fbpx

Category Archives for "Vocals"

89: Level Up Your Production Quality Through Hiring (Remote) Session Musicians

89: Level Up Your Production Quality Through Hiring (Remote) Session Musicians

Hiring amazing session musicians can take your productions to the next level or even save sessions that would otherwise lead to very poor results.  

 Also, as a self-recording musician you might be in a perfect position to offer playing on other people's records! If you're a great player AND a skilled recording engineer, maybe a session musician career might be a path you'd want to explore.

Read More

86: Unlock Your Voice’s Full Potential And Record Better Vocals – With Matt Ramsey

86: Unlock Your Voice’s Full Potential And Record Better Vocals – With Matt Ramsey

A great vocal recording is all about the performance. 

Emotion, energy and vibe are so much more important than microphones, plugins or recording techniques.

But how do you learn to sing with confidence? 

How do you write songs that fit your natural voice?

How do you know what you're even capable of, so that you can really give it your all in the recording session?

And what can you do to make sure your voice will last and you won't hurt yourself even after days of full-on recording or touring?

Well, there are a couple of great exercises, habits and things you can implement right away. Great starting points that are available to everyone who's willing to put in some effort.

And if you're serious about it and really want to take your vocal technique to a new level?

That's where a voice teacher comes in. Vocal lessons are so underrated and so many artist don't take advantage of this opportunity to drastically improve their songs and recordings.

For this episode we sat down with vocal coach Matt Ramsey of ramseyvoice.com to talk about all of this, give you plenty of actionable advice that you can implement right away and to get answers to our own burning questions on how to improve our vocal recordings.

Matt is a voice teacher and YouTuber with over 170,000 subscribers who's helped thousands of people find their natural singing voice and level up their vocal game.

Now he's here to help you and your band, too!

Let's go!

Read More

80: What We Use In Our Vocal Chains (And Why We Use It)

The vocal sells the song, right?

It carries all the energy and emotion. And it's the one thing we really have to get right because we humans are so used to the sound of a voice that we immediately notice when something's wrong.

At least as listeners we immediately notice it.

As engineers, however, it's actually pretty hard to get it right.

For whatever reason people overcook their vocals all the time, using huge vocal chains without really knowing why.

Or they don't do enough because they are afraid of messing things up and what they end up with is a flat, amateur sounding vocal.

We've been there. And over time we've built vocal chains that work for us and help us deal with all kinds of different vocalists and situations now.

Our chains are different from session to session, of course. But they are still consistent enough for us to talk about them and share them with you.

The why behind what we do is consistent and knowing the reasons why we use certain things in our chains over an over again is more valuable than the actual settings.

In this episode we talk about what we are using to record and mix vocals, why we use these specific plugins and pieces of gear and how we use it in different situations.

Let's dive in!

Read More

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

>