Practicing Microphone Technique
Microphone technique is a critical piece of the puzzle for live performers. Few singers sit down and practice using a microphone correctly. This often leads to some great singers being over looked by industry professionals due to poor sound quality.
The good news is that practicing is easy!
You can even do it in the comfort of you own home if you have a PA system and a recording device. You can even record youself out at a karaoke bar. Recording allows you to play around with using a microphone and actually hear the results of what you are doing.
Important notes when practicing microphone technique:
- NEVER point the microphone towards a speaker that is too close or you will get feedback.
- Make sure all connections are good and tight and that wires or not faulty. Faulty equipment will either not work or cause a buzzing or humming sound in your recordings.
For a lot of performers, a common problem is holding the microphone too close or too far from your mouth. This will give you either a very loud or muffled sound or a very soft or distant sound. When you practice your songs, listen for parts when you vocals become too loud or too soft and make adjustments.
In general you do not want to hold the mic closer than 2-3 inches from your mouth. Pratice siging and slowly move the microphone away and hear how it effects your vocals. When do your vocals start to fade away? When you find this point, this is the furthest position for your voice and you should hold the microphone between that distance and where you started.
The fade effect can be used at the end of songs for sustained notes or in other parts of songs to create a fade in your vocals. Also, if you are singing a soft part of a song, but want the vocals to be more present, you should bring the mic closer
Taking voice lessons with a great instructor can help you learn more about vocal technique and how to properly use a microphone when performing live.