Vocal recording: production techniques
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
Course Code: MK603
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
What is the course about?
Do you want to record sung or spoken tracks? Perhaps you have a backing track you'd like to add vocals or live instruments to or maybe you'd like to produce a voice over for a film or slide show. You might even want to experiment with field recordings to make a soundscape or collage.
Learn how to use a microphone and audio production software to capture, edit and mix together high quality recordings of your voice, other instruments and sounds for a wide variety of creative purposes. We will cover professional recording techniques and approaches to delivering great vocal performances.
What will we cover?
• Professional use of EQ, compression, delays and reverb as they apply to vocals
• Devising vocal harmonies, essential techniques for doubling and blending vocals
• Technical aspects of vocal recording (mic selection/patterns/position), acoustic treatment
• Editing and compiling vocal takes
• Techniques for controlling sibilance, room acoustics and other artefacts that can ruin vocal recordings
• Tuning vocals digitally
• The psychological aspects of getting a great vocal performance.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Use EQ, compression, delays and reverb to enhance vocals
• Devise basic vocal harmonies, double and blend vocal lines effectively
• suggest types of microphones suited to various situations and basic acoustic treatment to control room acoustics
• Edit and compile vocal takes
• Control sibilance, room acoustics and other artefacts that affect vocal recordings
• Tune vocals digitally
• understand psychological approaches to help vocalists deliver their best performance.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an intermediate course aimed at those with existing skills in audio software.
You will need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor demonstration and explanation, class discussion, followed by practical work.
Practical work on individual projects. You will present work in progress and receive feedback and support from your tutor and peers.
You will make best progress if you can work on your projects between sessions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
The course is taught on Mac computers running Logic. You will be able to export your projects to an interchange format if you have another DAW on your own computer (e.g. Cubase, ProTools, Ableton, Presonus Studio One, Reaper). We recommend you also have headphones and external microphone on your home computer set-up. GarageBand has some limitations as regards effects, so is not preferred.
Visit our Music technology: equipment advice page for more detailed information about hardware and software.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Mixing and music production techniques
Visit our Music technology courses: overview blog to see the range of courses on offer. If you already know what you are looking for, go straight to the listing of currently available course dates and times.
For further advice email the Music office .
Music also offers a wide range of instrumental, singing, ensemble, music theory, musicianship, songwriting and composition courses.
Max’s musical training began in New York City where he was lucky enough to have major session musicians as neighbors in his building teaching him guitar as a child. By his early teens he was studying classical guitar, alongside theory and orchestration, at the High School of the Performing Arts. He relocated to Spain to further his classical guitar studies under the esteemed guitarist/ teacher Jose Tomas. While there Max ran a commercial recording studio, where he began immersing himself in the emerging digital technologies. After moving to London, he continued working as a session musician. He has recorded, toured and collaborated with artists including Kevin Ayers, Paul Weller, Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), Jah Wobble, Carl Barat (Libertines) and Marc Almond. In 2011 he was commissioned to compose recitatives and an aria for a production of “The Coronation of Poppea” by the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris which centered around virtual instruments and sampling delivered by multiple computers live on stage with the players. Max continues working with artists of every genre in mixing, sound design, drum programming, bass and keyboards.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.