Before You Get In The Booth – 8 Quick Tips (For Artists & Engineers)

 

  1. This one’s for those who don’t have a vocal booth to record in: Before you start recording, clap in your vocal tracking room to get an idea of the room tone and reflections are. It’ll impact your voice when recording. Try NOT to record in a room with a lot of windows or reflective surfaces. The more padding, the better!
  2. If you have trouble finding a room, try the bathroom or the closet. Test the room to see which one you prefer.
  3. Don’t go into your recording expecting to fix your mistakes in post. Rehearse before you record! Recording is a captured performance, so you should rehearse for it MORE than you would a live performance.
  4. This one’s for the engineers: System overloading when tracking Vocals? Freezing and low latency mode not working? Bounce everything into one track to conserve CPU usage.
  5. Please, please, PLEASE make sure you’re not clipping. Best way to do this is to sing or rap the loudest and/or strongest part of the record as if you were performing it, while the engineer sets the gain below the red.
  6. Avoid COFFEE, SODA, DAIRY, BLACK TEA and ICE WATER before a recording. All of these things mess with your vocal chords. Drink plenty of (not too cold) water throughout the day. Herbal teas are fine in moderation.
  7. If you have a pop filter (which you should), keep a thumbs distance between it and the mic. It’s a basic sweet spot for it.
  8. Vocal rest is important throughout the day, especially if you’re recording at night. I don’t care if you’re doing rock, pop, r&b, or even rapping…your voice is an instrument that needs care and preparation before hitting the booth.

BONUS TIP: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY! If you have a piano or a drum set , you kinda don’t mind other people playing it because it’s a community instrument. If you have a guitar or bass, you’re a little more protective of it because it’s more of a personal instrument. Your body is the MOST PERSONAL INSTRUMENT IN THE WORLD. Take care of it with that in mind. Don’t take what I’m saying for granted, because it’s very easy to forget this in the midst of everything else going on in your life.

Got any tips that you think I might’ve missed? Leave them in the comments below!

Why You Might Want To Rethink Tagging Your Friends on that New Music Post

If the dislike button really existed, they’d probably be used the most on these types of post…

Imagine this: you’ve just completed a video promo for your new single. You, of course, want as many people as possible to see this promo vid because you know if they get to see it, they’ll definitely be interested in getting it and supporting. However, you know that because of the way social media works, not all of your friends and followers will get to see it. As a matter of fact, you’d be lucky if half  of the people that like your Facebook page see that promo you worked so hard on completing.

With no real money to spend on buying ads and reach for the days/weeks leading up to your release, you start to think of a short list of people you want to tag onto your video. Or maybe your approach is to tag as many of your friends/followers as you can until you reach the maximum amount of tags.

While you continue working out that shortlist of people in your head, here’s a shortlist of reasons you might want to forego massive tagging:

  1. No one likes being randomly tagged in posts unrelated to themselves.

According to Google trends, a large majority people who search tagging on social media aren’t trying to find out how to tag people on their posts; they’re people trying to UNTAG themselves from a post, or even stop people from tagging them altogether. Deeper research shows that 9 out of 10 times, the posts they’re avoiding are unrelated to them.

An true-to-life representation of the reaction people have when you tag them in unrelated posts…

I’m never one to list issues without presenting solutions, so here’s a (longer) shortlist with alternative (free) solutions to maximize your reach:

  1. If you’re gonna tag anyone, tag whoever is involved with the project you’re on and give them their credit! The post is actually relevant to them, and they’re more likely to share it than anyone else. This extended your reach to their friends as well!
  2. Chances are there are a few people on that list you had earlier that you regularly talk to. You could just as easily tell them about your video AND your single in one shot via text, dm, or even in person. Sending an individual message and asking if they don’t mind sharing increases your chances of reaching their friends list as well (Side note: if there is anyone on that list you’re not comfortable with texting or messaging, they probably shouldn’t have been on your tag list in the first place).
  3. There are tons of pages, groups, and profiles for every genre of music that are specifically designed to promote indie artists like you. If you’re willing to do the legwork, those pages can post/repost your content to their followers. Even if your success rate is 10%, that just means the more pages you contact and show your work to, the larger that 10% pool grows!

You’ll be swimming in a sea full of approval in no time!

Hopefully this was of some use to you. Have any other solutions that work for you or someone you know? Drop some knowledge in the comments section!

Prepping Your Tracks for a Mixdown

Picture this: you’ve just poured your heart out into a fully arranged composition. You’ve spent hours perfecting each track and you’ve got everything you wanted in place on your project file. Your vision for how the final product will sound and you have it all written out. Now you’re (excitedly, yet reluctantly) ready to hand it over for it to be mixed and mastered to (near) perfection! When it comes to getting your song mixed, you want to make sure the mixing engineer has all the files necessary to process and mix your entire project the way you envisioned. There are a few steps in making sure you’re actually ready to hand it over:

Step #1: DO Make Sure All of Your Tracks are Properly LabeledMultitrack Project Labeled According to Instrument

This is super important simply due to the fact that the engineer wants to get a idea of the tracks he’s mixing. If we get a project with files labeled “Track_01.wav” thru “Track_37.wav”, the painstaking process of labeling each track according to their instrument or effect will quickly eat away at the time we can be using to bring the vision you have for your song to life! Please do both yourself and the engineer a favor: label those tracks!

 

 

Step #2: DO NOT Give Multiple Edits/Comps of a Single Track

Only include the final version of each track you submit. For starters, the mix engineer isn’t there to help you arrange your track…they are there to mix your song (hence, the word “mix” in their title)! Second of all, the mix engineer’s idea of your “best performance” might be different than yours. Creative differences and whatnot come into play here. Of course, the engineer’s overall duty is to make sure your vision is met in the final product; however, this is another task that would eat up a lot of valuable time when it comes to completing your project. Help us get it right the first time (if possible) and leave all the unwanted edits out of the list of tracks you submit.

Step #3: DO Turn Off All Processing and Effects When Exporting Your Tracks

When you’re trying out different effects on your track to get an idea of where you want to take things, by all means, go to town with the insert section in your DAW! However, when it comes to handing your tracks over to be mixed, your plugins have to take the back seat. It’s ok to submit a rough cut of what you’ve got for reference when it comes to effects for the overall song and for certain regions of your arrangement, but submitting a processed track to be mixed gives the engineer very little room to process your track as well as the overall song. Keep your tracks dry, so that your engineer has the control he or she needs to bring your vision to life!

Step #4: DO NOT Send Snippets!!!

These are short audio clips that you want included in your mix that do not match the length of the overall song. All included tracks have to match the length, tempo, and pitch of the song. Otherwise, the engineer be doing more than mixing your song; They’ll be ARRANGING your music. Unless you want them on the split sheet, let’s keep the arranging on your side and leave only the mixing/mastering process to the mixing/mastering engineer(s)!

 

As a bonus, here’s a list of articles/videos I compiled of the top 10 DAWS (not in any particular order) explaining how to properly export your tracks so that they all match in length and timing:

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