Many people make the mistake of recording with the mic pre-amp way too loud which can lead to clipping. This is often times because they are fighting against the volume of the music track they are recording over which is too loud to begin with. The solution is to turn down the music in your DAW so that the music is peaking around -20 to -30db and then also turn down your pre-amp gain to where you’re vocals are peaking at around -20db. At this point, you will want to crank your headphone volume up quite a bit so that you can hear everything well.
This leaves you with plenty of headroom during the mixing stage and you can rest assured knowing that you’re not overpowering your microphone or A/D converters while leaving yourself headroom to mix. This is called gain staging.
Vocal mic placement is the first EQ move.
Experiment with mic placement because this is your first eq move. The closer you are to the mic the more bass will be present in your voice and the more noticeable any movement away from the mic will be. Try to stand 6 inches to 1 foot away from the mic and record in the center of your room so that you are as far away from all walls as possible. Also if you’re using a condenser mic (which you likely are), make sure the back of the mic is facing towards anything that’s making unwanted noise such as a computer fan etc.. because the back of condenser mics cancel sound.
And if you can, place anything behind you that will absorb sound waves such as a couch, bookshelf, mattress etc. Remember the mic is mainly picking up what’s in front of it which is you but that also means it can be picking up what’s behind you as well.
Oh yeah and make sure you’re recording using the front of the mic. Remember the back of the mic cancels sound lol! We have seen this happen a lot, so hopefully we can save you the embarrassment. 🙂