3 Things You Must Do for Better Vocal Recordings
This week I’m excited to team up with JZ Microphones to give you this video about vocal recording and vocal EQ.
Vocal Recording Basics
I’m going to use JZ’s Mics’ BH2 to capture some backing vocals for a virtual choir I am doing with Joby, one of my Insiders members.
He’s working on a Scandinavian folk song, or ScandiFolk as Spotify would label it in their playlists, and we wanted to add a big choir to the final chorus.
Now, choir recording basically breaks all of the social distancing rules but because all of my Insiders members are proficient recording musicians in their own right everybody recorded their own voice in their home studio and Joby blended it together in Norway, creating quite the international choir.
Now, I’ll be adding my vocals on this as well so I thought I’d give you a quick primer on what you need to know to get the best vocal recording results in your home studio.
Watch this video for a crash course in vocal recording and vocal EQ.
1. Use a Pop-Filter
You don’t want those pesky T and P sounds to pop through in the recording so I recommend using a pop-filter in front of the microphone to capture them.
The simplest way to avoid plosives is to just use a pop filter while you’re recording. Just put it in front of the mic while you’re recording and it should catch all the erroneous wind coming from the pronunciation of your P sounds.
2. Take the “Home” Out of Home Recording
You don’t want your vocal sound to sound like it was recorded in a tiny room.
That’s why you want to reduce the room sound so your microphone doesn’t pick up your any random room resonances or reflections from the walls.
To secure the mic from the front you can use a reflection filter, but don’t underestimate the reflections bouncing off the walls behind you. That’s why I also recommend putting acoustic treatment behind you to reduce any reflections from bouncing into the microphone from behind.
3. Get a Good Take
Then it’s really just a matter of getting a great take and an emotional performance.
Vocal EQ Basics
Once you’ve got a good take and you’ve done all of the necessary editing, you may need to use some EQ to take out any unwanted frequencies first. Then you may want to add some boosts to add character, presence,and clarity.
Let’s take a look at how some of the frequency ranges sound so you can understand how to EQ your own vocals in your own mixes.
Now, the Black Hole 2 mic has this frequency response built-in:
There’s a bit of a bump between 50 – 90 Hz or so and then another boost between 2.5 kHz – 6 kHz.
For our vocals, we’ll probably high-pass filter everything below 100 Hz, but that slight clarity boost at 3 kHz is great.
At the end of the video above I give you a crash course in vocal EQ so you know exactly where to search when your vocal sounds off so make sure you watch it to the end to get some ideas of how to improve your vocal sound with EQ.