Don’t experiment during vocal sessions….

As an engineer, you should do your experimenting and playing with plug-ins in your off time or when mixing the song. During recording sessions, it’s best to put on some plug ins you know that will work for the time being and move forward. It can be a real vibe killer for an artist thatContinue reading “Don’t experiment during vocal sessions….”

Record your vocals with as much isolation as possible

Lately I have received a good amount of files to mix that have a lot of room sound to the vocals. While I can still make it work with some extra plug-ins that I will talk about soon, it is crucial to get an isolated sound. A dynamic microphone can be a great way toContinue reading “Record your vocals with as much isolation as possible”

Do you have hiss in your vocal recordings?

So everyone preaches “make sure the level isn’t too hot because of digital clipping”! While this is true, what I believe can be worse is a level too low. When your vocal signal is low it has a bad signal to noise ratio. Meaning when you compress the vocal to maximize it in the end,Continue reading “Do you have hiss in your vocal recordings?”

Two different approaches for pitching layered vocals…

We always have to know what style of music we are working on and what makes sense for that style. It may be surprising, but how you pitch correct vocal layers varies depending on what type of music you are working on. I’ll start with pop music. Pop music is a perfection type of music.Continue reading “Two different approaches for pitching layered vocals…”

How to handle criticism on your mix…

Let’s talk mix criticism! If you have ever mixed anything for anybody, even a friend, you know all about mix critiques! Mixing is very subjective and everyone hears things differently! It’s artwork and there’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to do it. Feedback on your mixes can actually be a really good thing.Continue reading “How to handle criticism on your mix…”

Dynamic songs call for vocal automation.

I was working on a piano style pop track this week and it made me think of a great blog topic! This seems obvious but with very dynamic songs like piano songs or ballads, there is a need for vocal automation. Most likely the song starts off lower in volume so the first vocal sectionContinue reading “Dynamic songs call for vocal automation.”

Expensive tube microphones can be great…but watch out for this one thing!

I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone cover this topic but I’ve been doing a lot of recording at The Record Shop in Nashville and this always comes across my mind. Every time I use a really expensive tube microphone I notice there is an abundance of low mid frequencies! So much that it makes theContinue reading “Expensive tube microphones can be great…but watch out for this one thing!”

Why should all vocalists record themselves at home?

If you are a vocalist, I’m pretty sure you practice for your live shows right? Band rehearsals, stage moves, vocal warm ups etc. Do you practice recording your voice? This is an entire skill on its own! Recording and live are two different animals. You don’t know how many times someone has told me “IContinue reading “Why should all vocalists record themselves at home?”

It’s up to the singer to give the mic a great signal.

So many times I run into a problem while recording a vocalist. The problem is usually harsh characteristics. Whether it be a “K” or a “T” or an “S”…certain letters can sound pretty brutal if the singer isn’t careful. Here’s my theory…singers are more often singing in clubs through an Sm58 than in the studioContinue reading “It’s up to the singer to give the mic a great signal.”