fbpx

Category Archives for "Vocals"

Community Q&A: Controlling the “pops” on an SM7B

Recording Q&A
Daily Blog - July 20th 2021

The Self-Recording Band Community is awesome and our members ask great questions! We love that and want this platform to be as helpful as possible, so we try to answer them all. Sometimes on the podcast, sometimes directly in the Facebook group, sometimes via email and sometimes here on the blog. Let's do a little Q&A series over a couple of days. Today's question is about controlling the "pops" on an SM7B.

Community Q&A: Controlling the “pops” on an SM7B
Read More

Community Q&A: I want to have 215 voices on my track

Recording Q&A
Daily Blog - July 19th 2021

The Self-Recording Band Community is awesome and our members ask great questions! We love that and want this platform to be as helpful as possible, so we try to answer them all. Sometimes on the podcast, sometimes directly in the Facebook group, sometimes via email and sometimes here on the blog. Let's do a little Q&A series over a couple of days. Today's question is about getting a lot of people to sing on your track.

Community Q&A: I want to have 215 voices in my song
Read More

Different Parts, Different Mics

Different Parts, Different Mics
Daily Blog - July 8th 2021

Who said you should use one microphone for the whole song, let alone the whole record? In fact, there's often a good reason to use different mics for different parts.

Different Parts, Different Mics
Read More

Dynamic Vocal Mic Or Condenser?

Daily Blog - June 17th 2021

For many people using a dynamic vocal mic can actually be a great idea! Especially in heavier genres and in a DIY recording setup at home.

Dynamic Vocal Mic Or Condenser?

Here are 3 reason why I often recommend good dynamic vocal mics to self-recording bands:


  • Good dynamic mics, like a Shure SM7B, a Røde Procaster, an Aston Stealth, an Electro Voice RE20, etc. typically sound better than condensers in the same price range. If you go with a condenser, you’ll probably have to invest a little more.
  • Most rooms are problematic, especially if you record at home or in the jam space, you'll probably have to make the most out of a less-than-ideal acoustic situation. Dynamics are much better for this, as they are far less sensitive and don’t capture as much ambience/reflections/room sound as condensers do.
  • Aggressive vocals are typically a good fit for dynamics because of the "gritty" midrange character and smooth top end of those mics. Condensers can sound a little too detailed for this, sometimes a little harsh, sibilant or brittle and some lack the punch and grit in the mids. Not true for every vocalist and every mic, but for many of them, especially with budget condensers.

At the end of the day, you'll have to try and find out what works best with your voice, your style of music and in your room. Just don't think you have to use a condenser, even if that's what you see in most studio pictures. Google "records made with an sm7" and I bet you'll feel more comfortable about using a dynamic mic. 😉

-Benedikt

PS: I often post videos to these daily blog posts in my Instagram Stories: @benedikthain

learn how to transform your DIY recordings from basement demos to Releases That Connect And Resonate With Your Audience

Get the free Ultimate 10-Step guide To Successful DIY-Recording

Distort Everything

Distort Everything
Daily Blog - May 19th 2021

I received this amazing sticker from Scott Evans (antisleep.com) and it's right in front of me everyday. My daily reminder to have fun with the audio I'm working on and to constantly try and find ways to destroy sounds in a musical way.

My Love-Hate Relationship With Stem Mastering

Distort Everything. Seriously. It tends to make things better.

A little bit of harmonic distortion, a little drive, a subtle push, some extra density and overtones. It rarely hurts. It usually makes things better. It means you need less compression. And it makes things interesting, exciting and unique.

You gotta be very careful (and tasteful), especially during recording. But you can literally distort everything if you try hard enough and find pleasing ways to do so. 

And of course, you can always completely mess things up and create the most obnoxious, nasty tones ever if that's what you like (I often do!). No rules.

Have fun. Distort everything. I live by it. Thanks Scott.

-Benedikt

PS: I often post videos to these daily blog posts in my Instagram Stories: @benedikthain

learn how to transform your DIY recordings from basement demos to Releases That Connect And Resonate With Your Audience

Get the free Ultimate 10-Step guide To Successful DIY-Recording

Background Vocals-s-s-s

Daily Blog - May 17th 2021

Aaah, nothing like nice, silky, airy backing vocals. Shiny harmonies to add some extra sparkle in the chorus. Until it happenssss.... 😫

Background Vocals-s-s-s

I get it, some people don't like editing and don't think that the timing of their performances needs to be super tight. 

Fair enough, I like raw and "real" sounding productions, as well and nobody should ever tell you what you should like when it comes to art.

But all that aside, there are some things that are non-negotiable if you want to make a record that doesn't sound amateur or annoying . There are some problems that are exactly that - problems. With ZERO benefit for the listener. 

One of those problems are backing vocals that are out of sync with each other or with the lead vocal.

It may not be obvious or annoying right away, but as soon as you brighten them up, compress them a bit, pan them apart for extra width, the "s-es" and "t-s" quickly become unbearable. Especially on headphones (which are what the majority of people listen to music on these days).

There's absolutely NO reason to have out-of-sync "s-es" coming from left and right, distracting the listener from the song, making the lyrics less intelligible and sounding simply annoying. 

Here's what to do about it:

  • Perform as tight as possible, matching the original timing of the lead vocal super closely.
  • Edit the performance to be perfectly in sync with the lead vocal and the other backing vocals. (Editing is not the devil. If done right it can be the difference between an awesome production that feels just great and an amateur sounding mess that doesn't help the song, at all)
  • Tame the sibilance. The brighter the vocals are, the more annoying this becomes. You can choose a darker mic for background vocals. You can roll off some of the highs. And if you want airy, bright backing vocals, you can make them shiny and then de-ess them like crazy. Even to the point of causing a slight lisp. It won't matter, as long as they are in sync with the lead vocal and as long as the "s-es" in the lead vocal are clear. If they are, you'll be fine and the backings can be bright without making you feel like Samuel L. Jackson in "Snakes On A Plane".

-Benedikt

PS: I often post videos to these daily blog posts in my Instagram Stories: @benedikthain

learn how to transform your DIY recordings from basement demos to Releases That Connect And Resonate With Your Audience

Get the free Ultimate 10-Step guide To Successful DIY-Recording

#31: Make Your Chorus POP With These 5 Vocal Arrangement And Production Tricks

Make Your Chorus POP With These 5 Vocal Arrangement And Production Tricks

Do you know the feeling when the chorus kicks in and you're like "YES, HOLY SH*T, THIS IS HUGE!"? 

Goosebumps, emotions, energy, excitement - a great chorus can be just a perfect moment that immediately makes you love the song and want to sing along. A great vocal production and arrangement can create that feeling and make a chorus really stand out. It can turn it into the catchy, memorable highlight of the song.

If you don't put enough thought into this, you really miss out on the biggest opportunity to catch the listener and make the song sound and feel like a hit! A great vocal melody and lyrics obviously help, but in most cases it's just not enough.

The chorus needs to POP and deliver the message and emotion of the song in the best possible way! 

Join us as we're breaking down 5 vocal arrangement and vocal production tricks that you can implement right away to create songs that stick and make your listeners lose it, as soon as the chorus kicks in!

Read More
>