My shop has now been open almost 18 months. I've learned quite a bit in that year and a half about full time studio life, and yet one of the biggest lessons I've learned is how differently each of us see the world we live in. It doesn't matter if our world is small or large, we each see things radically different. Producer Sukhi Singh has been fond of pointing this out to me, and I credit him a great deal in this discovery of mine. In fact, a typical conversation we would have would go like this...
- Singh "Do you like this song?"
- Seabrook "No, not really."
- Singh "Great. It'll be a hit for sure then."
I'm paraphrasing of course, and I'm sure he'd argue the specifics, but that's one of the reasons we work well together. We understand the roles we play in the studio and respect each other's expertise. When the both of us are involved in a project, Singh is the producer and I am the engineer. As producer, he makes sure that every aspect of the recording is better, from budgeting to performance to creativity, and I make sure that neither he nor the artist needs to worry about the technical side.
Now, when it comes to your studio recording, it is VERY important to know the roles everyone will play once you begin. As I move forward, with this series of articles, I will go into greater detail with each role to help you understand. For now, here's a quick introduction to each of the MAIN roles played in the studio.
I've been singing for over 18 years. How well is a matter of subjectivity. I've also never had a professional vocal lesson. While I whole-heartedly encourage every aspiring singer out there to consider finding a vocal coach to guide and challenge you, coaches are not for everyone. So much GOOD information is available on the internet that anyone could achieve acceptable results 'teaching' themselves. However...
... as with everything on the web, there is so much BAD info that can be misinterpreted or misused that your singing career could very easily be ruined before it begins. For those of you serious about careers in singing, stop reading right now and go find a vocal coach. The rest of you, I'm going to lay out a guide on getting the most out of your voice, at least for your next studio visit.
Diets for Better Vocal Health
This is one area you can research and trust most of the information and advice you find on the net.
- stay away from salty/fatty foods
- stay away from caffeine
- don't over eat
- don't let yourself go hungry
While this is good advice, what you CAN do is a little less clear. While it's ideal to follow a strict athlete's diet, is that really realistic? Not likely. Chances are you'll have coffee in the morning, fries for lunch, or an extra slice of pizza for dinner. That's what I'd do at least. And that's okay. The best rule of thumb is moderation.
I've been wanting to write a How To guide for a long time. There are so many topics to cover, and so many people about to record that need the advice or even a walk through manual about recording so a) they know what they're getting in to, and b) they know how to get the most out of it. Perhaps my How To book won't happen quickly, but I've decided to at least write down the ideas I have and flesh it out. This blog will hopefully provide me with an outlet to share these thoughts on more than 140 characters.
And those who know me understand I have a lot to say. I want to talk about getting ready for the studio, about good vocal health, about pre-production, about monitor/headphone mixes, about live tracking vs. individual tracking, and so much more.
Who knows how it will play out. Who knows what shape it will take. In the mean time, I hope these articles find a home amongst those open to learning.
Cheers and all the best in your recordings.