Nearly all the biggest hit songs since the 1950’s have had one thing in common – vocals and lyrics as the focal point. Whether the genre is rap, rock, or pop, the vocals of a song can make it a hit or miss for the listeners.
When it comes time to record your own vocal tracks at home, it can be quite a challenge to get good quality sound without a professional setup. If your vocals don’t sound right, the entire song will sound amateurish.
To help you get the high quality vocal recordings you need, we made the following guide of tips and mic recommendations.
Best Overall USB Mic for Vocals
When it comes to recording vocals, one name is trusted above all others – Blue Microphone. Blue has built their reputation on high-quality microphone hardware and as a result, their Blue Yeti USB Mic is the most popular choice for serious at-home recording.
Blue uses proprietary technology to capture audio in a clear way that others can’t. Also a major selling point is just how versatile this microphone is due to the 4 different capture patterns you can choose between.
- Cardioid – captures directly in front of the mic alone, perfect for vocals and most instruments.
- Stereo – captures both left and right channels to create an accurate sound profile. Great for multiple singers and choirs.
- Omnidirectional – this mode picks up sound equally from every direction of the mic.
- Bidirectional – captures from both the front and rear of the mic, perfect for a duet or interview.
Another major feature we have to mention is that you can plug headphones into the mic to get zero-lag feedback on what the mic is capturing. Lesser microphones will have some delay, throwing off your performance.
Best Cheap USB Mic for Vocals and Rap
The CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Microphone is our top pick for the best USB mic for recording vocals. This mic is plug-and-play with both Windows and Mac, so setup is minimal.
The U37 has two switches on the front of it. One allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the mic to get the optimal level of clarity depending on how loud your subject matter is. The other switch lets you adjust the pickup of deep-bass sounds, so if you’re getting background noise from a ventilation system or other ambient noise from your home it can be easily filtered out.
The U37 has a dynamic microphone design for recording rap, vocals, and instruments, with a cardioid pick-up pattern that isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise, giving you the best recording quality of your performance.
This mic comes with a 10-foot USB cable giving you extra flexibility when you record as well as a tripod stand to sit on your desk.
Tips for Recording Vocals at Home
Once you have your mic setup, it’s time to record! Here are some tips on getting the best sound.
- Avoid large rooms and hard surfaces. Hard surfaces and large rooms create reverberation of your vocals that gets picked up in your mic and sounds poor. Smaller rooms with curtains, carpets, and other materials to help absorb those reverberations will sound better for the final product. You can also pick up some acoustic foam panels to help adsorb some of that sound.
- Test your mic position. There’s not really a one-distance fits all solution for where is best to position your mic. It’s going to depend on your vocal style and setup of your room, so try multiple recordings at different angles and distances to find the one that sounds the best for your situation.
- Pop shields work wonders. To prevent spit from getting into your mic and unnatural sounding “p” sounds from coming across, use a cheap pop shield for an easy upgrade to your sound quality.