Once recorded, using time based effects such as reverb and delay can make your vocal sound big or small depending on what settings you dial in. A long reverb can make your vocals sound large and airy, depending on how much dry/wet signal you allow it can also make the vocals sound far away. A reverb with a small decay time can make your vocal sound close and tight like you are right there in the room with the artist. I like to use a reverb calculator to get the per- fect settings for my song. Depending on what reverb size you are trying to achieve all you need to do is to type in the bpm of your song and the calculator will give you the proper pre-delay, decay and total reverb time.
Delay can help you achieve a similar effect. Fast tempo songs will require shorter times so you don’t crowd the performance while slow tempo songs may have space in between each phrase and a long delay will help fill up space. Most delay plugins are tempo synced but you can also use a delay calculator if you wish.
All these techniques put together will help you achieve a more studio quality sound from home but nothing beats the real thing. Its the acoustically treated environment and the years of experience that the sound engineer has that will ultimately take your song to the next level. Stay tuned for part 3 for more tips and techniques that will help you sound like a pro from home.