How to Record Vocals

How to get a great vocal sound in your home studio

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To get a great vocal sound in your home studio, you need to concentrate on these five technical elements – assuming you’ve got a vocalist who can deliver and a space ready to set and capture the mood. Check out this video for a high-impact, commonsense recording tutorial.

In most any recording that includes a vocal track, that vocal is likely to be the element listeners will focus on. That can make the recording process a little intimidating, especially when you’re just starting out in the studio, whichever side of the glass you’re on.

Obviously, a quality vocal track starts with a good singer, but once you have that, it’s not that hard to produce a stellar vocal. If you’re working in a home studio, set up your rig – which can be as simple as one mic, a one channel audio interface, and a little acoustic treatment – and follow these five simple tips to get a great vocal sound.

I go into more detail in this video, but it really boils down to:

  1. Pick a mic (not as big a deal as you think)
  2. Use a pop filter
  3. Set the vocalist at the proper distance from the mic
  4. Use the proper gain staging
  5. Work the mic to your advantage

Whatever style of music your vocalist is performing, these tips will help you get the right sound. Remember, it’s not the gear that make a good recording, it’s the engineer.

Scott Wiggins is a touring recording artist, singer/songwriter, producer, recording/mix engineer, and music lover. Wiggins has written and recorded multiple songs which have made it into the top Ten on the TX Music Charts and has over 15 years’ experience creating, making, and sharing music. Wiggins has had the privilege of being mentored by and recording music with Grammy-nominated engineers, and his goal is to take what he’s learned and share it on The Recording Solution website and blog.

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16 thoughts on “How to get a great vocal sound in your home studio

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  5. The main thing, besides the quality of the technical items and the singer’s vocal ability, is a clean recording! Meaning, no clippings, but also not too low in volume. The mic hears and records everything, from a running fan to other noises, if the voice doesn’t ‘fill’ the space. See it as water in a glass. Full is good, but overflow (clipping) is not. Half full leaves room for other stuff (noises). Savvy?

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