How to make vocals sound professional

How to Make Professional Vocals - [Logic Pro X]

If you want to create a professional sounding voice for podcasts, videos, or other media, you can use a number of tools in Audacity, which is a free open source audio software. If you already have audio equipment, skip the first section. After, please make sure to follow each step carefully so you can get the highest quality results possible.

Once you have picked your microphone, you should also purchase a microphone arm. You can attach this to your desk and ensure your microphone is directly in front of your mouth during recording.

Next, make sure to purchase a pop filter — this can be placed in front of your microphone to remove popping sounds when you speak. This can cut out sharp noises from Ps, Bs, or other hard hitting letters. Once you have your gear, you can move onto the steps below to start creating a professional sounding voice in Audacity.

Before we begin, you first need to actually record your voice. There are some crucial steps you must follow when recording your voice to improve the quality. If you do not follow these steps, improving your voice recording with software will be difficult. First, make sure you reduce background noise to a minimum. Sometimes it can be difficult to reduce every noise — very small background noises, for example from your PC, can be cut out.

However, try to switch off appliances like desk fans or your air conditioning during your recording. I have personally found the Windows 10 Voice Recorder app to work perfectly.

Search Voice Recorder in the Start Menu and click on the option that appears. Click the microphone button to begin your recording. A visual will appear to show you that sound is being picked up. Click the stop button to end the recording. You can also pause if necessary, but I find it easier to cut out mistakes later in my video editing software. For every recording, have a 30 second period of silence before you start speaking.

This way you can pick up the sound profile of your environment and use Audacity to reduce it. Once you have finished your recording, right click the recording in Voice Recorder and click Open file location. Once it has downloaded, install and open it. Next, navigate to the folder that your recording was saved and double click your recording.

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View All. Do you want your vocals to sound larger than life? Learn how to get your vocals to sound big, present, and in-your-face: whether you're working with a great recording or not.

Regardless of the genre, learn to make them sound huge! Either your client wanted it, or you wanted it for yourself. A big vocal sound is not necessarily easy to get. I know this is a bit of non-advice but I really cannot stress this enough. Starting with a very full capture makes this process infinitely easier.

However: the one place I would not want to do this is vocals. This presumes you have control over the recording. From there, grab a nice parametric EQ. An SSL emulation is a great choice here.

Odds are there are a couple specific bands of tone that are too built up; this is a natural effect of recording a human voice in a physical space. The mic, preamp, room, and voice itself are likely to lead to a few frequency bands in a few places that stack up. Usually these frequency buildups will be fairly obvious. The usual culprits are room tone in the lower mids, and mic proximity buildup in the low end.

But there can be a little too much anywhere in the frequency spectrum for one reason or another. The trickier part to keeping your vocals full and upfront is when there is inconsistent tonal buildup over time.

The vocalist is chugging along all happy and such, and then suddenly belts a note with too much tension in the neck, leans into the mic, or hits a particularly sibilant consonant. This is where we reach for our power sander: the C6 multiband compressor. Of course, we use multiband compression all the time in the form of a split band DeEsser.

Split band DeEssing is just multiband that is focused on the treble range and designed to act very quickly. Regular multiband is a broader, more flexible use of the concept. So if your vocal is nice and forward, but occasionally gets just a bit too edgy in those upper mids, grab your C6, isolate the offensive band, and set the compressor to trigger right on the sections where the tone hops out of the speakers.

Alternatively, you can try a dynamic EQ to smooth things out.Of course there is no short answer to this, but you can begin with 10 basic rules. Read the article or watch the video here below. Divide the arrangement into sections for example guitars in one section, drums in another, vocals in another, etc. This makes mixing a lot easier and helps you keep everything under control. For example instead of heavily compressing a track with one compressor, maybe have one compressor on the channel, one on the group bus, and one on the mix bus.

