What Goes Into A Professional Vocal Mix?
When you’re starting out recording or been recording in your home for a few years you probably wondered why your vocal mix doesn’t sound as professional as the ones you hear on the radio. It can be very frustrating at times but don’t give up yet. There are ways for you to improve your mixes in your own home studio!
Why Everyone Is Recording At Home Now..
Back in the day everyone was in big studios similar to the picture in this post. Huge SSL boards and the whole works. It was a dream for anyone to even have the opportunity to get into one of these studios. Luckily for us we are in a revolutionary time and we don’t have to go to a “Professional Recording Studio”.
Home studios have been around for a while but with the advances in technology now everyone can afford one (for better or for worse). Matter of a fact most of the records you hear now days were probably recorded in a home studio. The reason for this is simple – for one no one wants to pay $100 an hour to record a song. That means rushing a song which also means not a great performance – depending on who the artist is. The second reason is convenience – from touring to waking up in the middle of the night with a great idea its a great benefit to be able to record whenever the time is right.
The Difference Between Your Recording and Theirs
One simple difference between you and them is recording your vocals from a clean source. What you need to do more than any microphone or latest version of Pro Tools is learn how important your microphone cable, preamp, and sound card is. Don’t get me wrong the right microphone does make a difference but if your cable is constantly stepped on and you don’t take care of it you will get a short.
Furthermore, the preamp – where your microphone cable enters into must be a good one. If you got some money to invest in a really good one do it. DO IT IMMEDIATELY!
Let’s Move On….
For your sound card don’t expect that your brand-new-right-out-of-the-box Dell computer is gonna come equip for such a job. Remember now a days your computer is your SSL board so treat it as such. You can either go out and get an Apple which is always good for audio. Or you can really get down to business and build your own music computer. That is a totally different article though and will require a lot of labor and money on your part but you will have a nice computer built for music recording.
- You can get a professional quality vocal mix from home.
- Record from a clean source – that turns into a clean mix – then a clean master.
- Never underestimate your microphone cable – protect it at all costs.
- Never underestimate your preamp – don’t be cheap invest in a really good one.
- Never underestimate your sound card – you can’t record on just any old computer.
- Never take the recording process to serious