How to produce vocals

27th Mar 2012 | 14:32

How to produce vocals
How to produce vocals
The ultimate guide

In this guide, we've rounded-up some invaluable advice, tips and techniques courtesy of Computer Music and Computer Music Specials to help you produce perfect vocals no matter what genre you're working in.

Whether you're recording brand-new vocal parts yourself or planning on slicing-up some samples, over the next few pages you'll find some expert advice to help you get things sounding right. From Motown-style soul to Aphex Twin-esque electronic weirdness, we've got all bases covered! Simply scroll through to learn more...

Planning on recording some vocals yourself? Then before you start you'll want to read our guide to recording studio vocals.

How to produce vocals
96 vocal production tips
Practical and experimental tips

96 invaluable tips to help you tighten up your vocals whatever genre you're working with.

Read: 96 vocal production tips

How to produce vocals
How to mix classic rock vocals
Get that stadium-filling rock sound in your DAW

Rock vocals come in so many different shapes and sizes that there are no set rules for processing them. However, there are still some general techniques you can apply to get the foundations right.

Read: How to mix classic rock vocals

How to produce vocals
How to record Motown-influenced soul vocals
Give your mixes that classic soul sound

A very straightforward method to put into practice, and if you create a mixer template for it, you’ll find that sticking it on your soul vocals becomes second nature.

Read: How to record Motown-influenced soul vocals

How to produce vocals
How to mix classic pop vocals
Record perfect pop hits in your DAW

Pop encompasses so many different forms and styles that the question of what constitutes a ‘classic’ pop vocal sound can be a rather open one. Fortunately, whether it’s ‘80s power pop, ‘90s ballads or modern club bangers, there are a few things you can do to instantly capture a powerful pop vocal sound that would be right at home in any era - and on any chart.

Read: How to mix classic pop vocals


How to produce vocals
How to mix jazz vocals
Five steps to producing natural and soulful vocal parts

Jazz musicians tend to give their vocalists a lot of space - and we’re not talking about the distance between them in the studio. Because classic jazz tracks tend to be gentle, textured and soft, it’s a lot easier to pick out the subtle qualities of a singer’s voice.

Read: How to mix jazz vocals

How to produce vocals
How to make Aphex Twin-style demonic vocals
A quick step-by-step guide in Ableton Live

Get that terrifying trademark Aphex vocal sound in your DAW.

Read: How to make Aphex Twin-style demonic vocals

How to produce vocals
How to make vocal stutter effects in your DAW
Step-by-step walkthrough and audio examples

Perfect a great IDM and modern dance music vocal style.

Read: How to make vocal stutter effects in your DAW

How to produce vocals
How to create vocal harmonies with Melodyne
A step-by-step guide with audio examples

Not so long ago, if you wanted to create harmonies for a vocal part, you were left with little choice other than to ask your vocalist to sing these for you, one part at a time. It’s only fairly recently that the option to create harmonies from a single lead vocal line has become available. Learn how to do it with Melodyne here.

Read: How to create vocal harmonies with Melodyne

How to produce vocals
How to make Skrillex-style mangled vocals in Melodyne
Get the Grammy winner's spritely vocal sound

Celemony’s Melodyne Editor is an incredibly powerful piece of pitch correction software that you can use to create an array of unusual effects, including those of the sort you’ll hear on Skrillex’s With You Friends (Long Drive), Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, and First Of The Year (Equinox).

READ: How to make Skrillex-style mangled vocals in Melodyne

How to produce vocals
How to create drowsy Lana Del Rey-style vocals
Get the opinion-dividing chanteuse's trademark sound

Lana Del Rey’s songs have burst onto the pop scene in recent months, and she’s quickly building up a loyal fanbase.This is no surprise: her vocal style and the supporting productions have quickly developed an instant-recognition factor, with the rich pianos and string lines in her tracks echoing film soundtracks, and her vocal delivery having a slightly slurred, almost drowsy quality to it.

READ: How to create drowsy Lana Del Rey-style vocals

How to produce vocals
How to make Ke$ha-style pitch-warped vocals
Discover the processing and editing tricks behind the sound

Here we’re going to record a fun, playful-sounding track in the style of Ke$ha, complete with some of her pitch-warping tricks.

READ: How to make Ke$ha-style pitch-warped vocals

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