Music Producing & Engineering
Course 18: Vocals

A good vocal makes a huge difference in a recording but what makes a good vocal? With a wide variety of genres and emotions to be expressed in music, there are many types of vocals to accommodate musical needs. Every style of music has its own criteria for a “good” vocal. What makes the vocals of “My Girl” by Temptations good is different than what makes the vocals good on “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by the same group.

In course 16, you’ll learn what makes certain vocals good and appropriate for a specific genre, and what makes vocals good in a general sense: timing, presence, projection, emotion, dynamics, style, and more! You’ll also learn how to coax the best performance from the artists, starting with making them comfortable.

So much of being a good producer is how you develop relationships with those you work with, and gaining the trust of your singer is no different. You will also learn how to set up the studio for the best results, including choosing the right mics and placement of those mics, preparing a few tracks beforehand, providing a basic mix for them to work with, and more. Planning for the session can be just as important as the session itself.

When course 18 is finished, you will have learned what makes a good vocal recording, the process for producing a good vocal using standard industry techniques, and effectively mixing vocals into your tracks. You’ll also complete a course review, write a blog entry, and take a quiz to see how much you retained.


  • Be able to define what makes a good vocal recording.
  • Be able to explain the steps needed to produce a good recording.
  • Be able to produce good quality vocals using industry-standard techniques.
  • Be able to understand and utilize basic vocal recording techniques to produce quality vocals.
  • Demonstrate an ability to effectively process and mix vocals into their tracks.