5 Tips For Getting A Great Vocal Performance In The Studio

10-24-2014 09:51 PM

You’ve got a great track down and now it’s time to get those all important vocals recorded to make this a killer hit. If there’s anything that seems to get more people stressed, it’s recording the vocals.
The longer you spend trying to get a vocal performance right in the studio the harder it can get, so the sooner you get the killer performance better.
The key to a great vocal recording is a great vocalist performing at their best. Remember recording vocals is not an exercise is seeing how many takes and edits you can get down in a marathon session, it’s trying to capture the emotion and passion, with the least amount of stress.
So here are our top 5 tricks for getting a great vocal performance.
Know The Song

Make sure whoever is singing the vocals knows the song, word-for-word and note-for-note. Recording studios are never a good place to practise in, so make sure whoever is singing has prepared.
Your Preparation Is Just As Important

Make sure you have everything ready for when they arrive. For those who rarely use studios, sitting and waiting while you set up the mics, stands, DAW, etc. just adds to their stress levels. It might be fun for you to mess around with studio gear, but for a singer it’s a turn off.
What’s The Story?

Talk through the song before you hit record. Agree on what you are trying to achieve first in terms of the story and the emotion, then you’ll have a better idea of what technique is needed.
Prepare The Instrument

Relax the singer’s voice; get them a drink of something to relax their voice. Hot water with a little lemon is great. Stay away from stuff that clag up their throat, a full strength latte may boost the energy engines, but it has the potentional to stop the vocal in its tracks.
Record Everything

My top trick is to get them to sing the song a few times through while I check the levels before the real takes. It’s a blatant lie; I’m recording from the very first note and often because they don’t know it I get a great performance. The minute you say it’s for real, many singers fall apart.

So there’s my top 5, what about yours?