Advanced Audio Engineering
Course 8: Lead Vocal and Background Overdubs

Course eight teaches you about overdubbing vocals and background overdubs. Vocals are the most critical part of your song. In this course, you will be covering the pre and post-recording methods used for vocals. For vocal overdubs, you will cover the types of characteristics male singers have that differ from female singers and the microphones that work best for your recording situation.

Male and female vocalists use quite different sonic characteristics and overtones that can add a unique flavor to any track. Think of male vocalists as having tones similar to that of a baritone or tenor saxophone – smoother and thicker than their female counterparts. On the flip side, females may be closer to a trumpet with a certain sweetness that comes from the mid-range of overtones.

By layering background vocals for harmony, you can add sonic fullness to captivate and transport your listener. Whether it’s a two-part harmony or an entire choir, there are some tricks to help you get the sound you and the artist are looking for. With advice from your mentor, you can take your production up a notch with better instrumentation, skillful vocal layering, and expert tips on giving your project more depth and richness.

You’ll also learn how to use a microphone preamplifier at the beginning of the vocal chain, which adds warmth to a vocal recording. Vocal compressors can add dynamics to a vocal recording while vocal equalizers add punch, clarity, depth, and more to a track that needs a bit of change to fit well with the other instruments in a mix.