Julie JD - Vocals
March 14, 2011
The most important thing in any song would be the vocal track. It's the part most memorable to people. So how do you get a good recording of it? Luckily I have some tips for you on how to get the best out of your vocal track. A good start is with a vocal warm up. Nothing too excruciating because you don't want to tire out your voice. A lot of people have different things they do before they perform, like doing a few arpeggios, drinking tea, eating a pickle, not smoking, and avoiding dairy, whatever it may be. But not only do your vocal cords need to be warmed up, you need to get in the right mind set. Depending what the song is about think about things that relate to it. You know? Like the reasons it was written in the first place. This will help you bring out the emotion in the lyrics. Even when your warming up it's good to record, because you may sing a great line, and then you can't do it again. I've done it myself many times, which is why you should never delete any of the takes.
When you are recording, it helps with the flow and confidence to hear in the headphones what you've already recorded. So you have a bunch of recordings and there are bits in each track you want to use. So you trim it out and move all the pieces to one track, don't worry if it's even in the middle of a sentence, because you can add a cross-fade. It pretty much just fades one out as the other fades in.
Next you have your harmonies. With this there is no cheating, you can't just record it once and copy and paste it three more times. The only thing that will do, is make your harmonies louder, and they're meant to accent the main track not over power it. So you have to record the same part three separate times. Why three? Makes it full, and helps it sound better when you're panning the harmonies. You also shouldn't harmonize everything. Think of it as a garnish, to accent certain words and phrases, to help you bring out your point. You don't want to take away from the main vocals since that's what people are listening to. As for ad-libbing, when you throw in extra notes to be showy, I say less is more. You're adding feeling, not showing off. Which brings me to another point. Auto tune. This is a helpful tool, that should not be over used. The best time to use it is when you have multiple tracks, and the best one is off in one spot. That's when you use the auto tune.
As a final tip before you're off experimenting with my tips, don't worry if you can't record it all in one day. Even the most seasoned singers, take a few days to record one song.
- Julie JD -