3 tips to record great liners
Liners are the core of radio imaging. They must be written with care and recorded with attention. In today’s radio production world, vocal recordings can take place in your booth or miles away at a talent’s home studio. Either way, you must make sure to use and share the technics explained below for best sounding liners.
It all starts with the room
The sound quality of a vocal recording is closely related to the audio performance of the room. Although the mic quality is important, the acoustic feature of the room is even more crucial: it should not allow any unwanted close reflexions-especially in the low-end- and it should not sound like a dead room.
One of the wrong way to address the live room issue is to set the microphone as close as possible to the talent. The idea is that the closer the mic is to the source, the less room sound will get picked up. Then the voice doesn’t have to be loud or intense which also minimises close reflexions. However, unless you need intimate and soulful liners, this technic doesn’t always work in the context.
The disadvantage of recording too close
If your vocals are recorded up close and personal, then that’s how your liners will sound. No matter if you edit and sync them with nice effects and music bed, they will sound tacked onto the mix, and you’ll struggle to get them to fit with the background. You’ll pull the fader up, and they will be too loud. You’ll pull the fader down, and they will disappear. Does that sound familiar?
It’s so much easier to mix a vocal when you record it with the mix in mind.
Record with the mix in mind
Next time, experiment a bit with the distance between the vocal mic and the talent. Especially if you want to create catchy or powerful liners. You might be surprised that when you add the vocals into the mix, they will automatically blend themselves with the music.
You don’t always have to focus on the perfect technicalities of the engineering as much as the naturalness of the performance. Just capture the best possible performance of your talent.
The vocals are the most critical part of your radio imaging. Make them stand out by using these 3 trips.
F.B. has been working in the radio industry for 10 years. He produces radio imaging elements for sonsduproducteur.com