Musician's Guide to Home Recording Book

How to Record and Mix Great Vocals

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Author: Craig Anderton

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
About This Book
The Impact Of Great Vocals
How To Use This Book
Tips And References
Your Mic Is Your Instrument
Dynamic Vs. Condenser Mics
The Importance Of Room Acoustics
Connecting Mics
Mic Preamps And Setting Levels
Accessories
Key Takeaways
Recording Techniques
To Hold Or Not To Hold?
Mic Technique
Monitoring Your Vocals
Recording A Vocal
Overdubbing Vocals
Punching Vocals
Composite Vocals
Key Takeaways
Preparing Your Vocals for the Mix
Step 1: Remove Hiss
Step 2: Delete Silences
Step 3: Reduce Breath Noises And Inhales
Step 4: Reduce Plosive Severity
Step 4: Phrase-by-Phrase Normalization/gain Changes
Step 5: De-Essing
Step 6: Pitch Correction
Step 7: Tweak The Vibrato
Time To Start Mixing
Key Takeaways
Equalization
Equalizer Responses
Main EQ Parameters
What You'll End Up Equalizing
Dynamic Equalization
Automated Equalization
Typical EQ Curves For Vocals
Key Takeaways
Dynamics Processing
How Dynamics Processors Work
Types Of Dynamics Processors
Sidechaining
Key Takeaways
Reverb and Delay
Reverb Processing
Delay Processing
Key Takeaways
Automating Parameter Changes
Automation Basics
Automation Methods
Automating Effects
Key Takeaways
Double-Tracking, Harmonizing, and Layering Vocals
Automatic Double-Tracking (Adt) Plug-Ins
Pseudo-Adt With Pitch Correction
Shifting Pitch To Create Pseudo-Double Tracking
How To Mix Double-Tracked Vocals
The Doubled Vocal Fix
Creating Harmonies With Pitch Correction Software
Techniques For Layered Vocals
Key Takeaways
Vocal Performance Tips
Emotional Dynamic Range
Avoiding The Vocal Disconnect
The Performance Curve
About the Author

The book series Musician’s Guide to Home Recording takes a clear, practical approach to today’s world of computer-based recording. Each book in the series focuses with laser-like precision on a particular topic. Titles include How to Choose and Use Audio Interfaces, How to Apply Equalization, How to Record and Mix Great Vocals, and more.

Readers can choose individual books to increase their knowledge in specific areas, or treat the series as a complete course and cover selected topics at their own pace. Musician’s Guide to Home Recording is the definitive series to help musicians everywhere use digital recording, mixing, and editing to their fullest potential.

Vocals tell the story that makes the all-important connection between singer and listener, but recording a vocal isn’t as simple as putting a microphone in front of someone and hoping for the best. This book, written in a clear, practical, accessible style, covers all aspects of creating great vocals, including:

• How to choose the right microphone

• Microphone placement

• Microphone accessories such as cables and pop filters

• Microphone preamps

• How to maximize results with composite recording

• How to edit vocals digitally to prepare them for the best possible mix

• How to use processors (such as equalization, dynamics, and time-based effects) during mixdown to enhance vocal quality

• Automation techniques for vocals

• Techniques for working with layered vocals

This book goes beyond technology, providing valuable tips and techniques to help you obtain the best vocal performances. Topics include connecting with listeners, conveying a singer’s personality, creating “emotional dynamic range,” and knowing when a take is the right take.

Loaded with illustrations and featuring sidebars with details on selected subjects for those who want to know “why” as well as “how,” How to Record and Mix Great Vocals is the key to transforming raw vocals into satisfying, emotional experiences.

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CRAIG ANDERTON is an internationally recognized authority on technology and music. He has toured, played Carnegie Hall, mastered hundreds of tracks, and been involved with dozens of major-label releases as a player, producer, or engineer. He’s also written over thirty books (including the seminal Home Recording for Musicians) and thousands of articles, and is the co-founder of Electronic Musician magazine. Known for his ability to demystify complex subjects, Anderton has given seminars on technology and the arts in thirty-eight states, ten countries, and three languages. He lives in Nashville.

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