Recording - May 2013 - 4

PUBLISHER: Thomas Hawley
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Brent Heintz

EDITORIAL

EDITOR: Lorenz Rychner
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Mike Metlay
EDITOR AT LARGE: Beto Hale
MÚSICO PRO EDITOR: Fernando Curiel

CONTRIBUTORS
Paul Vnuk Jr., Sven-Erik Seaholm,
Jason LaRocca, Marty Peters, Eric Ferguson
SOCIAL MEDIA
Brent Heintz, Paul Vnuk Jr.

Voices
While we all may have our personal preferences for one instrument or another, the
human voice remains the supreme instrument of all. Most of us wish we could sing
like_____, well, you fill in the blank with your own favorites. As one who is so vocally
challenged that the dogs in the neighborhood start to sound off in competition whenever yours truly raises his voice, it takes one to know one, and this one knows.
Lately I have been Spotifying some long-gone singers, from Marian Anderson to
Billie Holiday, from Enrico Caruso to Charley Patton, just to see how they hold up.
Crackles and pops of the old 78 RPM discs aside, limited bandwith and shallow
dynamic range of the recordings notwithstanding, those voices can still amaze. The
word ‘immortal’ comes to mind.
What a thrill it must have been to hear Marian Anderson sing from the steps of the
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. at the open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April
9, 1939! Some 75,000 people were there, and millions more heard her on the radio.
How that dark but luminous contralto was able to be heard at the back of such a large
crowd is a mystery—imagine the PA that would be required today to satisfy a similar
crowd in that location! Not that there was a lack of microphones in front of her face—
check out the images from the soundcheck at http://tinyurl.com/cag3ylo
Contrast that trained and controlled voice with the untrained and plaintive and
hugely distinctive voice of Billie Holiday, Anderson’s contemporary! While their
worlds were far apart in terms of both music and lifestyle, the impact of their voices
had the same immediacy, whether Anderson sang arias and uplifting spirituals or
Holiday sang the sad “Strange Fruit” and “Billie’s Blues”.
There’s a lesson in such excursions into the past: A vocal recording is not worth
keeping unless it captures the best possible performance. Not just the best take of
that session, but the best the singer can do with that tune, period. That can be tough
to assess, both objectively in terms of the music, and subjectively because the fragile
egos come into play here. A guitarist can always say, “I’ll come back tomorrow after
I get new strings, or I’ll bring another stomp box to make it sound better.” A sax player can blame those new reeds or a sticking pad. But a singer? How do you tell somebody that none of today’s takes are worth keeping, no matter how warmly and
encouragingly you had been asking for yet another take all afternoon?
Dealing with singers on that level of human frailty has nothing to do with the latest
plug-ins or the best sample rate and bit depth or the fabulous new mic you’re so
proud of. Those tools we can help you with, and this issue of Recording is chock-full
of such product reviews and advice from voices of experience. It’s the person-to-person thing that only you can learn to master. Most singers have insecurities, whether
they show them or not. You have to learn to work around them.
I remember working with an entertainer who, unfortunately for me, believed that F
sharp was “the best key” for her voice and vocal range, no matter the song. It’s nonsense, of course, but somebody had told her that and it stuck. She was an emotionally frail person—a sweetheart really, but easily put off, and when she was less than
happy, her singing went south. So much so that I contrived to do rehearsals (for new
charts I was to write) on a cheesy Casio keyboard that I took to her house where
there was no piano, under the pretext that it was my only availability that day since
I was to be in her neck of the woods anyway. What saved the day was the Transpose
button. She knew just enough about the keyboard to recognize when my fingers hovered largely over the black keys of F sharp, never mind the actual pitch being heard,
in the key that I deemed necessary for the final chart. Hey, it worked...!
I hope you won’t ever have to go to such extreme lengths to keep a singer happy,
but you won’t get a track worth keeping if you’re not willing to go the extra mile.
Happy Recording!

4

RECORDING May 2013

ART & PRODUCTION

ART DIRECTOR: Scott Simmonds
PRODUCTION MANAGER: Colin Courtney
WEB GOALIE: Colin Courtney

PLAYBACK PLATINUM SERIES
Lorenz Rychner

EDITOR/PRODUCER:

CIRCULATION
Tiffany Sepe

CIRCULATION MANAGER:

ADVERTISING SALES AND MARKETING
DIRECTOR: Brent Heintz
CLASSIFIEDS MANAGER: Colin Courtney
ADMINISTRATION
Thomas Hawley

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE:

