In this video, I’m going to show you the best place to record vocals at home. (and two of these places, most people have but don’t even realize it!) You can use these tips for recording rap vocals or any other genre of music for that matter because these recording techniques are universal. And I’m also going to give you some tips on how to improve the sound of whichever room that you chose to go with.
#1 AVOID THE NOISE
Now typically the best places to record vocals at home are in rooms that don’t have a lot of noise from the outside leaking in due to such things as traffic, construction, landscapers, and noisy neighbors.
You should also be aware of noise leaking in your room that’s being generated from within your home from family members, TV’s and noisy appliances such as air conditioners.
Also, consider recording your vocals during a time of day when you have the least amount of noise interference. Such as when people in your home are gone to work, or are asleep.
#2 OBSERVE THE ABSORPTION
The next step to picking the best place to record vocals at home is by using the room with the most sound absorption. The better the sound absorption the less echo you will hear in the room when you clap.
Here are common things to look for in rooms that do an awesome job absorbing sound!
- Carpeted Floors
- Thick curtains around windows
- Furniture that has thick padding such as beds and couches
- Bookshelves filled with books
- Clothes (in a closet)
#3 PICKING THE RIGHT ROOM
Now with all of that in mind, I’m going to go around my house and spit a few bars in different rooms so that you can hear how much of a difference each room makes! We’ll go ahead and eliminate the rooms that sound horrible. Then I’m going to give you some practical tips on how to get the best vocal recordings out of one of the good-sounding rooms that we keep. Let’s go!
❌Bathroom – Too much echo
❌Garage – Too much echo
#4 IMPROVING YOUR ROOMS SOUND
Now that we’ve eliminated the Bathroom and Garage let’s discuss how you can improve the sound of our remaining options.
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If you live in a noisy house and don’t get much privacy then a Car may be the best room for you to record in! Due to all of the angles created from the glass and the abundance of sound absorption from the seats, and carpeted floor and ceiling, a car can give you a really tight recording booth type of sound!
You obviously can’t fit a traditional microphone stand into a car, and if you hold your mic with your hand you run the risk of getting inconsistent sounding recordings due to not maintaining the same distance from the mic.
I recommend going 100% hands free by using a Crab Clamp to mount your microphone to your steering wheel.
I also recommend using a Kaotica Eyeball to help block out any audio reflections within the car. If the Eyeball isn’t a good fit for you, then check out the bootleg knockoff version called Alctron Vox Shield
Your microphone Isolation device will come with a built-in pop filter. I always recommend using an additional pop filter to help block large vocal plosives. But
If you are unable to mount an additional pop filter, then just be mindful of your plosives while recording and try to avoid them the best you can.
If you don’t have a set of wheels that you can adopt as your mobile recording studio then recording outside is another great option because you get rid of the room acoustics issue all together!
Just ensure it’s not ultra hot outside because excessive heat can potentially damage electronics such as your phone, audio interface and computer.
Also, you should never record outside when it’s raining or snowing as water can damage your electronics as well.
Also be mindful of any excessive noise that may be captured in your recordings from animals, traffic, workers, and the wind.
Speaking of wind. If there is a slight wind on record day then figure out which direction the wind is blowing and then position the back of the microphone so that it’s facing into the path of the wind.
If you’re using a condenser mic, it’s important to understand that the back of the mic rejects sound. So you always want to face the back of the mic toward anything that’s making noise.
If you’re using a dynamic mic then there is no back, there’s only the top of the mic. So just ensure the bottom of the mic is facing toward the direction the wind is blowing.
Your microphone Isolation device will come with a built in pop filter but I recommend adding an additional pop filter to help get rid of heavy plosives. This will also add an additional
layer of protection from wind as well!
You will of course need a Mic stand as well which you can get for about $20 on Amazon.
There’s nothing like the privacy you get from having your very own bedroom to record in. Also out of all the options previously mentioned, a bedroom is typically the most convenient since it doesn’t require as much setup every time you wish to record which is why this is one of the best places you can record vocals at home.
But bedrooms also come with their fair share of drawbacks. Here are a few of those drawbacks along with practical solutions to easily overcome them.
Think of every wall in your room as mirrors. But instead of your walls reflecting images, they reflect sound, or in our case, they are going to be reflecting the sound from your voice. So it’s usually best to get as far away from all of the walls as possible by simply recording in the center of your room.
But there’s one wall you can’t get any further away from and that’s the ceiling.
ACOUSTIC FOAM PANELS
But one easy way to combat that is by placing affordable acoustic foam panels on the ceiling directly above where you’re recording at. You can get a 12 pack of these that are 2 inch thick for only $30 bucks!
The more of these you can get, the better. But if you can only afford one 12 pack I recommend putting 4 on the ceiling directly above where you’re recording at, and 4 panels on each wall to your left and right horizontal recording position.
Feel free to also experiment with moving the 8 acoustic panels on the walls to the wall in front of where you’re recording at and see which sounds better to you.
I also recommend using 4 Scotch velcro fasteners to secure each foam panel. These are strong, inexpensive, and can be easily removed if needed. These fasteners come 24 to a pack so you will need 2 packs of these to secure 12 acoustic foam panels.
You also need to combat any noise that’s being made in the room. This means turning off the air conditioner or your ceiling fan while recording.
But one noise you likely can’t cut off is the fan noise from your computer. No problem! Simply position the bottom of your dynamic microphone or the back of your condenser microphone so that it faces your computer and blocks out the fan noise! Bam!
BUILDING A WALL
One thing that’s always important to remember about microphones is they don’t have a brain. They simply pick up what’s in front of them, which is you!
But what most people don’t realize is that you’re not the only thing that’s in front of the mic. Any noise that’s being generated from behind can also be potentially picked up from the Mic as well!
This is oftentimes room echo from your voice reflecting off the wall from behind you into the front of the microphone.
You can get rid of this issue by building a very inexpensive absorption wall to go behind you.
Standing up a spare mattress behind your recording position is a great inexpensive way to build an absorption wall. If you don’t have a spare mattress available you can still make your own absorption wall for cheap!
You can achieve this by getting an adjustable clothes rack. I recommend the Songmics clothes rack because it’s almost 5.5 feet wide and can extend up to 6.5 feet tall, which gives you plenty of coverage!
MOVING BLANKETS 6.12 ft (73.44 in) long x 6.60 ft (79.2 in) wide
Then use a moving blanket to serve as your sound absorption shield. The moving blanket I recommend is 6.6 feet long and 6.12 feet wide which will cover
the clothes rack with a little extra to spar.
To secure the moving blanket to the clothes rack I recommend using some inexpensive spring clamps.
Also, I believe a microphone isolation shield such as the Kaotica Eyeball or the Alctron Vox Shield is a must for recording inside as it will help with blocking any additional audio reflections from the room.
Again your microphone Isolation device will come with a built-in pop filter but I recommend adding an additional pop filter to help get rid of heavy plosives.
You will of course need a Mic stand as well.
WHERE DO YOU RECORD?
So, quick question. Do you have a favorite place to record at in your home? If so, where at? Also, do you have any recording tips that you like to use that I didn’t cover in this video? Please let me know in the comments section below.