Month: December 2020

How To Master Your Home Vocal Recordings

If you need to record vocals in your home, you may wonder how you can improve the quality and make them sound as good as possible. Mastering your home vocal recordings comes down to figuring out how you can improve your equipment and recording quality. Here are four tips to get you started and use these tools to your advantage.

Buy Excellent Recording Equipment

When you record from your home, you need to get the best quality possible. You will manage this as you purchase excellent recording equipment, so you can get the best sound and quality possible. This will include buying a high-quality microphone, which will allow you to record your voice while minimizing issues.

You will also need to purchase a pop filter to prevent too many noises from sticking out in your recordings. You should also find a good recording software that will make it easy for you to see what you recorded while effectively playing the quality back to you. After all, you will need to test your equipment before you use it. 

Adjust Sensitivity Based on Peaks

Whenever you use a microphone, your voice will hit certain peaks. Peaks are when your voice gets loud and it causes the microphone quality to drop due to it going above the expected decibels. This can then cause the audio to become distorted and drop in overall quality, which you don’t ever want to happen.

Make sure you use the sensitivity settings on your recording software to make adjustments as needed. This will help you increase or decrease your microphone’s sensitivity to minimize peaks. You will need to test record your voice at different volumes, so you can find the sweet spot where your voice isn’t too loud or too soft.

Soundproof The Room

Even if you have the best equipment available, the room you use can affect the quality of your recordings. For example, the soundwaves can bounce off your walls, which will cause echoes and slight delays in your recordings. Due to this, you need to add soundproof foam to your walls.

Luckily, you can easily purchase some soundproof foam online. Make sure you line the walls with the foam to help you prevent soundwaves from entering your microphone twice. You should also choose an isolated room since you don’t want other sounds to appear in the background of your recordings. It’s always good to think ahead and turn off any alarms and puts phones on silent, close windows to reduce street sounds, and make arrangements so that your pets are taken care of so that they won’t bother you. Any sounds you can keep out of the recording at this point will make your life much easier when it comes to editing.

Edit As Needed

Most recording software will include editing features so you can finetune and improve your audio as needed. While some people may think they shouldn’t edit the audio, you will need to at times depending on the project you need to complete. For example, you may need to remove mic checks or mistakes from an audio recording. You may even need to remove previous takes from the file.

Editing won’t improve your voice, but you can use it to increase the quality of the recordings. For example, you may have recorded the audio at a low volume, so you may want to edit the quieter portions to make them match the rest of the recording. It all comes down to identifying these situations to help you see when you should edit them.

Conclusion

Doing home vocal recordings will be difficult at times, but you can master it as you apply these tips. Make sure you put some effort into improving your voice as you use these techniques. Doing so will help you improve your home vocal recordings, so you can improve the audio quality and your voice’s quality.

How Beginners Can Dramatically Improve Their Singing Skills

Whenever you start to learn something, you should always strive to improve. Doing so allows you to feel confident and proud as you see yourself change, especially in a skill like singing. If you want to dramatically improve your singing voice when you first start off, you should use these four tips.

Take Private Lessons

You will improve the most when you get private lessons from an expert. Expert singers have spent years perfecting their own voices, so they will know how to guide you to do the same. This will cost some money and take some time to do, but personal lessons will help you see what you need to improve in your own singing.

If you plan to take private lessons, you need to be open to criticism. Understand that the professional criticizes you to help you improve your singing abilities. As you apply what you learn and adjust yourself based on those critiques, you can improve your singing voice with time. 

Find Your Range

Everyone’s voice has a different vocal range. The four most common ones are soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Women usually sing in the soprano and alto ranges while men usually sing in the tenor or bass ranges. These ranges focus on different parts of the musical staff, so you can sing in the range that best fits your voice.

Each vocal range plays an important role when you sing with someone and they can each sound beautiful on their own. If you can identify your vocal range, you can focus on finetuning it. This will then help you improve faster since you can sing in the range that best compliments your voice. 

