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Music Performance & EnsemblePreparing to Record Pt 2 Vocals & Keyboards musicstudentinfo.com Chris Baker
Preparing to Record Singers• In Popular Music vocals are the focus of the recording.• They tell the story.• They have to be in front.• Few vocalists understand mechanics of their instrument.• its impossible to outline all that goes into having a strong vocal technique.• Singers should take lessons with a good coach.
Preparing to Record Vocals• Singers need rest.• Singers should remain healthy.• Practice parts & work out phrasing in rehearsal.• Practice harmony parts beforehand.• Singers should establish a vibe.• Turn off the lights, light candles WHATEVER is needed to get into the lyric.• Sincere delivery overrides most technical aspects in the studio.
Preparing to Record Lead Vocals• Keep hydrated.• Determine what is needed in the headphones.• If necessary record about 4-5 takes of a song and then "comp” (short for composite track) the best phrases into a take.• Listening for continuity and problem spots.• Its important also to pace yourself in the studio.• Do not sing too much and lose your voice.
Preparing to Record Background Vocals• With background vocals the big issue is tuning.• Every part has to be on pitch - perfect, or they wont stack.• Phrasing - make sure consonants hit at the same points, and the phrases end at the same time.• In a digital audio workstation environment, this is easy to edit.
Preparing to Record Vocal Production 1• Layering.• Use of special effects as talking tracks, whisper tracks, and shouting tracks.• How you layer vocals can depend on your preferred style, you might use up 16 tracks.• Experiment with vocal doublings in choruses for added strength.
Preparing to Record Vocal Production 2• Try doubling harmonies and panning them opposite each other for a natural chorusing feel.• Vocals take time, harmonies take time, and doublings take time.• You cannot rush vocal takes.
Preparing to Record Keyboards• Direct In by running a line into a multitrack recorder.• Using mixer, youll have more control over the signal.• Keyboard Amp - mike a keyboard or guitar amp and run your electric keyboard through that.• This can sometimes give a warmer, sound.• Plug the keyboard into the keyboard or guitar amp, as youd normally do, and place microphone (such as a Shure SM57) about 1-3 inches from the speaker cone, pointed slightly off from the center.• Or try both & blend the two signals.
Recording & Mixing Keyboards• Boost around the lows really makes the piano sound more realistic.• If youre using a synth or electric keyboard sound, you might be happy with the direct-in.• Experiment with boosting and cutting the mids and highs to see if you can get a better sound.• Add a little reverb, depending on the song type.
Mixing Keyboards• You will probably want to pan the keyboard or piano if there are a lot of other instruments.• You dont want the keyboard taking up a space occupied by another instruments.• Panning - Keyboard or Piano to the left and anything occupying the same frequencies to the right.• If youve got two outputs it might automatically pan the high end to the left and the low end to the right.