Recording a Vocalist with Poor Pitch – Recording Tip

18 04 2010

I just finished recording several vocalists at our school for a CD project. I am amazed at some of the young talent. However, a couple were having a difficult time keeping their young voice in tune. I didn’t want to use a digital pitch correction plugin to correct pitch because I wanted it to document “their” performance. But I still wanted to get them more in tune. Quite a dilemma.

Here is what I did, it is simple and can cure most pitch problems and still gives you an unaltered recording of the student’s voice.

Record a ghost track of the part that the vocalist will be singing with an instrument of choice. A ghost track is one that will be taken out later but helps the performance while recording. I used a digital piano as that was the instrument the student was used to hearing in practice. I used the digital version instead of an acoustic as it was fast to input and I was sure it was going to be perfectly in tune.

Then I pumped it through the monitor headphones so she could sing along with it. After a successful take I went back and deleted the ghost track from the recording and the vocals were much better without manipulation of their performance.

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