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Recording Rock Vocals

Lesson 11 of 26

Tracking Screaming Vocals Part 1

Andrew Wade

Recording Rock Vocals

Andrew Wade

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Lesson Info

11. Tracking Screaming Vocals Part 1


  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

Tracking Screaming Vocals Part 1

We're doing screaming it's a lot different in the last segment that was like a folkie song this one is a hard core ish heavy song so anyway let's first talk about while screaming a lot of number one problem here is uh people lose their voice in the studio and I've got a lot of requests actually talk about this and what I do uh number one obviously is plan um make sure you know what you're gonna actually record so you're not doing what it takes um make sure that uh I know that you have enough time you know, in your sessions toe just in case you do lose your voice like think about that whenever you're actually planning studio talk himself like that it is a factor and if you sometimes bands will recorded me and they go straight on tour and they have no they have no chance to reschedule so you kind of make sure just make sure that you have all the time that you could need and plan that your voice will go out just in case extra time in studio is absolutely not a bad thing ever so um warm up...

in the way that's right for you okay, well, there are a lot of different vocalists that I've worked with and they all have a different like regimen that they do when they when they start like um the vocalist visual from ghost the ghost inside he has to like scream for like I don't know fifteen minutes a few days in advance and that prepares his voice for when we do track in a few days so whatever happens, I don't know what it is like if you scream you gotta find out what's right for you and how you warm up so your vocals last um make sure you do that every time, especially when you're in the studio so I've had some some vocalists where they'll lose their voice for like the loser voice right away and then a few days later they go back and they can just keep going so it's almost like they had to lose their voice first and then it had to repair itself and then they could do it so it was like so many weird things that it all depends on on the actual vocalists uh some locals don't do anything at all uh we have tommy over here you you scream also what do you have a warm at all melissa cross? Yes. So there's a there's a product called there's a seriously put out called the zen of screaming and she did like a bunch of vocal warm ups and I had it on my iphone and me and the two dudes in the band would just sit in the van before the set and it's like d up d up d up you're going to leave his address and then go does that make a difference for him? I think more than anything it's mental for me so I thought it was really good for my voice, but I think because I put the time and always felt a bit more confident going out well, so for me I think it's a cz much mental as it is like it really did warm you weren't here for all the segments, but it really is mental like if you're not in the right state of mind, you're not going to be able to do well no it's, not it's it's sucks it sucks to be the dude at the last day of recording in the studio and that's your last day and they put you at the end and then something goes wrong and there's a no grace time, which is having a couple different projects even with friends and they've had to call me when I wasn't in bands like can you come fill in because our vocalist lost his voice? It just happens it just happens sometimes. Yeah, so that's, why planning on I actually talk about this, um let's hear let's see, whenever you are like, if you are writing in the studio, you want to make sure that when you're planning out vocals thatyou're vocalist isn't just screaming it over and over and over and over and over while you're writing it because then I hope, you know, you're wasting his voice or her voice feel female screamer, um and so actually doing like, a whisper track or a scratch like this, the song that we're going to be tracking today, we have a scratch that was done by my good friend gary mckinnon, the least thing every day to remember, so he held me out while we're writing it, and, uh so tommy has somethingto learn so he's not just going to keep going through it like, oh, man, you know, I didn't I didn't know that or whatever he had time to learn it so he's pretty familiar with it, so when he actually goes for it, we'll hopefully get it relatively quick on don't want what you just talked about is ah, a lot of people will say vocals for the end and I am totally against that I do vocals immediately, like if there is a song and a possible way for you do vocals on the first or second day, like, if you have demos and they're ready and we do, you could do vocals to the demos. I'll do that so you get that stuff out of the way if it's possible sometimes that's not the case I mean, sometimes you are writing the music still and you have nothing to do it too, but let's say you have one song written you can do vocal stuart if you're vocalist has their vocals ready so do vocals right away that's that's that's my yeah, we just got done recording we our band just got done recording our last record with andrew glover who was here a little while ago but I did everything first and if they didn't have it all r didn't know what I was going to scream I did all of the cleans to get as much vocal stuff out of the way as humanly possible and we ended up with a surplus of time for me at the end I had an extra three days that I ordinarily wouldn't have had, but if you try to like rushing in like it'll be like this no, it wont like something is going to be kind of crazy or something because you've got a kind of plan for the unexpected. I know that sounds kind of like impossible, but you just if you have this knowledge and you know the basic understanding of it then you can prepare so on like you said whatever you do have a vocalist that's doing singing and screaming at this at the same time do singing first do the more delicate stuff first um chances are screamers are a singer is not going to lose their voice from singing it's rare it happens sometimes but it's it's kind of rare um so sometimes if you are oh good have a quick question from andrew's mom who wants to know if you live leaving every breath run recording vocals this isn't really your mom is it okay? She records bands to what your mom wants to know if you leave in every breath when recording vocals and if there's a difference between singing and screaming how do you think you learned how to record vocals? He didn't even know that yeah we're actually going to talk about breaths okay cool specifically and what was it wasn't a double question well the question is there a difference between saying and screaming when it comes to the subject? Oh right yes uh yeah we're going to get into that whenever we do stuff but breaths to meet are strategically placed and thought out whenever you do it and we actually will we have some parts where I'm gonna want him sometimes I'll punch in breaths only just so there's a breath in certain spots but we'll get into that so another way to keep from losing her voice during session is sometimes the ban will stay during mixing time for or they'll at least book hotel days through mixing time sometimes by accident I don't know what happens with me and maybe doesn't happen everybody else but uh so if they do that take advantage of that switch up a mixing day let let them recover such of a mixing day or editing day and get some of that