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Picture this: you’ve purchased a new microphone and are happy with how it sounds. However, after a few days, you aren’t sure whether you’re singing into it correctly.
As a singer and music producer, I’ve used several microphones throughout my career.
Most importantly, I know how to sing into a microphone and get the most out of it.
Singing into a microphone can be daunting if you’re using it for the first time, particularly when hearing your voice is amplified and louder than ever before. I’ll walk you through how to sing into a microphone in this article.
How to Sing Into a Microphone?
Maintain a short distance between you and the microphone, and hold it at an angle of zero degrees. Position the microphone and ensure that it faces your mouth directly. Use a pop filter to prevent exploding consonants, and sing without stressing your voice. If you can’t hear yourself well, turn the microphone’s volume up.
These are basic instructions but will help you to get started. Still, it’s worth noting that there’s much more than meets the eye when singing into a microphone.
You need to understand first what kind of microphone you’re using; it could be a dynamic, condenser, omnidirectional, or cardioid microphone. The type of microphone you use significantly impacts how you sound when you sing.
The best choice for a singer is a cardioid microphone. Cardioid microphones tend to capture more sound from a zero-degree angle to their capsule, reducing sound from the back and the sides. When you use this type of microphone, ensure you’re in front of it at all times when singing.
However, if you use a condenser microphone, adding a pop filter is best. It will remove some consonant sounds that might create unwanted and highly audible noises.
Once ready, place yourself at a certain distance from the microphone. This distance will vary with many factors, including how high the gain knob is in whatever device you use to hear the microphone. It must be far enough not to get the proximity effect.
When you sing, remember that your voice will vary in volume, and this variation will be present also for any listeners. This effect is even more critical when recording your voice since it can create difficulties when editing your material later. A good idea is to move away from the microphone a little bit when you’re singing loud and a bit closer to the mic when you’re singing more quietly. Don’t worry too much about forgetting; this takes time and practice.
You’ll probably use a dynamic microphone you can hold when you’re singing live. Remember to articulate your movements. You must do this to ensure the microphone is always at the ideal distance and angle. For example, if you have the microphone in your hand and look at a fellow band member while singing, make sure you simultaneously move the mic and your head.
You must use a microphone stand if you play an instrument while singing. Putting your mouth directly on the microphone capsule is tempting since it makes things easier. However, refrain from doing so because of the proximity effect. It can be deadly touching the mice if the place you’re singing doesn’t have a ground connection.
How Can Singing Into a Mic Improve Your Voice?
A microphone is not only a tool to amplify or record your voice. It’s also a perfect vehicle for learning more about your voice and which areas of your singing need improvement.
Here are some ways you can use a microphone to improve your singing.
Method 1: Use the microphone to listen for mistakes.
If you use any device that amplifies the volume of your voice, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you’re doing when you’re singing. To start, you’ll be able to identify mistakes easier when you hear your voice at a louder volume. With your amplified voice, you’ll hear everything much more clearly.
Method 2: Record your voice.
On top of amplifying your voice, you can also record it to analyze it later. This will give you an even more exciting feature: unlimited playbacks of your performance.
You can spend a lot of time analyzing what went right and wrong, and what needs polishing. Most importantly, you can do it when you don’t have myriad distractions preventing you from honestly assessing your singing.
Singing into a microphone and recording it lets you edit your voice and correct vocal mistakes or enhance your sound. You can later listen to the recordings and use them as a guide for what to do in the future. For example, you can change a specific note in your singing, play it back several times, and try to emulate it when you sing.
Method 3: Use the microphone to spot off-key singing.
Beginners sometimes sing off-key and don’t often realize that it’s happening. A microphone can help you solve this problem because your voice is amplified, making it easier to hear yourself singing.
Method 4: Use the microphone to improve your technique.
Whether you’re great at singing in the falsetto register or prefer breathy vocals, it can be difficult to improve your technique without a microphone. A microphone gives you the chance to hear your voice and vocal technique at an amplified volume.
Additionally, many vocal techniques sound different with and without a microphone. Therefore, using a microphone when working on technique allows you to adjust your sound before performing in front of an audience or recording in a studio.
Method 5: Use the microphone to improve your style when performing live.
It’s safe to say that nearly every famous artist has a distinctive singing style and type of stage presence that they have achieved after several years of hard work, trial, and error.
As a singer, developing your own vocal style and stage presence is important, and a microphone plays an essential role in this process. As we mentioned, things don’t work the same way with and without microphones. For instance, the combination of on-stage theatrics and singing. Ask yourself if you’re prepared to sing while running around, without losing breath, and holding the microphone correctly.
You might be a lively guitar player who dances around whenever you sing at home without a microphone. Can you do the same with a microphone stand? The best action is practicing with all the necessary elements, especially the microphone.
Here are some common questions people have when singing with microphones.
Why do singers get so close to the microphone?
How close should you sing to a mic?
What should I avoid while singing with a mic?
Like most things, singing with a microphone requires dedication and understanding of the issue. With this guide, you’ll be better prepared when you’re in front of a microphone. It’ll also help you to understand the whys of some common problems.
Remember that the quality of the equipment is paramount since your voice can sound very different with poor equipment. Proper microphone analysis is essential when choosing one that’s suitable for you.
One final suggestion is to come to grips with reality. Think of the microphone as a tool to improve what you have to offer, not magically changing everything and making you a different singer. In that sense, it won’t transform you; it’ll help you transform yourself.