Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Recording vocals at home is both exciting and intimidating, both fun and a little bit scary! Luckily for you, Mike's Mix and Master LLC has some great tips to help you get started. Just remember to take things one step at a time, and you'll be great.
1. Make sure your act is up to snuff.
This is the number one key to getting a good recording at home. If you do not have good vocal technique, all the expensive equipment in the world isn't going to help you that much. The bad news is that becoming a quality singer doesn't happen overnight. The good news is that a lot of hard work will usually get you where you want to go. Sure, raw talent does play into things somewhat. But that will only get you so far, and it usually doesn't cut it when it comes to recording. So invest time in developing a good voice and good technique. Identify what kind of sound or style fits your natural voice; listen to really great singers that you want to emulate; take lessons; practice hard and practice smart; record yourself, listen, and analyze what was good and how you could do better. Once your voice is well-developed, you can start thinking about the next step.
2. Choose the right room.
Choosing a space in which you will record is the second most important part of the process. As a general rule, you want a room that is spacious. This will allow the sound to ring without getting stuck or choked. So while you may be tempted to turn that little nook in the back of the house into a recording studio - well, all I can say is, don't do it! Choose a room with plenty of space and a relatively high ceiling. You need to take into account what you will be keeping in the room. Besides your recording equipment, will you keep any instruments such as a drum set or piano in the studio? If so, there should be ample space to accommodate everything. This should be obvious, but carpet is not allowed! As a side note, you want to be able to record in a space that you are comfortable in. Make sure that the temperature can be easily controlled; you really don't want any chance of your room getting too hot or too cold.
3. Invest in quality equipment.
Most young or new musicians who are just beginning their journey as recording artists want to go as cheap as possible. This may or may not work out for the quality of your recording, however. Thankfully, price does not always equal quality. So you don't have to go out there and look for the most expensive equipment possible. You will, however, want to do your research and find out what is working for other people. Try to get advice from those who have more experience than you! Also, remember that music is a life-long journey. You are in this for the long haul. So once you know where the good stuff is, build up your collection over time. For starters, you will want moveable sound-absorption panels to put in your room and a great microphone or two. If you are at a loss for what to choose, take a look at this article from my blog.
4. Make sure the room is well set up.
In the first place, keep your space uncluttered. This will allow the sound to move as it should and help you stay relaxed while you record. In fact, you want to do what you can to make your recording studio your happy place. When you are relaxed and happy, you are far more able to sing to the best of your ability. So do what you can with decor (that won't get in the way of your equipment) to make the room a haven. Paint the walls your happy color. Put a poster of your favorite performer on the door. This is your room, so do it your way. Okay, now on to the really important stuff! Believe it or not, a lot of strategy goes into how and where you set up your equipment. The way you place your panels depends in part on what kind of mic you have and what kind of sound you want. For starters, feel free to ask Mike's Mix and Master LLC for some setup tips. Then continue to get advice from others, study how professionals place their mics and panels, experiment with how different setups change your sound and decide on a setup you like.
5. Perform like a pro.
Recording in a studio is, in some ways, a lot like performing on stage. But harder. Thus, your attitude and mentality are extremely important as you approach the microphone. This isn't just another day in the studio with no one else around. This is a performance. So you need to get in the zone. Feel free to practice meditation and do stretches before you head to the studio to help you stay focused and relaxed. And then sing like there is no tomorrow. You need to imagine that you are the rockstar you most admire. Sing your heart out, even if there is no one watching you. Because, who knows? Your track may end up having tons of listeners! So put your heart and soul into it and treat it like a performance.
6. Get quality mixing and mastering.
This final step is really the clincher. Once you have done all the hard work of recording, you will need to mix and master. Mixing and mastering aren't just the "finishing touches" that you really could do without. They are absolutely crucial if you want a spectacular recording. "Mixing and mastering" is a combination of art and science that includes many different steps. It combines the best of all your different tracks to make one killer performance and tweaks the sound ever so slightly. It gets rid of those tiny imperfections that no one really thinks about but that makes all the difference. It adds depth and breadth to your track. Since it is so important, you really need the right person to do the job.
Thankfully, you don't have to look any further than Mike's Mix and Master. If you need someone to mix and master, please contact us now!