stuff done while they're resting and their vocals are recovering and then haven't you come back in in a few days uh and so they could just knock it out so by then it should be good uh I've had some sessions rescheduled because of it it happens it's not the end of the world um what people want is not your record as fast as you can make it they want a record as good as you could make it. So rescheduling a session sometimes we'll save your career not just, uh you know your voice I have here do it like they do in the movies get the whole thing set up, get your whisper track right all the parts learned the parts get everything ready to go you got one take do it you know, saying so you're not just, you know they blow everything up, they get everything set up and they blow it up just anticipate that you're going to ruin your voice and if you can warm up and you have a warm up then do that there are some people I've seen people like drink tea, like, uh, throat coat and, uh, just other tees and lemon juice and stuff. Uh, I think honestly, if your voice is messed up, the best healer of it is time and also alcohol will have the negative effect on your voice heals it will literally, like prolong uh, there's literally like wounds in your throat. They're open sores in your throat. Your skin has thorn that's what's happening treated like like anything else that you you know, when you have an injury that's exactly what it is you have to be, uh, refrain from talking whisper if you have to say anything um, so if you do lose your voice completely, the best way to make it recover the quickest is just, you know, being careful with it. Uh, drinking tea doesn't help. I don't I don't know. I don't think it makes it hell faster, but maybe it makes some people feel better make him relax a little bit, but healing is just time and also just treating it right, not drinking a bunch of alcohol that will make it worse for sure or just prolong it so smoking cigarettes are out, then no, actually that's a good question that is not the case um I've had vocalise and every time I run to my friend named chris martin not from coldplay but if somehow he's watching this I doubt he is but he was in a band a long time ago he quit smoking a week before the session so your body goes through this process when you you know your it's your hacking up all this stuff and your body's like getting readjusted and sometimes that you're coughing blood and stuff I'm sorry that's kind of graphic but but that happens when you're heavy smoker and you quit so especially if you quit a week before the session that's like when start stuff really starts to go bad uh he wasn't able to sing anything at all he's like well I quit smoking I was like you might wantto start smoking and so he went out smoked a cigarette and came back and he was gold he was great wow yes that's both sad story and a great story yeah, now would he have started smoking anyway that's up for debate but come on he can blame it on me now so I'll take that blame whatever okay, good to know uh yeah, it sounds funny. Um okay. Just like with singing okay? So whisper guide track we talked about that uh puncheon's are the same with singing as they are with screaming you wanna lead in and lead out I've had some vocalist where they'll do they can only scream like three words at a time and that's fine because they're all lot of screamers like that s so it's it's a pretty normal thing um I can't I can't scream myself so I can't say you know I can't give any advice on how to scream in a way where you can scream more words but the fact of the matter is some people can only scream about three words at a time until there out of breath there's there's actually a question about that on the chat room do you track heavy vocals line by line or section by section oren hold takes when you and it sounds like you do it well it depends on the vocalist ok like what I did for let's take motionless and white for example, whenever I was recording chris he had a really strong voice and he was able to like knock out huge lines at a time just for whatever reason that's just how how he sounds it sounds great, but you also need to know how to make a vocalist who can only do a few words at a time sounds good as somebody who could do it all at once now if you could knock it out all at once that's great, but you also need to know how to do it the other way as an engineer so the punches the lead in lead out every single puncheon has have lied in the lead out you don't want it to sound like take after take after take um maybe you do want to make it sound like that but uh that's more of a challenge to not make it sound like that and we'll we'll probably run into a few where we've gotta punch it like that um so so will demonstrate how to do that uh different vocalist tracking the same part so I had jeremy uh, from a day to remember do these parts and tell me just like, you know, every vocalist they'll have their own style and they all have their own pronunciation and and how they track uh, what I'm gonna have him do is try to double some of jeremy's parts and show you how to match up vocals when you have, like, two different vocalists in your band and maybe their vocals aren't meshing together very well I'm going to show you exactly how to get that stuff to line up and sown unified um and this is just kind of a checklist of what we're doing okay, okay, so, uh we're getting right into it no, we're going to try to different mikes uh one that is super popular and then we're gonna try one that is my favorite as you guessed this right it is the unity seven uh but we're going to try the sm seven let's uh yeah that's um seven hold that up for the camera that's the sm seven just case anybody is is wondering there over there seven yeah all right so we'll start with that is that it has to plugged into the bottom of it. Okay, cool, cool, cool kirker all right, so here's the it's actually take that back here is the guide let's uh let's just let's march for a second so wait wait cool cool. So this is what we're going to be tracking just one toe do you get a reference what we're dealing with a little different than jessica's song uh but I did I didn't write them both. Uh jeremy did help write with this this this first one here all right, I think they're there so two is six I think so that that is the uh and then this one is the it's my show I do what I want to talk out. Okay? So just like with jessica we're gonna have to get the levels um usually the gain for screaming is turned down obviously so uh alright your headphones which outfielders let's have you? Jessica said that these headphones were kind of weird made a vacuum suction around her had so where did you feel these you do like they feel like shooting like gels, there's like gel in there, it's like a garbage bag filled with jill. All right, okay, so obviously vocal bleeding. Our vocal bleeding means that you don't have a voice, but whenever the headphones are bleeding that's different that's, one of the clique is coming through, and we don't have to worry about that as much with screaming because it's, really a lot louder than any of the other material like anything coming out of his head phones is gonna be way quieter than his voice, because the voice is going to be pretty loud if he screams loud. Are you allowed letters? Yeah, some some screamers. It's, hard to think about all the scenarios for you guys out there, but some scream was kind of, like do really a scream that's, about as loud as I'm talking right now, and, yeah, yeah, and some of them do, like whisper kind of. Yeah, I'm like a yeller yeller.

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.