Hello dear people,
We left Ibiza behind
Nice memories, lots of songs and lovely weather, we will be back one day…
Thank you Ibiza and Spain!
I can still make a post that I started to write over there.
I read in the blog and forum that many of you like to sing as hobby, others do sing in a band and also many of you are singing classical music. Many times I have been asked about technical things too.
So I thought to make a post specially intended for those who are interested in some aspects of the vocal recordings.
I hope that you might like it and hopefully, the other fans that are not singers themselves, won’t get too bored
In the vocal recording session of My Winter Storm I have tried pretty many new things about recording techniques that became necessary for me as a singer. I want to share this information with you in case some of you might have had same kind of troubles than I.
Before this session, I have always, recorded using the headphones.
I have anyway noticed that they really bother me. I am not relaxed enough, because I can not hear my real voice in the room where I am recording.
So I decided to find my own way.
A way to feel more comfortable and to be able to use my voice better than before.
For me it is necessary to have my entire face muscles relaxed and while I am wearing the headphones I am not opening my mouth enough for proper, clear articulation.
Also this affects a lot the freedom that the voice should have. If the voice doesn’t have enough space to flow, it will sound tight and under pressure.
I use the headphones the way that they cover only one ear, so that the other ear can hear the voice in the room. It helps to keep the tone clean and also gives the impression that I am recording live.
Some other times, depending on the song, I put them in my neck, just to hear enough the music to keep the beat. In this way my both ears are open and the leak coming from the headphones into the recordings is not too big.
These two ways of using headphones work only when I am not singing with my classical, full voice.
Then when I am singing in a classical way, I don’t like to use the headphones at all.
I use headphones far away from me (or instead of the headphones I can also use a normal loudspeaker). The leak from the music playing in the headphones or loudspeaker into the recordings (the microphone can easily “listen to it” won’t be big, because the sound of the voice is loud enough.
For me it is necessary to hear my voice as natural as possible in the room when I am singing classical. The best way for me to sing classical music or music using a classical singing technique is to hear the real ambience of the place where I am singing.
If I need to use classical vocal techniques, the reverb and delay that I listen in the headphones are not the real ones from the room. They are manipulated to “sound” as real as possible, but they never are accurate enough.
If I sing with a reference that is not natural, I will instinctively use my body to adjust my voice into what I can hear and my sound will end up being not the best one I can reach. I don’t feel comfortable to sing without hearing exactly what I am doing.
I cannot sing my classical singing parts in a vocal booth (small room to record vocals in studios) either, because the ambience is very “dry”. These rooms in particular and studios in general are prepared not to reflect the sounds and to get the most “pure” sound signal from the voice or instruments for the microphone. But without listening to the natural reverb of my voice, is not possible for me to sing.
To be more clear in the concepts: I can sing under any conditions, but the results won’t be as good as they could be. I want to be happy with the sound of my voice in my own album
When I cannot hear myself good enough (with or without headphones), it is very easy to start making too much effort in order to sound louder. This way the voice gets tired and I can fell the pressure very easily.
That’s why I prefer to record vocals in a bigger room, with normal ambience and its acoustics. It can only be a room in a house or a studio without acoustic treatments. Too much ambience (a very big hall) is also not good. For example recording vocals for a rock album in a church may not work.
For a good vocal support and to get a better upright bearing, I use normally couple of cm high heels. This time in Ibiza, I didn’t have those with me, so I managed to find some books instead!
Looks funny, but they really work. This way I don’t need to think too much of my singing position and I can be more relaxed.
I hope this information will be somehow useful for some of you. Anyway, every singer has their own ways to manage in recordings and for sure my own way, applies for me, but not necessarily for everyone.
But it is not forbidden to share experiences!
Many of you guessed correctly: The first musician to feature in My Winter Storm is Kiko Loureiro from Angra!
It was a pleasure to have him playing beautiful acoustic guitars in some songs. He added a marvellous flavour that I was looking for.
I am very glad that he captured the spirit of my music so well and that he was able to record during a tight schedule of Angra. Thanks also to Rafael, Edu, Felipe, Aquiles and Tonino for “borrowing” your partner!
Yesterday, at Finnvox Studios back in Finland, the second guest musician played like Gods… A dear friend that I am absolutely happy to have in my album.