I find it funny that I made a lot of engineers in music producers that do an absolutely killer job when it comes to recording the instruments. Everything is balanced well, levels are set, the mix is great, it was a great choice and instruments, and everything under the sun just seem to sound right. Then, I get to the vocals, and they are absolutely terrible. There so many times that I’ve heard great songs ruined by horrible locals.

But sometimes I have to say comes down to the singer if you can’t sing in key, you shouldn’t really be singing a song. While sometimes they can be nice to have that unique and strange voice in a recording, or even that ra mike off spy sultry voice and recording, but you still have to be able to sing in key. So here is my per first piece of advice is something never to do with vocal recordings.

1.) Never use a singer that sings out of key. I know you are chuckling now that you’ve just read the last sentence, but how many times he actually heard a song where someone is singing out of key and you just have to smile at that artist or the producer, and say “that sounds so good!” So do yourself a favor if you want to be a professional music producer or sound engineer and work with local artists that will make both you and them sound good. Now that same crush people’s dreams of being a vocalist like you are Simon Cowell on American Idol, but just politely decline people that are not up to par. Time is vital that it wasted.
Another thing that I find rather annoying, is at times someone may have a great voice but the essence of their voice is not captured in the song, which brings me to item number two.

2.) Do not be afraid to invest in a good vocal mic. If you want to sound professional, what professional, or just flat out be a professional sound recorder you’ll need a good vocal mic. Yes, I know they can be rather expensive but the quality will get out of him, and the great recordings will be well worth the investment. So be afraid, to show a couple hundred, or if you really have the money to couple thousand dollars for that high quality microphone. The nice thing is if you decide to be a music producer was engineer is not your thing and it’s a good character mic, and high-quality mice typically have high resale value. You’ll need to have a mic that can capture all the sound in a room in every tone that comes from a person’s voice.
Sometimes you’ll find that people will have a great sense of voice, but then you hear too much going on with their voice or strange sounds, they can make their voice on the balanced. Let’s talk about the third thing you should never do in vocal recording.

3.) Don’t record in a room that takes away from the singer’s voice. Through the record and can have a big effect on recording, this holds especially true when it comes to vocal recording. If you’re recording a jazz alum to record the vocals in a room with walls are made of metal you’re probably not get the sound that you want that person’s voice is over too many things going on. But if you’re going for a rock punky or sound it may not be advisable, to record in a room that is completely dense and dead to all boys. Take a moment and think about your environment and what you’re going for remember Sun reflects and depending on how the room is will give you sounds back. I have seen examples where this has absolutely ruined a vocal recording. If you have to go make your vocalist singing the closet, so be it, let’s do so but they’re not claustrophobic.
The final thing that I would like to bring up to you should never do in a vocal recording, is to let things overpower that shouldn’t be.

4.) Don’t let your harmonies, overpower the main vocals. There many times my per vocal recordings with a sound engineer, producer, or whatever it was in charge decided that the vocal harmonies needed to overpower the lead vocals. Yes, we all know that harmonies can really bring out a song, and are meant to complement your vocalist. But, for heaven’s sake, don’t your catch up, overpower the taste of your french fries, if you get what I’m saying.

I know some of the things that I’m saying what you should not do are simple and common sense, or maybe there’s something you just didn’t realize that if you can avoid these vocal recording destroyers, you’ll be well underway to have a more professional grade local recordings.

About the Author: Wes


  1. James April 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

    It’s true that some of these points are pretty common sense for experienced vocal recorders, but the most simple fundamentals are overlooked so often, it never hurts to point them out in black and white.

  2. Emma April 2, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Hi Wes,

    Great tips for both vocalist and producer… I think that if this advice is known and followed by both, the quality of the music will be much greater.

    Knowledge is power…

    Emma 🙂

  3. Dr. Adam Sheck April 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Even though I’m no singer (except in the shower), I think that they will be helpful for me in making my podcasts and videos.
    Thanks again,

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