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What is your process for recording pop vocals?
Old 8th May 2012
Lives for gear

What is your process for recording pop vocals?

For a standard radio friendly pop song...
What is the way you go about recording vocals?

You have the track pretty much done and its you and the vocalist.

Heres how I do it:

Record a rough take of the entire song,
1. Sing backgrounds for chorus, breathier version of the lead.
2. Rerecord lead chorus
3. Doubles of lead chorus
4. Harmonies chorus
5. Quadruple each harmony part
6. 8 takes breathy leads (if the first ones are not up to par)
7. Rerecord Lead if the vibe is not there (cushioning of the bgds tend to help out singers)
8. Misc. vocal candy
9. 1st verse rough, broken up to 4 bar parts if necessary (or 2)
10. Bgd's if needed 1st verse, then rerecord Lead
11. Same for 2nd verse.
13. Bridge, treated in similar fashion to the chorus
14. Adlibs, vocal candy.
Old 9th May 2012
1. Make the singer learn the lyrics and melody + give instructions about all things that didn't work right.
2. Make the singer sing the song with lyrics and melody he/she just learned a few minutes ago.
3. If something doesn't click with the song, inform them singer about it so the performance changes for the next take.
4. Once it starts to be close to the performance you're after, hit the Rec every time the singer practices.
5. Once he/she is ready to sing it, you already have the perfect performance. Now you can record 4-6 extra performances, but usually they're worse than the first practice run which worked right. The reason for this is that the first performance which went right was still intuitive from the part of the singer. It wasn't a learned performance.
6. Profit!
Old 9th May 2012
Problem is artist all have there own way of getting to brooklyn. Practically every one I worked with have there own process. A lot of playlist's and comping can help in any pop session though..
Old 9th May 2012
Lives for gear
Slikjmuzik's Avatar

Lately its been. C1(JJ Audio Modded). Burl B1, RJR compressor, blacklion EQ. Plenty of tone and color, yet still, plenty of clarity and punch...go figure...

Put the singer in front of the mic after having sent them a vocal reference up version the night before or rehearsing it with me on piano for a bit....THEN...

Ya boot camp it out until it's right....the key is finding a vocalist who can hang with you at your speed. Keep them on their toes and all is good.

I'm luckily, my gf is a phenomenal singer that can totally nail anything, literally, from Adelle to Whitney and even the cute quirky Taylor Swift or Ellie Goulding stuff. Perfect choice for pop lead vocals.
Old 9th May 2012
Lives for gear

No, what is YOUR process when you track vocals, as in how do you go about it? Do u record the chorus first? How many bgd tracks, etc....

This is with the understanding the vocalist knows the song and can sing it.
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