Recording Vocals at Home in Mono or Stereo? How to Record Vocals Properly

But the engineer is actually recording each vocals captured in each microphone in mono. Thus you need to understand that a stereo can as well be defined as “two distinct mono signals”. Its because one microphone equates to one sound source and one sound source corresponds to a single channel mono audio recording signal. And also take note that the left and right mono channels does not contain same information, they are “different”. The primary reason is that they are coming from two different sound sources (one microphone might strongly capture the soprano performance while the other microphone on the tenor performances).

Second method: The other method is to directly record two mono vocal sound sources to your DAW and then mix within your software. For example:

two vocal mono sound sources to stereo

two vocal mono sound sources to stereo

In the above example the two microphones corresponds to two sound sources that results to two mono signals recorded together in your DAW. The first mono signal is on track 1 and the other on the track 2. This is called a simultaneous multichannel recording technique. For more details about this technique, you can read this tutorial on how to do a multi-track recording session.

Or if you are using Reaper, you can directly record in stereo. This is how to configure below:

Recording in stereo using Reaper

Recording in stereo using Reaper

You need to select INPUT: Stereo options. As you can see it requires two inputs from your audio interface. Each of these inputs are coming from two different microphones as described earlier.

Summary: Always record vocals in mono for most projects but..

In this tutorial on how to record vocals properly; most home studio vocal recording projects should be done in mono unless you are recording a chorale or a group of singers where stereo recording makes sense.

To deal with this, you need to assign mono tracks for every singer/vocalists in your project. Supposing you are recording a band with one lead vocalist and two backup vocalists. You can create 3 separate vocal tracks in your DAW which are as follows:

Track #1: Lead vocal – mono
Track #2: Backup vocal 1 – mono
Track #3: Backup vocal 2 – mono

In this method, you can easily apply effects to each of the vocal tracks.

Content last updated on June 20, 2012

  • Mon


    Thanks a lot. I’ll try this when I get home.


  • Emerson Maningo

    Hi Mon,
    Go to Edit View and click F11 or go to Edit — Convert sample rate, you can configure to convert the mono to stereo.

  • Mon

    Hello Emerson!

    Just a simple question, (i suddenly had mental-block).

    I used to record vocals in a mono-track in Audition also. But suddenly, I forgot how to record in mono and then later make it output into stereo.

    Because, obviously, when I record in mono, and play it back, it will only output to either left or right of my cans. How do I make the mono to stereo?

    I honestly, just suddenly forgot how. 🙂

    thanks again for your help!