Why You Need A Vocal Producer
How often is it you hear a great song and the only thing that turns you off from listening to it more often, is the vocal?
How often do you begin to play a song and find you just can’t listen to it any longer; the music may be good; the production; yet right smack bang in the centre of the track is (play dramatic music here) THE VOCAL.
Vocals are the icing on the cake.
Before you go in to record anything, seriously consider a vocal producer.
Unfortunately it is not all that common to hire a vocal producer, but the benefit may see better results all round.
If you are fortunate enough to have a producer for your track, ask some questions to the overall producer before you hire them.
1. Listen to their previous work
2. Do they have musical talent
3. Do they understand the voice and how it work
4. Are they a producer or engineer?
5. Are they better at some genre’s of music than others?
6. Try to listen to some of their work which is similar to the track you are going to record.
With a vocal producer, they do more than tell you how to sing; they will guide you verse by verse and chorus by chorus, even line and word by word. They should be able to pull the best from your performance and make your voice shine above the track.
They will give you different idea’s on phrasing, how to approach certain elements in the song, give you idea’s on ad libs, over dubs and the tone of your voice may sound better by producing your notes in a different way in which you are used to singing.
You may be surprised at how different your vocals will sound giving the track and the song itself the recognition it deserves.
The story of the song also needs to be considered, how can you reach out through the story with your vocals?
Is the track an upbeat dance track or a slow ballad?
Your breathing and use of the consonants is approached differently in each.
Some people struggle with singing upbeat songs as they find they’re unable to stay in time very well and produce the best from their voice, yet they are able to soar through a power ballad and hold beautiful long notes.
But lets not get caught up with how good the tone of your voice is and look at the performance of the song itself.
I have always said, “anyone can have a great voice, but are they are great singer?” A great singer is someone who can bring out the best in a song. They know how to SING the song.
Quite often singers find themselves learning the song and how it should be sung during the recording process, only to find out after having a chance to listen to the vocal has taught you a better way to sing. Probably a bit late to be learning HOW it should be sung in the recording stage. This is where a vocal producer can help you through.
Before you record any vocal, make sure you sing it as much as you can and record it, either on your phone or another device until you feel you have mastered the phrasing and how it’s to be sung.
Make sure when recording the vocal it is not recorded over several days. Try and record it on the one-day. Your vocal tone changes from day to day. Do not warm up to much before you lay down your vocal. Start warming up through the softer sections of the song; generally this would be the verse. You may be able to catch some great elements from the softer tones this way.
If you are super warmed up, you may find it quite difficult to capture the quieter moments within the song.
Another great idea, is practice with a singing teacher, but again, make sure they are a GREAT singing teacher who can teach you ways to not only sing a song, but perform it well.
A great singing teacher should also know the difference between how to sing live and how to sing in the studio.
They should also know what is required to sing different kinds of songs and what it needs, to be sung well.
A song from a musical is approached vastly different to that of an original pop song, rock song, rnb etc. And each of these different genres and the way of singing is also quite different from each other. For example; Jazz/Blues/RnB will allow you to get away with “Singing between the cracks” so to speak, as generally the music and chord structure under the vocals allow the vocal the space to play, where as a classic rock track would have the vocal fierce and spot on in terms of your notes and phrasing; “singing between the cracks” generally do not work to well with a rock song.
So all in all, a vocal producer will know how to help you ‘SING’ and how to make your voice shine for that particular track.
I have also known a vocal producer to sing and record the track first, so the singer can follow should it be difficult for the singer to remain in tune.
A singer singing out of tune would have to be one of my cringing points. I cannot listen to a song in its entirety when it’s sung off key throughout the song.
If you find it difficult to find a good vocal producer, then search for a great singing teacher and ask what their fee would be if they could sit in on the recording and give some tips.
Remember; the voice is generally in the centre of the track, the singer has to sell that song, and the listener has to be able to feel it.
Happy Singing 🙂