Help me optimize recording levels for vocals / speaches

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

  1. proactive

    proactive Active Member

    Aug 2, 2008
    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

    May 27, 2009
    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

    Aug 2, 2008
    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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