In this article we talk about what you need to know to record a voice in your home studio, but that’s not all!
Hello everyone! Today I want to offer you a short guide on how to record a voice at home. I state that the microphone, the sound card and the pre amplifier are essential to obtain good recordings. Usually, however, in a home studio, the pre will coincide with that of the sound card we have available. The reason, as you will understand, is the economic one. A good preamp has prices that not everyone can afford.
But if all this does not interest you, because you simply have to record a “battle” voice, you can use the sound card and microphone integrated into the computer, clearly the result will not be professional, but depending on your needs, it could be fine anyway. If you don’t have pro tools or other professional daw and you need a “battle” program to simply record a voice, a business conversation or other, there are various free solutions. Among these I point out: Audacity, Quick Time player (although not everyone knows it, this software for mac has a function to record the voice), OBS Studio. If you are using a mac, the input volumes can be adjusted from “System Preferences -> Sound”. But back to how to record a voice professionally at home.
Professional voice recordings: the choice of instrumentation:
As I mentioned earlier, the sound card, pre amplifier and microphone are important to get good results. There are many sound cards with good preamps by now: focus rite, native instrument, pres onus or motu, just to name a few, are good solutions. If you have a little more economic possibilities, in my opinion universal audio is a really good choice!
As a microphone, I recommend using a condenser one, as it is more suitable for this type of recording. Also in this case there are many types of microphones on the market. Good brands, not too expensive, can be akg, whether electronics, sontronics or rode, just to name a few. However, I advise you to ask for opinions around or, if you have the possibility, to try them directly in the store. To learn more, I suggest you read my article dedicated to the difference between condenser microphone and dynamic microphone. But now let’s see how to proceed with the registration.
How to record a voice at home: Practice:
First of all, we find a position in the room where there is not too much reverberation, usually close to a wall (avoid corners), better if there is also a curtain. It would also be important to have the anti-pop filter and a panel to dampen the resonances, to be positioned behind the microphone. In this regard, you can find many on the market, even on amazon (below you will find a series of products that I have selected and that I consider valid). As for the polarity of the microphone, it is generally used “cardioid” and, if present, I suggest you also activate the high pass filter.
At this point we connect the microphone to the mic-in of the sound card (we check that the sound card is set to mic and not on line, in order to accept our microphone signal) or connect the usb microphone to the computer.
If you use a condenser microphone it will be necessary to power it with the phantom, the 48 volt power supply (it is always indicated with 48V). To do this, just push the 48V button, always present in the preamps.
At this point, let’s go to our daw, create a new track and arm it, so that it is possible to receive the input signal and evaluate its volumes.
The next step will be to adjust the input volumes through the pre amplifier gain. I recommend that you adjust the volume on the higher parts of the song, so as not to saturate the signal while recording. When you need to sing the lower parts, you can move closer to the microphone so as not to record too low. If the recording is a “voice over” or a simple voice recording, test the volume that you will also use in recording, otherwise you will end up with a different signal from the one tested. At this point you are ready to record the vocal track.
If you want, you can create a send to add some effect to the voice. If you use protools (but the principle is the same for every daw) you can proceed as follows: create a stereo aux track and insert your reverb, then assign an input bus to it. Now send some of the signal from the vocal track to the aux track via send.