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The Vocalist on YouTube

With over 27 million YouTube Hits and over 100,000 subscribers, vocalists may want to know what Tiffany Jo Allen has to say about using YouTube:

Some of the most frequent questions I get are from people who want to know about the “high-tech” devices I am using.∗

Well, I have been using a very old camera with the inexpensive external microphone that was included in the package.

I’m sure I will be updating this equipment (especially as the camera has started to lose its focus!) but it has served me well.

I say this because I don’t want vocalists to think there are insurmountable technical obstacles that have to be overcome in order to share their art on YouTube.

However, to ensure that you present your material well, there are some things every singer should consider:

1. Lighting

It’s so important that you are well lit.

I do most of my recording in my bedroom; when I started, I just experimented by turning different lights on and off and then looked at the results on video.

The aim is to end up with a good, clear image – and I think I have achieved that without a professional lighting kit. I’m sure you can as well.

2. Your Mic

Experiment and use what works best for you – and it may be a very common and inexpensive microphone.

There seem to be many people using devices on YouTube now to change their voices and make them sound better; I don’t use anything like that – what you are hearing is just my voice.

But I have had to work to get the right balance between guitar and voice for live performance.

I’ve recorded lots of vids where one or the other is too loud. So, I’ve just re-recorded, working it out along the way.

3. Get the Room Right

Different rooms have different acoustics depending on carpet, tiles, how high the ceilings are, etc.

At the beginning, I went around to different rooms in the house, making my recordings and then checking the sound quality – there may be a more “scientific” way to do this, but it worked!

I’ve found a location where the sound just naturally works without annoying echoes etc.

Getting Noticed

Once you get the lighting and acoustics right, then it comes down to you and your performance.

I don’t need to go on about practicing for performance – as every musician knows that this is the key to quality work.

But, as someone who has posted many videos on YouTube, I would like to say something about getting comments.

Don’t take negative comments to heart – or else you will get depressed!

Most of the time on my vids, I don’t remove comments unless something is really, really inappropriate.

Remember: uploading a video is something anyone can do – YouTube has made it really easy for everyone.

Just do it–you don’t have to be a sound engineer to do this. Just experiment with your sound, lighting and location –and go for it.

∗ Written by Gregory A. Barker in conversation with Tiffany Jo Allen

Tiffany Jo Allen is the youngest artist to reach #1 on the Nashville charts. In addition to her phenomenal success on YouTube, Tiffany Jo has recorded 3 albums – with a debut single soon to be released. Tiffany Jo’s own charity, Children Helping Children has helped over 300 children of armed forces personnel currently serving in the Middle East enjoy a free day at an amusement park. Tiffany Jo personally buys all the passes and hand delivers them to military bases.

Useful Links

Tiffany Jo Allen’s Web Whirlwind

Tiffany Jo Allen’s Website, YouTube Channel and Fan Club

Children Helping Children

Tiffany Jo’s Documentary Song

  • Baviaantjuh

    Tiffany, you rock my world, love you! <3


  • Very nice article Tiffany…artists of any age can appreciate this approach. I most like the “Just Do It” attitude you display…there's no bravery in being out of range! And, there's also no substitute for the experience gained from finding a need and then fulfilling it of your own accord :) Rock on~