Vocal Recording Basics Part 1: Where to Start


The right techniques will generate far better results than any piece of equipment. Many articles, blogs, and YouTube videos have conflicting views on how to best do vocal recording, but could be due to mismatching expectations. Recording for a world-class singer is different from recording vocal overdubs for a youtube video, creating a podcast, or narrating an audiobook.

Purists may advocate for using high-end equipment and recording practices in every instance, but this comes with major drawbacks. High-end recordings are both time and money-intensive, not to mention impractical. Not to mention that the difference between properly recordings made in an apartment versus a million studio are indistinguishable for the vast majority of audiences. Spending ten times as much time and money to gain a 10% improvement in sound quality is a poor return on investment.

Before setting up a recording environment, considering the applications for the end user. Will the user be listening online in a lossy format, such as an audiobook or web stream? Will the listener most likely be listening on a laptop, car, or mobile device, as opposed to a theater or hi-fi system? Is the recording newsworthy and time-sensitive, as opposed to a recording that will be listened to repeatedly and last for generations?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to two or more of the above situations, then there’s a strong likelihood that professional recording studio won’t be needed. Your audio recording should sound clear and professional, but done on the smallest viable budget and timeframe. You probably won’t need for acoustic treatment, a sound engineer, or $1000+ microphones. Instead, all you’ll need is a quiet room, an inexpensive condenser microphone, and proper technique. 

Continued in Part 2

CEO and Founder of Finewav. Instagram: @ErykThompson Vero: @ErykThompson

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