Recording Vocals 101

All of that pressure comes down to the recording of the vocals, because generally its the vocals and the lyrics that make or break a song.  Most people listen to a song for the words and the vocals, then the beat.  (guitar players listen for the riffs).

I always try to record a vocalist while I’m tracking the rest of the band.  This is usually known as a scratch take.  Although don’t think of it as such.  A lot of times the scratch take ends up being the keeper.  My best advice is that you should always be singing like its “THE VOCAL TAKE” regardless of when your recording the vocal.

Getting a good vocal is about the time and place.  Some singers need a hot beverage, a dark room, candles,a lava lamp whatever works, basically a good environment.  Some singers will just go in and do song after song, 1 take done.  It depends on the person.

Here’s some quick hints for recording

1 – do one FULL take of the song, if you f**k it up, just keep going.  Its good to get levels, and to get one finished all the way thru before you start working on sections.

2 – don’t record a line at a time – this honestly never works, its frustrating you loose your perspective extremely quickly.  I usually record a section at a time, verse , chorus.

3 – take one ear phone off so you can hear yourself acoustically.  If you have the engineer feed too much vocal to your headphones, your can generally be off pitch.

4 – don’t assume that everything can be tuned and fixed.  Its takes a lot of time to do it properly.

5 – go in with the right attitude and get it done in 3 takes or less.

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