Sign in to follow this  
Django

Regina on Leno

Recommended Posts

Hello all, I am recording engineer and will do my best to describe what it is like to perform anywhere and why it doesnt always mimmick what you hear in your shiny lil cds. This is going to be a little wordy and technical so bear with me.

First off regarding RS, I acutally hadnt heard of her until recently when doing some research on the net--I mainly work with urban artists. But with that said the song I heard was "Us", and is in a word, phenomenal. I can see why she is such a interest to so many.

Now onto performances. Many, many hours go into refining a vocal recording and there are many technologies at work that make your favorite vocalists sound like they can do no wrong, however that is far from the case.

A voice (no matter how well trainined) without reverb sounds dead and flat (reverb is almost never in use at concerts due to feedback and other issues, there are exceptions), a compressor/limiter is something that rounds a vocal to remove edges and make it sound smooth and warm by removing harshness, volume and tonal spikes. This is mainly what gives you what you hear in a CD. Not to mention the 10 takes or so that is required to get through a 5 min song and also whats called multitracking of vocals (where the lead vocal is actually recorded many times on top of each other) to get a thicker sound. Michael Jackson uses a reported 40 tracks for his lead vocal alone.

There are many other technologies, too many to go into here, but in comparison a live performance will almost always sound "worse" due to humidity, vocalist preparedness, acoustics, sound engineer who is controlling the atmosphere at the performance, in addition to vocalists not always breathing properly between notes. If they are improvising as described above there will be even less control.

So, dont be so hard on the original poster because he is 100% right. The reason you didnt hear CD quality vocals from a live performance is because nowhere near the amount of development goes into actually performing a song as when its being recorded. This is by no means an attack on her talent. This is true for EVERY artist.

Nuff said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the 'expert' take on this, but you're definitely not an expert on Regina... and what you say is NOT true for EVERY artist. That's a rediculous statement. Have you even been to the CDBaby website?

I don't know how much production went into the Soviet Kitsch album, but it's common knowledge to Regi fans that the "Songs" album was made up of tracks recorded 'live to tape'. I'm not sure, but I think it was pretty much a 'one take' situation. It was only after-the-fact, through coaxing, that she decided to put the recordings on a CD to sell at shows. It was never meant to be polished, and so it wasn't.

There was no multi-tracking, and I'm sure very little in the way of compression, other than to control rec levels.

Again, I don't know how the recordings were produced for the SK album, but I presume (from the sounds of the bootlegged shows), that Regina is more than capable of having recorded it in a similar fashion to "Songs".

I almost feel offended by the previous post. Regina is raw man. Effing RAW, yo. None of the BS "lets make her sound better than she is" production that makes the music industry suck, because frankly, she doesn't need it.

I realise there's no need for me to be upset, and really I'm not, but I think it's important that Regina gets all the respect she deserves for her genuine talent. Even the statue of baby Jesus knows, there's definitely is a lack of artistic talent in the mainstream music business, because well... it's a business, and that's where all the talent lies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TheEngineer was right in regards to the way an album is recorded. As a new fan who hasn't seen her live he was just stating fact. Regina was nervous! She's played arenas before as a supporting act, but damn.... that's TV. Everyone and their mom is watching it. I probably would have blacked out halfway through performing the song. Smiler

Later days

Shawn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Engineer was right in Regards to Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Ashley Simpson, and o ther artisists of that ilk (btw i love Jackson and Carey). yes they do use tons of multi tracking, can't perform live very well (i hear reverb used live all the time by the way, not as much as used on a cd, and in bigger productions, pitch correction can be used live to a certain extent before it starts to signifigantly distort the voice) and smother their vocals with effects, i can give an example, but I am sure we can all guess), but at the end of the day, they are usualy great vocalists that got picked up, cause of their amazing solo unpolished voices (except simpson, she got in cause her sister probly slept with some one to get her a job).

.

JohhnyC is right about artists sounding great live. I totally disagree with engineer. Most of my favorite bands sound better live. And i have seen countless acts that have not lived up to their live performances on a well produced "mastered" album.

.

As for Regina messing up, nobody is hard on her for that. Any fan on this site that has ever seen her live, or heard a live recording knows that at most shows she plays, she forgets the words, or a chord change, and she laughs at herself, and we all laugh along with her because we all know its not a matter of life or death. I wish more "artists" out their would take that risk, and not lip sync or use prerecorded back up music.

