Gone are the days that required us to book a recording studio, just to record ONE song. Since discovering the best way to record vocals at home, I’ve been able to achieve the SAME RESULTS.
Believe it or not, setting this up will cost you LESS than producing your band’s next “demo”.
Once you understand how simple this is, you’ll never want to look back.
And if you’ve ever dreamt of hosting your very own podcast, this rig will serve a DOUBLE PURPOSE.
In all honesty, you can use it to record just about anything (acoustic/electric guitar, drum kit, etc…)
However, today we’re focusing exclusively on vocals.
So, what kind of equipment am I going to need to accomplish all of this?
In this guide, we’ll be covering everything you need AND…
I’ll also be sharing some tips and tricks so that you get the BEST RESULTS.
That being said, let’s get down to business. I hope you’re as excited as I am!
The Benefits of Recording Vocals at Home
Every vocalist will benefit from the ability to record themselves, even the most experienced. Having the opportunity to HEAR your voice from the 3rd person perspective will give you great insight.
Ever heard a recording of yourself talking and thought to yourself…
“Do I really sound like that”?
The truth is we can’t really hear ourselves as others do.
This is why vocalists seek out teachers, but what if you could provide your own feedback?
By recording your vocal performances daily (and listening to them, of course), you’ll be tweaking your voice…
SUBCONSCIOUSLY. That’s right!
The same principle applies to instrumentalists as well, so there’s something about recording music at home…
It’s essential for your musical development.
Let’s not forget that you’ll be able to create your own projects, share them with the world and perhaps take it to the next level.
Think about it… Painters paint in their personal studio, so why can’t singers sing in theirs?
Let’s create your own personal vocal recording studio.
5 Items to Record Vocals at Home
To be honest, you really don’t need that much to get started (I started with a USB microphone from the Rock Band video game). However, we’re looking for the BEST way to record vocals at home, so here’s what you need.
- Microphone | You’ll notice that there are A LOT of different microphones to choose from. I’m going to recommend a specific model that includes a pop-shield, shock mount and XLR cable.
- Microphone Accessories | The most important accessory will obviously be a microphone stand, so make sure it’s high-quality. If you take my recommendation, the remaining accessories will be included with your microphone.
- Audio Interface | You’ll need a device capable of converting your analog signal to a digital one. Audio interfaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but we’re only going to need a basic one.
- Computer | The computer you already own is most likely suitable for vocal production. However, if you’re thinking of taking music production to the next level, you may find this guide useful.
- Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) | Once your signal has been digitized, you’ll need a piece of software to manipulate it. There are a lot of options to choose from, so please consult this guide for more information.
There you have it, these are the 5 items you’ll need to get started as a professional vocal producer.
I still use the same setup in my own personal recording studio, so if it works for me…
It’ll work for you!
So, what distinguishes a “professional” recording studio from mine?
The Difference Between a “Home” Recording Studio and a “Professional” Recording Studio
Just because you own a “home” recording studio, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be run by a PROFESSIONAL. However, there are some differences we must take into consideration moving forward.
The main thing that distinguishes a “professional” recording studio is the fact that they can accomplish MORE.
This simply means that they have MORE GEAR. Yes, they also have acoustically treated rooms…
However, they have the SAME 5 items that I mentioned earlier, except theirs are “bigger, better and faster”.
And there are ways for a “home” recording studio to achieve acoustic treatment as well.
The question we should be asking ourselves is, does it really make a difference to our ears?
I guarantee you that 99% of the population wouldn’t be able to tell if a track was recorded in a bedroom or at Abbey Roads Studios.
As long as it was recorded by a professional, of course.
What I’m saying is that you can create projects that “sound” like they were recorded in a “professional” studio at home.
Now you’re probably thinking about those tips and tricks I mentioned a little earlier…
How to Record Professional Vocals at Home: 5 Tips
Even with the right knowledge, obtaining professional results will depend on your level of experience. I mean, I’ve been going at it since I was 16 and I still think I’m not “all that great”.
However, I have learned a lot from doing this independently and from my studio musicianship class in college, so here’s my advice…
- If you have some additional funds, I would invest in a portable vocal booth. Regardless of how “poorly treated” a room can be, this accessory will work miracles.
- Instead of a portable vocal booth, you can look into some sound-absorbing panels which are surprisingly affordable. Also, make sure you avoid recording near windows as those are HIGHLY REFLECTIVE.
- Use closed-back headphones while recording or the playback may “bleed” into your vocal track.
- Position your pop-shield about 4 inches away from the microphone. Position yourself about 4 inches away from the pop-shield.
- Get into the habit of recording EVERY DAY, especially if you have projects you’re working on. If you think you’ll get everything on the first take, you’ll be disappointed.
Like everything in life, the more experience you pick up, the more efficiently you can perform on short notice.
Once you get into the habit of hearing yourself on a daily basis, your progress will become EXPONENTIAL.
Your Very Own Vocal Recording Studio
As artists, we need a space that allows us to make mistakes. The more mistakes we make, the quicker we learn to master what it is we are striving to achieve.
Most of us can’t afford to spend hours in a “professional” recording studio.
So, let’s make your “home” recording studio a professional space.
A place for you to create with no limitations whatsoever, a place for you to grow as an artist.
You’ll see that as the years go by, the productions you make will begin to sound better and better.
Keep those old recordings and compare them a couple of years down the line.
Sometimes I can’t believe how far I’ve come and it’s all thanks to the power of the home recording studio!
I hope this guide has been of great value to you.
What kind of music do you intend to make in your vocal studio? Let us know in the comments and feel free to share any projects you’ve made!