Actor, rapper and singer Daveed Diggs says that “recording vocals has the same kind of physical demands as you experience a lot in theater work.” Those demands aren’t just physical either! Recording vocals to a high standard takes a little more than just plugging in a mic and singing into it. There are a few things you should be aware of before you hit record, and we’re here to help you level up your recording game. Read on to find out five simple tips for your next vocal recording session.
When singing, rapping or saying lyrics which have “P” or “B” sounds, blasts of pressured air are expelled from your mouth into the microphone causing an unwanted sound called a pop. If you say the word “pop” into your palm you will even be able to feel it.
To prevent it, you can invest in a pop filter, or even make your own. Our favourite DIY hack is most certainly the tights/coat hanger combo!
Just like popping, sibilance is caused by certain alphabet sounds – this time it’s the letters “S” and “F”, both of which can cause an irritating high-frequency hiss. While you could consider using an EQ to remove some of these unwanted high frequencies, we always recommend putting more time into getting the recording right the first time. This will limit your editing time and get you used to recording at a higher quality.
There are also a number of tips online you can try including using an elastic band and a pencil. Singing “off-axis”, or not directly into the microphone, is the simplest way to avoid these unwanted sounds, so that air shots don’t hit the microphone directly.
Be aware of room acoustics
Whether you like to sing in your shower or in front of your mirror at home, different rooms you sing in will result in a different kind of sound. Your aim is to get the vocal recording as clean (without external noise) as possible. This includes vocal reflections caused by the room you’re recording in. As a rule, the harder the surface (like tiles in your shower), the more pronounced the reflection; and the softer the surface (like a thick set of curtains), the more the sound will be absorbed. You want to aim for a room with softer surfaces, or if you don’t have regular access to a soundproofed studio, then try to invest in a reflection filter. You can always go makeshift by hanging soft thick bed sheets or throws around where you intend to record.
Explore Hot Beats
For rappers and vocalists, finding music to rap or sing over can often be a struggle. Next time, try looking for Hot Beats under the Songbook section of your Create tab in the app. Tap to preview any of the curated beats by our very own BandLab producers and open them directly in Studio!
Use an analog link
Recording directly on your phone with the BandLab app through your headphone microphone is a perfectly reasonable starting point. But if your voice is great and you’re looking to show it off, investing in an analog link will really help to enhance your vocal tones. Recording vocals into BandLab is as simple as plugging a mic into the analog link and hitting record, so do be sure to try it out and get recording today!