If you are asking any of these questions, which are all the same, this article will answer it for you:
How close to the microphone do I stand when I record rap vocals?
How close are you supposed to stand to the microphone when you record rap vocals?
And, how far from the microphone to stand when recording rap vocals?
How Close Do I Stand?
There are a few factors that matter when it comes to determining how close are you supposed to stand to the microphone when you record.
Those factors are the following
How Loud Is Your Style?
1) Depends on how LOUD your performance is going to be / Depends on your rap style
As I will mention in the next part a bit more, it depends on how loud your style is.
If you are screaming like Meek Mill you want to stand just a bit further back from the microphone. Thing is, it actually depends more so on what the preamp level is. But this is still a factor.
Especially with layering as I mention in #3 for how far to stand from the microphone when recording rap vocals.
How Loud Is The Preamp Set?
2) Depends how loud the Preamp is set
Really this should be #1 instead of #2 on the list for how far to stand from the microphone whenrecording rap vocals. I just figured #1 would make more sense first to kind of understand.
Technically if the preamp is set to a low level of boost you can stand right on top of the microphone and scream and you would be perfectly fine. Actually the primary thing that determines how close to stand to the microphone when recording rap vocals is the preamps settings.
Here are some examples:
If you have the preamp cranked all the way up, you can literally hear the air in the room as if it is alive. You can fart on the other side of the room and the microphone will pick it up. You could re record the Ying Yang Twins whisper song with ease lol.
Now if the preamp is turned super low down, the microphone is barely going to pick up anything. It’s not AMPLIFYING the signal to the microphone. Hence, PRE-AMPLIFIER.
A rapper like Meek Mill or DMX would need a lower preamp boost OR they would need to stand farther back from the microphone to record. Why? Because they are always screaming.
A rapper that has a lower voice and flow like Curren$y or Drake when he sings in order to hit the notes would have the preamp boosted much more.
You may ask why you can’t just record low and then turn up the vocals in the post mix right? Well when you have to turn up the vocals you actually increase ‘noise’ anything like air or useless noise is also being turned up along with that boost in the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation | Protools | Logic X etc).
Are You Layering Vocals?
3) Depends how you want to layer the vocals.
When vocals are layered they are done from numerous angles and lengths from the microphone to give it a unique depth and sound.
Sometimes I lay 10 vocals behind something. I stand back 5 feet, I stand to the side 3 feet. I scream, I do low tones, I use different voices.
They all layer and create a feeling and style you want to give to your listener.
More On Layering Vocals
A bit more on layering vocals
The distance you stand should generally change when you start layering vocals.
Standing different distances and in different parts of a room while recording will allow the microphone to pick up different takes that can all blend together to make something much more unique and powerful.
Have you ever heard the song ‘Stay With Me’ by Sam Smith? Well in his chorus part where it says “Stay with me” I heard him say in an interview that was like 28 layers of vocals combined to get that AMAZING effect it had. That effect is what made the song so powerful and pulled people right in.
So start practicing layering vocals and different distances from the microphone to find your sweet spots for each song.
Or if you have the same style on every song, find your sweet spot for recording in general! 🙂
I’ll write an entire article on this, be on the look out for it in the Home Studio | Recording section.
The Rule Of Thumb
A Good Rule Of Thumb To Follow, Literally.
A great way to really get started and just follow as a guide line so you aren’t too confused when trying to figure out how far to stand from the microphone when recording rap vocals is to just keep your mouth about 6-8 inches from the microphone.
Or about the distance from your thumb tip to your pinky tip as shown in the picture
I hope that answered the question of “how close are you supposed to stand to the microphone when you record.” I know I used to ask all of these questions and that’s why I answer them for you now on here.
You finished another Smart Rapper article, you’re officially a Smarter Rapper!
The more articles you read, the smarter you get! At this rate you’ll be a genius in no time.
– Novi NovAK
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