Vocal Recording Techniques

Tips & Tricks for Recording Vocals

When recording vocals, you’re gonna want your takes to be at their best. I’m going to discuss some tips I use while recording my own vocals! Check them out!


Microphone Techniques


Avoid Popping

When pronouncing “P” and “B” sounds, you make a popping sound into the mic. Depending on how powerful the mic is, and how close your mouth is to the mic, when these air blasts strike the diaphragm of the mic, it can be the most annoying thing for listeners to endure. Creating a punchy low frequency sound into the mic is the last thing you ever want to do. Feel the air hitting your hand when you say puppy?  That’s what creates that popping sound into your mic.

To avoid it, the easiest way is to sing into the mic at an angle just so the pops don’t hit the mic directly, or you could just use a pop filter instead. But, since we’re on the subject of how to use a microphone, let’s talk about mic control!


Control Volume with Distance

Level out your volume fluctuations: Move closer to the mic as you get softer, and further away as you get louder… By adjusting your angle and distance from the mic, they can virtually eliminate any traces of popping or hissing. Use a pop filter, or you can use a mic with a built in pop filter.

Control Your Breathing

Turn your head to the side when you breathe and back away from the mic when you take a full breath. If you work with a producer, or you produce your own music, you’ll probably end up editing out the breaths you forgot to move away from the mic when you took them. It can take a lot of control and practice, but after a while you will do it without even thinking about it! Keep at it, you’ll get it!


Saving Your Voice

Saving your voice is one of the most important things when it comes to getting those golden takes! Make sure you give yourself enough time between sessions so that way you don’t blow your vocal cord box and end your career early. Smoking and drinking heavily dehydrate the body, so be sure to take it easy on that while record if you want to sound your absolute best! Rest your voice!


Vocal Coaching

Some people just need a little coaching and guidance from someone who can be patient enough to explain the vocal dynamics and using the diaphragm instead of their vocal cords in order to save their voice while recording for long hours. And if you’re recording or practicing for long hours, make sure you have something like warm tea to keep you going. Showers also help if you need a break in order to start recording with a fresh voice again.


Using Effects


Here’s a couple of techniques you can use with effects to make your recordings sound a little better!

  • De-esser: This gets rid of the hissing sound.
  • High-pass filter: This gets rid of pops and clicks.
  • Compressor: This keeps your sound levels more stable.
  • Auto-tune: This helps you sound on key when you sing.


If you’re using autotune, try to make sure that your singer is still on key for the most optimal performance. Some people actually learn how to sing better from using autotune. Try it out, and see if it helps you sing on key, you might like it!

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