This is probably the most important rule if you want to make a mix sound professional. There are many hardware and software plugins available, and they should be used not only to correct sounds, but also to give character to your mix. Decide which instruments should dominate the low end of the frequency spectrum. For important tracks, make a copy of the channel and compress this copy only. You can watch our video on parallel compression here. Reverbs and delays can be used to add a sense of depth to a sound when used wisely, but be subtle.

If you can barely hear the reverbs, you are probably using them correctly. This helps keep mixing sessions focussed and productive, and keeps arrangements under control.Photo via California Dingo.

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.

How To Mix Vocals In Garageband Part 1

As obvious as it sounds, the first step to getting a good recording is to set the right ambience. A bedroom works well because your mattress, blankets, cupboard and even curtains are all good sound absorbers.

In any case, you can build a simple vocal booth using old blankets, curtains, mattresses and pillows. You could even add a few rough wood panels to create a more natural sound. Remember, the most important thing to avoid is those reflections and echoes typical of hard floors, empty rooms and large rooms.

Place the mic diaphragm facing your lips sometimes off axis, if necessary. Listen with your headphones for the subtle differences. After the mic warms up for a few minutes, quickly get the level into the preamp and on the DAW. Learn more about proper mic'ing techniques here. Warm up singing through the entire song two or three times before going into detailed spots. Record everything and properly label all the tracks and takes for easy reference later.

Sometimes overdoing it can put strain on your performance and your voice. Instead of letting frustration build, coming back to it with a fresh start the next day might be your best move. Fill in only the less solid parts from other vocal takes. Make sure you focus on the performance, not the pitch. Only fix the faulty words or sections — don't put the tuning plugin on the whole track. Skilled engineers and producers have figured out how to achieve a convincing sound for vocals after years of experience and dozens of albums.

For pop or rock, try using dB compression and a slow attack to preserve a more natural vocal soundand see if you like it. Feel free to use hard compression to your taste and at your own risk! Play around with these effects and see how they influence the vibe of the song and the production. Do you have any tips for recording vocals at home?

Let us know on Facebook or Twitter. Topics: FeaturesRecording. Get in the zone As obvious as it sounds, the first step to getting a good recording is to set the right ambience.

Position your mic and pop filter correctly Place the mic diaphragm facing your lips sometimes off axis, if necessary. Get the right mic levels After the mic warms up for a few minutes, quickly get the level into the preamp and on the DAW. Do several takes Warm up singing through the entire song two or three times before going into detailed spots. Know when and when not to process your vocal sound Skilled engineers and producers have figured out how to achieve a convincing sound for vocals after years of experience and dozens of albums.

A few effects plugins you may want to equip yourself with include: a good parametric EQ to cut unwanted frequencies and enhance others a couple of compressors a de-esser two or three types of delays short, medium and long, to be used in different parts of the song one or two high quality reverbs short and long — again, to be used creatively throughout the song Play around with these effects and see how they influence the vibe of the song and the production.

Search Search Blog Get weekly updates on articles, gigs, and much more! Popular Posts.Vocals are the most important part of your mix. Inside, I share the only 7 steps you need to go through if you want your mixes to sound professional. The quality is decided in the recording phase.

I recommend editing the best parts of several different takes together to create the perfect performance. Some pop songs will use a different take for every word. Most Digital Audio Workstations have a built-in system for managing takes. Sometimes editing can create clicks at your edit points. If this happens, add a short crossfade between the clips. Somewhere between 5 — 15 ms. Some people like to cut out the breaths, but I think this completely ruins the emotion of the performance.

My advice is to leave the breaths in. You can also go through and fix any timing issues. If a phrase comes in a little early or late — move it into place.

Tools like Melodyne and Antares Auto-Tune make it easy to add pitch correction that is subtle and unnoticeable. When using these tools, I highly recommend that you go through and manually correct any rough notes, rather than using automatic pitch correction. Another note: comping and tuning are definitely important. But there are a few other editing tricks you should follow.

