Greetings! Here’s the first installment of a series of recording hints, tips, tricks, and ideas from the front of The Blackbird Academy classroom.

This first audio tip may seem obvious, but it took me decades to figure out. When recording background vocals, have the singer step away or to the side of the microphone. There’s a tendency to record all the singing at a fixed distance from the mic, and when you go to mix, it’s harder to differentiate the lead from the backgrounds. You can put reverb on them, but it still sounds like a close vocal with reverb.

Using a different microphone can keep things discernible too — perhaps a “darker” microphone on the BGV’s. Varying the miking distance and tone automatically creates one of the most elusive qualities in a recording: depth of field.


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