As a singer, you might already be aware of the importance of recording your vocals. If you are looking to make singing your career, recording your work is one of the first few crucial steps you can take. If you are just learning how to sing for fun, recording yourself and then using the recording to figure out your strengths and weaknesses will only help you improve.
So, to enhance your vocal recording experience, I have put together this list of 5 important vocal recording tips that can benefit any singer. Let's get to it!
1. Maintain Correct Mic Position and Distance
One of the subtler things about recording that you might miss is the way you position your microphone. To get the best possible recording of your voice, you need to pay attention to this factor. Firstly, make sure that the microphone is about 6-12 inches away from your mouth. This is known to be a good range. If you keep the mic too close to your mouth, there might be too much bass in your recorded vocals. Keep it too far away and you might end up recording vocals that are not very clear. As for the position, ensure that the mic is not close to your recording studio’s walls. Keeping it more towards the centre of the room would be a good idea. You should start recording by keeping your mic horizontal, or parallel to the ground. Make sure the stand is adjusted as per your height.
2. Practice Breath Control
Breath is a crucial part of singing and recording in that it can really affect the overall tone of the song. Breath in the correct places and you successfully bring out the emotionality of the song. But breath in the wrong places and it becomes a recording error. This is why every singer needs to practice breath control regularly. Breath control makes your notes better, your emotionality just right, and the quality of your recording much higher.
3. Record Multiple Variations
It’s always good to have backups, isn’t it? When you enter a recording session, you need to remember that no one is perfect. You might make mistakes in your recording, or might find imperfections in it much later. There will be certain things you’ll wish you had done better or differently. You can’t eliminate this, but can make it much easier by recording multiple variations of the same song or vocals. Later, when you’re editing your recording and finalising it, you can listen to the different variations and pick the best one.
4. Avoid Certain Food Items
Right before you go into recording, it is best to avoid certain edible items that end up affecting the quality of your voice. According to famous singer Neha Kakkar, chocolate is one of these food items. You should also try to avoid something very cold or spicy.
5. Get Into Character
While a lot is said about the technicalities of recording your vocals, very few people talk about the importance of getting into character before you sing. Singing isn’t just about hitting the right notes and mastering rhythm, it is also about expressing diverse emotions, moods, and selves. So before you start recording a particular song, ask yourself what kinds of feelings it evokes, what the original singer could be trying to express through it, and what kind of performance would bring out the best of the song. For example, one would need to get into very different types of characters for Adele’s “Easy on Me” and Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”. In her detailed singing course on FrontRow, Neha Kakkar explains the importance of getting into character eloquently.
Recording your vocals, just like singing itself, is a learning process. So take your time, let yourself make mistakes, and don’t forget to keep learning and reading useful tips that will help you on your journey.
Happy learning and happy recording!