I have no problem with singing "acapella" or when also playing guitar as long as my voice comes out purely acoustically.

However, when I try singing into a mic (as in a live or rehearsal setup) I found that I lose a lot of power and control over my voice. I can't quite explain why that is so I would like to know if this is a common issue some beginner singers run into.

How can I sing seamlessly with and without a mic in front of me?

  • Are you talking about a recording mic,with/out cans? Or a p.a., with/out foldback? This will make some differences.
    – Tim
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 9:52
  • I am talking about singing with a foldback. I never tried singing with headphones so I wouldn't know about any trouble I may have with that. Commented May 24, 2017 at 10:21

2 Answers 2


I'm a sound guy. And I make it a point to educate singers about the acoustics of your projected voice.

It is pretty simple: Think of it as like a bubble that you are blowing out of your mouth. It starts at your lips then expands until it reaches a certain distance where it comes back together.

You want the microphone to be on the edge of that bubble.

You sing acapella already, so you need to just practice with the mic until it is just a part of you. Like the stage itself. When you are up front you ain't singing in the shower anymore.

Back to mics: Don't sing straight into it up close or it doesn't sound good. If it must be against your chin, point it up. Then as you move it away, follow the contour of the bubble. With just a little practice you will find the sweet spot. It really is shaped like an enlongated bubble.

Project all you want, and move the mic out away until you find the right distance to point it straight at you. you will have stage speakers (monitors) so you can hear the other instruments and yourself. Practice with them.

If you are using mic stands for the performance, then testing this in rehearsal is very valuable in determining how close to the mic you should be.

The guys at the controls can control a LOT about how you sound.

But they cannot remove distortion. That's up to you.

btw, learn to love your voice. Nurture it. It is a gift to be able to sing. Enjoy it and make it the best it can be.

Maybe go to Youtube and find some live performances (Idol is great) and watch how people do it.

have fun!

  • 1
    'The guys at the controls can control a Lot about how you sound'. Ain't that the truth?! So why do some not have much of a clue about how to use those thousands of knobs and sliders at their fingertips?
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 5:44

Yes, very common.

It has helped me to make sure my mouth is several inches away from the microphone, then imagine myself singing through it. I use the same breathing techniques I do when singing without it. Then, I project out past the microphone as if it weren't there.

Sometimes people are afraid they will be too loud. Sometimes I've found it surprising to hear my own voice coming through speakers or echoing in a large space. The fact is that there is someone at a sound board adjusting volume on monitors and other speakers. They control how loud you sound. There's nothing you can do about that. If you try to sing more softly, you weaken the signal and ruin the quality of your voice. The best thing you can do is give them a clear signal to work with. The best way to do that is to sing with a full voice and use the expressiveness you would if the mic was not there.

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