Tips That Could Make Your Music Recording Successful at Home

Most aspiring musicians aren’t financially sound given the state of the economy where they strive to let the world know about their talent. There are several who are running towards the same goal and thus recording a song in a recording studio isn’t affordable by one and all. The cost of hiring a recording studio and recording a song until perfection would no doubt take up time and thus letting musicians spend money overtly. If you are an amateur and need to bring perfection to trial and error, a professional recording studio is expensive.

A great alternative to recording a song in a studio is to do the same at home. You could hire recording equipment or probably set up one all by yourself with the basic amenities that would aid in recording a music track. Here are a few tips that could help you gain perfection to the recording at home and not spend money in professional recording studios.

• Remove noisy elements – Appliances and gadgets like fans and air-conditioners tend to create sound in the background while you record. If may not be audible to the human ear but the recorder grasps the noise. These elements make the track noisy and, therefore, disturbing the process.

• Arrange for good acoustic conditions in the room – Wooden floors, tiled walls, counter tops, etc. are known to be highly reflective and allow your recording to echo. Glass windows too become a spoilt sport and affect the recording. Covering the floor with carpets, windows with curtains, etc. can make the room warm and cosy for the voice to get captured well in the recording.

• Keep the recording microphone away from the computer – The computer screen that lets you control the recording should be maintained at a distance from the microphone that captures your recording. The computer too has a sound of its own that at times gets captured by the recorder.

• Use professional software – While you hire recording equipment, you can also hire professional recording software that allows to see the dynamics of the voice and that lets you know about the changes that you can make to your voice.

• The distance from the microphone – While you record your song, it is necessary to keep your mouth, at least, six inches away from the recording device. It lets the voice come out well without having to let the recorder capture the sound of your breath. You can always experiment with the kind of sound that is recorded by increasing or decreasing the distance. Settle for the one that sounds impeccable with the right sound and that would make the best soundtrack.

The Right Guitar Tuner For You

There are so many different guitar tuners out there that it can be hard at times to know which one you should choose. We have all been there when you need a new tuner so you start doing some research on the best guitar tuners and you end up with pages upon pages of results. It may all seem intimidating at first but am going to give you a few of my favorite all time best guitar tuners. Hopefully using this list you can find one that you really like.

My all time favorite has to be the Korg GA-40, I have had this tuner since I first started playing guitar almost 13 years ago. I still have the same exact one and it has yet to die on me. I can not think of anything else that is as reliable as the Korg. Not only is it reliable but the quality of the tuning is almost perfect. The Korg GA-20 even allows for drop tuning which I highly appreciate because I enjoy playing the heavier metal and rock songs. If you can not decide on as guitar tuner, the Korg GA-20 is no doubt one of your best options.

The second tuner on my list is the KLIQ UberTuner. The KLIQ UberTuner may not be anything too special but the display is just beautiful. You can see it in all light conditions whether you are in a dimly lit room, a dark stage, or even in the bright outdoors. Nothing fancy, just a simple thing that works.

The last one that I am going to suggest you give a chance is the BOSS TU-3. Unlike the last two tuners, the TU-3 is a pedal which means you can easily leave tuner this plugged in at all times. If you are in the middle of a jam session you can just easily turn it on, and tune up. My only complaint about the TU-3 is its display. It can be a little hard to read at times but it should not be too much of an issue once you get used to it. Over all the TU-3 is a very solid pedal.

When it comes down to your final choice it is purely personal preference though. If you have had a clip on before maybe try out the pedal or the normal electric version. Try things out and find out what you like best.

Reasons Live Music Is Better

They say that even savage beasts slow down to hear melodious sounds. Listening to tunes can be enjoyable as well as therapeutic in some cases. While recorded sounds are plentiful at any time of the day or night, live music has special advantages and benefits for the people fortunate enough to be in the audience.

