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Problem Vocalists. Or are they all??? HOHO.
Old 17th March 2003
  #31
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
[B]The best "pre roll" is to start again at the beginning for most singers.
That way they stay more in a groove and have more accurate pitch.
Plus they need (much) more practice not less!

]
I'm totally with you there. If the singer knows they haved to sing the whole song it puts a premium on their performance and an edge to the event. They have to reach inside and come up with the goods in a big way. I've gotten to the point at which I just won't punch anything anymore, unless I'm dealing with first class pros who can make that work emotionally.

-R
Old 17th March 2003
  #32
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
[B]You have to make the singer comfertable
Except for the glib singers who need to be forcibly kicked out of their comfort zones. If I hear "I'm just not feeling it..." one more time . . . (Fine. You're just not feeling it. Now go out there and feel it.)

BTW, as far as comfort goes. I just got that Lawson L47, which has a little blue light inside the windscreen that singers love ("at night", as Spongebob says), and a shock mounted capsule that allows the singer to actually hold and even shake the mic with minimal damage.

-R
Old 17th March 2003
  #33
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toledo3's Avatar
 

If a singer is not very experienced, sometimes shock therapy can work best.

I'll have them go through once, then immediately say, "let's do it again," and hit record as they are still figuring out what's happening. The music hits the cans, and usually they really go for it, b/c you have knocked them out of their self conciousness.

It's like the old Buddhist tactic of throwing a glass of water at someone.
Old 18th March 2003
  #34
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

On occasion I've been fortunate enough to witness how some producers at the highest level do this vocal thing, and the process has invariably been transparent and stress-free. It goes without saying that the singer will sing the song through several times, with virtually no comments in between, so the producer doesn't sit there and have to pass judgement on each take and feel obliged to make some sort of comment. A comp is done, then it is fairly obvious to all whether any more passes should be taken. The love stays in the room. The truth shines on its own without needing to be buffed or gold-plated by anyone

As for me, I'll usually wait until about the 4th pass to stop and make a few suggestions to the singer. The singer will then do a take incorporating my suggestions, which will invariably suck. At that point, I apologize for my intrusion and instruct the singer to proceed as if I hadn't said anything. It's the only way I've figured yet to get my input down to about the size of a grain of rice, which is just about big enough.

Probably apropos of nothing.

Maybe it was the Buddhist remark that made me reflect on how easy all this can be with the right approach.

-R
Old 18th March 2003
  #35
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman


As for me, I'll usually wait until about the 4th pass to stop and make a few suggestions to the singer. The singer will then do a take incorporating my suggestions, which will invariably suck. At that point, I apologize for my intrusion and instruct the singer to proceed as if I hadn't said anything.

-R
That's a wonderful description of my reality. Not all the time, but fairly regularly, it happens just like you said. I also have a couple of regulars who will take my advice, but ask me NOT to try and sing what I want them to do...

At last, the respect I deserve...
Old 18th March 2003
  #36
Gear nut
 
studiojimi's Avatar
 

i record on pass with a vocalist unless they instruct me about boundries they have....most want me to have at them

i use the first pass as a map and proceed to punch in line by line and use my experience to make it most believable and not sounding punched in

being a lead singer as well as a drummer helps me to do this.

99% of my vocalists hug and thank me when they leave
Old 18th March 2003
  #37
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

I think there's also a factor analogus to the advice about avoiding mixing and recording on the same day. If there's time in the project, the singer could listen to their performances a day or two after to have a more balanced listening perspective. Rather than either resisting advice or being too self critical in the heat of battle.

Then they can incorporate it all better having had a "dress rehearsal". What do ya think?

Chris

P.S. I'm surprised no one brought up the infamous "Bitchslap"
recording sessions. The one tale that has the voice teacher
coaching their lead singer is absolutely hilarious.
Although if it were a major label recording session I'd bring
mine!
Old 18th March 2003
  #38
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Renie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman
On occasion I've been fortunate enough to witness how some producers at the highest level do this vocal thing, and the process has invariably been transparent and stress-free. It goes without saying that the singer will sing the song through several times, with virtually no comments in between, so the producer doesn't sit there and have to pass judgement on each take and feel obliged to make some sort of comment. A comp is done, then it is fairly obvious to all whether any more passes should be taken. The love stays in the room. The truth shines on its own without needing to be buffed or gold-plated by anyone


-R
When you have a highly competent and gifted vocalist, sitting back and capturing it is easy and yes a quality producer isn't going to tamper unproductively with the flow.
But what about when the vocalist needs guidance, as many do? what the producer does then is a real test of calibre..
Old 18th March 2003
  #39
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
True, Renie.

We would all love to be producing world-class vocalists "at the highest level," but most of us start with "diamonds-in-the-rough." Developing skills in carefully guiding these undeveloped genuises to their potential greatness is an artform in itself, but well worth the effort.
Old 18th March 2003
  #40
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Renie
When you have a highly competent and gifted vocalist, sitting back and capturing it is easy and yes a quality producer isn't going to tamper unproductively with the flow.
But what about when the vocalist needs guidance, as many do? what the producer does then is a real test of calibre..
Well I certainly wasn't implying that I only work with world class vocalists, and in fact have spent some very productive time with singers who have in fact never been in a studio. The hands-off approach is still my default. There are certain physical things you can do, of course, such as teaching them how to move in and out on a mic, how to not tap their foot, or pop p's, etc. But I find that 9/10 of the job is creating the right vibe or atmosphere for a singer to come up with the goods herself. When you play back a pitchy take it can be good to resist the urge to say that it's pitchy. And so forth. Somebody was once curious as to why I just sat there for a whole vocal session pushing buttons without coaching the singer, and I told her that any information I had to help or manipulate the singer I had already, without her knowledge, given to her 2 weeks ago.

Knowing when you're helping, when you're hurting, and when you're just pushing on a string is, as always, the key. (but when it comes to jingles, all bets are off!)

BTW, I totally agree with your last statement.

-R
Old 18th March 2003
  #41
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
I also have a couple of regulars who will take my advice, but ask me NOT to try and sing what I want them to do...
.
I ALWAYS sing what I want them to do. Once the laughter subsides, real work gets done.

-R
Old 18th March 2003
  #42
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toledo3's Avatar
 

That's funny. I always sing the parts too...

And..this makes people think I'm nuts the first time they work with me... I will scat what people should do.

Me to the horn players "No...not, 'be-dop'! You need to go 'dweeee dop! Baromp!' "

But, it saves a hell of a lot of time.
Old 19th March 2003
  #43
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman
I ALWAYS sing what I want them to do. Once the laughter subsides, real work gets done.

-R
Pretty much. Of course, I'm married to one of the singers who doesn't want to hear me sing parts out loud; life is a series of compromises...
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