I’ve made do with a £10 painfully low quality dynamic microphone for 3 years and recently upgraded to some high quality shizz-nizz. I just thought I’d tell you what has worked for me to get my vocals jumping out of the song at you instead of slushing around in the murky mix!
Get a good Condenser mic:
I chose a Rode NT1-A; a fantastic mic which actually makes a difference. A condenser mic is a lot more sensitive than a dynamic mic, making it ideal for vocals and light instruments. Use your head though and don’t whack it in front of a guitar amp on full. But yes – really accentuates the highs and brings the vocals closer to that “Voice-over” quality instead of “Computer mic” painfullness.
Get a good Pre-Amp:
I used to have no idea what pre-amps were. They, put simply, boost the signal, but a good pre will do much more than that. My Focusrite Trackmaster Pro also contains an awesome compresser. I know you aren’t supposed to add effects before the mix down but not all of us can afford the processor speed of a compresser plug in on every single track! It brings the vocals up, makes them clear and evens them out. Sorted.
Get a good Pop Shield:
And this isn’t hard. If you can’t afford the £7 of plastic and mesh, hell, you could grab a coathanger and a pair of your sister’s old tights and go all macgyver on your studio’s ass. Well worth doing, especially if you’re a little rough with your mic technique. Otherwise, just try and say the Plosives away from the mic itself!
Get a good mic technique:
When you’re whispering, move in close. Rapping/singing stay a medium distance away. Screaming move back. It’s pretty much common sense. Otherwise get multiple mics – I know that Fightstar apparently record in one take with one mic for singing and one for screaming. Whatever works for you!
Anything helped your vocals shine? Share your experiences in a comment below!