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The Essential Equipment To Start Recording Vocals

Want to start recording vocals? Well, these days, it’s not so hard to get something clean (almost pro) from the comfort of your own home. Let’s take a look at what you need to start recording vocals right away.

‎Equipment To Start Recording Vocals

Here’s the equipment you need to start recording vocals:

  1. Microphone
  2. Pop filter
  3. Microphone stand
  4. XLR Cable
  5. Audio Interface
  6. DAW
  7. Laptop / Computer
  8. Headphones
  9. Monitor speakers (bonus)

Some items on this list are more essential than others. Like the microphone or laptop, for example. But keep in mind that this list represents the bare minimum for achieving correct, usable quality in your recordings.

If you remove the pop filter (which could be considered non-essential), the plausives will be excessively noticeable in the recording. Or if you record without a DAW, you’ll have a hard time processing your signal afterwards. If you don’t use a microphone, you’ll have a lot of unwanted noise.

In short, each item on this list is important to a greater or lesser degree. And I can guarantee that if you start from scratch, you’ll feel like you’re in a professional studio.

All you have to do is take the step of acquiring every item on the list. It’s a bit of a budget, but well worth it if you want to get a minimum of quality from your vocal recordings.

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1. Microphone

Microphone

Logically enough, the first thing you need to start recording vocals is a microphone. In the recording chain, the microphone is what allows the acoustic waves (potentially your voice) to be converted into an electrical signal.

There are many types, models and technologies of microphone available today. And always keep in mind that the choice of microphone has a huge impact on how it sounds in the end.

Note: Some microphones have their own preamp and can be sent directly as a USB signal to a computer. That’s why they’re called “USB microphones“. But I strongly advise against this type of microphone, which is likely to give you a very poor sound, both in terms of frequency and dynamics.

But for recording vocals in a studio environment, large-diaphragm condenser mics are the most popular choice. This type of microphone will give you all the clarity, precision and cleanliness you need to get the most out of your vocals later on. But in this jungle of microphones, which one should you choose?

Audio Technica AT-2020
AKG C214 Microphone
Neumann TLM 103 Condenser Microphone
Pop Filter
Pop Filter
Mic Stand
Mic Stand
Cable
XLR Cable
Audio Interface
Universal Audio Volt 2 Audio Interface
Focusrite Clarett+ 2Pre Audio Interface
Universal Audio Apollo Twin
Laptop
Apple MacBook Pro M3
Dell XPL 13 Plus Laptop
Studio Headphones
Beyerdynamic DT-770
Monitoring Speaker
Yamaha HS5 Monitoring Speakers
What Is a Condenser Microphone ?
Why Are Apollo Interfaces So Expensive? [Full Answer]
Which ADAT Preamp To Use With Your Apollo Interface?
How To Choose Your First DAW [In 7 Steps]
Closed-Back vs Open-Back Headphones: What Is The Difference?
Studio Headphones: 8 Things To Consider Before Buying

My favorite tools for mixing pop and hip-hop music:

Plugins

In the field of auto-tune, I’m convinced that nothing’s better and more efficient than Antares Auto-Tune Pro. As for the EQ’s, FabFilter Pro-Q3 and Slate Digital Infinity EQ are, in my opinion, the best tools. For compression, I have 2 favorites plugins: Waves RComp and UAD EL8 Distressor.

As for reverb, I’m a big fan of the Soundtoys Little Plate, but generally, I go for the Valhalla VintageVerb for its versatility. I also love the Arturia Rev PLATE-140 and the UAD Pure Plate for its organic side.

Headphones

The closed headphones I love and will always love using for mixing pop and hip-hop music are the Beyerdynamic DT-770. As for the best open-back headphones, I use the Sennheiser HD600 headphones, and I’m really happy of them!

Monitors

Having a pair of Yamaha HS7 in its studio or home studio is always cool for more excitement while listening to your mixes. The Adam Audio T7V monitors are also super accurate. In my studio, I also have a pair of Genelec 8030 for their reliability.

Hardware gear

For anyone who wants to start using hardware in their mixes, I always recommend these 2 units from Klark Teknik: the EQP-KT and the 76-KT. Don’t forget to use good converters, such as the Apollo interfaces. This is essential for a good rendering.

IDeez

IDeez (real name Gauthier Claude) is the owner and head engineer of IDeez Studio. He has been working as a mixing engineer in pop and hip-hop music for several years and collaborates with many artists and independent labels around the world. His goal is to provide quality online mixing services and to teach, through his blog posts, the principles and techniques of mixing in pop and hip-hop music.

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IDeez

About IDeez

IDeez is the head sound engineer of IDeez Studio. He studied BA and MA in sound engineering at IAD (Belgium) and has been a specialist in vocal mixing for several years, especially in pop and hip-hop music. His goal is to help artists, rappers and singers in their mixing process through online mixing services, tutorials, blog articles and e-books. Contact him for any information!

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