Skip to main content

Recording Rock Vocals

Lesson 3 of 26


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

3. Soundproofing


  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


Soundproofing is is really important too because some of the vocals can be really sensitive really quiet and we're actually gonna be doing some really quiet vocals on the it's the first song that we're gonna be tracking so you want it you want your room to be soundproof because a lot of houses and studios have air conditioners and sometimes that that just goes right through the walls or you have noisy neighbors or, you know, noisy just the band is making noise will never be quiet, but um but it happens so you wanted to be soundproof and soundproofing is completely different than absorption and diffusion people change these words all the time they are absolutely not the same absorption stops the sound as soon as it hits it diffusion bounces the sound in all different directions and soundproofing just completely stops anything from the outside getting in or vice versa um and there are a few different method ok, so the most soundproof thing that you can have is an air tight room in a room...

now that's obviously outrages. I don't think any of us can build an airtight room inside a room, but we're aiming for that that's that's the main concept that we're going for and that that will make everything I talk about becoming make more sense because these things aren't just random it's almost like we are going for something that we can't really get to in theory there are some like an echo chambers and they really do do that stuff some of the quiet place quite as places on earth that have like the decibels will be like negative twenty or something outrageous even just being in a room that's patted pretty well is kind of weird sounds like the the sound is being sucked out and that's good for for recording vocals because if you want to add stuff you can add stuff you wanna add reverb or delay or whatever but if you have a room that does have reverb in it there's there's no real good way to get rid of it you need to get it right at the source. So it's always you'd say it's always best to just totally isolated room is always best you know to me that's my absolute say we can add whatever you're you can even if you did want the sound of a real room there's impulse responses are really accurate these days of rooms or for instance, if if you wanted to go above and beyond, you could take the un process vocal that you recorded and play it in a speaker in the room that you, if you like the sound of the reverb, throw mike in the room you know our duel mike stereo mikes in the room and then capture the sound of that room and you know if you want to get crazy with it so you could have your completely pitch corrected vocal then played out in the room and the river but will sound perfect and, uh you'll get your favorite sound if if that's what you like crew questions so like if you can build your own soundproof room and you're really poor and you live in an apartment like and you're just kind of like at your laptop recording vocals for like a demo like something less professional, what would your solution be? Put a blanket over my stuff and we'll get into that okay, so sometimes you can't make it completely soundproof, but sound absorption does help it will literally make, uh, anything that's in the room with you like a computer humming or fan everything that it will make it quieter because the sound isn't bouncing around everywhere it's just like you're gonna sound rude it's just absorbs, you know, just get sucked into the wall. So um and some of the sounds that do come from the outside will also get absorbed sort of a little bit but that's not quite sound proofing, so we will get over to this in a second but uh this would be your solution all right, so you guys understand an airtight room inside a room floating okay, I didn't have that but now I know you have uh here's the biggest problems money just like you said money walls, ceilings, doors, windows, air ventilation like the air ducks basically everything in the room um see this okay, so a lot of these all of these matter if you're going to be and I like to talk to the really professional the people that are trying to get to to the next level and then some people you know, d I y guys I'd like to try to address all the problems that I can so we're going to go through ah soundproofing methods I'm going to kind of go through this uh quickly but the most important thing are the walls if you can't do anything else, you could soundproof wall and there's a few different methods the first one that's the cheapest and it's very effective is double drywall so you'll have um your regular room and you would build inside if before you put the the extra layer of dry wall you'll put a generic name is acoustic final barrier um it absorbs any impacts coming from the outside wall or coming from the inside wall so if you have those lower frequencies that are actually getting absorbed by the drywall because of drywall does vibrate a little bit like for the super low frequencies and those of the frequencies that are come going to come through your wall the easiest so you have that vinyl barrier and this is almost like your room inside the room so you have your normal drywall you have the acoustic vinyl barrier and then you have uh other dry wall that you put on top of that uh example one brain is quiet barrier pretty popular there's a bunch of a bunch of different various it's like it was like having a giant like mouse pad between your walls basically and it makes a huge difference because you're not having those things touch as soon as if you just put dry wall on top of drywall those services are touching and their little there's vibrating each other. So if you have that little pad this one's vibrating but it's getting absorbed by this material that's between the walls so if you can't do anything else you do that it be great to to put it on both sides of the wall that's a lot more efficient than just doing inside of the vocal booth if you do on the inside and on the outside um another another one is offset studs this's like if you're basically building the wall from nothing and you have a lot of money to spend on uh on doing this stuff but hey maybe there's somebody out there watching this that is wondering what is the best this one this one is better but more expensive so you have your its basically like building a wall on top of a wall okay, so here's your wall I don't know what camera this is on but here's your wall on this is the inside these air your studs fam bam bam bam regular distances apart and then you would build a wall on top of this make sure that the base of the wall is not touching the other wall maybe like a a centimeter or an inch gap between them and then you would build studs here instead so they're offset from the other wall so you're not you don't have anything in direct contact, so if this was if this was over this guy