Vocal Recording

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The heart and soul of any recording

Recording a top quality vocal performance is not as simple as it might at first seem. Yes, stick a good singer in front of a mic and hit record and you will probably capture something reasonable, but put a good singer in a comfortable environment, ply them with herbal teas & mineral water, approach the song as if it is a story that needs brought to life, and then do everything possible to help the vocalist to breathe that life into the performance, and you can end up with something truly wonderful

I pride myself on the consistent results I get from vocalists of all styles, backgrounds and levels of experience. I have worked with many 'studio first-timers' as well as some of the most experienced session vocalists in the industry and I know how to work with a performer to enhance the particular characteristics of their own voice. I never try to make a vocalist do something with their voice which they are not comfortable or happy with, it always shows up in the final mix as a bad judgement anyway. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and I spend my time helping you develop your strengths and avoiding your weaknesses.

Recording over a backing track

You may have a backing track that you need vocals recorded over, possibly to send to a co-writer/producer/artist in a distant location. Simply bring the backing track in any common format (WAV, AIFF, MP3) and within 5 minutes of you arriving we can be doing the first takes.

Your recording session

If you will be performing the vocals on your own recording then there are a few things to remember. First get a good night's sleep before you come in, it makes a world of difference to your voice. Bring two copies of the lyrics, one for you and one for me, it helps me to follow where we are in the song and spot any lyrical mistakes you might regret later.

I will give you as much help and guidance to get the best performance from you, I won't stress you out, hassle you when you get it wrong (which you almost certainly will at times) and I'll give you a pile of tips to make sure you get the very best out of the song you are singing.

We will probably do at least 5-10 takes of the first section of the song. This isn't to tire you out, but to get you into the feel of the music, so that you can feel comfortable in the room and so that I can give suggestions after each take to adjust certain emphasis on lines, notes, breathing points, power of singing etc.

Once we have cracked the first part of the song the rest usually falls into place a little easier, since by that time we have discovered the best approach for the song.

Once it is all recorded then I will trawl through the best takes to select the best parts of each take, edit these up (it is completely seamless, and you can't hear the joins no matter how tight I do them) and then apply a little magic.

OK, it's not magic, it's just applying some subtle effects to get the best out of your voice, and possibly do some vocal tweaking using the incredible Melodyne software, which can subtley or radically change your vocal performance (always for the best,if used well).

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Backing Vocals

Now this is a skilled and at times difficult job, but possibly one of the most fun parts of any recording session. I absolutely love adding all the detail parts that really make the track some to life, but this can be an extremely time consuming. On occasion backing vocals can take longer than the lead vocals, but I generally am able to work out a strong arrangement as we progess without it taking too long.

If you are looking for a massive choir type of backing vocal then this can be achieved with a relatively small number of people, but it helps to know in advance in case we need to recruit some extra help!

Cost of 3 hour vocal recording session - £90