How to record your first cover using thomann mic and garage band.
You want to record your first cover, or your first demo and you have no idea where to get started. In this video I am going to show you how you can easily record your music from start to finish so that you can put your fabulous music out there in the world.
Kia ora and welcome back, my name is Zoe Stibi, your vocal coach for today. Timestamps are in the description, for your ease but let’s get straight to the video,
Step 1: Choose your song.
- I am going to be singing, when we were young from Adele today. it has a great vocal range to show you how dynamic this Rode Nt 1 th gen really is.
- In this video I will be showing you two ways to record your cover, one with a backing track and one with live instrument. Today I am going to be using my accoustic guitar – because that is what I know many of you start to learn on.
- So download your backing track, to have it ready in a wav file. Now a wave file is a high quality music flie, it means that we can hear all the different dynamics in your song.
- The higher quality the input, the higher quality your final product will be. But that goes without saying right?
- The great thing about the RODE NT 1 5th Gen is that it has dual USB and XLR output, so you can choose to either connect it straight into your computer, if you don’t have an interface or you can use the interface to record two instruments at once.
- I am going to show you how super simple this really is with the USB output today.
Step 2: Create your new garageband project .
You want to open garageband and create a new project. you are going to need to have 2 tracks, one will be for your instrument or your karaoke track and the second will be for your vocals.
You can do this by going to track, new and selecting the input settings. I am using the USB microphone here so I will choose that for both tracks.
Step 3: Choose how you want to record your instrument:
- We have two options when working with instruments:
- We can record them both at the same time, in that case we would need an interface with two inputs for this. which creates a live feeling and great for atmosphere with a live cover. it does make editing tricky though, so we have to double check that we have practiced a lot to make sure we can perform the whole song without stopping.
- Option 2. is that we Record the vocals and the instrument separately, This can be tricky for some people simply due to the timing of playing without sinigng, but it makes editing a lot easier and we can go back in again and edit the levels or each instrument. There is no bleed between the microphones then (where the guitar is heard by the vocals mic and the vocals are heard by the guitar mic) This is always my preferance for covers.
Step 4: Choosing a room to record in. This is important!
- When choosing a room to record in, you need to find a quiet enough space where you can dampen the sounds. I like to choose a bedroom or a living room, lots of soft things to cover up the reflection of the sound. This makes your recording easier to work on as well without loads of echo.
- Singing into your closet is a great idea – and super cheap.
- Today I am going to be recording in my spare room.
Step 5: Setting up your microphone.
- With the Rode NT1 5 Gen you can just simply plug in the USB microphone into your computer USB port (link this) and start getting to work straight away.
- This is a sponsored video, thank you Thomann, but I approached them about this spot because I believe so strongly in this microphone. It is not only competitively priced at €249 (such a steal! link in the description for more info and to get it.) But It has this amazing new technology that means it is unclippable.
- What does that mean? You can actually sing loud and quiet into the mic without adjusting the gain, and you will get a clean signal at the end! WHAT?! a massive game changer for my loud singers out there who have to watch their volume for the loud notes. This NT 1 is unstoppable. Thomann ship worldwide and their 10 year garantee is insane. Actually all my gear is from Thomann. I should have thought about the sponsorship malarky agessss ago!
- You want to make sure that your microphone is at the level of your mouth, and you have the pop filter set so you can sing into the microphone directly. Be sure to sing into the mic straight on, and have your lyrics on a stand behind the mic on a phone or tablet to avoid the russling of paper.
- My microphone stand is the KM from Thomann, but I find the elegance stand looks way better than this one for recording covers, I just lost it at a gig recently, hence why it isn’t in this video. I don’t recommend you hold the mic in your hand, like you see some singers do.
Step 6: Importing your backing track.
In garageband, you need to make a new track and create one using “ live instruments” that way you can just simply drag and drop your karaoke track into the track you have created and away we go.
Step 7: Set up your instrument.
You want to make sure that the mic is sitting a little further up towards the fret board on a guitar, or you will simply pick up a lot of sounds of your fingers on the strings.
Make sure you are close enough to the mic, but far enough away that you can still be expressive in your playing. You might need to play with this a little, so be prepared for a few takes.
That is why I love the USB mic, because it is easy to use and you can record covers so quickly, without faffing with levels.
Step 8: It’s time to push record.
You want to be sure to record your instrument first, if you are playing live, and once you are happy you can go ahead and record the vocals over top.
Simply highlight the track you want to record on, and you can push the red record button. If you need to start singing and playing straight away, you can use the metronone to get 4 beats at the start before you begin, or you can let it run with your earphones in so you stay in time whilst recording your instrument.
Step 9: Record your vocals.
Once you are happy with the sound of your guitar, you can go ahead, and highlight the vocals line and push record to sing over your instrumental.
If you need to do multiple takes, that isn’t a problem. I just create a new track, cut the first take where you want to pick up from, using control T and then take your cursor to a little before your am supposed to start singing, listen to the previous lyrics and then start singing over top on your fresh track.
Step 10: Let’s master this.
Once you are happy with the tracks that you have created, you can then take the volume down of the tracks you didn’t use, or you can simply delete them.
I then like to use one of the presets here in garageband. I like the classical voice one, or narrator, I find they are great quality and do the job for my singing. You can find an audio engineer over on fiverr who can master your tracks for you if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself.
Step 11: export your song.
We are finished, the song sounds great, let’s export this baby!
So you go up here to share, and then export. I always suggest exporting in a higher quality format if I am going to upload it to spotify or youtube. And then if you are going to simply send it to mum over whatsapp you only need an Mp3 file.
So there you have it. We created your first cover from start to finish. You can catch my cover of when we were young in the description below, but let me know in the comment what do you find the hardest about recording covers?
Thank you again to Thomann for sponsoring this video, I am a huge fan of their’s and I am permanently broke due to the amount of equiptment I buy from them. They really know their stuff. So looking forward to sharing more music gear with you all.
Have a great day Ka Kite Ano.