Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tutorial: Recording your own vocals on GarageBand with the built-in mic

I wrote this for Jodi because she wanted to record her own vocals on GarageBand. She's a really awesome singer and I always love her performances! She is gonna be a megastar one day :D

This tutorial is a very simple one, using the built-in microphone on your Macbook. If you have a USB mic, it would be better, but the point of this tutorial is to show you that you can achieve pretty decent quality with the built-in mic by taking control of a few settings. Here is one song that I recorded with the built-in mic:

KSD by chiiiiing

On to the tute......... take it away, tute!
Setting up your recording area
  1. Try to record in a small room so that there’s not so much echo
    (Note: Apparently one of Kelly Clarkson’s songs, “Irvine”, that was on her album was recorded by herself with her macbook in her closet. The vocals were so emotionally charged that the producers decided to use it instead of trying to replicate it at the studio.)
  2. Thick curtains and carpets are good because they help dampen some high frequency waves and also reduce echoes. (If you record in a bathroom, there will be a lot of echoes because the sound waves will be bouncing crazily against the bathroom tiles :D)
  3. You can also try covering yourself and your laptop with a thick blanket/quilt but it might be a bit hot hehe
  4. Turn off any electronics that might be adding noise to your environment (ie ceiling fans, CPU fans, mobile phone vibrating, etc)
  5. Close any windows to reduce sounds of car honking noises, cats fighting, etc
  6. Adjust your distance from the laptop microphone, ie if your song requires you to throw your voice loudly, place yourself further away from the mic. If your song requires a more personal and intimate delivery of the vocals, go nearer to the mic so that it’ll pick up the emotional nuances in your voice.
    (Note: The built-in mic on the macbook is usually located behind the keyboard, under the left speaker grille)
  7. Stand up if you feel it works better for your vocals; you can also sit down. Whatever works best for you :D

Setting up your macbook’s System Preferences
  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left of your computer
  2. System Preferences > Sound > Input
  3. See image below:

Setting up your garageband’s Sound Settings to record vocals
  1. See image below:
  2. You may then proceed to record your vocals

Enhancing your vocal recording on garageband
  1. After recording your vocals, you can add filters to enhance the quality.
    See image below:

That's about it for now. If this tute helped you, let me know. Have fun!!

No comments: