November 16, 2014


Found an artist you just know will be a hit-maker someday? Has an artist asked you to perform the audio engineering for recording her/his new album? Well, you’re going to need to hit the recording studio to put the new album on wax. Recording vocals for albums can be a bit tricky. Learn how to record vocals in the studio to get the sound you want.

10 Tips to Record Vocals in the Studio to Produce the Perfect Song

  1. Make Sure Your Artist is Ready – Encourage your artist to practice, practice, practice until the day you hit the studio. If the artist isn’t ready, the track will probably come out whack no matter what you do when recording vocals in the studio.
  2. Get the Headphone Mix Right – Give your artist a tiny bit of reverb in the headphones. This will help her/him monitor levels better, getting you a high quality song recording.
  3. Always Use a Pop Shield – There should be a pop shield separating the microphone for the singer’s mouth. If not, you will end up with “pops” on the artist’s plosive b’s and p’s. These can’t be corrected after the fact. Read “Tips & Tricks – How To Mic Guitars And Vocals – Video Content” for more information.
  4. Choose a Quality Mic – You don’t have to break the bank when buying a microphone to record vocals in the studio. But, do not use a mic designed for home stereos if you want studio sound quality. Some good choices include capacitor mics, dynamic vocal mics and back-electret microphones.
  5. Use the Right Pickup Pattern – You want to use a mic that picks up very little sound from the rear and sides. Yet, you still want to come out with more open, natural sounding vocals. This is especially important when recording an artist with a boxy or nasal sound.
  6. Distance the Mic Properly – The microphone needs to be at the correct distance when you record vocals in the studio. If it’s too close, you may get popping. Plus, every time the artist moves the tiniest bit, the sound will change. And, if it’s too far away from the artist, the sound may get “colored” as it reflects throughout the room. The rule of thumb is to place the mic about 6-9 inches from the artist’s mouth.
  7. Rid the Room of Other Influences – Your mic will pick up both reflected sounds within the room, and direct sounds from the artist. The artist is the only sound you really want to record. So, eliminate the room’s contributions when recording vocals in the studio.
  8. Control the Level – Ever notice how professional singers pull the microphone away from their lips as they hit higher notes on stage. This controls the level as it hits the mic. For an inexperienced artist, however, you may need to place a pop shield around three inches from the microphone to keep her/him from getting too close.
  9. Use a Microphone Stand – Do not let the artist hold the microphone unless it’s absolutely necessary for getting the sound you want (very rare). Even professional singers and rappers don’t hold the mic when in the studio. This can change the quality of the sound that the mic picks up.


Looking for more tips on how to record vocals in the studio? Why not look into attending one of the top audio engineering schools, such as F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Check into the Audio Engineering and Music Production program at F.I.R.S.T. Institute and start learning to record vocals professionally today.