Use All the Senses

Recorded sounds coming out of speakers can have a powerful impact on people. Familiar songs have a way of transporting people to virtual places where pain subsides, spirits lift, and memories flow. As powerful as these sounds can be, live music has the potential to do so much more simply because of the greater involvement of all of the senses. See the performers with your eyes to experience their emotions as they sing or play instruments. Feel the energy released with the sounds. Performing involves a passion and energy that often surprises people who aren’t involved in the process. Artists often shed the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears as they work to perform for others. A live show often helps people develop a more profound appreciation for this craft.

Attend with Companions

The experience of attending a show together with others in the audience is often a unifying one that draws people together. Attending a live music concert is usually much more enjoyable if you do it with friends or family. Bond with loved ones as you share the experience. You will make special memories that everyone can recall with fondness later.

Study the Professionals

If you play an instrument yourself, attending a live music performance can be an ideal learning opportunity. Study technique and moves to learn more about the craft. You might see an innovative approach that you never considered. Skills and style run rampant at these shows, so you are bound to come away with something new to try.

Enjoy the Spontaneity

Recorded music is heavily edited to make it into precisely the sound desired by the recording artists and companies. When you sit in the audience to hear live sounds, you are privileged to witness spontaneity and creativity in action without any modifications or repairs. Artists are human, so they won’t perform perfectly. Chances are you won’t even realize when mistakes happen, though, because these errors become a part of the show. Live music carries an inherent risk of error, but this risk can lead to raw music that comes from the heart. Artists should feel empowered to perform heartfelt sounds that represent feelings and talents, also resonating with the audience in meaningful ways. Feeling comfortable making music that might contain mistakes can be the catalyst behind an incredible performance.

When you hear an enjoyable concert, make sure to support the artist who performed it. Earning money as an artist is incredibly difficult. Live shows are often the main moneymakers for artists due to the prevalence of free songs online. Attend concerts, buy albums, and spread the word about a promising artist you enjoy.

Tips on How to Make Vocals in Music Recordings Sound Professional

First things first

Every voice is different. Settings that help the voice of the top-selling artist to be at the top of the charts, might do nothing to help your voice. In fact, such settings might even harm it. Keep that in mind as you read advices regarding frequency numbers, etc.

Your voice is unique. And what is unique, has to be treated as such. That’s why opinions about microphones vary so much. I will say this though – the better the vocal recordings, the easier it is to mix them properly.

1. Equipment

Let’s say you take a picture of a sunset over Paris with an old, two megapixel camera. It’s going to be a great picture nonetheless. But if you try to make a poster out of it, you’ll end up with a blurry, pixelated mess. What the pixels and camera quality are to your eyes, bits and studio equipment are to your ears.

Expensive, high end studio equipment can indeed give you a sense of what makes it expensive, or to put it correctly, what makes it different. Using it is a good way to train your ears. But never suppose that quality lies in the price, because like I said, every voice is unique and just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it makes your voice sound better. With that said, if you ever have the chance to record with different studio equipment, different mics, different workstations etc., please do so! It will give you the opportunity to consider the best arrangement for your voice.

2. Environment

Keep recording sessions dry. You can add every reverb, and every room ambience you can think of with just a few clicks, but it is almost impossible to remove recorded room ambience from your signal. So, do everything possible to keep your room dry. If you have a booth, you are probably in a good situation. If you don’t have one, try to build one (it’s easier than you think-just Google “vocal booth selfmade” to get some inspiration). If you don’t have time or the money for it (you don’t need a lot), at least try to separate your recording area from the rest of your room in some way.

3. Panning and Track Numbers

Everybody has a different approach to panning and the number of vocal tracks that are necessary. I’ll just tell you my opinion.

The lead vocals for verses are usually placed in the center. If you want to give your listener a certain intimacy, it’s always better to use only one vocal track. It just keeps your mix clear and it makes the listening experience better. I’m not a fan of doubling the entire verse. With all the subtle differences between the two takes – including the consonants that never get matched up perfectly – it just makes your vocals sound messy. If you want a clear lead vocal, only use one track.

