TCM MASTERING: HOW TO GET GREAT SOUNDING VOCALS

TCM Mastering: How To Get Great Sounding Vocals

Ted Carfrae, owner and founder of TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group discusses how to achieve a great vocal sound with the right mic technique…

If you’ve watched TV programmes like the X Factor, you may have seen some of the artists singing with the microphone virtually in their mouths using their nose as some kind of buffer.

Every microphone has a ‘sweet spot’ and finding that sweet spot will be the difference between a balanced, great sounding vocal and mush or muffled vocals.

The art of mic technique is based around the very simple premise of moving the mic closer (but not under your nose) for quiet parts of the song and away again when it gets louder. This evens out the vocal sound and gives natural light and shade to a performance.

All microphones are designed around the principle of moving air and therefore will always sound best with a little distance between the vocalist and the microphone. Holding the mic too close to your mouth, when singing, cuts off that natural air flow around the diaphragm of the mic and you end up sounding dull and lifeless.

By allowing the mic to breathe you naturally create a SWEET SPOT where your voice sounds bright, you can hear diction and you will sound altogether better and cleaner.

Try it out for yourself next time you are singing in the studio or live on stage. You will hear and feel the difference and so will your listeners. If you ever get the opportunity to record in a professional recording studio, the engineer will place the microphone about 10cm away from you and there is a very good reason for that. He wants to find that natural sweet spot.

Incidentally, mic placement is not only important for vocals but for any acoustic instrument you record. Take the time to experiment with various positions to achieve the best possible sound. Moving a mic closer to a sound source will affect the overall bass/treble balance. With string instruments, careful mic placement can minimise the finger squeaks commonly produced when playing.

See the TCM Mastering Home Music Studio series of blogs for more information on mic placement and techniques for recording a whole variety of instruments. A good place to start is Part 5 – Mic Types and Part 6 – Mic Techniques.

If you have any questions on the recording process either contact us or check out the TCM Mastering  and TCM Music Group websites. We love to hear from you.

At TCM we take pride in every single track we record, mix, produce or master and provide a professional, fast and affordable service to today’s musician – whether you’re producing a music track for the very first time or you’re a seasoned pro.

TCM are also experts at Audio Restoration, click here for more information.

Take a look at some of TCM’s recent clients.

West 1 Entertainment News

Formed in 2011 by Ted Carfrae and James Baker, West 1 Entertainment handle artist promotion and management.

Ben The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Act is selling out all over the UK. Ben as pop icon Michael Jackson has taken the theatre world by storm. For more information go to the website by clicking here.

Ben, the band and dancers perform one hundred per cent live with the support of a full lighting and sound crew.

See below for tour dates.

JULY
FRIDAY 13th – THE FERRY, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND
FRIDAY 20th – WEYMOUTH PAVILION
SATURDAY 21st – FRANKIES, MANCHESTER
WEDNESDAY 25th – OLD BUCKENHAM AIRFIELD, NORFOLK

AUGUST
SUNDAY 19th – TRIBFEST
FRIDAY 24th – WEYMOUTH PAVILION
SUNDAY 26th – ISLE OF WIGHT

SEPTEMBER
SATURDAY 1st – THE VENUE, NEW CROSS, LONDON
SATURDAY 15th – GREENROOMS, LIVERPOOL
WEDNESDAY 19th – THE WINTER GARDENS, BLACKPOOL

OCTOBER
FRIDAY 5th – ASTOR THEATRE, DEAL, KENT
FRIDAY 19th – REDITCH THEATRE
THURSDAY 25th – DUDLEY CONCERT HALL

NOVEMBER
SATURDAY 3rd – THE VENUE, NEW CROSS, LONDON
SATURDAY 10th – THE RANGE, WOLVERHAMPTON
FRIDAY 30th – THE MEDINA THEATRE, ISLE OF WIGHT

DECEMBER
SATURDAY 15th – FRANKIES, MANCHESTER

Contact details are info@w1entertainment.com or if you’d like more information on Ben The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Act, go to the website by clicking here.

Check out Ben and The Band performing ‘The Love You Save’ live at Glastonbudget 2012 (below).

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Explore posts in the same categories: Audio Restoration, Music, Recording Artists, Recording Studios, Sound Recording

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