Recording Hip Hop Vocals Tips and Techniques

Vocals are the core of Hip Hop and recording them can be the make or break moment. All Hip Hop artists that come to record at Shine On Studio are looking for "clean" vocals that have transparent clarity and rich tone. Now, how do you capture these vocals to produce the next big hit song? There are a few steps that are crucial to the success of the track and they need to be taken care of before arriving at the studio.

First, the throat needs to be in good shape. This means no drinking cold fluids before coming to the studio. The iced coffee and 7-Eleven Slurpee are an absolute deal breaker. A cold throat is constricted and cannot provide the quality vocals that are needed on a hip hop track. Room temperature water or hot tea are a good idea to relax the throat and keep in loose for the performance. If your suffering from a cold or allergies, honey is a good way to soothe the throat and prep it for the session.

Second, warm up before the session. Just as athletes stretch and get loose before a game, vocalist need to warm up their voice before a performance. Recording is a permanent process and once the recording is complete, it is etched in stone for all time. When fans are going to listen to your recording over and over for the rest of time, it is a good idea to make sure you put your best performance on the tracks.

Writing your lyrics down is a good idea, but rustling papers in the vocal booth is a really bad idea. Here at Shine On, we've installed a magnetic board in the vocal booth for vocalists to hang their lyrics up on the board to keep the papers still, but also easy to see. Music stands also work, but you don't want to be looking down while singing, so a magnetic board or a cork board at eye-level is a really easy way to keep the head up and the throat straight.

Headphones are really important and the right pair can improve a vocal performance. It's good to have closed headphones that go over the ear to keep the bleed to a minimum. There are many types of headphones out on the market, but closed headphones work the best for tracking vocals. The Shure SRH840 headphones are a good choice for quality and performance at an affordable price.

These are just a few key tips and techniques that you should use when recording vocals. For more info on getting quality recordings, contact the studio staff.