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?”

Does the chord progression take away from the vocal melody?

I ran into an issue this week that I feel is a great topic to talk about. Does the chord progression in the song take away from the vocal melody? I was working on this project for a singer and the bass guitar was playing the main chord progression. The progression was not wrong orContinue reading “Does the chord progression take away from the vocal melody?”

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…”

Sometimes singers sing with strain…what should you do?

One thing you really can’t fix in the mix too easily is strain. Even if you pitch the vocal well, there is a characteristic in the voice that comes through as strain. Singing flat does sound like strain so if it’s pitched correctly it will sound slightly better, but strain can damage the tone ofContinue reading “Sometimes singers sing with strain…what should you do?”

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.”

Can some simple encouragement result in a better vocal performance?

Let’s talk about something not so technical. Let’s talk about something psychological. Have you ever recorded a singer or yourself and felt like the singer was getting stuck in a rut? Like no matter what each and every take is progressively getting worse? This happens folks. Singers lose the energy mentally. They can even startContinue reading “Can some simple encouragement result in a better vocal performance?”

Sticky subject, but what do you do when you are recording someone that can’t sing very well?

First off I want to clarify that this isn’t coming from a disrespectful place. There has been times a singer has sang completely off key and completely off time. I’m talking about drastically off, not something subtle. Everyone is off a little bit, we aren’t robots. I want to share my experience with recording artistsContinue reading “Sticky subject, but what do you do when you are recording someone that can’t sing very well?”