Home Recording Technique for Singers

A Review by: Alphonso Soosay

These techniques are Singers perception that I have observed from practical experience while working with some of the best producers in Recording Studios in Singapore and Australia as much as anything over the many years.  Firstly, as a “Singer” if you know that a recording session is coming up a few days time, you should build up a couple of habit procedures. To begin with, from start of the day, you should begin by drinking water, and continue to do so frequently throughout the day. Drink plenty of the water until you are really well hydrated. This is very critical, because if your throat dries out during a recording performance, then it will be too late by then to “stop the deterioration” within yourself, as it will take too long to get it lubricated again. Preserve your water intake levels at all times during your vocal recording performance and you will never get dehydrated during your long vocal recording sessions. By the way, Luke warm water is better than cold water and always make an effort to relax as much as possible during the lead up to your first recording take, also at the same time start warming up your vocal chords slowly before your recording session starts. You can commence by simply “Humming the Melodies” you have in your mind for your first song, this is very important because it makes sure that you know your melody of the first song very well also this will start to get your voice warmed up for the recording session. Secondly, try to start “Singing Expressively” to get your face muscles moving, start singing within an easy range at first, and then gradually extending to the notes that you are expected to sing for the first song of the recording session. At the same time “Exercise your Singing Scales”, this is an excellent way of warming up, if you can do this before every recording session then possibilities are that you will not have pitch (intonation) problems while recording your tracks and you will breeze through every song of the session with ease.  Finally, when you are ready for that take of your life, make sure to ask your Recording Engineer for a satisfactory headphone monitor mix, you have to be most comfortable between the music you are hearing and your recording voice as this can help you not to over strain your voice. When singing always use your diaphragm correctly, especially when you have a particularly low or high note to sing,  learn how to control your breathing from a good “Vocal Teacher” so you will not run out of breath on the long tail end notes. Probably one of the most important but often overlooked duties of this whole experience is that you must be in control of the song you are about to sing and you must be most confidence in what you are about to express. At all times in your “Mind” tell yourself that you are ready and you are going to really get through this recording performance with ease, this is what I call “Mind Control” and you will sing much better even if you are the shy type or unconfident. You will be surprised as to how much difference it makes to your recording performance when you have complete faith in yourself.  Importantly, you need to “Relax and Enjoy” your songs you sing, at the same time keep your “Ear” alert as to whether you are pitching your notes correctly, and remember to sing from within your lower stomach, make it a habit to express your songs with a lot of feelings with face expressions too as it will bring to light in the song itself, but do not concentrate on your throat, as this will tend to tighten up if you do. If you follow these basic simple procedures then you should find yourself singing the correct way especially at “Extended Recording Sessions” and also at ”Live Performances” without breaking down or losing your range and maintaining your tonal qualities. Keep in mind that your singing “Tonal Qualities” are “Your Uniqueness” and it is just as important as your intonation. So, make sure that your recording engineer uses a quality Condenser Microphone for all your recording sessions.

Alphonso Soosay

Audio Recording Engineer / Musician


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