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Have you ever sang or spoke into a mic and scared yourself? If you’ve ever had that “Who the hell was that?” moment when you did, you’re not alone.

Why do we sound different on microphones?

We sound different (as compared to what we normally hear when we’re not using microphones) because we normally hear ourselves not just through our ears, but also through the vibrations (resonance) in our bones & cavities in our vocal mask and chambers as we speak and sing. The sound that we hear is not a true reflection of what people are normally hearing.

The truth is, how we really sound like and what people are hearing, IS usually what we hear through the microphone (provided that the microphone does not have any special effects).

Depending on whether you like how you sound through a microphone or not, this could be good or bad news. LOL.

Not to worry though, you can always work towards sounding good on the microphone (and real life).

Here are 3 Easy steps to Sounding Good On Microphones. 

Step #1: Maximise Your Vocal Resonance

Before singing with a mic, it’s most important to ensure that you’re using your best sound. That usually boils down to using your amplifier part of the voice properly – by maximising your vocal resonance through front placement. To put it simply, this means to put your voice at the front of your mask, whether you’re singing soft or loud – it creates a nicer and fuller resonance.

How can we practice this? Do the “moo” exercise with your mouth closed, as shown in the video. Try to focus your voice’s resonance at the front of your mouth, so you feel your lips and teeth somewhat buzzing. When you sing, do the same and your voice will sound much better on the microphone, amplified naturally this way.

Step #2: Record & Listen To Yourself

Once you’ve gotten yourself into the habit of maximising your vocal resonance, it’s time to record and listen to yourself.

When you playback what you’ve recorded, consider if you like how you sound.

With the vocal resonance maximised, quality wise (projection, clarity & depth), it should sound pretty decent. However, you may or may not be happy with the character, tone & etc of your voice. These are things of which you can further work on and tweak. Watch the video to understand what I mean. It takes some experimenting to develop a so-called signature voice that you like and it’s possible when you start recording yourself and implementing the changes from there.

Step #3: Practice With A Mic

Only after you’re practicing good vocal resonance, should you move on to practising with a microphone more regularly.

This is will get you in the habit of singing with good vocal projection on your own, rather than depending on a microphone to amplify your voice. Singers who get into the habit of practising solely with mics often compromise on vocal technique as a result of this.

You must be able to sound good without a microphone before you can really sound good with one. Make sure you do that, and remember how it feels like when you’re practising maximum vocal resonance without a microphone. When singing with a microphone, make sure you sing in the same way, although you may be tempted to use less vocal resonance, just because the mic amplifies your voice. Holding back the voice (or our vocal resonance) can lead to all sorts of vocal restrictions.

If you find yourself constantly singing differently the moment you sing with a microphone, try singing without a microphone first and then putting the mic in front of you, while maintaining the same vocal technique. Whenever you feel like you’re doing something different, try pulling the mic momentarily away from  you to get back into the right muscle-coordination you used before you used the mic. Repeat this until you get into the habit of singing the same with and without a mic.

This will help you deliver good consistent results everytime you sing with a mic in the long run 🙂

Try those steps out and have fun at your next karaoke or singing gig!

Tell me how it goes below and if you’ve got any questions, post them below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Janice Yap Vocal Coach
How To Sound Good On Microphones