Join Scott Hirsch for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting a preamp, part of Vocal Production Techniques.
- The second piece of gear in line…after the microphone in our vocal recording chain…is the microphone preamp.…The mic pre is a necessary piece of equipment…that converts a mic signal…to the more useful line level signal…that your audio interface…and other studio gear likes to see.…As it turns out, mic pres are not all sonically transparent.…A mic pre can impose a sonic character…to a vocal recording.…With so many mic pres on the market,…let's take a look at some ways…you can make an informed choice…on selecting your mic pre…and how to use it to get the best vocal sound.…
The first question you need to ask yourself is,…do you want the mic pre to be completely transparent,…showcasing only the sonic signature of the mic itself,…or do you want your mic pre to add more color,…saturation, and harmonic energy to the vocal sound?…Again, neither choice is necessarily always right.…It's up to you to choose what's working in your genre,…and for the particular song.…For the first option, transparent mic pres…are typically ones that are transformerless in design.…
First, learn how to get the singer comfortable in the recording studio and select the right microphone and preamp for the session. Scott discusses how to set up a good headphone mix and configure your DAW, and interviews the recording artist featured in the course, Jade Hendrix, about warm-ups and vocal health. Next, Scott moves directly into recording: positioning the mic, setting levels, and using compression. Then he delves into the psychological aspects of vocal production, like coaching the singer and giving feedback over the talkback mic. In the final chapter, Scott demonstrates some creative production techniques, including doubling vocals, stacking multiple vocal tracks, using Auto-Tune while recording, and methods for harmonizing.
- Warming up
- Selecting a microphone, preamp, and headphone mix
- Setting levels
- Dealing with dynamics
- Recording vocal takes
- Creative production techniques: doubling vocals, using Auto-Tune, and more