Monthly Archives: October 2012

Becoming your Mics Best Friend.

You record either voice overs, projects for college, or video business pitches to your current or aspired company.  If you record vocals for music, then you need to be very familiar with the dynamics ofyour microphone. Two types of microphones are dynamic and condenser.

The Shure SMB7 mic, is a legendary mic, and was the microphone Quincy Jones recorded Michael Jackon’s, Double Diamond record, Thriller.

I have a dynamic mic. Dynamic mics are designed to handle impedance. Dynamic mics are especially popular for recording rock and rap music. Impedance means the reception of the mic to the vocals, or how your mic handles the force you exert while singing or performing. Condenser mics are made to amplify the sound projected to the mic. Regardless if you have a dynamic, or a condenser mic, you need to make sure you are not minimizing your recording  potential.

As you become more comfortable with your mic, you’ll notice that your vocals are more listener friendly. When investing in a microphone, I knew I needed a mic that could compliment my vocal verasity. You may see, in your favorite singer’s music videos that they are very close to the mic as they perform. If you don’t have a $10,000 compression set, you may need to make some adjustments for optimal audio output. As you get more comfortable with your mic, you’ll know that getting close’s going to sound different than keeping a safe distance.  Sometimes, especially with a dynamic mic, you’ll see how you need to keep close parameter on your distance from the mic while recording, so you don’t sound too distance, or low. The Shure SMB7, compliments the low tenor and bass’d audios. A little EQ on the SMB7, and you can certaily engineer your falsetto. So, knowing that you have to know about your mics reception capabilities is a solid reason that you’ll need to become Your Mics Best Friend.

You need to keep in mind that your mic does not know you as much as you know about your mic. So recording, should be approached with confidence to experiment your impendance effectivity on your new mic. After you learn your new mic more familiar, you’ll be familiar with what your mic can handle, so you can be ready to project your voice perfectly into your mic.

Coming soon: When and where to record with a full cardiod microphone, and what is a super-cardiod microphone.

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Vocal Recording Techniques

The recording process for a single song can take several hours and sometimes days. So, I’m a give you an overview of what recording involves, and give you couple of techniques to employ next time you record. The recording process is probably the easiest part, if you are familiar with the content you’re recording. After your vocals are recorded you have to mix and master your raw audio tracks.

Mixing and Mastering

Popular types of mixers are popular for a reason and some can be expensive.

You are going to mix your audio after you master your raw audio recordings. The least you’ll need to know and do to master your audio is add compression, and equalization to your tracks. Compression makes your audio recording leveled and fluent sounding; synchronizes the decibel level to a mainstay. Equalization gives voice kind of a personalist and lively effect. Personally, I like to have treble in my voice tracks, so my words are heard clearly. General EQ for a vocal track has a high, mid, and alow setting that you can turn each position to be heard higher or lower. Too much treble, or high EQ, is a bad thing, as you can hear some people with a nasally and annoying voice. Since my voice is bold and boisterous, I can afford to have some treble to compliment my lyrics. Generally, each song must be treated differently, yet some engineering techniques can become universally familiar and frequently implemented.

Mixing is simply leveling the tracks, so that the levels sound even. Mixing is important because different compressions during the mastering can make raw audio sound louder or softer; mixing can be the final leveling of a record. Expert engineers, many times, do master a song after has been mixed. A very popular technique of mastering an already mixed, to a single audio file, song is to add more of a limiter to the full, mixed and mastered, song. Today, many world reknown engineers, of your favorite music artists, over limit the audio because when files are compressed to mp3, WAV, or any broadcast quality, some loudness can be lost to the compression of the original recording. So over limiting (boosting the overall track decibels) a full track can make up for lost volume during a song condensing and exporting to a file phase.

VOCAL RECORDING TECHNIQUES

A crescendo is the increase in a musician or vocalist’s volume during a set of bars; crescendos increase from small to loud. If the singer is able to crescendo or decrescendo (decrease volume over the course of bars) very well, then less time will be spent editing the audio levels of the recording. Hours can be saved if you record your music well and are a proficient performer. The biggest vocal recording tip is finding the right distance from or the sweet spot of the mic. If you’re fortunate enough to record vocals a lot, you’ll notice that sometimes, the audio sounds really vivid. You do not have to move back and forth to give the audio the affect of crescendo, simply work your voice. Have personalism, while knowing and listening to how you are impacting the mic. Personalism is important for music artists because a listener has a world around them that they can engage. As a musician, you want the audience or listener to be engulfed in your personality (how your saying your words), as well as your lyrics or theme of song. So have personality in each word that you possibly can express, find the sweet spot, or perfect distance to perform into the mic, and if you are singing, know about your crescendos, and when they are needed. Crescendos add a dynamic to your measures.

Be a vivid entertainer, and employ recording techniques when you perform, because the better you perform your music, the more potential your songs are going to have.

I’m soon to talk about the differences between a dynamic mic and a condenser microphone for vocal recordings.

