Producing A Quality Vocal Recording – Vadé

From left: Jermaine Sanderson, Joseph Anti, Joshua Hammersley Jr. aka JJ, Roy Crisp, and Philip Yeboah
Vocal a cappella group Vadé, having just emerged from the studio with their new single "Be Mine", shares insights for all singers.

Vadé is a five piece a capella group based in the UK that is making waves internationally with their music. This year, they’ve been nearly inseparable from the studio (at Phil’s house!) where they have been working around the clock on new music. Their recent single ‘Be Mine’ (feat. Jermaine Riley) was originally written, arranged, recorded, and produced by Vadé, so, we asked them to share some tips for singers looking to do the same… and here is what they’ve said!

Tip 1: Prepare for that session

Recording can often be a rather long process. It is good to ensure that as a singer, you are well rested and have adequately warmed up your voice before attempting to record. – Phil

Tip 2: Hydrate!!!

A great tip before recording is to stay as hydrated as possible before recording, and this doesn’t mean drink a gallon of water on the day. When you know you are due to record give yourself a couple of days before to hydrate the body, this helps the vocals connect and stay lubricated especially in a long recording session. On the day, do a vocal steam, boil some water and pour into a cup, cover the top of the cup with your mouth and breath in the steam. (Be careful not to burn yourself!) Also, when in studio always drink sips of water to avoid too many toileting breaks! – Roy

Tip 3: Dial in the click track

Make sure a metronome/click track is set to your preferred tempo and edit it accordingly to the tempo changes in the song (if you have tempo changes)! – Jermaine

Tip 4: When recording vocals…

For a thick and “phat” sound always double or triple record your harmonies. In Vadé’s case, we doubled all the vocals for the single. You can hear the doubling very clearly in the chorus. With additions of the counter melodies in the background. You can hear this at 1:00 – 1:05 in the track at the end of this article. – Jermaine

Tip 5: Do what you gotta do

When recording our new single, we placed a single note drone in the song’s mix to help with tuning, as tired voices have a tendency to fall in pitch. Specifically, I added a saxophone note drone throughout, but I took it out once the song was complete. – Phil

Tip 6: Know Your Voice and what it needs

My tip as a bass singer before I record: Try to record in the morning as your natural pitch is lower. For every song, learn the patterns in rhythm and vocal runs as every bass line in a song has repeated patterns, this prepares your mind on what to expect when you record and shortens the time you record which is a plus! – JJ

Tip 7: Think about that finished product

When in the studio, never rush through your recordings, think about the story you want to communicate and consider how you want to communicate your story to those who will be listening to your finished artwork. Singing in a studio can feel different to when you sing live so pay attention to the way you sound with regards to tempo, pitch pacing texture etc. Don’t be afraid to take the time to be a perfectionist. – Joseph

More about Vadé on Single available on Apple Music.

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