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Recording Professional Quality Vocals At Home

If you’re a singer or a rapper your goal is to record your vocals at the highest quality possible. Ideally you’ll be recording in a million dollar studio with top-of-the-line mic & preamp, high-end room treatment and a professional engineer that has spent years honing their craft. Unfortunately this is not always possible, so here are a few tips that will help improve the sound of your vocals if you’re recording at home. First the cheat sheet:
1. Get the best mic and preamp you can afford 

The MXL V69, TLM-103 and U-87 are examples of great sounding mics for different budgets. Don’t forget about getting a good preamp too! This is what boosts the signal and is just as essential as having a high quality mi it will change the sound almost as much as the actual microphone.
2. Avoid overloading your pre-amp 

One thing you won’t be able to fix later is distortion. Make sure you’re not “going into the red” and you should be fine.
3. Make the room you’re recording in is as “dead” as possible 

You don’t want reverb from the room showing up on your track. Don’t record in your bathroom! You’ll be much better off in a closet with a bunch of clothes surrounding you. You can use something like this to help absorb some reflections. You want to avoid hard surfaces and corners in your recording space. Try putting blankets on the walls, carpets on the ground and fill in corners and walls with foam. Clothes and couches absorb sound too. Be creative!
4. Use a pop filter

Those are the big hoops with mesh stretched across them that you see in front of mics in professional studios. This helps prevent the “plosives” which are the popping sounds you hear when a vocalist sings words with the letters “p” or “b.”
5. Mix your vocals

Mixing is an art form that takes a lifetime to master but there’s a few basic effects you’ll want to use if you’re mixing for yourself. You’ll want to use a compressor to even out volumes and add presence, EQ to cut annoying frequencies and boost others, and a de-esser to minimize hissing tones. This is really just scratching the surface of mixing, but it’s a good place to start!
About Gabe Schillinger

Gabe is a member of the production team The Legion, and has produced for artists like French Montana, Bun-B and E-40. You can find his work at If you’d like more tips for artist promotion, branding, and development you sign up for The Legion newsletter for free here.

Recording Professional Quality Vocals At Home

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