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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Producer's Vocal Recording Checklist

The vocal is the focal point of the song so it's really important for a producer to make the vocalist as comfortable as possible in order to get the best performance. Here's an excerpt from The Music Producer's Handbook that's a checklist of questions to ask to set the stage for that great performance.
  • Would a handheld mic work better?  Some singers aren’t comfortable unless they feel like they’re on stage. Give them an SM 58 and don’t worry about the sound  A great performance beats a great sound any day.
  • Is the headphone mix at the correct level?  If the track is too loud, the vocalist may sing too hard or sharp. If the track is too soft, the singer may not sing aggressive enough.
  • Is the room ambience conducive to a good vocal?  Are the lights too bright? Does the singer feel claustrophobic?
  • Is the sound of the headphones conducive to a good vocal? A touch of reverb or delay in the headphones can help the singer’s comfort level with the headphones mix.
  • Did you explain to the vocalist exactly where she was wrong or what you need? If the take wasn’t good for whatever reason, explain what was wrong in a kind and gentle way. Something like "That was really good, but I think you can do it even better. The pitch was a little sharp." 
  • Does the singer have the 3 P’s; Pitch, pocket, passion? A great vocal needs all three.
  • Do you have the studio talkback mic on? Can you hear the musicians in the studio at all times between takes?
  • Do you have the control room talkback mic always on? Can the musicians hear you at all times in between takes? Periods of silence can be a mood killer.
To read additional excerpts from The Music Producer's Handbook and my other books, go to the excerpts section of

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for the great info, I haveThe Music Producer’s Handbook and I can't tell how valuable jot is in my arsenal...

Laman E. Richards


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