Anatomy of a Project: A Nontraditional Approach to a Commercial Recording

By Jimmy Landry

Last summer, Peppina—a young female artist from Finland— plunged herself into the NYC music scene for two months. With the help of renowned NYC entertainment attorney Steven Beer who discovered her, she managed to head back to Finland with a major-label sounding EP. The project was recorded in different ways, in different locations all over the city—and with budgets being slashed, these days it’s pretty much hand-to-hand combat when making a low budget recording where anything goes. But the upshot is yes, you can record a commercial-sounding record on a budget—so here are some of the techniques we employed to accomplish that goal. SONAR Platinum was instrumental in saving time on this EP. Between the Drum Replacer, VocalSync, onboard Melodyne, Speed Comping and general speed enhancements, I got to the finish line a lot faster than previous records. I highly recommend anyone who’s on SONAR XX to take a close look at what the program has brought to the table in the last year.

This all started when Steven Beer called about an artist he’d heard sing at a film festival, and invited me for a meeting at his office. Interestingly, there were two other producer/writers there as well—a bit unorthodox, but pretty much anything goes these days, so nothing really surprises me anymore. We discussed the artist’s interests, influences, and other variables, and then listened to some of my reel as well as music from the other producers. It turned out the lawyer’s master plan was to bring the three of us together to co-write, record, and mix a five-song EP before she went back to Finland in 45 days.

Peppina already had some momentum in Finland from a loop she wrote and uploaded to a site called HITRECORD (owned by actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Her upload was so popular that Gordon-Levitt flew her to California to perform the piece at the Orpheum in LA during one of the show’s TV episodes. This all sounded good to me, so I signed on to a production team that would share in the production duties and heavy lifting. As to budgets…well, there was enough there for us to take it on as a challenge.

Continue reading Anatomy of a Project: A Nontraditional Approach to a Commercial Recording

Achieve More Professional Sounding Vocal Tracks With VocalSync

by Jimmy Landry

Things have obviously changed in music production over the years, but just recently a few technological advances have surfaced that are game-changers. One of these items includes the VocalSync technology inside the new SONAR Platinum. What exactly is VocalSync and why should you care? Here is one real-world practical example:

VocalSync is a tool that’s integrated directly inside of SONAR Platinum which gives anyone working with vocals 2 distinct benefits:

1. The ability to save a lot of time from manual editing
2. The sonic advantage of producing tight professional sounding multi-tracked vocals

It does this by “guiding” or conforming the information on one track to match another more fluently. The outcome of this is a much more professional production sound in the vocal tracks.

Let’s take a look at a real-world example: Recently, I had the good fortune to work with a great artist from Finland by the name of Peppina who has made a name for herself through Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s brainchild platform HitRecord. If I had to compare or categorize her music I would say it’s a modernized version of Dido sprinkled with some Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. With my producer hat on, I thought to myself that her vocals needed to be very large and wide on the tracks, but they also needed to sound authentic, realistic and intimate. To achieve this sound for the lead vocal, I used VocalSync to tighten 3 “takes” that would work together strategically in the stereo field. Continue reading Achieve More Professional Sounding Vocal Tracks With VocalSync