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Recording Vocals

17 Posts

Vocals are key. You can nail everything else, but without great vocals your song will lack life, interest and believability. Since 2008 we’ve been posting some great tutorials to help you achieve the best possible vocals. In this session we introduce you to the best of them.

Posts in this series
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    How to Record and Mix Stereo Backing Vocals - Part 1Vocalprocessing
    Recording backing vocals in stereo has been a tried and tested technique for years. Some of the greatest singers have done it – Michael Jackson, Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet), Mick Hucknell (Simply Red), Seal, Madonna, Christina Aguilera – and they've done it well. But how do you get that layered, wall-of-sound backing vocals without clouding the lead? How do you choose how many and which ones to do? Read on… I chose to record an acoustic version of Liberian Girl by Michael Jackson. Listen to the whole thing, here: [audio: http://cdn.tutsplus.com/audio/uploads/legacy/276_bvs/sbvsmix.mp3]Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    Recording and Mixing Stereo Backing Vocals - Part Two: Adding EffectsVocalprocessing
    It takes a lot more than good pre-production to make vocals sound professional in a track (although it certainly helps), and there are many ways to improve your mix. In Part One of this tutorial we had a look at the pre-production as well as how to mix lead and backing vocals together effectively with the use of EQ, compression and panning. This time take it one step further and add the sheen to the sound. Just a bit reverb and it's done? Not quite. Read on… I chose to record an acoustic version of Liberian Girl by Michael Jackson. Listen to the whole thing, here: [audio: http://cdn.tutsplus.com/audio/uploads/legacy/336_bvox2/sbvsmix.mp3]Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    Tighter Vocals (Backing or Doubling) Using the Flex ToolVocalprocessing
    The vocals are always the most important part of a mix. They sit right up front and are the main thing that the listener will latch on to. If they sound too lazy and loose, it can throw the whole track out and give an overall messy feel. Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    How to Process Vocals for an Amazing Professional SoundMic
    Persuading a problematic vocal recording to play nicely with the rest of your mix can seem like a futile task. Well-recorded vocals and poorly-recorded vocals both need to be correctly prepared, and the processes we're going through today will help you turn your untreated vocal take into a polished and commercial sound.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Recording
    How to Record Vocals in a BedroomThumb
    Recording vocals can be one of the more challenging tracking phase processes you may run into. If it wasn’t enough of a tough cookie in the studio, you can be sure it’s a daunting task in a bedroom (or a home office or any other room you’ve set aside for recording fun that wasn’t purpose-built for it). The sad truth is that you can’t get pro quality vocals happening at home. But you can improve the sound by a mile if you’re armed with a few tricks and tips, and that’s what I intend to give you.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    How to Process Vocals for Podcasts or VoiceoverPreview
    This is one I get asked about all the time, how do I process my voice recordings for clearer more professional podcasts and voiceovers? Well, the truth is as long as you have a microphone and a voice people can understand, any DAW should be all you need to get things to a pretty high standard. Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    How to Autotune Your Vocals Like T-Pain, Cher or Daft PunkAutotune preview
    Twice a month we revisit some of our reader favorite posts from throughout the history of Audiotuts+. This tutorial was first published in July 2008. Ever heard a song by T-Pain on the radio and wondered how the robotic vocal effect is achieved? By the end of this tutorial, you will own the autotuning sound that is used on so many pop records right now.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    How to Use Pitch Correction for Vocal EffectsThumb
    Auto-tuned vocals are a cool effect have become a standard technique in popular music. The sound can be heard all over pop and electronica from the last decade. A variety of artists use it, from T-Pain to Cher, and even the J-Pop band Perfume from West's Polyrhythm tutorial. Even President Obama has gotten in on it (well, sort of...).Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Arrangement
    Layering Vocals With Logic ProThumb
    The world of sample libraries has grown tremendously in the past few years, giving composers wide-ranging options for creating sweeping scores that incorporate fantastic sounding vocal effects. Choral sample libraries, such as EWQL Symphonic Choirs will even 'sing' lyrics that you write! But there are some situations that call for a more unique approach to vocal treatment. When a choir or multiple singers are not available, composers turn to software to help them achieve their goals. This tutorial will focus on using Logic Pro and several of its plugins to create a multi-layered vocal treatment that might be appropriate for ambient, new age, or soundtrack work.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    General
    The Producer's Guide to Putting Passion into Vocal DeliveryVocals
    “It’s in the can,” “On tape” and “It’s a wrap!” You all gather in the plush leather, shag-pile comfort of the engineering room and wait as the final touches are put to the mix. Anticipation is running high, everything is technically perfect, the rhythm tracks tock to the clock of the heart with precision and feel, perfectly locking in and connecting the bottom end to the mids and linking them to the highs with emphatic punctuation into an harmonious arrangement that captures the feel and energy of live.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    General
    11 Videos to Improve Your Vocal Microphone TechniquePreview
    To get a great vocal sound you need an amazing voice, the right microphone, and correct mic technique. Here are 10 Youtube videos that will improve your vocal microphone technique, and one that's just for fun.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    10 Steps to Get the Most Out of a Vocal SessionThumb
    We spend hours creating, arranging, tweaking and mixing the perfect song. We get so engrossed by all the components of a song that it's easy to forget one major point - the vast majority of music consumers only concentrate on the vocals. As a result, us "music creators" don't need to co-ordinate 'good' vocal sessions, but 'great' vocal sessions!Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    Creative Spot Processing for VocalsPreview
    In some of my past tutorials I've delved into various vocal processing techniques. Most of these tutorials have looked at pretty traditional processing methods for solving everyday problems... So with this in mind I thought I'd take a look at some more creative techniques that can be used to brighten up your latest vocal phrase. Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    General
    Your Manual for Achieving Amazing VocalsVocals
    Vocals are key. You can nail everything else, but without great vocals your song will lack life, interest and believability. Since 2008 we've been posting some great tutorials on vocals. In this post we've listed them all - 22 in total! Think of it as your manual for achieving the best possible vocals.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    5 Great Vocal Effect TipsMusic and audio
    The vocal is the most important thing to a hit song. It encompasses the melody, rhythm and structure of a track. If you took the vocals out of some of your favorite tracks, they would probably become a repetitive mass of kick, snare and the four chord trick. It's the vocal layered on top that gives the song soul and feel.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    Vocal Recording TechniquesMusic and audio
    Last month we discussed ways to get a great performance from a vocalist, but this post is dedicated to getting a great vocal sound. Vocal recording has more nuances than recording other instruments mainly because of the plosives (the “b” and “p” sounds) and sibilance (the “s” sounds), but also because the voice has such a naturally dynamic range. Plus, there are as many vocal styles as people singing, and they all need a microphone that’s complimentary to their voice in order for it to maintain the center of attention in the track. That’s what makes microphone selection, among other things, so important in vocal recording.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Recording
    Getting The Best Out Of A VocalistMusic and audio
    Here’s a preview from my upcoming book “The Music Producer’s Handbook”, that describes the many considerations that a producer and engineer have during recording a vocal performance. It’s not enough to capture just any performance though, it has to be the best that a vocalist can give since the vocal is almost always the focal point of the song.Read More…