Recording singing — starting the recording process
This article is the first in a series of 6 parts on voice recording. The series starts here.
Ready to start recording singing? Great! Where do we start? For starters, let's talk about the first step in recording a singer, the singer to be recorded!
When we have a problem, we look back to see where it might be coming from -- not further ahead. To find out what happened, we need to see what happened previously.
That principle is a good one to follow in recording singing. When you get voice recordings that you don't like, don't spend hours trying to fix them, but try looking further back in the recording chain.
The furthest back you can go when you're recording singing is the singer. So, let's start there.
When you want a good voice recording, you need a good singer. That seems like stating the obvious, but it is very important in getting good results!
What all is meant by a good singer?
When I say a good singer, I mean someone who knows how to use their voice to communicate. That means their technique — how they sing & how they sound.
This takes knowledge and practice, just like playing an instrument. Someone who has never sung before won't be able to do justice to a Beethoven song the first time in the studio!
I can hear you saying, "What! He's telling me about the singer! I want to learn how to make them sound good!"
I know what you're saying, and I can understand. But remember the cake thing? If you don't make sure that the raw material (the singer) is solid in quality, you can't expect the finished result to sound as good as a Josh Groban CD.
Everything else you do to the recording after tracking is trying to fix what didn't get right the first time. You don't have to do that. Just leap frog everyone else by using quality singers!
But, what if I can't? There are many reasons that will give you less than desirable singers. Like what? Like the people who want you to record them. Say they aren't really good to start with. What can you do?
The most desirable thing to do is to tell them they need more practice. Go practice for a couple of weeks and then come back. Then they'll be practiced up, and the recording process will be so much easier and fun!
But sometimes that isn't an option. In that case, you don't have much choice. Let it to the producer or the singer to decide if it's good enough, but be sure to let them know what you recommend. :)
If you do get high quality singers to record, I can almost guarantee that you and your singer will be much happier and prouder of your work!
All in all, this is a very easy thing to overlook when recording singing. Why? You have your eyes set on the technical aspects of recording, not on the raw material! But remember this, if you want your singer to sound good, he has to be good!
So, don't skip evaluating the singer while recording singing.
What's after recording singing? Let's look at vocal mics...
Or, go back to the recording voice overview.