In the previous weeks of music production blog posts we looked into finding the right equipment, writing the melody and coming up with the song forms. Moreover, last week we looked into how to arrange the rest of the song in terms of adding more instruments such as bass and drums.
This week I would like to get into how to record vocals. So you would remember from the first blog post, that in order to obtain professional level vocal recordings we have to possess a condenser microphone. Once we have our equipment down we have to make sure that we have a good vocal melody. If you would like to learn more about this you can go back to part two of this blog post series or you can go back to this blog post where explain how to write good melodies.
Up next, we open our Ableton session and we are going to create a new audio track. Make sure you do not create a MIDI track, because MIDI tracks are only for recording digital instruments or MIDI instruments. In order to record an analog sound, such as a vocal recording or anything that you would record with microphone, you need to create an audio track.
The next step is to arm the track by clicking on the round wheel at the right side of the track. Once you click on this round wheel, it’s going to turn into red. When it turns red, it means your interface is active and your track is ready to record. If you click and your wheel does not turn red, you would have to go back to Ableton preferences and you would check your input and output.
So when we are ready, we can click record at the top and start singing. Once you’re done, hit the space bar. If you look at your track above, you can see all the information that we just recorded. Now, here comes the fun part where we get to edit what we just recorded.
You can double click on the track and if you look below you can see the waveform. Make sure that the waveform starts where your vocals enter the song. If it doesn’t start from there, it that means that when you start to listen to your vocal recording there’s going to be some space in the beginning. We do not want the space because it will prevent the vocal track lining up with bass, guitar, drums and other instruments that that we previously recorded. So make sure everything is lined up.
If somehow it doesn’t start from where it should be, you can drag the two arrows on the top back or forward, and then control click. Now your track should be lined up with the rest fo the tracks nicely. Now you pretty much have your vocal performance and you can also record as many times as you want, then line them up as well.
To sum up, this is the way to do a vocal recording using Ableton. Happy producing, enjoy and have fun!
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Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His new EP ‘Lines’ was released on November 2017 and his debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify. In addition to being a musician, he regularly teaches workshops and masterclasses internationally. You can follow him on Instagram or Twitter, and for more information you can visit his website www.alpertuzcu.com