1. Don’t treat any vocalist the same!
  • A common problem that most producers make is that they assume they can apply any technique they’ve learned with one vocalist to every vocalist.
  • This is a problem because a lot of vocalists have a way of working that makes them comfortable or most productive.
  • Your job is to find out what that is

     2. DON’t MIX/WORK on the track while tracking a vocalist.

  • I’ve seen this so many times, a producer is just in their own world while trying to track vocals.
  • It’s key to focus all your time on getting a great vocal track, if the track is not sufficient or you’re hearing things that you want to change, TAKE NOTES, don’t change them in the moment or break the flow of recording to work on the instrumental.

     3. Not learning the song on Piano/Guitar

  • Before you are going to bring a vocalist in on a track, or before the session make sure to learn the song basically on piano or guitar. If you can’t play either instrument this is a great way to start simply practicing some simple progressions or chords on either instrument.
  • This will also allow you to really focus on the melody, and will allow you to hear more specific things in the vocalists tone/timbre.
  • This will also help if you ever get stuck while recording, or are confused about anything musically.

     4. Don’t be a Debbie Downer, instead Be Positive, exciting, and motivating

  • Vocalists are fickle beings that can emotionally change drastically from one moment to another, and ensuring that your vocalist is feeling a certain way depending on what you’re recording is key.
  • If you’re doing a hype club track, it’s important to bring that energy in the studio when you’re recording, being excited and dancing around and being apart of the energy will GUARANTEED help your vocalist feel the energy.

     5.  Don’t Assume your vocalist wants processing to record (Reverb, delay, compression)

  • Another thing to avoid is applying a lot of reverb/delay or compression on your vocalist when they’re tracking.
  • You have to treat every vocalist differently, some vocalists will love to record with reverb and delay present, others will want to record dry and then work on the sounds later.
  • Feel the room and try to do whatever makes the vocalist most comfortable, thus ready for the best possible take.

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