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6 Awesome Tips and Tricks to Sound Better When Recording Your Vocals


This is a guest post by Sheryl Alfaro. Learn more about how to sing at The Singer’s Corner and if you want to contribute a guest post check out the guidelines here.

Have you tried recording your own singing voice in a studio?

It usually doesn’t sound anything like you thought it would the first time you hear it. It can almost sound… bad.

You know you sound good and other people have told you the same thing.

So what gives?

Don’t worry. Just like many singers, you may sound horrible the first time that you studio. But that’s not how it has to be forever. You can significantly improve your sound through these tips and tricks on better vocal recordings.

1. Prepare Before Recording

Do not rush into the vocal booth before you are ready. Standing in a studio about to record vocals can be very intimidating for new singers. So practice a lot before recording.

Try recording yourself prior to hitting the studio and listen back to note what you like and correct what you don’t like. Establish the right key and smooth out any range difficulty. Your vocal technique should be good enough to avoid wasting time in the studio with lots of takes and auto-tuning. That also means it’s better to have your lyrics and melody memorized so you’re not fumbling around.

2. Microphone Technique

Your preparation should also include standing in front of a microphone. In the studio, microphone to mouth distance remains constant. Since you will be standing relatively still as you record your song in a studio, it will be better to get used to it beforehand. Singers with little experience behind microphones make fidgety head movements, which can ruin the recording. Common microphone techniques are:

Volume Control

Move closer to the microphone as the volume gets softer and farther as the volume gets louder. This will help level out volume fluctuations, which can help reduce the amount of compression needed later on.

Avoid Popping And Sibilance

Pronouncing words containing P’s and B’s that produces extra bursts of air is known as popping.

Sibilance is the excessive hissing when producing S’s and F’s sounds. You will not notice these extra bursts of sound in daily conversation but will be painfully obvious in recordings. Adjusting your angle and distance from the microphone can help reduce traces of popping and sibilance.

Control Breath Sounds

Turning your head to the side with each breath will help avoid those breathing sounds that need to be edited out later on.

3. Select The Right Microphone 

Before you start recording, run through a verse using different microphones at a time.

Record three separate tracks without changing the EQ and volume settings then listen back. Doing so will help you choose which is the right microphone for you. A microphone mismatch can distort the quality of your voice. Match the personality of the microphone to the uniqueness of your voice to sound great in recording.

4. Shape Your Vowels When Singing

Shaping your vowels allows you to give more emotion when you are singing. It also allows you to use your voice to flow within the instrument track. Vowels are the sound of your voice, let the consonants take a secondary role. Good studio singers know how to shape their vowel sounds and use them to end their words with more character. 

5. Communicate Through Your Song

As you sing your song, the lyrics must become your own communication.

Mean what you say phrase by phrase – use emotion.

Your phrasing should relate to your emotion and should be believable within the style of the music. Making your lyrics and emotions pop through a recording is important to coming up with your own unique style that is felt by listeners. This also comes back to comfort in the studio – not being nervous and doing what you can to avoid those nerves (like memorizing your songs, practicing beforehand, etc).

6. Song Delivery

Let your voice and emotion reach through your recording to your listener’s heart. Bring out the same energy and believability as you would in a live performance to create an emotional effect. It can be hard in the studio.

But to accomplish this, imagine that you are singing to someone. Sing the song as if the person is in front of you and the lyrics are directed at them. Connect with the listening audience as you would to a live audience. It will shine through on your recording.

Mistakes and flaws become more visible after recording. If you do not like the way you sound, just follow these steps and practice more. It won’t be long before you improve your vocals and head towards becoming a professional singer that can belt out a great recording in a single take. You can do it!

About The Author:

Sheryl Alfaro is an author and blogger. She often writes about music production and singing. Learn more about how to sing at The Singer’s Corner.

Image by: Joybot


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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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