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Help me optimize recording levels for vocals / speaches

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by proactive, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. proactive

    proactive Active Member

    Hi Pros…

    Help me optimize recording levels for vocals / speaches

    My background:
    I know just enough to do volunteer work at a religious institute. And I have been doing it for long time.

    Work I do:
    I record spiritual discourses. It’s always one speaker – male with a deep bass voice.

    Our setup:
    We have a recording studio like room that is acoustically treated and semi-sound proof. I record using Sony D50 digital portable recorder directly. (Earlier used Digi 002 but Sony D50 is doing just good enough for my only speaker).

    Question (need help / advise):
    1. What audio levels should I maintain for recording?
    2. Is there a way, or an instrument that tells me what recording levels I should keep. I do monitor and set them, but if there’s a technical way
    3. Finally, if I had a recording that has low levels, what’s the best way to increase the sound levels? And how will it effect the quality of sound (vs. if I had recorded with a higher gain)
  2. audioangel

    audioangel Active Member

    The key to getting a good recording is getting a good signal to noise ratio.

    You want to set your recording levels as high as possible, whilst leaving a little bit of headroom for post processing and space incase the speaker is suddenly loud - you don't want it to distort. I haven't used the D50, but you should be able to adjust the settings int he menu i'd imagine.

    If you have recorded at a low level, you can increase the gain using a programme like adobe audition, logic, cubase, protools - a lot of the digital recorders come bundled with software you can use.If you've recorded at a low level it's likely to be quite noisy depending on the quality of the recorder, but ti depends how low!

    Hope that helps...
  3. proactive

    proactive Active Member

    Thanks audioangel. I finally understood how to interpret s/n and be able to apply it so I get the best recording.

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