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[TIL at AES 7/12] How you never need to record vocals with headphones ever again

Here’s one quick tip from AES this Monday morning.

You know how some vocalists have a really hard time recording their vocals with headphones?

They never seem to feel comfortable and they have pitch or phrasing issues, however well you create their headphone mix for them.

Well you don’t need to record with headphones ever again if you don’t want to.

You might have heard the way some people record vocals by singing in front of the monitors with one monitor out of phase. They do that to reduce the bleed coming from the monitors into the vocal track.

Well you can do that but you don’t actually have to deal with any rewiring of the monitors.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Put the mic in front of the monitor and get the vocalist to record their part in complete comfort.
  2. Create another track and record everything again, except without the vocals. Now you should just be recording the backing track into the vocal mic.
  3. Flip the polarity of the background track and voilá! The backing track will cancel the music coming from the vocal track, giving you a very usable vocal without any of the bleed from the monitors.

Genius isn’t it?

I’ll do a audio example of this sometime later but I just couldn’t wait to tell you about this trick. I doubt I’ll ever record my vocals with headphones ever again!

For more simple and practical recording tips, check out the Recording & Mixing Strategies bundle:

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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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