How to Prepare for a Vocal Recording Session

Mar 3, 2023 | Voice

Getting ready for a vocal recording session can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you are a young, budding artist. There is typically a lot of pressure to deliver perfect results in a limited amount of time. But worry not—here are some tips that will help you ace your next vocal recording session. 

Practice Effectively

When learning a song, practice the song in sections rather than as an entire piece. Work for clarity through each unit, then move to the next part of the song form. 

This method will ensure that you practice the beginning, middle, and end parts equally. You can also save time not practicing parts you’ve already mastered and move on to new sections.

Try the Song in Different Keys

Whatever your range is, everyone has a sweet spot that works best for their voice. Try the song in many different keys until you find one that suits your voice. Once you’ve found the key, make note of it, as this will help everyone working on the song, from the engineers to the musicians, to adapt quickly. 

Read the Lyrics as a Monologue before You Start Practicing

Before you actually start practicing the music, take time to get to know the lyrics. One way to do this is by reading it out loud as a monologue. This will enable you to better understand the message of the song, which in turn will speed up the lyric memorization process. Also, try to remember how the lyrics made you feel and hold on to this feeling when you’re practicing. 

Additionally, you can also try to visualize the words and figure out the narrative structure of the song. This will help you grasp the story the song is trying to tell and make it easy for you to emotionally connect with it, which in turn will only improve your performance. 

Work the Song for Dynamics

Dynamics in music production refer to how you shape a song musically. This includes volume, feel, and attack. You need to work the song for dynamics to get the right balance before you book your recording session. Try to find a point where you can hear both your voice and the track—they need to work well together. This will help you feel in control of your performance, as you’re familiar with all the details of the song and can make corrections as needed during the recording. 

Sing with a Click!

A click is a metronome musicians use to keep time. There are a lot of mixed feelings about click tracks in the music world, but they come with several benefits, both when playing live and when you’re in the studio. Oftentimes, when recording, you can get too excited and speed up. Though this can feel good at the moment, it can throw off the tempo and sound odd when you listen back. A click track can help you save time, keep a consistent tempo, and, most importantly, sing in the pocket.

Get a Scratch Track of the Arrangement

You need to be familiar with every aspect of the song before you go into recording. So get a scratch track of the arrangement you will be singing to and pay close attention to the arrangement and instruments you will be singing with. Find out how your voice interacts with the band. Figuring out all the little details and going in prepared is the best way to get the most out of any recording session.