How to Record Vocals in Pro Tools

By Lars Tramilton

This article will teach you how to properly record vocals in Pro Tools. You will learn how to use phantom power and how to set proper levels for your vocal track. Even the greatest vocal performance will sound terrible if it is not recorded properly. With these tips you will be well on your way to recording great vocals all by yourself!

Create a new audio track in Pro Tools by choosing File - New Track from the main menu.

Connect your microphone to an open channel on your Pro Tools hardware.

Enable phantom power. If your microphone requires phantom power, press the phantom power switch to the "ON" setting in your Pro Tools hardware. Condenser microphones require phantom power. Dynamic microphones like a Shure Beta 57 do not. Be sure to read the manual that came with your microphone. Do not apply phantom power to microphones that do not require it, you may damage your microphone!

Press the record button on your audio track . Pressing the record button will "arm" the track and make it ready for recording.

Set your levels. Sing into the microphone and look at the level meter on your audio track. If the level meter is turning red, your levels are too "hot." Turn the gain knob down on your Pro Tools hardware for the associated track. You want to make your levels as high as possible without going into the red.

Press record. Once you have your levels set properly, press the record button in the Pro Tools transport and begin your performance. Press stop when you are finished. You should now have a properly recorded vocal track. That's it! You now know how to record vocals in Pro Tools!

Tip

How far away from the microphone you are when you sing will greatly effect the sound. Try to start about 12 inches from the microphone for normal singing, 6 inches for very soft vocals. Experiment to find the perfect distance for your particular sound.

Warning

It is a good idea to use a pop filter when recording vocals. Otherwise, you may hear annoying artifacts called plosives when playing back your recording. Pop filters are inexpensive and available at any good music retailer.

About the Author

Lars Tramilton has been writing professionally since 2007. His work has appeared in a variety of online publications, including CareerWorkstation. Tramilton received a bachelor's degree with a focus on elementary education from Kean University.