Advice for recording vocals for music tracks

Does anyone have any advice about the best methods for getting a good vocal sound when recording music tracks?

I’m hoping to get specific guidance on the types/order of effects processing (EQ, compression, reverb etc) and recommended settings that would best enhance a typical pop music vocal track. Thanks in advance.

I keep looking for the word “live” as in live music tracks. You don’t have access to the original performance, do you? I’m going to tell you that recording a live performance is a lot more difficult that it looks and it’s the one single thing you can control to make Post Production rescues and sweetening after that unnecessary.

You do have the performer by his or herself, right? Without the rest of the band? If all you have is the finished performance in front of a large group of people, that’s pretty much the performance you got, special effects or not. One favorite post that appears a lot is, “How do I separate the lead singer from the band?”

Are you in that boat? The answer used to be you don’t. Ever. That’s not true any more. There are software packages that can simulate a really bad iso microphone for the lead singer.

So more info is in order. What, exactly are you starting with?


Use a good micrphone, dont use crappy $40 thing that is really a toy. invest in something decent.

You will have to establish what eq’s sound best for the singer voice,Its different for everyone .You want the persons voice to sound natural as you hear it in the real world so dont go cranking up frequencies and getting a result that sounds strange (unless thats what your after), Use you ears and keep it natural. keep in mind that even some microphones will not suit some peoples voices.

Some people like to record two vocal tracks (sung exactly the same) as the natural variation between takes will give a slight chorus effect without having to use an artificial effect.

You can find some settings for the Gverb effect at this link

only simple advice but i hope it helps

Thanks for the help. I am using Audacity to do a multitrack recording (Roland drums direct, guitar, bass, and vocals) with a Shure SM57 for the vocals. I would love to see some user posts that detail the process and settings (effects and plug-ins) that they used to achieve a particular sound or mix (i.e. a good bass guitar mix etc.).

The approach that I try to take is:

  1. Start with a good source
  2. Try not to mess it up too much.

Perhaps a bit simple, but it gets to the core of the matter.
Example - for a good electric bass sound:

  1. Start with an electric bass, someone to play it and a bass amp - adjust whatever is necessary to get a good sound.
  2. Try different microphones and different microphone positions to get a recording that sounds as good as the real thing.

Only after step 2 would I attempt to “enhance” the sound. (who wants to listen to “enhanced garbage”?)

Good equipment can help, but more important is “Good Listening”.