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5. Don’t Fear The Gear – Singer Solutions

Singing Solution with Mark Baxter

Master your recording gear so you feel great and sound great whether in your bedroom or in a pro studio.

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Episode Excerpt:

“All art is an illusion. It really doesn’t matter how expensive your gear is, or that you are in a beautiful recording studio.

Sure, it would be great to have an engineer, and to be in a big studio. When people hear your track on Soundcloud or Youtube, nobody knows where it was recorded – and nobody cares.

The most precious piece of gear is your ears.

Your ears are not going to lie to you. When you listen back to a recording, it either sounds good or it doesn’t. Everything else is the power of suggestion.

The gear works for you

When you are in a studio situation, all those bells and whistles, lights, meters and switches – they all work for YOU.

Singers get this flipped around. We feel like we must perform for this magnificent gear, but that’s backwards. All that gear was made to perform for you.

You don’t have to know the technical terms to describe how to fix your sound. Madonna doesn’t. Adele doesn’t. Bono doesn’t. They speak in adjectives like, warmer, brighter, darker, richer.

Engineers are translators

Engineers are highly skilled in how to interpret the artists’ terms and translate them into changes in the sound.

Interestingly, top engineers at big studios are always the most accommodating in translating artistic terms.

On the other hand, you’ll find engineers in small studios that can be snooty, and require you to speak in technical terms. They have a righteous attitude about making changes that the singer asks for.

The fact is, if a singer isn’t happy, then the singing doesn’t shine on a recording.

If the singing doesn’t shine, the recording doesn’t connect with the public. The reverse is also true. If a studio is putting out songs with incredible vocals on them, then word gets around.

Do it on the cheap

You are probably not going to be walking into an incredible studio anytime soon – you are going to make things work at home. You can do it on the cheap as long as you have a unique vision and a good pair of ears.

Gotye did it, Lorde did it, Hozier did it. they recorded home demos that put them on the international scene.

They came up with unique soundscapes and soulful singing. Each one did this at home with gear on the cheap.”

Listen to the entire episode to hear more about the gear you need what each piece accomplishes for your vocal sound.

Mark Baxter has worked as a coach with Aerosmith, Journey, Goo Goo Dolls — and many others. He is the author of The Rock-n-Roll Singer’s Survival, creator of The Singer’s Toolbox instructional DVD, Sing Like an Idol instructional CD. Mark operates vocal studios in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and online via Skype.
You can read more of Mark’s work here.