vocals

How to Make Lead Vocals Sound Amazing

Kade Young offers tips for getting your vocals heard clearly in worship.

I have been in many church worship services where you can hardly hear the lead vocal. To tell you the truth, I have even led some of these services. There are many causes to this problem, so let’s go through the chain of events so you can get your lead vocal sounding amazing.

First, examine the source.

This may seem obvious, but the first thing you need to check is if the lead vocal is actually projecting. In worship, you often come across people who have little to no training or experience, so they have yet to discover how to put the ‘umph’ behind their singing voice. Generally, they just need to learn proper breathing technique or how to open up their throat and let the sound move freely. I found this great post on breathing: Learning to Breath.

Next, pick the right the microphone.

Not all microphones are created equal. Yet, we often give every vocal the same one. I like to have three different microphones on hand: Electro-Voice N/D767a, Sennheiser e835, and the good ole’ Shure SM58. When I bring a new vocal on the team, I have them sing the same chorus of a song, with the band, on each microphone. The mic that sounds best wins the prize and is assigned to that specific person. Keep in mind, you should level the EQ on the soundboard before running this test so you have a level testing ground.

Don’t forget about the importance of microphone placement. You should address this before testing microphones as microphones react differently depending on how close or far away it is form the mouth. The microphone should be no more than 1″ from the mouth. Also, never put your hand over the mesh part of the microphone.

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