Monday, 26 November 2018

4 Things to do Before You Record Vocals In A Studio

Recording in a studio can be sometimes intimidating as the whole process of doing it is quite different from how you would approach when recording at home. Especially, for vocalists, they can end up sounding completely different from what they might have imagined that they sound like. But one can always prepare to get the best out of your voice and studio time and here is how: 

1. Preparation
You must practice a lot before you head to the studio. Try to understand and correct the mistakes you have been doing while singing your part. You can record yourself (even on a phone) and listen to itfiguring out the mistakes and parts you need to work on and certain pronunciation that you might be struggling to get it out on the record. Clarity in your delivery of the song plays an important role in the quality of the output. Also, practice on delivering your phrases with emotion as it can give colour and weight to your voice which will help you get the sound you are looking for in recording. Also, it is vitally important that you do vocal warm-ups before you start recording as you want your best voice to be recorded.

2. Understanding your voice
Voices have different qualities, textures and ranges. You must have heard the terms like Soprano, Tenor, Alto, Bass which basically tells the voice type you have.Then there are other factors like the raspiness or the hint of nasal in your voice. All of these has its own charm, thus to get the best out of the type of voice you possess, there are different approaches you can take in the studio. So, understand the type of voice you have so that you can give an idea to the sound engineer - this also allows him to do what he must to get the best vocal recording out of you. Do a rehearsal and brief them about the type of sound your want to get out of your vocal range.


3. Knowing the Microphones
There are different type of microphones which functions differently due to its build. For vocals, there are mainly Condenser and Dynamic microphones. 

Condenser microphones usually captures the room sound and subtle nuances of vocalist’s voice, making it sound organic. Most studios prefer condenser microphones as it does the work of recording voices very well with defined high and low ends. However, there are certain rules one must follow when using a condenser microphones, like the distance of your mouth from the mic should be around 15-20 cms. Eg. Neumann TLM 102

Dynamic microphones pick up lesser room noise and cuts off the sibilance. They work well with voices that have brighter tones in their upper range or those who tend to use their nasal voice. Dynamic microphones are flexible and durable as compared to condenser microphones. Eg. Shure SM57, SM58. Sometimes, if there is raspiness and lot of lows in a voice, we can also use the combination of both the microphones. But it always helps when you know and understand these microphones and confidently use your voice on it. 

Even under these types, there are different models and brands of microphones that respond differently to different qualities of voices, however all that depends on their availability in the studio. All the good studios would keep the best options of microphones and provide you with the one that will work best for you. It also helps to call ahead or check out the studio's website for more information on their equipment. 

4. Preventing Vocal fatigue
Your vocal cords are a sensitive instrument. You can quickly lose your voice if you overdo certain things. Vocal fatigue is common issue amongst singers but there are techniques you can learn to preserve your voice. 

Stay hydrated with water, avoid fizzy and sugary drinks, don’t overdo your vocal exercises and most importantly rest your voice regularly. If you have a recording scheduled in a day or two, make sure you don’t strain your voice too hard, just ease into warm-ups and vocal exercises, make sure you have a light meal before you are entering the studio and always keep a bottle of water with you. 

Live a healthy schedule, and give yourself a sleep of at least 7-8 hours, keep your oral hygiene clean - all of this will help you develop your voice in the right way.

In summary, studio time is precious and expensive. Make sure you are well prepared before you go into a studio so that you get the most bang for your buck and the best sound out of your voice.

BlueTimbre is a unique Music Company with Music 
Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio 
based out of Whitefield, Bangalore, India. 

BlueTimbre also provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running Structured Businesses, Music Curriculum Development, Music Education and Performance.

Monday, 19 November 2018

4 Ways How Learning Music Makes You Smarter

There are numerous evidences that imply that Music education can play an important part in child’s development and an adult's mental health, especially in their academic performance as well as life lasting communication skills. Let us look into how can music education really make someone smarter.

Heightened Brain Development : When playing an instrument , it requires the attention of our brain which opens up several neural path in brain that helps in developing the brain. It undergoes various mental activity that keeps the brain active and drilled for complicated arrangements so that it can solve and react to  the things as quickly as possible. Somehow the architecture of the brain changes in a way that it starts perceiving tasks in a broader, smarter and emotional way. Thus, regularly reading and practising music heightens the processing ability of our brain and it tends to decipher complex activities with ease and efficiency.

