I’ve been really digging Michael Jackson lately and wanting to pay tribute to him. Today I recorded a cover of the first verse of “Billie Jean”:
What I focused on in this recording was addressing a problem with my cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” recording: that it came out too quiet.
My present setup only provides a single microphone, the one built-in to my laptop. In Adele, I tried to deal with this constraint by putting the mic at an acceptable distance for both the piano and vocal, and then recording the whole thing live.
In MJ, I take a different approach, recording piano and vocal separately so that the mic can be at a more optimal distance for each. This resulted in a louder, clearer recording as intended. It’s also easier to practice for because not all the piano-vocal coordination has to be learned (we let the audio editor take care of that).
However, in all the clipping and copy-pasting, some of the energy and seamlessness that comes with a live performance seems to get lost. Of course this isn’t inevitable, but rather the result of amateurish technique! Next time I’d like to try recording with a metronome and at a much slower tempo than playback to see if it improves things.