A singer can go from a whisper to a shout in seconds. Compared to other instrument, vocals have a huge dynamic range. But modern production requires consistency. Every word needs to be intelligible and loud. You can automate gain in a number of ways. Alternatively, you could insert a gain plugin in your first plugin slot, and automate the level of that.

Most DAWs also allow you to cut the track into individual sections and manually adjust the gain of each section. Go through and adjust the gain of the gain so that all of the phrases are a similar level.

how to make vocals sound professional

Take a look at your channel meter and try to make it sit around dBFS this is the gain sweet spot. The idea here is to do all the heavy lifting with gain automation. Then you can use subtle compression to level out the volume even more but in a more subtle way. At this point, I recommend bouncing the vocal down to a new channel. For mainstream genres that require heavy processing, I tend to use the same tools in a similar order. You can replicate this system and then tweak it to suit your own style.

Adjust it until the vocal sits around dBFS. Curious why we use a VU meter to gain stage?Vocals are tricky. Read on to discover the keys to mixing vocals like a pro…. Whatever track you bring in first has all the space in the world. But as you move through the mixing process, space fills up. Newly added tracks start getting in the way, so you EQ and process them to fit with the rest of your mix. This makes the order in which you mix crucial. Instead, bring the vocal in early.

Because mixing is all about context.

how to make vocals sound professional

The goal is to make tracks sound good together. But the solo button removes this context. Which makes it nearly impossible to make good mixing decisions. When you solo a track, you stop hearing how it relates to others. This can lead you to make decisions that seem like improvements, but actually make tracks sound worse in context with the rest of your mix.

Avoid the solo button when shaping vocals. Instead, make adjustments with everything playing at once.

how to make vocals sound professional

But resist the urge to give in. Matthew Weiss recently said that reverb is back in style. The problem with reverb, however, is that it can make a vocal feel far away. So what do you do? Your brain will no longer fuse the two together. Finding the right de-esser is crucial. Poor ones will make your vocals sound dull and flat. Great ones will control sibilance while maintaining clarity and presence.

7 Simple Tips to Mix Vocals Like a Pro

This is often the most transparent solution, though it may be too time-consuming to be practical. Ultra-fast attack times are seductive. The downsides, however, are significant.

Fast attack times destroy punch and annihilate impact. They can suck the energy from a performance, leaving a track sounding muffled and distant. Use compression in conjunction with automation. Both are essential. To learn some of my favorite vocal automation techniques, watch the video at the bottom of this article.At least once a week if not more.

7 Simple Tips to Mix Vocals Like a Pro

I mix a new rap vocal four or five times a week — much more if you count different rappers on the same song. I have developed an approach — sort of a formula to create a formula. In truth, we know that all songs, vocals, captures, and performances are different. There can never be one formula to mix all vocals effectively, and there are many approaches to conceptualizing a vocal treatment.

Mine is just one of many. It all starts with the concept.

Top 10 Vocal Effects Tricks and How to Use Them

I say this time and time again, and it only gets more true as I say it: in order to mix anything, you need an end game. There has to be some kind of idea of where the vocal is going to go before you start getting it there. That idea can and probably will change along the way, but there has to be some direction or else why do anything at all.

Both are laid back smoother rap songs, but the mixing is totally different compare below. You can hear the similarities between that andTotal, Mariah Carey and later Biggie tracks. Meanwhile in 1nce again, the vocals are just under the snare and have an extremely forward and aggressive mid-range, a grittier rolled off top end, and a steep hi-pass filter on the low end.

The point is, the what and why are just as important as the how when it comes to mixing vocals. One of the most common is the vocals were recorded in an unideal location, such as a closet I get that one all the time or a bathroom.

I know it sounds weird but the myth has gone around that recording in a closet or a bathroom is a good idea. The other common issue is the vocals were recorded too hot. This is totally untrue, particularly in the age of bit audio. Cleaning up is a little rough at times because the scope of what you can do is limited. For audio that came in too hot — i.

Also, that distortion will create frequency center resonanceswhich can be eased off with an EQ.


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