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Features, Recording

Jun 27, 2014 10:10 AM

Filippo Gaetani

7 Secrets for Getting Pro-Sounding Vocals on Home Recordings

Photo via California Dingo

Guest post by producer, sound engineer and composer Filippo Gaetani, with contributions by Roshmond "Sum" Patten. Filippo is the founder/CEO of the Recording Festival, which gives artists the opportunity to record for free in the same studios as Michael Jackson, Muse and Bonnie Raitt.

 

Every musician dreams of recording in a big, fancy studio with a world-renowned producer, but the honest truth is that most of us are getting by on a pretty tight budget. Fortunately, with a couple of easy hacks, some production knowledge and little bit of patience, you can get your home recordings sounding extraordinarily close to what a professional studio might deliver.

One of the biggest telltale signs that a track wasn’t recorded professionally is how the vocals sound, so I’m going to let you in on a few pro tips to nail your vocal tracks with the gear you already have at home.

5 Common Mic'ing Mistakes That Bands Make on DIY Recordings

Image by Feans via FlickrCC BY 2.0

Guest post by producer, sound engineer and composer Filippo Gaetani. Filippo is the founder/CEO of the Recording Festival, which gives artists the opportunity to record for free in the same studios as Michael Jackson, Muse and Bonnie Raitt.

After listening to countless young artists’ demos and tracks from home studios, I’ve noticed a few common (and often, easily fixable) mistakes that seem to keep popping up.

Assuming that you have a good song to start with, the biggest problem is that most of today’s bands start the recording process without having a solid vision for the production. The way you capture a sound or instrument is a part of the production, which means that the way you set up and use your mics will have a huge impact on the rest of the production process.

Maybe you want to take a minimalistic approach like Led Zeppelin or James Brown, or maybe you’d rather emulate the full-blown drum mic’ing of Dave Matthews Band or Porcupine Tree. Perhaps the pristine, beautiful, dry guitar mic’ing of old AC/DC tracks are what get you, or maybe you love the chemical drum and synth sounds created by producers like Trevor Horn. In every single one of these cases, there was a vision, a sound in mind, before the record button was ever pressed.

You can’t expect to have a good mix if you don’t have a good recording, so here are the five most common mic'ing mistakes to watch out for when you record your next song: