, like an inverse. Sometimes you want to start out a song simple.

Class Description

Every great rock song starts with a stellar vocal. Get ready to learn the fundamentals of recording rock vocals from Andrew Wade, who’s worked with A Day to Remember, Motionless in White, and dozens more.

Andrew will cover everything you need to know about recording, editing, and mixing vocals for modern rock songs. You’ll learn about mic selection and positioning, key mixing techniques, and the secrets of time and pitch correction. You’ll also learn about how to work with each individual artist to get the sound they want.

By the end of this course, you’ll be fully equipped to work with a variety of male or female vocalists to get the results you need, from screaming to cleans and everything in between.



This is a superb course, was full of great informations and it has inspired me a lot. Learned alot of things, thanks to Andrew for this great presentation and sharing his knowledge and experience with us, also thanks to the people in the audience for bringing up good question and to the creative live team for making this happen. I really hope Andrew will come back to Creative Live someday, perhaps with a full course especially about working out and creating vocal harmonies :-)

a Creativelive Student

Absolutely essential information in this course. Very in depth. Even if you went and interned at a studio with a reputable producer, it would probably take months to absorb all the information so cohesively laid out in the course. I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking to properly record their own vocals, or for anyone looking to record other bands (whether in a bedroom, or a million dollar studio). Loved watching, learned a TON (learned a lot of great pro tools shortcuts as well). Well worth the money. Thanks for doing it Mr. Wade.