you would be getting vibrations going through there so and then what you do is you have kind of ah pattern like this so let's say this is that you're looking down on the top of the wall you have your studs off set like this and then you would have the insulation going in here behind that one in front of that one behind that one like that so it's weaving in and out between those so that's good you can just use like regular pink stuff for, you know whatever to put in between there but that's that's offset stubbs stubbs studs it's more expensive, but it works very well, so if you're at that level and you're looking for super you know soundproofing that you do that you could also do that in addition to the double drywall you mentioned ah weaving the insulation between the walls without just be like a normal like four inch thicker so wall insulation yeah yeah you could use pink stuff just make sure you know the more insulation the better yeah I found out when doing some construction the insulation I always thought if you packed a whole bunch of it in there worked better but it's actually the opposite yeah you don't want it you wanted to expand it is you don't want it really tight because the tighter like I was saying when things are pressed against each other that's whenever they're they're like getting really you know they're absorbing yes even the fiberglass within the installations transferring soon so if you're packing it like super tight than that I think that's actually negative use of that yeah you wanted to be full but you don't want it to be like completely tight so it's so in the offsets design you actually have a really thick wall but you would have a lot of open space as the inside there b they're starting some open space in there and that that pockets of air as it wraps around the stud actually creates more of a sound barrier inside the wall air gaps are like your best friend when it comes to soundproofing the sound has further to travel so s so it's going probably you know a little bit through the drywall and then it's going to go through the insulation get absorbs this got hit the other driver by that time she'll be tired it's not going to want to keep going yeah it's going to give up it's like uh I'm done so anyway um yeah that's basically uh soundproofing walls which is to me the most important okay, so the ceiling and the walls you're going to think of in the same way uh if you're gonna do your walls you have to do your ceiling really? Because sound will go right through the ceiling just like anything else people forget about that and wonder why it's not sound proof it's probably because of the ceiling so you're going to build it down you're not going to go in the attic and build over that I mean because he could but uh you kind of wanna room inside a room think of it like that so you are building inside the other room you're going to put the you know, glue, glue the acoustic vinyl barrier up there and then you're also going toe put the drywall over that obviously leave holes for electrical I just put that because I don't know if you don't do that you're uh you're lights won't work and stuff but you you got to do that question um when you do sound proof the ceiling, I generally see that people hang like sheets of acoustic panel that will be for sound diffusion and absorption that's not soundproof but you can it would be like a sound prissy ling like whatever method you choose whether it's this double drywall or you can also do the offset studs thing for the ceiling and then you would also want the the and the angled panel hanging down from that what you're talking about a drop ceiling? No, I guess ah, the main question is what would be the difference from hanging a panel versus actually like screwing it into the wall? A cz faras it absorption goes oh, okay so well so I generally see it like above like like where you mix seen panels above that area but when it's hanging it's not again like like I was saying it's not transferring any vibrations to the ceiling or getting any from the ceiling. So um what you what you want to do is you want the sound to go through the material, maybe it'll bounce on the ceiling and come and come back through the material so it's like getting super absorbed and whatever it's hung that will also stop things coming from other directions to because you have if it's completely against the ceiling and you have something that's bouncing from back here like from behind you say your monitors air angled that way and it's bouncing back this way if it's completely flush against the ceiling it what kind of miss the panel and it won't actually get absorbed so when it's hanging down it's going to be getting absorbed through the back it's just the most effective for absorption because of the actual angle so it's good for it's actually whenever it's going straight up from your monitoring environment and when it's coming from the back or from the front or whatever so it's almost like almost as though you could have you could have a panel on going straight down and one going like that and it would kind of do the same thing but if you just have it hanging and angled it takes care of both uh and it diffuses it actually diffuses sound because you no longer have ah parallel services that would be the ideal setup yeah dropped down and angled yes yeah yeah you yeah if you have a drop down and it's a parallel I mean she probably just angle it because then you're doing absorption and fusion which is like exactly what you want that's why you'll see some some of these like some of these panels are angled also they're not just flat um absorbing their the angle of these is diffusing the lower frequencies and then the regular uh phone materials actually absorbing the like the higher frequencies so so but if it was thicker it would also absorb the loafer disease but it's not that thick so it's angle so it all depends on that's why I talk about the thickness of stuff these air thin so they you know they have the the angle to defuse the lower frequencies so it's all hand in hand stuff a cz long as you understand the basic concepts um so back to soundproofing whenever you do put up your walls you want everything airtight like I was talking about you want a room inside a room that's airtight so you want to fill every gap you want uh the actual drive all that you're building inside the other layer you want those to be completely flush and tight against each other not to the outside wall but to each other on the inside wall so um you would want that as tight as possible and then you also want to fill in all those gaps so no high free the high frequencies will find their ways right there wait right through that those those tiny gaps um it's crazy how much of a difference that actually makes whenever you fill those in uh okay so the next one is the doors I'm kind of doing these in order of importance the door is where a lot of the sound is going to come through some some people are in houses, they don't have solid doors they have hollow doors