Recording vocals really well can add a lot of colour and interest to your mixes, especially considering lead vocals are almost always the focus of your listeners. We have put together some guides on vocal recording to help you improve your technique.
In most modern recordings the lead vocals are likely to be very the centre of attention, as they carry the melody and the lyrics. For this reason, if you are using a guide track, make sure it includes a decent vocal take for the rest of the musicians to follow and perform alongside. I prefer to leave the final vocal overdub to very near the end of a session, because then the singer has a more complete and balanced mix to listen to, and will usually give you a better performance for it.
Backing vocals are often recorded to bring depth to a track and help support the lead vocal part. They can also be used to add a harmony or contrasting melody part to a recording, and vary from accenting single lines of the lead part to more gentle support throughout a song, more like a string pad. How you intend to use the backing vocals in the finished song will determine which recording method you use initially, so here’s our complete guide to recording the different types of backing vocals such as harmony parts and choirs.
Our guide to using a delay on vocals explains why it is a useful alternative to reverb, and how it helps the vocal track sit better in the mix without taking up too much space. Here are some more advanced vocal delay techniques for you if you to try out once you’ve got the hang of the basics.
Double tracking vocals is a common process in professional recordings, and has a very distinctive sound which you can easily use in a home studio recording.
[image via amador]