These days, many people are interested in recording their vocals; not necessarily for professional purposes, but for accompanying a YouTube video or for performing at home, for instance. Perhaps you’re learning how to sing and want to record your progress, or you want to entertain some guests in the sitting room by amplifying your voice through a speaker. To do this, you’ll need a microphone, but it doesn’t need to be a top-of-the-line piece of studio equipment. You can opt for a USB microphone or a straightforward vocal microphone, depending on your situation. In this blog, we’ll go through the necessary microphone accessories so you can capture or amplify your vocals successfully!Recording and amplifying vocals for beginners

Recording vocals

By now, you’ve probably discovered that the built-in microphone in your laptop or webcam does not offer the best quality audio. What’s more, it probably picks up the sound of your computer’s fan or whirring hard drive as well. A USB microphone is a simple, affordable solution to this problem. It can be connected directly to the USB port of your computer, which means you don’t need to invest in an external audio interface or special software to record your vocals. If you want to sing along with your favourite songs on YouTube, then this is also a great option.

Recording with your mobile device

It’s also possible to use your smartphone or tablet to record your vocals. Microphones that are compatible with mobile devices have an analogue mini jack plug with three black rings (known as TRRS) or a digital connector such as micro USB or Lightning. It’s important to note that recordings via a digital connection will sound best, even though a microphone like this is relatively more expensive than an analogue one. Be sure to read the technical specifications on the product pages to see if your tablet or smartphone is compatible! These microphones often come with free recording apps, but other recording apps are usually suitable as well.

Must-have accessories and practical extras:

  • If you want to record sitting down, then it’s a good idea to invest in a desktop stand , if one wasn’t already included with your studio or handheld microphone. Make sure your mic fits the stand before you order it. If you prefer to stand up, then a regular mic stand is the better option.
  • A set of headphones is essential so you can listen to the track you’re singing along to without it begin picked up by the mic.
  • A pop filter prevents the sounds P, T, B, D, S and F, better known as plosives, from disrutping your recording. Studio microphones are especially sensitive to these sounds. Please note that the pop filter needs to be attached to a stand and positioned between the vocalist and the microphone.
  • Lastly, a shock mount is an important accessory because it prevents handling noise from being picked up by the microphone. It’s suitable for studio microphones and designed to suspend the microphone in a sort of web of elastic bands to prevent any unwanted vibrations via the stand from being captured. It’s not a necessity, but without one, you’ll need to be extra careful during recording. If you don’t want to take the risk, then a shock mount that is suitable for your mic is a must-have!

Amplifying vocals

If you only want to amplify your vocals, then all you need is a vocal/speech microphone, an active speaker with a microphone input and a cable. Vocal mics for live performances are usually dynamic. They are not as sensitive as condenser microphones, which are commonly used in the studio, and are built to withstand bumps and knocks during intensive use on stage. All you need is an active speaker with a built-in amplifier, a mic input and cable, and your vocals can be heard by all! Be sure to read the technical specifications of the speaker to see if has an XLR input or a 6.3mm jack input, as you will need to bear this in mind when ordering the right mic cable: an XLR to XLR or an XLR to jack. Lastly, here are a couple safety tips:

  • Turn the volume down all the way before you turn on the speaker.
  • Do not aim the microphone at the speaker, as this can cause feedback.

See also

» USB microphones
» Android/iOS microphones
» Dynamic vocal/speech microphones
» Active speakers
» Mobile battery-powered speakers
» Microphone accessories

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