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Tips for Recording your Demo

You may be recording your demo for a number of reasons. You may be an independent musician recording music to send to major record labels for a record deal for yourself or band, or you may be a songwriter for genres you don’t perform. Specifically in reference to writing for genres you don’t perform, you want to make sure that your vocals are clear and audible as possible. If you’re writing a song for Lady Gaga, and your demo recording is not audible, then you do not have a chance of getting that song to her. In the rich market of the music entertainment,  songs are going to pass by the ears of music supervisors, project managers, and artist managers, before they are actually heard by the band or singer you wrote the song for. So, as you anticipate success, you want to make sure when your intended target (the singer or band) gets to hear your song, they know what you are saying.

When recording songs for other artists to sing or perform, you want to make sure your harmonies are clear and audible.

Recording songs that you know very well (because you wrote them), can give you more time to develop harmonies. If you are recording a song for someone else to sing, then you want to make sure the lyrics, or songs strong points are clearly heard. Sometimes, songs strong points are the songs harmonies. Also, if you’re  recording a demo for other artist to sing, you don’t want too much effects on your vocals because you want the listener to be able to focus on the lyrics. Of course if you willing to pay a thousand or two, then you can have you demo recorded by a professional singer, productions team, and a  master engineer. When writing songs for other artists, the most important thing is to be able to make sure they can hear the vocals, not necessarily bedazzle them with sound effects. Some music supervisors you submit your music to are looking for specific music to edify themes or trends; some record labels are looking for lyrical rappers, and if people can’t hear your voice because you put a body shot of reverb on your lead vocals, then the chances are, the supervisors are going to pass on your music.

So you need to make your lyrics audible, especially if you are submitting your music to be sang by major music label artists. If record labels like your tracks, then they’ll re-record with their artist singing them. Yet, if they can’t hear your lyrics or words, then the chance are, the label will not be choosing your song because in the business of music entertainment, songs are pitched a dime a dozen.

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Effective Writing

You are a writer. If you are a college student, a boss, a job applicant, entertainer, or a parent, the fact is: you write. You can be an independent business entity looking for a government grant, or a corporate advance or loan, you must submit a proposal to get the resources you are looking for. The difference between having your proposal overlooked  or acknowledged and granted, is going to rely on the effectiveness of your writing. Also, if you write for leisure, you surely plan for an audience, and you need to make the most impactful impression that you can, in order to be noticed as a sustainable writer.

If you are writing for profession or leisure, you’ll need the right tools to become and effective writer.

Non-Fiction Literature

You’re not running a campaign, so you don’t need to please your reader. You need to more so, convey your expertise of the topic you are writing. The phrase I created, in a poetic literature, “When your scripts [be] tender to touch, you can lose what you wanted so much”, alludes to how a lack of confidence in your expressions can affect the reception of your audience. If you are a writer, the audience needs to be the reader, and not a contender for the knowledge or information you are conveying. Therefore, writing your facts with confidence and allowing no room for rebuttal can capture more of an audience than petitioning for their patronage with cliche standards and per capita views. If you write in your free time, you most likely are not writing for the purpose of becoming a famed author, yet you are scribing information to a reader. Especially if you are writing persuasive non-fiction, you need to be solidified in your stance. Discrediting an opposition can be a tactic you employ for the purpose of capturing your reader to being a loyalist to your view. So you know why you are writing, to convey information, and you need to know the biggest blunder most writers make. The biggest mistake non-fiction writers make is trying to be a friend of their readers. As a non-fiction writer, I do not want to be your friend. The purpose of a current non-fiction book I’m writing is to, arouse your suspicion of my targets, and to reassure my self of what I already know by gaining your allegiance as a reader. Surely after reading my book, whether you agree with the morality of my content, you will have known what I was saying was reasonable and coherent.

Do not be overlooked, write your proposals effectively.

Proposals

Common knowledge agrees that an enticing introduction is an attention getter. I’m going to talk to you about what really appeals to the proposal recipients. You may think the corporate world is filled with people who are very busy and don’t have the time to review your proposals, or emails. The fact is that people are paid salaries to review your emails and written proposals, exclusively. First impressions do matter, and you do want to make sure that you are perceived as being concise and to the point. Acknowledgement and flattery are two different things, so concise when acknowledging someones accomplishments, be brief, and present yourself to be a capable partner more than a fan. You want to almost immediately state what your intentions are in the beginning of your script. If not, the person may only skim the proposal that took you several hours or days to write. If you are not an accomplished professional, you cannot present advantageous credentials. In today’s world of easy access to large commercial brokers, credentials shine brighter than lofty dreams. So, if you cannot say you developed a plan to profit your company 60% in the last two quarters of the year, then do not hesitate to tell your potential benefactor how he can profit from you. Being upfront about why you are the best and most profitable candidate, and your proposal may be granted in quick time. Flowery wording can be unbecoming to a person with a busy schedule, so being concise, yet informative is a strategy for effective writing.

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