Preparation for the Recording Studio: Part 1

Preparation for the Recording Studio Series: Part 1 Good morning everyone. One of the most exciting times of the year is coming up for me next month, and that is my annual Vocal Recording Masterclass for the Wendy Martelli Voice and Piano Studio in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is an exciting 4 day event that has gotten bigger and bigger every year. Wendy Martelli is a fantastic vocal coach whom I've had the honor of knowing for 11 years now. She has a very successful voice and piano studio just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina and has built a reputation as a vocal coach who gets incredible results from her students. Wendy is a classically based voice teacher who has wisely expanded her horizons into the pop and rock genres of vocal coaching, and now teaches singers from practically every style of music while maintaining the healthy concepts of classical vocal technique. A few years ago Wendy invited me to come to Raleigh to teach a masterclass on pop vocal technique to her students. We later decided it was time to look at getting these kids, tweens and teens into the recording studio for the following year's masterclass. We discovered a wonderful studio in Raleigh, NC called Osceola Recording Studios owned by legendary recording producer/engineer Dick Hodgin. Getting The Students Ready As I mentioned, Wendy is a fantastic vocal coach and she diligently prepares her students for the masterclass. Each participant chooses 1 or 2 songs that they will coach with Wendy over several weeks before their recording sessions. Wendy makes sure that every singer is note, rhythm and pitch perfect before they work with me. This makes my job much easier! Adding Style, Texture, Color and Authenticity The first two days of the masterclass are designed so that each student gets individualized coaching with me. In these coaching sessions, we work on adding style, color and authenticity to their song choices. I stress to the students the importance of not doing a carbon copy performance of the artist who sings the songs they have chosen. This can be quite a difficult task as all of us have the original singer's voice in our heads as we sing popular songs. But once they have the freedom to make the song their own, something amazing happens and that is when their true artistry begins to emerge. The next two days are spent in the recording studio at Osceola where each participant gets two hours of recording time with Mr. Hodgin. What has become increasingly apparent to both Wendy Martelli and me is the importance of these recording sessions, and how they ask the students to step up to the plate and bring their A-game to the recording studio. Part 2 of this series will be posted later this week where I will discuss more in depth of what goes into preparing for these recording sessions. Have a great day everyone! Jeff


Jeffrey Stanfill