5 Steps To A Professional Vocal
#1 – Create A Great Recording
This step is the very most important. You MUST get a great recording full of energy, passion & clarity. No matter how much a vocal track gets EQ’d, mixed and treated it will never grab the listener’s attention if they don’t feel the passion that only you can put into your songs. Make sure that the vocal recording you finish on is perfect. If you’re in the middle of spitting a great verse and your neighbor knocks on your door. Throw it out and try again. If you did it once you can do it again. Never accept a recording that is “ok” or “will do just fine”. Only keep your very best tracks. It may take some extra time and effort but your listeners will notice a difference, I can guarantee it.
#2 – Make It Sit In the Mix
This is probably the 2nd most important step for a great vocal sound but the hardest to achieve. You can have a great recording full of passion and energy but if nobody can understand what you’re saying because of poor mixing it won’t make any difference. This doesn’t mean you have to send off your track to professional engineers, what it does mean is that a good engineer can make all the difference in your vocal sound. I’ve literally seen an engineer take a verse that was recorded on a cell phone and turn it into a radio-quality song. Check out some tutorials on Youtube and take some time learning how to EQ & Compress vocals. After you’ve trained these skills you will have no problem achieving a high-quality & professional vocal sound.
#3 – Make the Vocal Prominent
So this one kind of steps on the toes of the point before it but it is it’s own point entirely. You can mix the vocal to be clean and full of energy but that won’t necessarily make it sit on the very top of the mix. What you need to do here is make sure that your vocal fader is set at the perfect level. It needs to be the loudest sound in your song above all else. Nothing is more important than having a large vocal sound in hip-hop music. If you need some tips on how to make your vocal sound large & wide check out this blog I wrote a while back.
#4 – Use A Quality Microphone
Right now there are mics on the market that range as high in price as $6,000 and even other mics that reach the price tag of around $20,000. You do not need these mics. Those kind of microphones are created for the likes of Eminem & Kanye and even those guys don’t use mics like this all the time. You can get a great Studio Condenser Microphone for $150 at Sweetwater or your local Guitar Center. This will be enough to capture a greatly detailed recording. If this isn’t something you can afford right now, it is ok to use your built-in computer microphone but try to save up for a condenser mic. It will make a world of difference in your recordings.
#5 – Apply Low-Cut Filters
A Low-Cut (High-Pass) filter is found inside every typical Equalization (EQ) plugin. Every DAW worth it’s salt will come stock with an EQ plugin that will have a low-cut filter. Applying this simple filter on your vocal recordings at about 115 Hz will clean up the mud and eliminate a ton of room noise and rumble making your vocal sound that much more clean & crisp. If you’ve never used a Low-Cut filter before, Click Here to check out my blog about how to create your first Low-Cut filter.
Bonus Step: Use High-Quality Beats!
I think it goes without saying; you can create the hottest vocal recording in history but if the beat isn’t banging nobody will ever hear your vocals. Invest in your passion. Don’t be afraid to spend a small amount of money to get high-quality beats for your projects. I know what you’re thinking: “Here comes the part where he tells me to buy his beats.” but actually it’s the opposite. I know most aspiring artists don’t have a ton of money starting out so I want to offer you 2 Free Beats today so that you can create hot tracks no matter what budget you are on. It may sound too good to be true but I promise it isn’t. I really love to help aspiring artists find their passion in music so if you are interested in getting some free high-quality beats then Click Here to get 2 FREE beats instantly!