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How to improve your vocal recordings.

Aug 172017

  We all record vocals and want know that we’re doing our best in the process. It's the one element of a song that stands out the most to listeners hearing our music. In order to improve your recordings it will take skill and of course good recording equipment. It can seem daunting for beginners early on. But with a few tips on where to start will help give beginners a better understanding on how to improve their vocal recordings.

 

 

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1.Having the right microphone

Finding the right microphone for the job can be done at an affordable price in Today's market. Depending on your budget you'll be able to find prices just under $700 dollars. You'll have several options to choose from in this price range. I highly recommend going out and trying out the equipment to see which microphone you sound the best using. Here are a few microphones to consider looking into:

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SM58 The shure sm58 hand held dynamic vocal microphone     Priced at $99.00 

 

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AT2035- Audio -Techhnica AT2035 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone  Priced at $149.00

 

 

 

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sE2200a II- SE Electronics sE2200a II c large diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone   Priced at $299.00

 

 

 

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TLM 102- Neuman TLM 102 condenser microphone  Priced at $699.95

 

 

 

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 2.Issues to avoid that ruin vocals- There are a few things to worry about when recording vocals. The first issue of concern is popping, The way we pronounce certain words we use have heavy plosives that are picked up by the microphone. The use of a popper stopper helps prevent these harsh sounding artifacts from carrying through. 

 

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3.Sibilance- This occurs when pronouncing “S” and “F” sounding words. Giving off a sharp “hiss” like piercing sound that offends our ears. This can be fixed with the use of software plug-ins using a De-esser or a multiband compressor to cancel out those unwanted frequency.

 

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4.Room Acoustics- You could be doing everything else right but if you're room's acoustics are bad so will your vocal recordings. As well as not having proper acoustic treatment will contribute to this greatly.

 

 

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5.Using effects during recordings- Certain problems can be dealt with earlier on during the recording process. Now this all depends on your work flow as some recording engineers may prefer to use effects early on so they don't have to apply them later on during the mixing stage. As I’ve mentioned before about sibilance. Using a multiband compressor or a De-esser during the recording process can help rid your recordings of those harsh sounding plosives.

 

Here's a video on how to remove sibilance using a de-esser.

How to improve the audio quality of your mp3 recordings.

Jul 182017

For artist who are unable to opt out for Wav leases as they can be pricey. When you're putting together a project and you're a few beats away from going over your budget. Here's a method that can help you save some money and preserve audio quality with your songs at the same time. For This method you will need to create a Wav file by recording from a mp3 file. While using a DAW of your choice but for this illustration I’ll be using Presonus studio one 3. This is a similar technique producers use to create beats from old and new recordings called sampling. But in this case the beat is already made, mixed, mastered and you'll just need to create a wav file from its recording.

  1. Load up your DAW: While methods may vary upon program the principle remains the same and can be applied to any DAW.undefined
  2. Import the mp3 file:  Set the project tempo to file you're going to use.Locate the mp3 in your file browser then drag and drop into the sequencer.undefined
  3. Create a “bus”: After you have imported the mp3 file, right click on the audio channel and select create bus. undefined
  4. Route audio to a send: Click send so that the audio can sent to another channel and make sure the “bus” is selected.undefined
  5. Create a new track. This new track is where you''ll be recording the audio to. undefinedundefined
  6. Choose “bus”: Now to receive the audio signal on the new track make sure bus is selected as the input source. undefined  
  7. Adjust the input levels: At this point you should hear audio coming from the mp3 channel as well as the bus track. You'll also notice the sound being too loud.Adjusting the levels from mp3 channel so that it reaches a level you're comfortable with on the VU meter. you'll also want to give yourself some headroom for your vocals. You will need to adjust the volume levels to your liking. Adjusting the bus volume as well if you're unable to reach a desirable level.undefined
  8. Arm the audio track: Once you've adjusted the levels make sure the monitor tab is and deselected and arm the track.undefined
  9. Press record: Now that you have your levels and have armed your track click on record.                    
  10. Review audio: Mute the mp3 and “bus” tracks to review what you've just recorded.
    Once you've finished recording your song you'll now have to Bounce it out to either a Wav 44.1khz 16bit  wav or mp3 file. Depending on how your songs will be distributed online most companies will prefer you to upload in wav format only.