Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Getting the magic of live performance in the studio

There is a frustrating disconnect with many people who are great in live performance but can't seem to get that same great vocal in the recording studio. Here are some tips to help you bring your live sound into your recorded sound:

  • Create the ambiance you need to "do the scene" as you deliver the song. Ambiance creating suggestions:
  1. Make sure the music stand is back far enough under the mic so you can stand in such a way that you don't need to lean forward.
  2. Don't read lyric sheets, or if you do, park the music stand way off to the side.
  3. Ask the engineer if it's possible NOT to point you facing directly into the control room.
  4. Ask for your vocal booth lighting, and if possible also the control room lighting, to be turned down so you can focus your mind on the story.
  5. Some people are helped by "props" ... Light a candle, put a picture near, plug in a lava lamp... whatever it takes to get you into the scene!
  • Play with your imaginary friend(s). Sing TO someone to whom the song is directed. Try to make that person feel something from your communication of the message... just like live.
  • Don't sing to anyone in the control room. They are there to judge your performance and edit you. Listen to them, then go right back to sing-talking to the object of your message (lyric).
  • Use body language! You won't believe how using eyes, hands, legs, expressive body language can cause the song to take on amazing life. Ditch your inhibition (and possibly your pride) and physically get into your delivery.
  • Use "Studio Hands" - This is a technique I use- put your fingertips together and push them into each other to help you with breath control.
  • Use a dummy mic! Try holding a dummy mic or similarly weighted object in your hand. Put the dummy mic up to your mouth and sing into it like you would live, but position yourself close enough to the live mic to make sure it picks up your voice.
How does this work for you?

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