Preparing for a Successful Recording

What to wear/what to do:
Wear something you love to perform in, whether it’s heels or flip flop, a gown or cargo pants. The studio is your house for the entire time, treat it as such! Lie on the floor if you need a quick yoga pose or a stretch, put your feet up and lie on the couch, whatever makes your comfy between takes.

Score:
Mark your pianist score in detail with every single breath, tempo and dynamic indications.It is extremely important to mark every single of your musical wishes on the score. Don’t assume you will get your needs met if you don’t verbalize them.
It is easier to play from copies, but if you use an anthology or score, make sure it is broken into and the pages stay open.
Avoid Bärenreiter, it’s a great study guide but the piano reductions are terrible to play!
You can use a score during a session; just make sure the page turns do not make noise. It has been our experience that one can create a better imaginary world/experience for themselves by not using a score but that is a personal choice. If you are fully memorized however, do part with the score.

During a take:
If you need a different tempo, speed me up or slow me down, conduct me while singing, I never mind…I want you to get all you need. Remember: “asking for what you need greatly increases the chances of getting it.”

Food/Stamina:
Bring whatever snack you love and make sure to take breaks. Use our kitchen if you want. Lots of people try to “race against the clock” and get as much music “in the box” as possible but sometimes a break, closing your eyes for a second and a shot of espresso will do so much more good than recording the same passage ten times.
Make sure you check the subway for last minute changes or delays, there is nothing worse than arriving to your session late and all flustered.

Microphone:
Often musicians look at the microphone as an intruder. It is only a friendly and a very honest device kinda like that very honest friend that never sugar coats the truth. If one is open and humble enough to accept that truth, those friends are always the best you can find in your life.

Psych yourself:
A few days prior to the session, Imagine and visualize what you want your experience to be. Plan how you want to run the session or if you want us to run it, plan how you can relax and surrender to the experience. It is essential that you put yourself in a beautiful space before you come, the final result will show a marked difference.

Remember, there is no dumb questions, whatever your concern is, email me and ask.

You deserve your singing to be all it can be, happy recording!

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Preparing Your Edits

There are 2 ways to handle the post-production part: either you decide the edits or if you prefer not to listen we can do it on your behalf but have to charge for the listening/selection time.

If you do it, after your recording session, we email you a link to download the full-unedited session. Once you have listened to it, all we need from you is the timings you took from the full session for each edit with the first and last word of each section such as: 01:35 – 2:12 (io-l’amore) and so on.

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Editing with a Coach’s Ears

Microphones do not hear a voice the way the human ear does. Every mic does something different. In most studios, the engineer ears the voice through a chain of audio elements and speakers. As good an engineer as they are, they never hear the voice the way it is produced live. At Studio 113, we are in the room with you throughout the entire process. Every post-production step is taken with your “real” voice in mind thus offering a more accurate and honest picture of your instrument!

Mikhail Hallak has been on stage since the ripe age of 8 and has performed internationally for over 30 years. The last 15 years of his career have been dedicated to the vocal art form and he is knows as on the finest set of ears in the business. This is invaluable experience when it comes to guiding a musician through the process of recording but also in guaranteeing that the editing process will be “musical” while keeping the natural flow.

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