A Recording Experience
Vocal demo production
and college application material
Pro-Vocal Training provides singers with two valuable benefits. First, the process of recording a lead vocal in a professional recording environment.
The process begins with a vocal warm up and progresses to your personal best takes. Our process includes state of the art vocal editing, a valuable self-diagnostic tool that enables you to make quick improvements to your performance. Recording tips and techniques enable the best performance now and into the future. I have been honored to work with countless vocalists over a 30 plus year career and am confident that you will benefit from your experience here.
Secondly, you will have a professional level recording that you can be proud of. This is a demo that can be sent out with pride to highlight your talent and can also be a valuable addition to college entrance materials.
In 2008 I produced a vocal demo for a young singer who submitted it as part of her college application packet following the same process I offer here. The recording we produced was a significant factor in her admission into Harvard as confirmed by an admissions officer on her freshman orientation weekend.
This isn’t only about school admissions, it’s about honing your skill as a recording singer and can be useful to anyone looking to develop. To be clear, these are not singing lessons, though we will discuss several tips and tricks. This is a recording skills development experience.
Vocalists submit a file or link to the song chosen for accompaniment prior to recording so preparations can be made before our session.
A performer can expect to spend two to three hours in the studio.
We will do vocal warm ups and get acclimated to the audio monitoring environment. This involves establishing a comfort level with the volumes of the accompaniment and vocal in the headphones. Comfort is important to help prevent over or under singing. The song will be sung beginning to end several times.
Then, we will listen as a team and identify spots that might need improvement. We'll record only the phrases we think should be replaced. Then, when all the corrections are made, the file will be edited for unwanted breaths, general volume of breaths, and work on the sonics (the actual sound of the vocal). Remaining pitch and time anomalies will also be addressed. We will then mix volume levels against the track, render and burn a CD or post a file for download.
Three hours has proven to be the minimum amount of time needed to provide this experience. Some singers can finish in less time and some take more. There are several factors that determine this, for example, the difficulty and length of the piece chosen. In preparation for the session, a lyrics only version (not sheet music) should be printed out or linked to the studio. You can have your lyrics on a tablet if you prefer. It is important that you have a copy of the lyrics to look at while performing. Even if you know the piece by heart, it's best not to depend on memory while concentrating on making good tones. I will make a copy so we have a common reference during the session.
By the time you finish this process, you will have learned established recording techniques and developed a different listening perspective that will benefit you into the future.