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Optimising Vocal Recordings

A comprehensive guide to making the most of vocal recordings prior to mixing.
5.0 (1 rating)
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Last updated 9/2015
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
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What Will I Learn?
optimise a raw vocal recording.
View Curriculum
  • no prior knowledge is required.

In this course, you will walk through a step by step guide to taking existing raw vocal recordings that have been captured in conditions, that might not be ideal, and use corrective measures to enhance the sonic playback of them. As you work your way through this course focused on getting the best from a raw, unprocessed vocal recording, you'll discover quite a few different professional techniques that, as you progress, combine so, that at the end, you have optimised the raw vocal performance and made it ready to be imported into a digital audio workstation as a complete professional vocal recording, Once you have optimised the raw vocal performance, you will be in a better position to start utilising it as the main lead vocal performance that drives your song.

Who is the target audience?
  • musicians and engineers
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 14 Lectures Collapse All 14 Lectures 01:25:54
Optimising Vocal Recordings
14 Lectures 01:25:54

Introduction to what is possible to achieve after optimising a raw vocal performance.

Preview 03:45

Here, we open a vocal file that has been recorded in a semi soundproofed studio, and assess what needs to be done to it to get the best from it.

Preview 07:10

One of the biggest problems with raw vocal performances is the fact that the singer has to hear the backing instruments. This means using headphones, either open or closed back. Dependent on the type of headphones used, a degree of 'spill' will emanate from them and be picked up by the microphone. Here, we look at ways to obviate this problem.

Analysing Headphone Bleed

Now that the issue of headphone bleed has been identified, we look at methods of removal.

Removing Headphone Bleed

A fast way of reducing or eliminating background noise is to use a noise gate. Here, we look at the pros and cons of using this plug-in.

Noise Gating

An inevitable consequence of recording the human voice is breath noises will be captured too. Here, we look at manually and automatically removing or reducing the volume of intakes of breath.


Rather than noise gating intakes of breath so that they can't be heard at all, here we look at methods of allowing these breathes to remain part of the performance, albeit more subtly.

Allowing Vocals To Breathe

Spurious little clicks can play havoc with an otherwise great vocal performance. Here, we look at methods of removal.


Clearly, using compression to even out the dynamic range of a vocal file is one of the fastest methods to get a more volume levelled performance. Here, we look at what we can do to prepare the vocal track prior to using any compression.

Natural Compression

Rather than manually adjusting the faders within a mix, which can take sometime, we look at automating the process here.

Riding Vocals

Dead Air

Here, we look at different methods of tuning a vocal performance.

Correcting Tuning

To help make space within a mix, we look at utilising equalisation to carve out frequencies in one instrument to allow more room for the vocal.

Frequency Carving

A final process, to allow multiple instruments to 'glue' together with the vocal is to use buss compression as a group track.

Gluing Together
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