but if all you can do is one solid door make sure that there's a weather seal or if you just have a regular door that's no not solid core you wanna weather seal you want it airtight um and that's the cheapest obviously what is that? Some people may not know what a weather seal is doing I just explained well whether seals yeah you'll see it on you make sure you tell him to look at the door right? Yeah, well usually an outside door it will be around the bottom and the size usually it'll keep water from coming in and and cold ehrlich was cold outside and stuff but you can find those that you know anywhere home depot lowe's any, uh store like that and just pick those up to really, really cheap but that is actually going to help keep it airtight and seal it and keep some sound from coming in. A lot of like mid range frequencies will come through the doors that are hollow core so the solid core is going to block out a lot of frequencies. So there's a little diagram here where we have the double laywer door this is you know if you're at that level this is what you want to do you would have two doors um because I mean you're building double walls you're building a room inside a room again so you have your regular door and then the other door and they just know there's a diagram uh it's pretty simple you just you got to doors but they're overlaying each other they're not like doors like this their doors like this and both of those need to be sealed okay windows also if you're going to build a window if you're at that level toe actually build a window you need at least two layers of glass I've seen some with three uh form or but uh two works really well I've built one myself and what you want to do is have one angled from the other first several reasons uh whatever they're exactly parallel um they're goingto anything that vibrates this the air gap inside there is usually going to be absolutely airtight inside there so anything that hits this is going to vibrate is going to vibrate that one because you got you got you know there's nowhere for the air to go in or out of that so when you angle it any sound that hits that it kind of it doesn't have a chance to exactly push that it's getting diffused inside there because you have the angled surfaces um also you can't put some sound absorption material on top of your window otherwise you won't be able to see through it so when you angle that you now have an angled surface so acoustically inside your room that you're monitoring in or you're tracking you're not having to worry about a parallel surface you have an angle surface so that sound is being naturally diffused off the window so in this specific diagram you see one that's perfectly straight one that's angled I would say in the most perfect scenario you would have them both angled or you you know this way or that way so this is a like a side cut out few of the window if that makes sense you're not like I guess you could be looking down on it but but this is like a side view of the of the window yeah and also that has to be airtight so you want to put like a weather seal around that or you know grooves to the wood whatever would you put that in? I'm not gonna explain how to build a window you could just look at it but if you do have regular windows let's not talk about actual windows between like the control room and the tracking room whatever windows you have on your house if you can switch those out for they just make windows that are more soundproof those actually make a huge difference so if that's all you can do that will that will help a lot I personally have those in the studio uh room that I have and they work really well there's typical soundproof windows okay uh now this is really hard core floating floors um it's basically here we are again building a room inside a room you have you'll put down the studs on the floor and then some kind of plywood and then flooring on top of that uh I've never actually had a studio with floating floors um but I've been in a few and it makes anything that travels through the floor if you have anything in direct contact to the four like kick pedal or something like that that will get absorbed right into the concrete floor and I'll just go straight into the other room and it was here like clicking clears day right through the wall no matter how much sound proof you have so yeah yeah have also heard of people like filling like if they build a second floor in there filling that with sand or some super dense material just absorb yes seeing actually that I actually don't know a lot about san have heard of people doing that yeah I mean I'll be honest I just really don't know about that but you could build it just hollow and yeah hollow is probably you you would want to put some some sound absorption in there obviously because it would it would resonate just while you're walking on and stuff so you don't want that to happen you would you would have that um and again you would also put the acoustic vinyl barrier down also to absorb you know walking and stuff like that so yeah to me I mean, I've been doing this for so long I haven't maybe had one situation where I wish I had it uh so I mean I don't think it's that might not be worth it but don't let me stop you if you're going to do it okay so now we have this airtight room no air is getting in uh because it's airtight so what do you do that's why this gets really this gets really this rabbit hole goes deep so this is it this is a design for acoustically insulated air duct it's like soundproof so a lot of your sound will come in from the other room straight through your vents and what do you do about this? This is what you do it's like you make a maze for the air to go through and the the inside of this little maze is basically acoustic like rigid fiberglass or something like that uh you may have to build this yourself I actually haven't gone this far into it yet, but I do know a lot about this stuff and I'm pretty sure they do make some that are pre built but this is like this is really hard core if you if you're at this level here's some info for you uh this is how you get the air in the room without sound coming through the air ducts now you're also an outflow of the room, if it's going to be completely soundproof and airtight, so this is like what I'm talking about right now is the ultimate. You're building the ultimate vocal booth. This is how you have to do it. Um, if your room is airtight, no arrow flow in and your vocals will burn up because we get too hot or they won't be able to breathe. Uh, if you did a really good job, you got to make sure you finish the job. Um, so this is basically the same concept where you have it would be at the bottom, at the bottom of the wall there, where the the air would just build a flow out of the room, kind of in a maze shape, and, uh, so you can breathe and get air in there. That's. The biggest problem for for ah, airtight, soundproof rooms and that's, how you avoid that.

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.