I recently received a link from a former client (and friend) showcasing her latest song. She writes great material in a kind of left-field quirky pop mould, she knows what she wants from the production team and the musicians, and she has developed her singing to a fine degree where her tone carries that all-important 'singers' formant' or 'buzz'.
So I am always excited to hear her stuff (as I am with most of my current and former clients) and clicked right on the link. I have to say that sadly I was disappointed. Not by the song, the instrumental production or the singing, but by the vocal recording. It sounded like it was recorded in and old tin can!
Now project studios are wonderful things. They have liberated musicians to be sonically and musically creative in ways never seen before. But project studios by their very nature are full of compromises. Space and budget constraints, and the necessity of having to provide production and arrangement areas as well as decent acoustics and monitoring... well it's a lot to cram in.
By taking parts of your project to specialist studios you can gain a lot for a modest extra outlay. OK you may upset the ego of your 'producer' ... of course he wants to do everything in house. Especially if he is working for very little money. But if he truly has the interests of your project at heart, he will understand. If you are taking live drums, go find the very best drum recording specialists in your area, and record there. Which brings me to the vocals....
The vocal is the heart of popular song. Singers spend years of time and tons of money training with the best teachers to get that sizzle, depth, dimension and dynamic into their vocal sound. Capturing a vocal performance takes specialist knowledge, environment and equipment. A mid-range condenser mic and a reflexion filter just doesn't cut it. Even if there is a vocal booth, there are bound to have been compromises in the design unless you are at a full-scale top end studio.
In our studio at Voxbox we do nothing but vocals. Our vocal booth is a generous size and is treated to remove all unwanted room resonances that can adversely colour a vocal sound. We have a selection of high-end mics and a recording signal path that has been obsessively designed to capture (and flatter) the singing voice. The key elements in the vocal signal chain are the preamps and the compressors, and we have a carefully selected range of both to make the most of every voice.
Not only can we get you a truly world-class vocal sound, but you will be working with one of London's most sought-after singing teachers to produce your vocal. I am co-founder of Voxbox and am one of the most technically aware teachers around, with an understanding of the connection between technique and style that goes far beyond what you may encounter in a 'general' producer.
Contact me via our main website for bookings and enquiries.