TCM MASTERING: RECORDING LIVE VOCALS

If you read my previous blog, you’ll know I am an advocate of live studio recording.

I always approach vocal recording the same way and as I mentioned before I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to vocals.

The purpose of a vocal is to capture a complete performance and you just can’t do that if you are recording line by line or word by word. I want emotion out of a great ballad and excitement when it’s an uptempo song.

Firstly, the singer needs to be well rehearsed, to know the song inside out so that it is almost second nature.

Next record the song from start to finish, what happens is that the singer gets into the lyric and starts to add personality and performance naturally without direction and what you get are lots of unexpected surprises so make sure you record everything they sing – the worst thing ever is to hear something brilliant and then find that you didn’t record it. That moment is passed and that small bit of spontaneity can’t be re-done so record everything.

I always record probably three, possibly four full vocal tracks from start to finish, after that the voice gets tired and you will probably have the best vocal you are going to get. From there, create a new track and compile your master vocal from the various full takes picking the best lines.

Once you have compiled your master vocal, you can drop in and correct any slight repairs that need doing and there you have it – your finished vocal track. This method is so much faster, it’s spontaneous and it’s a  real performance.

Try recording your next vocal like this and I promise you will never work any other way again.

Jaki Graham – Dynamic and TCM Music Group

CJ and Ted have just completed two new tracks with UK soul Queen Jaki Graham due for release later this year as a single. Recorded live in Nashville Jaki cut 2 songs, a cover of Michael McDonald’s classic ‘Taking It To The Street’ and a brand new song written by Ted Carfrae and Rick Astley called, ‘If You Have Faith In Me’.

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