Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Paparazzi" Lady Gaga Isolated Vocal

Here's another isolated vocal track from Lady Gaga. This time it's "Paparazzi," the fourth and final single from her debut album The Fame. The song was top 10 in most of the world, hitting #1 in Germany and the Czech Republic. Here are some things to listen for.

1) Gaga's vocal is very well recorded. It's very natural, not overly compressed and doesn't have a lot of sibilance.

2) The vocal on the verse of the song features a very short and delayed room reverb, which changes to a longer verb with a delay with more repeats in the chorus. This is a trick that you'll hear on many pop records, and one that we recently heard on Christina Aquilera's "Genie In A Bottle."

3) The treatment on the vocal on the bridge changes yet again as it's doubled and panned left and right. It also sounds like it's lightly chorused.



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Come To My AES Sessions And Book Signing

I'll be presenting a couple of sessions at the upcoming AES convention in San Francisco on November 5th and 6th entitled "Social Media For Musicians And Engineers - Part 1 and 2."

Here are the session descriptions:


Social Media For Musicians And Engineers - Part 1
For the first time in history, an artist or band can directly communicate, market and sell directly to their fans without the need of a record label. This presentation describes the basic elements needed for a successful online social presence, as well as the latest strategies for music and video releases, online promotion and sales, and interaction with fans and clients.
Topics covered include:
The meaning of Music 3.0
Why a website is the center of your social media universe
The elements of a successful site
The new release schedule
Your mailing list - old tech, new importance
The social media world is larger than you think
Measurement techniques

Social Media For Musicians And Engineers - Part 2
MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are important elements for developing a fanbase, but without the proper strategy they can prove ineffective and take so much time that there's no time left for creating. This presentation shows artists, bands, musicians and audio professionals the best techniques to utilize social media as a promotional tool without it taking 20 hours a day.
Topics covered include:
Social Media management strategies
Optimizing your YouTube presence
The secrets of viral videos
The online video world is larger than you think
Search Engine Optimization basics
Using Facebook and Twitter for marketing
The secret behind successful tweets
Is MySpace dead?
What’s next?

If you're attending AES, please join me for the sessions and book signing afterwards.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Retractable Electronic Instrument

Here's a very interesting video of a new interactive and collaborative production tool for electronic music by Reactable. The instrument is a spin-off of some work done at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, where the original concepts were developed.

While what you see in the video is a table-top model, iPad and iPhone apps are also available.

The instrument reminds me of some conceptual work done in the 80's between audio great George Massenburg and the now-defunct Amek Consoles. I can remember sitting with George at his studio The Complex with Graham Langley and Nick Franks of Amek as he outlined a vision he had for mixing on a light table console that seems eerily similar to what's seen in the video.

I don't know if that will ever be practical or usable (as with Reactable), but it certainly was ahead of its time. For more info on Reactable, click here.



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Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Back In The USSR" Isolated Vocals

Today we'll listen to the isolated vocals from "Back In The USSR," the opening track from The Beatles so-called "White Album." Written and sung by Paul McCartney, who also played drums on the song, the track was recorded during the period where Ringo Starr temporarily quit the band.

1) I never heard the claps in the chorus and guitar solo before, but there are always little acoustic gems in tracks that are mixed down or covered with something else so they're barely audible.

2) All of the vocals are dry, but they still sound perfect for the song - present and in your face.

3) It's interesting to hear how much the background shouts add to the excitement of the track.



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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Genie In A Bottle" Christina Aguilera Isolated Vocal

Today we'll take a look at the isolated vocal from Christina Aguilera's hit "Genie In A Bottle." I know that we covered the multitrack of the song recently, but looking only at the vocals reveals a few things that you probably haven't heard before.

1) The band-limited almost-subliminal vocal in the background seems to be almost a must-have on a pop vocal track anymore, and you'll find it a lot in Genie right from the beginning.

2) The vocal effect is pretty nice. It's a slightly delayed reverb combined with a medium length delay that hangs over at the end of phrases, which fills up the spaces nicely.

3) The pre-chorus harmonies switch to a longer verb and longer delay that's makes the part a bit eerie. It's a great example of using effects to set a mood.

4) The stacked harmony vocals in the chorus, on the other hand, are fairly dry. Christina sings very well with herself and all the vocals blend extremely well. As a singer, you need a sophisticated ear to do this and you can tell that she has one.

5) The ad lib vocal in the outro is mixed a bit back from the harmony vocal hook line in a lot of places, which is somewhat backwards from the norm. That strategy works well for this kind of music and certainly works here.



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Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Poker Face" - Lady Gaga Isolated Vocals

This week we're going to look closely at vocal tracks. The first one is Lady Gaga's recent worldwide #1 single "Poker Face." Here are some things to listen for.

1) Gaga's verse vocals are doubled by not very closely, which makes it a very interesting effect.

2) The prominent long delay that's timed to the track (probably a 1/4 note delay) fills up the space where there's no vocal and at the end of phrases.

3) The answer harmony vocals in the chorus are pretty subliminal, but really lift the song. They almost sound like a harmony vocal to the lead, which is what I thought was happening before I heard this version. You can hear them more clearly at about 3:20 on the outchorus.

4) The low harmony part on the pre-chorus (the B-section) also helps to develop the dynamics of the song.




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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

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