Win a complete vocal recording and production package

WIN_comp_NThis month, we have joined forces with audio specialists iZotope and leading UK mic brand Sontronics to give you the chance to win a complete vocal recording and production package worth over £580!

The grand prize includes:

Sontronics STC-3X mic pack
iZotope Nectar 2 Production Suite
iZotope VocalSynth

Plus two runners up will each win a copy of VocalSynth.

To enter, click the link at the foot of this page. In the meantime, lets dive deeper into the prizes and digest some handy vocal recording and production tips from the experts…

Now in their 11th year, Sontronics have become a highly respected brand in the recording industry and have won the MIA award for Best Microphone Brand two years on the trot. Fans of their mics include producer Paul Epworth, singer Katie Melua, composer Howard Goodall and many more.Sontronics_STC-3X

The Sontronics STC-3X pack found in our prize bundle features the STC-3X multi-pattern condenser microphone, a spider-style shockmount, a professional-quality, nylon-mesh popshield, 5-metre female-to-male XLR cable and a zip-up microphone pouch. It’s the ideal solution for achieving professional-quality recordings at home or in the studio. Speaking of which, Sontronics founder Trevor Coley has kindly sent us his top 3 tips for recording vocals…

A sensitive soul
If you’re new to condenser microphones (perhaps you’ve been using dynamics or USB mics) get ready for a much wider sound picture. Condenser microphones are much more sensitive to low and high frequencies, so they’ll pick up more nuances of your vocal at the top and bottom end, plus you’ll hear more of the room you’re recording in too. The resulting recording will sound much more natural, less ‘compressed’ and is much easier to edit in the mix.

Sontronics STC-3XDeeper and deeper
Most cardioid condenser mics will allow you to take advantage of the’proximity’ effect; this is the phenomenon where the bass response increases the closer the microphone is positioned to the source. Radio DJs and voiceover artists are masters of proximity, deliberately leaning into the mic to beef up the lower end of their voice and it can be done to great effect on sung vocals too. If, however, you want to avoid the proximity effect and keep the focus on the mids and highs, you can make use of your microphone’s low-cut filter (assuming it has one!).

Sontronics’ Trevor Coley

Ribbons are right
If you haven’t tried a ribbon mic on on vocals, you really should, it’s a treat for the ears! A ribbon microphone has a incredibly thin sliver of corrugated metal (ribbon) suspended between two magnets that moves within the magnetic field when soundwaves reach it. Traditionally ribbon microphones were extremely heavy and also terribly delicate, and their response was not very sensitive. However, these days, especially with our phantom-powered ribbon mics which have internal preamplifiers, they are much easier to handle and use. The best thing about a ribbon mic is that it has a very focused figure-of-eight pickup pattern, so it delivers a very natural, intimate result without picking up too much ambience. Try it on vocals and you’ll never look back!
izotope nectar vocal production suite

Moving on to the software in our prize package, and iZotope’s innovative plug-ins make it easier than ever to produce high quality polished audio projects. Vocals are no exception and the Nectar 2 Production Suite is currently the only complete set of software tools designed specifically for voice available today. Whether you’re tracking or you’re mixing, Nectar 2 delivers professional vocals in an instant.

Meanwhile, iZotope’s newest release – VocalSynth – gives you the tools to easily manipulate your voice to create electronic vocal textures, robot sounds, computerised harmonies, vocoder and talkbox effects, thick octaves or doubles, and everything in between.

Recorded your vocals and now want to get the best results possible? Those friendly audio addicts at iZotope have shared their top vocal production tips…

Get that in-your-face lead vocal soundVocalSynth GUI
The 3kHz – 5kHz range is essential for vocal intelligibility. Gentle, broad EQ boosts in this range can help get that enormous “in-your-face” vocal sound without making a huge change to your overall mix balance.

Increase the depth of your vocal
Use a low pass filter to carve out higher frequencies from your vocal reverb. This ensures your lead doesn’t get washed out by the wet signal and can help accentuate the sense of depth in your mix.

Achieve clean, leveled vox
In certain situations, gently limiting your vox before they hit your vocal compressor can be beneficial. The limiter can catch stray peaks which could cause the compressor to audibly pump.

So, to be in with a chance to win all this vocal production goodness, click on over to the Time+Space website and complete the short entry form to be entered into the prize draw. Alternatively you can enter via our Facebook Page here.

Entry closes 15th August 2016 and the winners will be announced shortly afterwards. Good Luck!

Related Articles

Posted by Melanie Doidge

Having worked in marketing for over fifteen years with experience in various industries, Time+Space and the world of music production continues to be the most exciting of them all. With our brands consistently pushing the boundaries of technology with their products, the terrific DJs, Composers and Producers using them and the feedback from magazines and our customers, there's always plenty to tell the world about. Musical experience? I reached Grade 6 in piano back in my school days and am currently in the throes of trying to resurrect my abilities!