Music Production

Need a Music Producer?

Are you looking for help to take your music career to the next level? Want to present your songs to a record label, music venue or club promoter?. Then, do what it takes to take your productions to sounds top notch and stand out stand out from the crowd!

The days where a record company would sign an act, or a venue would book a band simply by listening to some great songs played on an acoustic guitar are over. Today the demos need to sound just as professional as the records you hear on the radio. The good news is that making a professional commercial sounding record is not nearly as expensive today as it was just a few years ago. Thanks to cheaper and better music technology you can get a record made for a tenth of what it used to cost.

Ten years ago a professional sounding record would cost lots of thousand of dollars, per song!!! Now you can get the same result for less if you go to right music studio.

You can buy cheap computer software that does the same as what they use in the larger recording studios and a 100 dollars mic can easily sound good enough to make a top quality recording. But you still need a talented music producer to help you if you have no or little knowledge  on how to achieve the best possible sound from this new technology. Even if you are somewhat experienced in recording your own demos, you still need a top quality product in order to stand above the other tens of thousand of demos competing for the few available opportunities in the music business.

At the moment, we work with music professional business partners to schedule a flexible recording sessions for our clients to facilitate a world-class mix. We can also provide backing vocals to your songs from some the best session singers in the business. For further information or questions, please send us an email at info@dcprodcution.com with some details on your project and we will respond with a quote for the services.

Introduction

Audio Production can be hard. Trying to balance all the musical elements into one smooth tune can be a challenge. We have created standard guide-lines to help you better understand the different elements in music production and song writing in order to offer you a better understanding of the audio record producer’s roles.

Usually creating a song starts with the writing process.  If you are just starting out, we suggest teaming up with other musicians or songwriters and do some co-writing. It will help not only with the inspiration but also the motivation. If you are always writing on your own it can be difficult to stay motivated every day to keep writing. Read more about improving your co-writing skills.

Vocal Recording.

Once you have written your masterpiece it is time to record the song. Getting good sounding vocals down is very important. The vocals is usually the loudest and foremost element in the finished mix, therefor it is vital the recordings are excellent. There are alot to talk about when it comes to vocal recording therefor i have split the vocal recording tutorial into 3 separate guides.

Vocal Recording made easy-TIPS

To finish our brief introduction to vocal production, here are some of the best tips:

1.Adding monitor reverb when recording vocals: Since we blend the music coming from the computer directly with the voice in the interface, the vocal will sound dry in the headphones. Some singers prefer to monitor with reverb added to their voice while singing. Here is how you can do that. Normally you mute the recording voice in the audio recording program, because we are alreay monitoring direct from the interface to avoid latency. If we instead unmute the recording voice but turn the fader all the way down, we can add a send in PRE fader mode to a reverb plugin. The reverb will be present but not the dry sound. Since reverb typically has a predelay anyway is does not matter that we will hear the reverb with a small latency from going through the converters and plugins.

2. Adding special effects: It can be cool to add a speaker effect to the vocals in certain parts of the song, like the bridge or in a tag after the chorus. If you insert a guitar amp simulater plugin on the vocal track you will get that effect. Only problem is that it might be too much effect. To give me more control, we copy the vocal onto two seperate tracks and just place the guitar amp plugin into one of them. Then we can blend as much or little we want of the effect into the vocal. You can do the same trick with a compressor set to compress heavy. By adding a bit of that compressed vocal with the uncompressed vocal you can get a very cool sound. You should be aware that not all audio programs compensate for the latency the plugin adds. If that’s the case you will have to compensate manually.

3. Delay in certain parts. Often in songs you will hear a long panning delay in spaces between the vocal, typical in the end of the chorus or verse. You can automate a send to the delay to get it sounding only in these certain places. But it can be differcult to get it precise, so instead of automation, we simply move the vocal parts that need the delay onto another track that sends to the delay. Just remember to also copy any EQ and compression you are using.

Part II.

Great, you got your interface and mic and are ready to record your vocals. First you need to install the interface drivers and connect your interface with your computer using a usb cable. Also connect an XLR cable from the mic to the XLR input on the interface, a pair of headphones and you are ready to go. You can mix the balance of the music with your voice on the frontpanel. Most newer interfaces have a direct monitoring system, so you can record without having to hear your voice in your headphones with a delay.

On the frontpanel, you will find the level control for your mic input. You need to set it, so it does not clip the input when you sing the loudest. A good tip to find the sweet spot, is shouting into the mic, while adjusting the level higher and higher, until the red light indicates cliping. When just turn the knob a tad back and you are all set.

Enable a new track in your recording software and hit record. Adjust the level of the music to your voice and find a nice blend. Remember that the blend is just for monitoring the sound. You can change the blend later in the mix.

Once you have a good lead vocal down, it’s time for overdubs and backing vocals. Just keep adding tracks for as many dubs you need. I usually make from 4 to 30 voices depending on the style of song.

One thing you will notice when listening back, is that the vocal level is a bit uneven compared to a commercial record. It might even sometimes be hard to hear the lyrics and other times the vocal is too loud compared with the music. That’s where a compressor comes in handy. A compressor will even out the dynamics in the voice, so it will fit better with the music. Most recording software comes with a bundle of plugins, among them one or more compressors. Just add a compressor plugin to your vocal tracks and set it up so it respond great to the vocal. I like to have an attack of about 20-30 ms and a release of about 100 ms. I set the compression ratio to 3 to 1 and the treshold, so the average gain reduction is around 5 db.

Next thing would be to EQ your vocal. It is hard to give a preset setting because of the variance between microphones and voices, but almost every time you would want to filter out the very low end. I usually set a lowcut filter at 100 Hz to get rid of the low rumble. If the voice sounds a bit dull compared to other recordings, I would boost the 1.5 KHz area 1-2 db as well as adding a bit of air in the sound by boosting 12 KHz a couple of db. If your vocal sound a bit thin, you can boost the area around 200-500 Hz. In that case you might have to set the lowcut filter a bit higher around 150Hz.

All for this time. There is still so much more to cover regarding vocal recording, so check back soon.