Working with vocalists requires a delicate balance of technical expertise, artistic vision, and interpersonal skills. As a producer, your role is not just to capture a vocalist’s performance but also to create an environment where they can shine and deliver their best.
In this article, we will explore five crucial tips from Toolroom HQ that will help you to have productive and successful recording sessions with Vocalists.
This is by far the most important thing to think about when working with a vocalist. When a vocalist is comfortable, they can give their best performance. Singing is a very physical activity, and a comfortable environment can help the vocalist relax, breathe easily, and focus on their singing; leading to a better performance, with more accurate pitch, tone, and emotion.
If a vocalist is uncomfortable, they may feel self-conscious and less confident in their abilities. This can affect their performance and lead to mistakes or a lack of energy in their singing. A comfortable environment can help the vocalist feel more confident and focused, leading to a better performance.
Collaboration is all about working together to create something unique. Be open to the vocalist’s creative input and ideas, even if they differ from your original vision. Remember, the vocalist is the expert on their own voice and can provide valuable insights into the style and delivery that will suit the track best. Encourage the vocalist to experiment with different melodies, harmonies, and vocal effects. This collaboration can help create a more dynamic and interesting track.
Before starting a recording session with a vocalist, you may have set a goal to complete a certain amount of work. However, if you find yourself nearing the end of the session without having achieved your goal, it’s important to avoid putting pressure on the vocalist. Doing so will only make them feel uncomfortable, which can undermine their performance and lead to subpar results. As mentioned in point 1, the vocalist’s comfort should be a priority to you to ensure a successful recording session.
Giving your recording headroom when recording a vocal is important to prevent distortion, allow for processing, and provide flexibility during mixing. It ensures that the recording level stays well below the maximum level and maintains the quality of the recording.
Giving your recording headroom will prevent distortion, allow for processing, and provide flexibility when in the mixing phase. It ensures that the recording level stays well below the maximum level and maintains the quality of the recording.
A general rule to follow would be to try and keep around 6db of headroom on your recording.
When recording a vocal, it’s important to consider the preferences of the vocalist in terms of the processing chain. Each vocalist will have their own unique preferences, and asking them about their preferences is a vital step in ensuring they are comfortable and confident during the recording process.
By asking the vocalist’s preferences, you can ensure that they like what they hear in their headphones while recording, which is crucial for achieving a great performance. This is especially important when recording vocals over an already mixed track, as the vocalist needs to hear themselves in context with the rest of the mix.
Some common processing options to discuss with the vocalist include reverb, compression, and delay. Some vocalists may prefer a more natural sound, while others may want a heavily processed sound.
Have you checked out our On Demand Course ‘Vocal Hooks’?
Brought to you by the legendary D Ramirez and Toolroom Academy. This comprehensive program sets a new industry standard, offering unparalleled expertise in vocal production for the diverse realm of House music. This will give you the skills and the confidence to be able to produce any vocal you want, in any style of House music.