Blueprints for How to Record Your Own VocalsMay 29, 2023
I'm laying out some breadcrumbs for those of you who are ready to learn to record your own vocals from home! If you've already begun this journey you may have discovered that though there is so much information out there, it's all fragmented and it can be hard to even know what things you need to learn! So I thought I'd put together a handy list of subject matters that you'll need to become familiar with as you venture into recording land.
These principles apply to all DAWs (digital audio work station, aka the recording software), but my favorite for recording vocals is Pro Tools!
You are fearlessly taking on what others are afraid is too hard. But I'm here to tell you, you can do this. You can become self sufficient with your music creation. I applaud you!
I recommend you focus on one topic at a time and learn the fundamentals of each one for your DAW by searching on sites like YouTube, Google, etc. If you become familiar with these concepts, you'll be well enough on your way to being a successful musician.
Here's my list of fundamentals for recording vocals:
- Mix window vs. Edit window.
- Creating tracks in your DAW.
- Track types: audio, instrument, aux, click, master fader.
- Gain levels and mic technique.
- The Transport Window: How to enable recording, press play, stop, loop playback, and change tempo.
- Signal Flow/Path (the most important concept to learn).
- I/O: aka input/output settings.
- Inserts/Plug-ins (Start with: EQ, Compression, Limiter, Gate, De-esser, Stereo Imager, Multi-band Compression, Tuning... then Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Saturation, Pitch and Time Shift).
- Vocal Chain, Aux sends, Mastering Chain.
- Editing tools: trim, selector, fade, crossfade, multitool.
- Grid Modes: Grid, slip, spot, shuffle. Setting the grid to bars/beats (bar, half note, 1/4 note, etc.), min/sec, or samples (a small unit of time).
- Basics of Editing: Comping, trimming, fades, and crossfades. It’s so important to have clean edits.
- Basics of Mixing.
- Basics of Mastering.
- CPU Usage Optimization and Delay Compensation.
- Bouncing to Disk (aka, rendering your session into a single mp3, wav, or AIFF file).
- Bouncing Stems.
- Quick Keys.
Speaking of troubleshooting, you're already kinda doing it! You're figuring out how to figure things out, and that is amazing. If you have a question, look up the answer with determination. New worlds can only open when you seek them.
You won't believe how many doors having the ability to record yourselves will open. If you're looking for more step by step instruction, here's my free Recording Routine workshop where you can get a sneak peak of my 8 week structured Learn to Record course.
Happy recording :)
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