Learn Warmups and Vocal Exercises

Before you start singing, you should do some warmups. Warmups will help you prepare your voice for singing so you don’t dive right into it and immediately make mistakes. These warmups should help you prepare your voice to go into the higher and lower notes of your range and prepare your voice for your upcoming songs.

After you go through your warmups, you should also do some vocal exercises. Vocal exercises focus on pushing your range and ability to sing so you can improve with time. If you don’t push yourself, you won’t improve as quickly as you want to. Remember to learn various vocal exercises so you won’t get bored with them.

Join a Singing Group

Singing on your own will only get you so far when you want to improve. You need to sing with others so you can learn how to blend your voice and work together with a group. Singing with a group will provide you with more versatility, options, and opportunities to sing in different ways.

There are plenty of these groups that will accept beginners so they can improve and experience the joys of singing. Not only will you learn how to sing with others, but you can have the opportunity to get criticism from those in your group so you can further improve your voice. Also, you will learn more about music theory as you spend time in these groups.

Conclusion

Singing will be difficult to master, especially if you want to improve your skills. While you won’t become the best singer immediately, you will improve dramatically as you apply these tips. They may take time and effort on your part, but that effort will help you see those drastic improvements you want in your singing abilities.

The Greatest Jazz Singers Of All Time

Narrowing down a list of the greatest jazz singers of all time would have to include Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Nat “King” Cole. Other important names to consider include Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, and Ray Charles. Here’s a look at some of the top jazz singers over the past century.

Frank Sinatra (1916-1998)

In the 1940s Sinatra was one of the hottest rising young stars in movies and music. His career developed from singing on radio shows with big bands such as those headed by Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. His career blossomed after signing with Capitol Records in 1953 in which his vocals began to emulate the style of horn phrasing. This unique style influenced singers across multiple genres. His recordings ranged from soft to vibrant. One of his most-loved hits was “Theme from New York, New York.”

Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)

Known as the “First Lady of Song,” Fitzgerald was a leading vocal force in jazz from the forties through the sixties. Her career initially developed with Chick Webb’s band in the late thirties then working with Norman Granz. She stressed sharp diction in her vocals so that the storytelling was vivid as she fueled recordings with natural upbeat energy. Some of her most popular recordings were “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” “All of Me” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”

Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)

One of the first African-American superstars in the United States, Armstrong helped popularize jazz in the 1920s after performing with King Oliver’s band. Starting in 1929 he began to add skat to his raspy vocal style in his early recordings. The song “All of Me,” which became a standard covered by many artists of the big band era, was a major hit for him in 1932, leading to a consistent string of smash hits through the sixties. His biggest hit was “Hello Dolly” in 1964.

Billie Holiday (1915-1959)

Known as “Lady Day,” Holiday was considered one of the greatest female jazz singers of her time, alongside Ella Fitzgerald. After recording with Benny Goodman in 1933, she went on to have several hits, working with jazz artists such as Teddy Wilson, Count Basie, and Arty Shaw. One of her biggest hits was “Carelessly” in 1937. Her 1939 recording “Strange Fruit” was banned from many radio stations at the time for its controversial lyrics pointing to civil rights reform. It’s now considered a jazz classic in the NARAS Hall of Fame.

Nat “King” Cole (1919-1965)

Cole started out as a jazz pianist then formed the King Cole Trio in 1939 as an instrumental combo. Once Cole began singing on his recordings, his solo career advanced with a long string of hits. He began appearing in movies in 1953 and later hosted a TV series. His soft and smooth singing style made him one of the most popular vocalists of the 20th century. His notable hits included “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons,” “Nature Boy” and “Keep Your Kicks On Route 66.” The duet of “Unforgettable” created after his death with daughter Natalie Cole remains one of the most popular jazz recordings ever made.

Conclusion

The world of jazz is very diverse and has been going strong for over a century. When identifying the greatest jazz singers of all time, it’s important to take into account the pioneers who made the music an integral part of American culture. The vocalists listed here are undisputed by jazz authorities as among the greatest.