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How to optimize your vocal recordings

How to optimize your vocal recordings

In 2022 vocal recordings are more requested than ever. The amount of online content is steadily growing and the demand for high quality recordings is at its peak – and with this phenomenon comes the necessity of premium recording solutions. We at Studiobricks are aiming at providing you the best all in one mobile recording solutions on the market, as well as acoustic treatment elements to control absorption and diffusion in your premises.


Today let’s have a look at the optimizations you can do on your end to make the best use of your Studiobricks recording booth. 


Music and dubbing industry for movies, series and ebooks might be the most classical use cases for vocal recordings, however lately there has been a broad extension taken place. As online streaming platforms have become more and more popular, localization of movies and series has become a very important and lucrative field. The most modern approach might be recordings for streams, podcasts and vlogs. All of the above require very high quality and should be recorded in a professional sounding environment. To achieve this, Studiobricks offers the best all in one recording booth solution on the market. 

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First of all, apart from a soundproof booth, you will need a beautiful voice for your recordings. This is something you might see as a given, but it needs a lot of practice to be able to control your voice to the full potential – whether we are talking about dynamic, color of sound or durability throughout a long recording – all of the above require a lot of practice and experience and consulting a professional coach can do wonders here.


But of course, lets see what tech you need and how you can optimize your recording premises. First of all, you will need a good microphone. Actually, the better your microphone is, the better should be your soundproof booth, as more sensitivity also picks up more room sound, thus making the sound more “wet”. Our portable recording booths can help you achieve the opposite, resulting in a so called “dry” sound.


With wet and dry we refer to the reverberation or “room sound” that enters your recording. Professional studio soundproof booths for vocal recordings usually have a reverberation time of around 0,3-0,6s. This is the time needed until the reverberation  noticeable goes below the -60dB threshold. Environments that resemble a live theater or an ambience for music go as high as 1,6s of reverberation time and are thus more “wet” to generate a certain live sound. A studio booth should definitely sound as dry as possible to give you the most flexibility regarding the use of your recordings.


In order to use your microphone, you will need a preamp for the microphone, an analog-digital converter, so called interface, a Pop-filter to reduce explosive sounds of spoken P’s, T’s and K’s and a pair of high quality headphones, which ideally do not let any sound bleed through to the microphone. Investing in high-end equipment is strongly recommended here.


Having a great voice, a professional recording sound booth, as well as all of this technology is only one part of the full picture. It’s absolutely crucial to know how to position the microphone, script stand and the screen. The microphone in combination with the pop-filter, ideally slightly angled and pointing to the vocal chords can reduce direct impact of the explosive sounds as well as strong S sounds. This however totally depends on the use of the recording and experimenting around with positioning can change the sound of the voice a lot, so this is well invested time.


The positioning of the script as well as of the screen is crucial if you want to record for timed productions. Here you want to be able to record comfortably without neck pain, even throughout longer sessions. 


You’ll also need to decide whether to stand or to sit. For localization of timed material, we always recommend to stand and to only sit if the situation onscreen requires it. Regarding the positioning of screen, microphone and script stand, our professionals at Studiobricks can help you find the optimal position depending on your particular needs– needless to say, that a fitting desk, professional script mount, microphone mount and screen mounts can be included in your customizable recording booth solution, offered by Studiobricks.


Aditionally, the early reflection points in your recording environment should be treated with acoustic absorbing material, which are also offered by Studiobricks separately to the all in one recording booth solutions, which already come included with acoustic treatment.


Now that we have all hardware set, its important to prepare your script as much as you can and read it out loud several times, before recording. Singing or speaking for at least 5 min helps to warm up your vocal chords, but remember not to put too much stress on them. 


Avoid consuming fatty foods or liquids prior to a recording in order to minimize saliva sounds. Furthermore it also helps, not too start too energetic, when recording e.g. longer elearnings, as your energy will naturally decrease. If you want a long recording to be homogenous, you want to avoid this to affect your recording at all costs. Regular breaks every now and then will give your voice time to rest and recover.


Last but not least, after the recording, you can apply a low cut plugin to fix rumbly noises, edit away or lower the loudness of breaths and use plugins to remove strong S-sounds, so called de-esser plugins, or a declicking plugin to remove strong saliva noises. 


Additionally, in case you need to reduce the reverberation or the amount of noise on a recording you can use de-reverberation plugins or de-noise plugins. These pluggins can help you improve recordings done in a non-ideal recording environment, where strong reverberation or background noises occur.


The last section concerns professional audio engineering decisions and our best advice is to invest most of your effort in the optimization of the setup and recording environment as much as possible. Everything that has to be fixed afterwards can be tricky, so try to optimize as much as possible in the first steps. We at Studiobricks are always available for your questions. Reach out!


Written by: Nikolai Hüsch – Audiovisual Engineer Advisor