How To Record Guitar And Vocals At The Same Time

How To Record Guitar And Vocals At The Same Time: Recording Tips

How to record guitar and vocals at the same time? Is it better to record guitar and vocals separately? Let us find out what are the ways to record guitar and vocals simultaneously.

Equipment Needed For Recording

When it comes to recording, you will need to have the appropriate equipment to be able to record your singing while playing the guitar. The primary things you need to have is a guitar, whether an electric or acoustic, and a microphone, hopefully, a better one that can clearly pick up your voice to have a better result.

The next things that you will need for recording are an audio interface, a digital workstation, and maybe a guitar amplifier, depending on the guitar that you are going to use. 

An audio interface is a device that is able to convert instrument and microphone signals into a format that your digital audio workstation or DAW installed on your laptop or computer can recognize. It is very helpful for those who are looking for cleaner audio quality, as they are the ideal device that is widely used for recording nowadays. 

You can also use audio recorders or even smartphones to record your performance; however, this would not be a good idea if you are looking for a high-quality audio recording as what an audio interface can give you. There are also some audio mixers, whether analog or digital, that come with a built-in audio interface, allowing you to plug your microphones, and their signals are directly sent to your DAW in your laptop for recording purposes.

When it comes to guitar amplifiers, it would be better if you use them whether you are using an acoustic or electric guitar for recording purposes. However, if you are going to use an acoustic guitar, you can still choose not to use one, as your microphone can still pick up its natural voice, especially if you are using a better one.

Recording Guitar And Vocals At The Same Time

Is recording guitar and vocals at the same time possible? Here are some of the ways you can do it on your own:

Setup No.1:

To do the first setup, you will need a microphone and a guitar. If you are using an acoustic guitar, you won’t need to use a guitar amplifier; however, if you are going to use an electric guitar, then it would be the best option to maximize the potential result that will come out after recording your performance.

As we are only going to use one microphone in this setup, you should place the microphone in front of you and your guitar using a microphone stand. It would be best if you are going to use a condenser microphone for this setup, as it is the ideal equipment for this setup due to its ability to capture voices from a distance.

Use a microphone cable and plug it into your audio mixer if you have one. Having one allows you to shape the mic’s frequency response better, so you can also have a better recording output. If you do not have one, you can directly plug the cable into your audio interface and connect the latter to your computer, and with the help of your installed digital audio workstation, you can record and save your performance into an audio track.

Setup No. 2:

To prepare for setup number two, you must use either two microphones or use one microphone and an instrument cable for your guitar amplifier. If your guitar amplifier has a line output, then maybe you won’t need a second microphone after all; however, if it does not have any, then you should have one, so you can place it in front of your guitar amplifier’s speaker to pick up your guitar’s voice.

If you have a mixer, you can plug your microphones into its inputs, or if you are going to use the amplifier’s line output, then you can insert the end of the cable into the mixer’s input and also insert the microphone into the mixer’s other input channel. However, if you do not have an audio mixer on you, you can directly connect the cable to your audio interface inputs.

You should then connect your audio interface to your laptop or computer and make sure that you have a digital audio workstation installed in it, so you would be able to record what you are performing.

Setup No. 3: 

The third setup may be the cheapest of all of your options, but it is also not the ideal thing to do if you want to have a high-quality output in the end. To do this setup, you just need a guitar and a smartphone or a voice recorder on you. Place your smartphone or voice recorder near you, and start singing while playing the guitar. This will allow you to record what you are performing; however, you should not expect that you will get high-quality audio output from this setup.

Best 2-Channel Input Audio Interfaces

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio

When it comes to audio interfaces, especially if you are going to use them for home recordings, one of the trusted brands in the industry is Focusrite. With its Scarlett 2i2 Studio, you can do your own recording, whether you use it to sing and play an instrument at the same time or not.

Thanks to its upgraded Scarlett mic preamps, you get a high-quality audio output with low latency that is perfect for when you are adding tracks to your composition. It also has the famous Focusrite Air mode, which gives a brighter and more open sound for your vocals and musical instruments. With its simple control and compact size, you can bring it anywhere you want to go.

Universal Audio Apollo Solo Thunderbolt 3 

If you are looking for a more premium option without thinking of their hefty price tag, then maybe you should go for Universal Audio’s Apollo Solo Thunderbolt 3. With its Unison mic preamps, you get a high-quality result that you won’t surely get in cheaper audio interfaces in the market. It also has two analog outputs and a top-notch headphone output for better track monitoring.

This audio interface also comes with UA’s LUNA software, which is free software for music production, allowing you to do some mixing, tracking, editing, and more with its high-quality integration. As it is also known for its low latency, you can have no problems when you want to add some tracks to your composition.

Is It Better To Record Guitar And Vocals Separately

If you do not want to be hassled on your recording, then you can record your singing performance while playing the guitar at the same time without any issues; however, if you want to have a more professional approach, then it would be better if you record yourself playing the guitar first before overdubbing your vocals. This can be a little bit harder, especially because of latency, but it would give you a better output compared to recording at the same time.

So, how to record guitar and vocals at the same time? To be able to record the guitar and vocals at the same time, either you will need one or two microphones at the same time. You will also need an audio interface and a laptop or computer to convert your audio signals into a music file.