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

PRESIDENT: Thomas Hawley
VICE PRESIDENT: Brent Heintz

SUBSCRIPTIONS/ADDRESS CHANGES:
1-800-582-8326
1-954-653-3927
ADVERTISING/CLASSIFIEDS/MAIN OFFICE:
(303) 516-9118
RECORDING MAGAZINE
(ISSN 1078-8352; USPS 002-298) is published
monthly, 12 times per year, by Music Maker
Publications, Inc., 5408 Idylwild Trail, Boulder,
CO 80301-3523.
Tel: (303) 516-9118 Fax: (303) 516-9119
email: info@recordingmag.com
Los Angeles Editorial Office:
Beto@recordingmag.com
Periodicals Postage is paid at Boulder, CO and at additional
mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
RECORDING, Subscriber Services, P.O. Box 5024, Fort.
Lauderdale, FL, 33310. Tel: 1-954-653-3927, Fax: 1-954-7723393. Subscription rate: $19.95 per year. All material is subject to worldwide copyright protection, and reproduction or imitation in whole or in part is expressly forbidden without written
consent from the publishers. All reasonable care is taken to
ensure accuracy in the preparation of the magazine, but Music
Maker Publications, Inc. cannot be held legally responsible for
its contents. The publishers cannot assume responsibility for the
return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or materials. All
trademarked names, whether indicated as such or not, are
owned by their respective companies.
Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #41491032.
Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box
25542, London, ON N6C 6B2

© Copyright 2013 Music Maker Publications, Inc.

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.


http://www.tinyurl.com/cag3ylo

Recording - May 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - May 2013

Recording - May 2013
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Fast Forward
Jim Anderson Records Patricia Barber
Lewitt Authentica LCT 940
PreSonus Eris Series High-Definition Studio Monitors
How To Record Great Vocals At Home
Audio-Technica AT5040 Studio Vocal Microphone
Plug-ins To The Rescue—Real-Life Remedies For Vocal Tracks
Moon Professional 3500MP 2-Channel Microphone Preamp
DPA Microphones d:fine Series Headset Microphones
Plug-in Outlet: Toontrack EZmix Pack: Vocal Toolbox
Plug-in Outlet: iZotope Nectar Elements
Blue Spark Digital USB Microphone
Plug-in Outlet: Noveltech Vocal Enhancer (and Character)
Readers' Tapes
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 17: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 4
CAD Audio Acousti-shield 32
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - May 2013 - Intro
Recording - May 2013 - Recording - May 2013
Recording - May 2013 - Cover2
Recording - May 2013 - 1
Recording - May 2013 - 2
Recording - May 2013 - 3
Recording - May 2013 - Fade In
Recording - May 2013 - 5
Recording - May 2013 - Contents
Recording - May 2013 - 7
Recording - May 2013 - Talkback
Recording - May 2013 - 9
Recording - May 2013 - Fast Forward
Recording - May 2013 - 11
Recording - May 2013 - 12
Recording - May 2013 - 13
Recording - May 2013 - Jim Anderson Records Patricia Barber
Recording - May 2013 - 15
Recording - May 2013 - 16
Recording - May 2013 - 17
Recording - May 2013 - Lewitt Authentica LCT 940
Recording - May 2013 - 19
Recording - May 2013 - PreSonus Eris Series High-Definition Studio Monitors
Recording - May 2013 - 21
Recording - May 2013 - 22
Recording - May 2013 - 23
Recording - May 2013 - How To Record Great Vocals At Home
Recording - May 2013 - 25
Recording - May 2013 - 26
Recording - May 2013 - 27
Recording - May 2013 - 28
Recording - May 2013 - 29
Recording - May 2013 - 30
Recording - May 2013 - 31
Recording - May 2013 - 32
Recording - May 2013 - 33
Recording - May 2013 - Audio-Technica AT5040 Studio Vocal Microphone
Recording - May 2013 - 35
Recording - May 2013 - 36
Recording - May 2013 - 37
Recording - May 2013 - Plug-ins To The Rescue—Real-Life Remedies For Vocal Tracks
Recording - May 2013 - 39
Recording - May 2013 - Moon Professional 3500MP 2-Channel Microphone Preamp
Recording - May 2013 - 41
Recording - May 2013 - DPA Microphones d:fine Series Headset Microphones
Recording - May 2013 - 43
Recording - May 2013 - Plug-in Outlet: Toontrack EZmix Pack: Vocal Toolbox
Recording - May 2013 - 45
Recording - May 2013 - Plug-in Outlet: iZotope Nectar Elements
Recording - May 2013 - 47
Recording - May 2013 - 48
Recording - May 2013 - 49
Recording - May 2013 - Blue Spark Digital USB Microphone
Recording - May 2013 - 51
Recording - May 2013 - Plug-in Outlet: Noveltech Vocal Enhancer (and Character)
Recording - May 2013 - 53
Recording - May 2013 - Readers' Tapes
Recording - May 2013 - 55
Recording - May 2013 - 56
Recording - May 2013 - 57
Recording - May 2013 - 58
Recording - May 2013 - 59
Recording - May 2013 - Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 17: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 4
Recording - May 2013 - 61
Recording - May 2013 - 62
Recording - May 2013 - 63
Recording - May 2013 - CAD Audio Acousti-shield 32
Recording - May 2013 - Advertiser Index
Recording - May 2013 - 66
Recording - May 2013 - 67
Recording - May 2013 - 68
Recording - May 2013 - 69
Recording - May 2013 - 70
Recording - May 2013 - 71
Recording - May 2013 - Fade Out
Recording - May 2013 - Cover3
Recording - May 2013 - Cover4
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