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Why is Recording Called Vocal Tracking?

Photo Credit: RoofTop Recording Studios Miami SSL Recording Studio (Room A)


Recording is called vocal tracking because it is the process of capturing the vocal performance of a rapper, singer, or any other vocalist. This is usually done through a microphone and within a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). There are many reasons why recording is called vocal tracking. One reason is that it allows the vocalist to focus on their performance, without having to worry about playing any instruments. This can be a great help if the vocalist is not comfortable playing an instrument, or if they are not familiar with the song they are singing. Another reason why recording is called vocal tracking is that it allows the engineer to get a clear and accurate recording of the vocalist’s performance. This can be very helpful in the mixing stage, when the engineer is trying to create a balance between the different tracks and beat stems within a song. The term vocal tracking is often used interchangeably with the term vocal overdubbing. However, there is a subtle difference between the two. Vocal tracking usually refers to the process of recording a single vocal performance, which is given its own labeled track within a recording session. While vocal overdubbing, or multi-track recording usually refers to the process of recording multiple vocal takes, which are also given their own individually labeled tracks. As a song is usually recorded one track at a time, every time you record a new track you will hear all of the other recorded takes as well. During multi-track recording sessions you will record lead vocals, doubles, highlights (also called ins and outs), ad-libs, and maybe even some harmonies. Once the recording artist and the sound engineer are happy with all of the recorded vocal takes, the vocal tracking process is complete and it’s on to the mixing process. The mixing of a song is where the magic really begins to happens.


Make sure to check back to read up on our next educational blog, What is Audio Mixing?

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