Isolation recording project - need some advice for recording vocals (rock songs)

Hi everyone. Since COVID-19 hit my band and I have decided to record a bunch of cover tunes for fun. Mostly rock/hard rock from many eras. We have managed to record all the music (i.e. drums, bass, guitar and keys), the last thing being vocals which will be left up to me (I’m also the bass player).

For vocals I nearly have no equipment…I have a Shure SM58 Beta and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2…that’s about it!!! Now I’m not expecting any sort of studio quality. I’m OK setting gain etc., and will sort my own recording space out (i.e. what room of the house!!!). I’m just after some pointers in what effects to apply, like if there are any vocal EQ patches available, what type of compression etc, delay/reverb etc.

Having said all that I realise we can add effects once we mix the tracks - so mostly I guess what do I need to record some good sounding, clean, compressed vocal tracks?

The songs we have recorded so far are Department of Youth (Alice Cooper), Power To The Music (Motley Crue), Them Bones (Alice In Chains), DOA (Van Halen), Two Timer (Kiss), I’ll Be With You Tonight (Cheap Trick), private Eyes (Hall and Oates).

Appreciate any info.

If you don’t have vocals yet, what are you using as a guide/backing track?

will sort my own recording space

That’s a right-up-front big deal because we can’t take reverb and echo out. Once you record in the kitchen, it’s always going to sound like your kitchen.

Two possibilities are the back of your car and the kitchen table sound studio.

After you have a clean track and export it as a protection WAV file, then go for the effects.

Effects > Limiter
Effects > Compressor
Effects > Echo
Effects > Reverb

Last time I used echo as a voice effect, it was an adventure because the designer used a metaphor of clapping on one side of a canyon and then coming back in ten minutes for the return echo. Less useful when what you really wanted was stadium or large venue sound.

Others may post with ideas.

Do you have good, wired, sealed against the head headphones? It’s rough to follow the backing track without that because most of the other possibilities either don’t work well, have delay, or leak backing track to the microphone.

You can set up Audacity for Overdubbing. The Scarlett should do that. Listen to yourself at the same time you sing to yourself. You have to plug the phones into the Scarlett for perfect overdubbing, not the computer.

Or you can fake it with one earphone muff.


Post back if you get something to work and how you did it.


Hey Koz - cheers man. I set up my mic in my son’s room (a small room we converted under the house. Acoustically it’s fairly dry and dead sounding with low ceiling and lost of curtain and stuff on the wall to cut down any sound bouncing around.

I have a decent headset I’m using (over ears). The biggest problem I have is the headphone amp in the Focusrite is wimpy…it doesn’t get loud enough to hear the monitoring over my actual natural voice. I’ll sort that out with a small headphone amp I think.

I recorded a vocal part for INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart. Sounds pretty good for a dry vocal. I had a muck around with compression and limiting to even out some of the volumes differences and it kinda worked but I was guessing!

I guess from here for typical rock songs are there some settings or even plugins I can use for compression, limiting and EQ?

I got an ok mild reverb happening, but as far as compression, limiting and EQ I’m really clueless.
Appreciate any suggestions… The next few I’m gonna knock out are Dept of Youth (Alice Cooper), DOA (Van Halen), Them Bones (Alice in Chains), I’ll Be With You Tonight (Cheap Trick) and Two Timer (Kiss).