How to Record Heavy Vocals 3: Proximity Effect and Compression

Today I want to show you guys a few ways that I approach tracking and mixing heavy vocals. Singing or screaming, it really doesn’t matter.

The trick is to get the best possible sound on the way in. If you do that then and you’ll have a lot less to worry about when it comes to mixing!

First and foremost, when working with a cardioid microphone the closer the vocalist gets to the diaphragm the more the bass increases. This is called proximity effect. With judicious use of this feature you can easily control how the vocalist sounds.

If you want a thicker sound, get them in closer. Too the bottom end? Have them back off a bit. And if you have several mics to choose from, have the vocalist find what works best. I’m going to be doing a mic shootout in an upcoming episode demonstrating exactly how this works!

The one thing I could recommend more than anything else is to compress on the way in when you’re tracking vocals. That means you have an external mic preamp wired into a compressor before the signal is recorded into your computer.

Watch the video above to learn my techniques on how to record heavy vocals!

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About the Author:

Greetings, I'm Glenn Fricker, engineer here at Spectre Sound Studios. I love making records, and after doing it for sixteen years, I want to pass on what I've learned. Featuring tutorials on how to record guitar, bass, real drums and vocals. There's reviews and demos of tube amps, amp sims, drums, mics, preamps, outboard gear, and plugin effects. Everything you've wanted to learn about recording Hard Rock & Heavy Metal can be found right here on my channel! I also respond to your comments & questions: The best make it into the SMG Viewer's Comments series of videos. Loads of fun, lots of laughs. Thanks for reading!

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