1. Quality Microphone

Condenser microphones Considered the industry standard for their volume sensitivity and wide frequency response, large-diaphragm condenser microphones are the upgrade pick for recording vocals. These mics can capture all the nuance of the voice, but if you’re working in a noisier environment or on a tighter budget, a dynamic microphone can also do a great job.

Dynamic microphones Dynamic microphones are versatile, durable, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. They are better at handling high sound levels and are less sensitive to ambient noise than condenser mics. This makes them a common choice for live music settings.

Mics to avoid When recording for a voice model, avoid microphones that are intended for purposes other than singing.

  • Laptop or phone mics

  • Lapel mics

  • Karaoke Mics

  • Headset mics

  • USB or 1/8” input mics (these can be high quality, but most are intended for communication and not studio-quality recording)

2. Audio Interface

This is the bridge between your microphone and your computer. A good audio interface converts the analog signal from your microphone into a digital format for recording and playback. Look for an interface with high-quality preamps and at least one microphone input (XLR input). USB interfaces are popular for their ease of use and compatibility with most computers.

3. Recording Software

You’ll need some type of Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software to record, edit, and mix your vocals. There are many options available, ranging from free to professional-grade.

Free DAWs

  1. Audacity: A completely free, open-source DAW that’s great for beginners. While it lacks some advanced features, it’s perfect for simple recording and editing.

  2. Cakewalk by BandLab: A fully-featured DAW that’s available for free. It offers a range of professional tools suitable for most recording needs.

Budget-Friendly DAWs

  1. Reaper: Known for its affordability and flexibility. It’s not free, but its pricing is much lower than many professional DAWs, and it offers a wide range of features.

  2. FL Studio Fruity Edition: A more affordable version of FL Studio, offering essential tools for music production, minus some advanced recording and editing features.

Mid-Range DAWs

  1. Ableton Live Intro: A more accessible version of Ableton Live, offering many of the key features of the full version but with some limitations in track count and other areas.

  2. Logic Pro X: Exclusive to macOS, Logic Pro X is a favorite among home studio enthusiasts and professionals alike, offering a vast range of features at a mid-range price.

Professional-Grade DAWs

  1. Pro Tools: Often considered the industry standard in professional recording studios. It offers a comprehensive set of tools for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering.

  2. Ableton Live Suite: Known for its intuitive workflow and powerful live performance capabilities. It’s a top choice for electronic music producers and live performers.

  3. Cubase Pro: Offers a suite of advanced features for recording, editing, mixing, and scoring, favored by professionals in music and film.