Even before the pandemic, I was looking for a simple way to record and collaborate in a fun and casual way — especially vocals — and my nephew turned me on to Soundtrap. With a free Soundtrap account, you can work on up to five (5) projects at a time. I’ve started playing around with it and I’ve found that it’s perfect for my needs (remember — not professional, but fun, casual and rewarding). It can be used to collaborate and record multiple tracks. In last week’s post, I put out the idea of trying a virtual “round” collaboration and I’m pinning my hopes on Soundtrap.
You might want to sing along with a karaoke backing track in your ear while you record at the same time; Soundtrap is great for that. It’s easy to load a backing track into Soundtrap then record with it until it sounds right. You can easily delete the tracks you don’t like and re-record. I use Soundtrap for recording virtual choir pieces that I’m working on, learning new music, trying out new recordings, experimenting with vocal effects — there has indeed been some time wasted on funky vocal effects. Most important: you can record your voice with no effects at all — “clean,” you can apply one of the many pre-created effects or create your own. Lotsa flexibility.
There’s also a metronome feature that runs but doesn’t show up on your recording — love it!
Once your project is finished, you can export it to an mp3 file and add it to your music library just like any other piece of music.
Now you’re interested in exploring Soundtrap, so sign up for your free account. It’s a basic registration process. Don’t sign up for a paid account or a trial paid account. To begin, a free account is all you need! Once you have registered and have your signin information, let’s try a simple vocal recording exercise to get familiar with using Soundtrap on your iPhone.
And before you proceed, you’ll want to have a pair of wired earbuds for your phone, even if you’re just playing around with recording. It works so much better!
Today, I’m going through the basics of how to record one simple vocal track and navigating in and out of the program to accomplish this.
Open Soundtrap, you will see this screen
Choose Create New Project Button
You will be brought to the Select Template screen
For today, select “Blank”
You will be brought to a blank project:
I recommend turning your phone to the side for better viewing of your controls/menus
Press the “+” on the left side of the screen to Add New Track
You will be brought to the Add New Track screen
Select “Voice & microphones”
You will be brought to your project screen with your Voice/Microphone chosen:
Soundtrap automatically chooses a preset vocal effect — Note Mobile Mic Enhancer. In order to get the effect that you want — or remove effects, you need to select that “Voice” item on the left with the small microphone on it showing the preset you want to change.
You will be brought to your presets screen
Scroll through options in the far right column to find the preset that you like. I have selected “Clean” which does not add effects to the vocal recording. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll be returned to your project window (now with the correct vocal effect showing):
Choose Start Recording and you will see the following countdown leading up to when the recording begins:
You can start to speak or sing any time after the recording begins
You can watch time elapse in purple across the top of your screen
When you are finished recording, select Stop
It’s going to be helpful to turn your phone to the side again:
This portrait view allows you to see the track that you have recorded.
To bring your cursor back to the beginning, select the left arrow at the top left of your screen (just to the right of the red recording dot). That’s your rewind button.
To listen to your recording, once you’ve brought your cursor to the beginning of your track, choose the play button — the right arrow to the right of the rewind button.
If you are satisfied with your recording, select Save
Now your project will be saved so you can continue working on it in Soundtrap later.
If you want to delete your track, tap on the track itself twice
Select Delete and your track will be deleted. You may begin recording again.
After saving, you will return to your Opening or Home screen!
This is the first step of recording one vocal line into Soundtrap. Stay tuned for loading karaoke tracks, how to collaborate virtually, recording more than one track, using the metronome and more!