Vocal recording is one of the most intricate parts of music production. Let alone hitting the right key, each line of a song needs to be as compelling as the last. Many vocalists are adept at turning up to the microphone and laying down a pitch perfect recording first time. However, obtaining the most captivating recording may require a little comping. This is where the very best sections from different recordings are taken and compiled into one piece of audio. Sometimes, remembering and selecting the best section of each take can be confusing, especially with many takes to go through. A great method to get around this is to write simple notes that define the quality of each section of a take.
Create a document with the song lyrics. Divide them into each separate line, and each line into sections with enough space underneath to write notes. Under each line put a column of numbers representing the number of takes that you’re going to record. You’ll be placing your comments next to these numbers. Listen to each take and, depending on your judgement, use the following markings for each section:
When it comes to recording sessions, many producers will try and have a vocalist do as many takes as possible until they get it right. This is great workflow for some people but it can often lead to a tired vocalist and can mean lower quality recordings later on. It’s better to help the singer to feel the emotion of a song and create fewer takes of incredible quality than to keep on re-recording until they get it perfect. If you stick to about 6 or 7 takes then this should give you a nice number of takes to work with and define your comp.