While Drums and Bass are often the foundation of a good recording, the vocals are what the average ear will be following, and if they are punctuated with plosives and saturated with sibilance then even the least experienced listener will know something is dodgy!   Avoid those easy mistakes and improve your vocal takes with these 5 simple methods…


1.  “Manual Compression”

Compression is a method of making the level of a recorded sound more consistant.   So why not do this at the source?   Loud sounds = far away.   Quiet sounds = not so far away.

2. The 45 degree rule

Another way to make your vocal takes less harsh and full on is to actually not do them full on.   aim 45 degrees away from the mic – it’ll pick you up fine and your sibilance (s and t sounds) and plosives (b and p sounds) will fly harmlessly past the mic.   Awesome.

3. Do it again.

Double tracking for the win.   Who needs quality when you can have *quantity*? =D   A slightly lower track following the main vocal is a good way to thicken the sound.   Make sure it’s tight though or it’ll pretty much suck.

4. Eat right.

It makes a HELL of a difference to your voice if you have your crunchy nut cornflakes in the morning.   This goes for live performance too – You want proof then try recording yourself after a day of slobbing out and then again on a good day and tell me which is better.   Well, if you’re a grunge vocalist it’s probably better to stop eating altogether and take up smoking.   As a bonus you’ll look really cool, too.

5. Effects.

In your sequencing software, go heavyish on the compression, light on the reverb, add some subtle delay and BLAM – you suddenly sound awesome!   With singing, pitch correction is a godsend.   If you are too perfect for that then get over yourself; No-one is going to notice if you’ve used the stuff unless you go all “Do you believe in life after love?” on them.

Which, incidentally, is an awesome song, no matter what anyone says.

SO!   Total money spent = £0.   Total vocal awesomeness = Totally awesome to the max, dude.

Can’t complain with that, can you?

Any other techniques you’ve come across?   Share them with us in a comment below! =D

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One Response to “5 ways to improve your vocal recordings with no money!”

  1. Cheers, some useful tips there :)

    I’l give them a go \m/

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