.

Engineer, I know you were'nt provoking any kind of hostile response in your message, and yes most music listeners do have a rough idea of what goes into an album.(not all the names for every little effect, loop, etc) , but when you say that "A voice (no matter how well trainined) without reverb sounds dead and flat", you lost most credibility. Most albums i hear that have applied a generous helping of reverb make the voice sound liek it is drowning in it. If it is used in a stylistic manner, i can appreciate it, but most of the times it just sounds cheezy. On the same note, it is also clear that you have never listened to an opera singer, or any other kind of "fine" music, in which the only reverb used is created from the naturaul acoustics of the room.

.

"Not to mention the 10 takes or so that is required to get through a 5 min song"

.

- One of my professors was at a recordign artists conference and they were discussing, the issues of layering/splicing takes/pitch correction etc and my prof asked if he had any clients who could lay it all down, insturments, vocals, back ups etc. in one take or two at the most, and he said yes, a phenomenal young artists named John Mayer. Now this leads me to believe that if John Mayer can do this (BTW John Mayer is incredibly pop and mainstream, but he is a wonderful songwriter and a a better guitar player that most major rock bands can claim, although he only shows it off live (whether you like his stuff or not)). I would like to believe there are at least and hanfull or two of other artists that also do it, but may not take or ask any credit for it.

________________Love,

___________________________David

*once again engineer, all in the spirit of good discusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do understand what the engineer is trying to say and though it may seem likely that ,given the the temptations of using modern studio technology, Regina may be susceptable to these to temptations and ,I, having no idea if JohnnyC is correct about his album imformation,In the end, I find it easier to believe JohnnyC based on the vocal tone of the CD.

My mom is a singing coach and she coaches her clients(usually teenagers)during studio sessions. She prefers to use very little editing of the voice unless it's completely necessary. Her clients are very musical and don't go off pitch a lot, but when they do, they edit it...obviously. When she brings home the finished album, I listen and she points out where the editing had to come in. i've grown up with this little album ritual and now i am able to identify when a voice has been enhanced, edited, etc. it's kind of a "digital perfection" sound, kinda hard to explain, but my ear catches it all the time, even when its non discreet, which even suprises my mom(you get an extreme sense of this sound in movies "Moulin Rouge" and "Phantom of the Opera.") Anyway, the point is that when i listen to Regina, I hear very little or none of this type of sound which is one of the things that appealed to me abot her. And if you listen closely, engineer, the coarseness and the rawness of her voice isn't completely rubbed out. In fact, the tone is very natural unpolished which is one of the unique and wonderful things about Regina's albums. the truth and reality of her lyrics and songs corresponds with the natural rawness of her voice which i think appeals to everyone here either consciously or subconsciously.

which reminds me...I met a kangaroo in the airport today...his flight to Austrailia was delayed so he has to take the Red Eye...hope he doesn't meet that creepy guy from the movie...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Way to make it weird right at the end there Caramella.

Nicely done. Also, I'm sure the veterans on here will back up my album info... it's pretty common knowledge.

Also, if there is still a need to defend Regina, here's a quote from the lady herself.

"There is no energy from the audience—an impenetrable wall—around the TV people so everything that you bring is your own. You have to bring all the energy in, literally, seconds to do it you do not have time to organically fall into a show or fall into a song. You come in right at the peak and it is really hard and different from real life. You have got makeup and lights all up in your face with big equipment. But I think it is also very wonderful. It will be wonderful once I know how to let go. I am such a sucker for direct human contact. I want to be in a club where people are close to me and I want to be feeling the two-way energy; it is what performers live off of and TV just does not give you that."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny. That name has started reminding me of "Thomas the Tank Engine" and the great engineers that were on the show... George Carlin, Ringo Starr, and (I think) Alec Baldwin.

Anyway, I don't think he/she's scared of a few measley posts. That WAS his/her first and only post, and may have never intended to come back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how do YOU know, Johnny? Poor engineer...he's probably CRYING...crying his/her eyes out in the corner of his closet thinking that everyone hates him/her...he's probably putting socks in his mouth trying to gag himself...or trying to swallow a hanger or something...and its all your fault!Thanks a lot, JohnnyC for damaging the pysche of a sensitive soul...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this