Vocal Recording - Correcting Pitch

Posted by on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 Under: Recording Tips


When you're having problems in the studio with pitch and don't quite know how correct this problem, it can become very frustrating. Adding to the pressure to perform, the harder you try, the worse your pitch gets. This is almost universal in new singers recording for the first time, but even veteran and professional vocalists can be affected by pitch control issues.

An artist who is a really good live performer can enter the vocal booth and often experience a numbing of body language without even knowing it. The artist ceases to move, ceases to "communicate" with the body, the hands and the face. With the absence of the usual weight of the mic, the artist subconsciously leans forward with the head, causing the chests to cave in a bit. These actions cause issues with breathing, which affects the inhale, breath support and breath control. All these factors contribute to a lighter throat channel, which without fail lead to pitch problems.

What can a singer do to correct this? Here are four tips I've found to be effective for improving pitch control in the vocal booth:

1. Stand with your feet closer in towards the mic. This should cause you to have your head farther back, so you want unknowingly lean forward with your head. This

will also cause your chest to open, stretching the ribcage and diaphragm out, which will enable you to get better breath control. (Try not to lift your chin)

2. Don't cup the headphones because it tends to put a subtle weight on your ribcage which limits your diaphrams control of breath. So move your hands as you usually

would during a live performance.

3. Watch how you use reverb. When using reverb, too much or not enough, and you won't do as well. Use just enough to give you that "live" performance feel.

4. Take one headphone half off one ear. This will give you more of an accurate sense of your pitch. Everyone isn't comfortable doing this, but it certainly helps me.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you step into the booth to record and you will certainly be able to correct some of those frustrating pitch issues.

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