Things You'll Need
- Windows Vista, 7 or XP
- 2 GB RAM
Mixcraft is an audio production software program that lets you record, edit, mix and master your music. It turns your computer into a virtual recording studio, allowing you make demo songs on the road. While it’s relatively straight forward to record vocals using Mixcraft and a microphone, it takes a little care and attention to get the best results. A clean, interference-free and loud signal is preferable because it gives you the best possible starting point for mixing and editing.
Double-click the Mixcraft logo on the desk top. Click “File” and select “New Audio Track.” Name the track “Vocal 1.”
Glue or tape the bottom of the egg trays to the walls, so that they cover around 12 square inches of the wall. The amount of trays required depends on the size, but five or six trays is typically enough. Fix the trays at the same height as the singer's head. The peaked surface absorbs sound waves and prevents sound reflections. Getting as dead a sound as possible is imperative. The more reflections the harder the sound is to control.
Remove all jewelry and if necessary, shoes. A singer wearing noisy beads and chains can ruin an otherwise perfect take. If the singer is prone to foot-tapping, he should remove his shoes.
Audition the microphone signal before recording. Have the singer perform as loudly as possible into the microphone. If the red LED warning light on the Mixcraft interface is flashing, this is a sign that the signal is too loud and is causing distortion. To mitigate this unwanted phenomenon, adjust the “Gain” slider dial on the “Vocal 1” channel. Aim to get the loudest possible vocal signal before distortion.
Hit “Record” when ready and do three takes one after other. This lets the singer get into the flow without being interrupted. It also allows her to warm up and takes the pressure off from doing one, perfect take. Let the singer choose her preferred take. If there are any parts that you don’t like in one take, click “Tools” and select the “Trim” tool by clicking the scissor logo. Cut the bad section and delete it. Cut the same section from a different take and copy it into the other take.
Press “Play” so you can hear your adjustments in real-time. Click “Effects” and select “Compression.” Adjust the “Ratio” dial to your preference. Compression limits the dynamic range of audio by boosting the very quiet parts and cutting the very loud parts to temper peaks and troughs in the volume.
Click “Tools” and select “Equalization.” Adjust the various frequency slider dials to your preference in order to enhance the sound of the vocal. For example, if you’re mixing multiple tracks, reduce the low frequencies in order to “thin out” an otherwise “muddy” sound.
Use headphones to prevent the backing track from "spilling" into the microphone.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.