The next thing I would do is record two tracks in which you double certain parts of the verse. Pan them both in opposite directions (15 to 40), and reduce their volume. You have to hear a difference between the doubled part and the part without doubles, but don’t make it that obvious. Just so that it gives your vocals and the meaning of what is being said in certain parts more power. Doubling is quite common in all kinds of music, especially in rap music. If you are singing, rather than rapping, be careful when doubling because it can make your vocals sound too artificial and too pop-ish. On the other hand, if you are going for that pop sound, doubling might be a great tool for you!

In the chorus, you can record two vocal tracks and pan them between 30 to 60 – one to the left, one to the right. Another option would be to record a third track, which is placed in the center, but not as loud as the lead vocals in your verses.

Some people record one lead track and double it (copy and paste it) and edit them differently (EQ, compressor, pitch, etc.) This can be another great tool to make your vocals sound different in certain parts of the song, just like the panning advices I mentioned above. Try it out and see how you like it.

4. Equalizing Vocals

At first, add a low cut filter on every vocal track. It’s quite common to raise the frequencies from 2 kHz and up for female vocals, and 3 kHz and up for male vocals. Frequencies between 6 and 8 kHz are very sensitive because this is the place where the S sounds are at home. Be careful here. What sounds good and clear on your studio monitors, might feel like needle-sticks to your ear when listening with earphones. Always double- and triple-check your mix on different playback devices like monitors, headphones, earphones, etc.

If the S is too sharp, reduce it. You can either add a native de-esser in your DAW by applying a dynamic equalizer, or by manually reducing every S in your vocal recording. The latter is the most time-consuming, but gives you the most control. Keep in mind that equalizers and de-essers don’t recognize consonants, they recognize frequencies. And some consonants might share the same frequencies as the S. So only apply native de-essers with caution.

5. Reverb

When adding reverb, keep in mind that the lead vocals should usually be just that – leading. So, adding too much reverb is disadvantageous. Only use small room reverbs. You shouldn’t even recognize the reverb, except when it’s gone. It also depends on the instrumental. If there’s a lot going on in your instrumental already, a big reverb would probably be too much for the song. Yet if your instrumental has much room/space, reverb on vocals can be very effective.

6. Breathing Sounds

Of course, your vocal recordings will include breathing sounds. Whether the presence of such breathing sounds should be strong or weak is a question of personal taste. In my opinion, they are extremely important. That doesn’t mean they should be extremely loud though. It means you should edit them separately and with great care.

If a breath is too loud, then reduce its volume. If it is too long, then replace it with a good breath from the same take or from another one. If a breath makes a certain part feel too hectic, then remove it. If it feels like a breath is missing, add one.

These adjustments can improve the flow of your recordings and make your individual takes feel more cohesive. They can also be used as a kind of glue to stick two consecutive takes together to make them feel like they were recorded at once!

But: Don’t double them, and don’t cut them. Always fade in and fade out.

7. Consonants

If you have recorded one lead vocal track and two doubling tracks for a phrase such as, “I’m looking at the mist,” you mind encounter a rattling noise at the end, because the three T’s of “mist” will not appear at the exact same time. You can either move them closer together, so the rattling sound disappears, or you can remove two of them. Fade out the tracks you removed the consonant from to avoid unwanted cutting sounds.

8. Breaks

Many people avoid breaks because they want to finish their project or they don’t believe breaks are necessary. But human senses get accustomed to both good and bad stimulations. You might not recognize something in a room, if you just came in from the sun, but once your eyes adjust, you will notice all sort of things you had missed. When you enter a restaurant, you might perceive good smells, but after you have been sitting at your table for a while, your perception of those smells vanishes. The same thing happens with your ears. If you have been mixing vocals for a couple of hours, you might think they sound good and clear, but the next day, you might just feel ashamed at how muddy they sound.

Take short breaks, if that is all the time you can afford. Taking longer breaks – in which you change your environment – is better. And before you perform your final mix, set your project aside for a couple of days. It’ll give you fresh ears when you resume. At least try it once. Afterward, I think you’ll be pleased that you didn’t release your music without a two-day break.