Stronger Memory Power : Music education pushes you to understand certain capabilities of our brain, most effectively, the ability to memorise in most innovative ways. It can teach you to analyse the task in hand and process the data in a way that you can connect them with relation to its purpose. This way, when you can connect the dots it helps you remember things better. It also enhances your spatial, auditory and visual capacity that helps you comprehend things much better.



Enhanced Cognition and Co-ordination ability : Playing an instrument requires concentration and conscious attention to details. It also requires a lot of coordination to be able to execute the playing accurately. So, with regular practice you can develop your coordinating abilities that will enhance your skills in the instrument, but also it will help you tackle other activities that you come across in your daily life that requires you to have some type of coordination. Practicing music is like a workout of your brain, so you are building muscles which will store more information as well as react more efficiently to the tasks given. Thus it also improves your cognitive abilities which helps you retain things better, plan effectively and focus your attention to the necessary.

Faster ability to learn : As we have seen from above discussions that music really plays a vital role in the development and enhancement of our intelligence, it is safe to say that ultimately, if one has successfully done their music education, it can help them in the long term. They have higher sense of conscience, consciousness, enhanced cognitive and spatial capacity and a broader sense of how things work. It prepares you for all the challenges that may come your way, you tend to learn about your surrounding faster and take the reasonable action necessary. It provides you the ability to learn things faster and use them to benefit your skills.

Music does not only make you smarter, it supports you emotionally as well. It can be one of the most supportive bases that you can rely on and yet it provides you with so many benefits that can enhance your lifestyle or can be used to improve the literacy standard in school education. So the reason one should consider learning music is not just all because of their benefits but also for the joy you get listening and playing them which sub-consciously moulds your personality for better.


BlueTimbre is a unique Music Company with Music Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio based out of Whitefield, Bangalore, India. BlueTimbre also provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running Structured Businesses, Music Curriculum Development, Music Education and Performance.

Monday, 12 November 2018

5 Ways to Carry Out An Effective Practice Session


How do we get the best results from our practice sessions? Does only practicing improve you as a musician? “Practice makes perfect” is a very common term , however it does not present you with the whole concept.  In this blog post, we look at some of the crucial elements required, to have and carry out effective practice routines which will guarantee your progress with every sessions.

1. Set an Environment for your practice
Everyone can work better in familiar surroundings. Similarly, an organised place for practice encourages right state of mind that is required to execute all the exercises and drills we are about to go through. Find the right setup and environment that enhances your practice sessions so that every time you step in for practice, it creates the mood needed for you to concentrate on your instrument. Also, you should make sure you are in the desired state of mind to practice because if your attention linger around somewhere else, it will hamper the quality of the output that you are aiming to achieve through the practice sessions.
2. Have a goal for your practice sessions
Have a flexible routine for your practice sessions. You should have a plan before you sit for practice sessions. Set realistic goals, then work out what you want to achieve and practice in a particular session so that it helps you track your progress. Don’t keep a constant time table for your practice, you should vary the exercises every practice session so that it keeps you excited and familiarise you with more technicalities of the instrument as well as equip you to be able to play your favorite songs. Although, warming up before you start your technical exercises is important as you should not harm yourself in the name of practice. Do simple, repetitive warm-up exercises for 10-15 minutes and then proceed to your more difficult exercises.


3. Take reference to learn how to correctly play a part
Always understand the goal of your exercise. Do research or ask your mentor on how to correctly execute the exercises because if you keep on practicing the wrong way, you will only get good at playing your instrument badly. Every drill you are attempting to execute through your instrument has a purpose of improving your playing skills, so take some time to interpret the technicality of your exercise. Once you are doing them correctly and giving your time, it will produce great results which will in turn enhance your knowledge on your instrument.
4. Record your practice
It is very helpful if you record yourself doing your exercises or trying to play a part of a song because it gives you a reference to look back and provide yourself with an honest feedback. Listen to yourself play and analyse if there is a part you can do it better or if you are executing your task correctly. Once you can identify  your mistakes and practice on getting them right, it will improve your skills drastically on the instrument. This really encourages effective and fast progress to your playing ability.
5. Rest
Playing an instrument requires a lot of movements and stress on your body muscles. Thus, it is important to incorporate rest between your practice routines, especially when you are practicing for long hours. You can best execute your skills when you are the fittest, thus it is very important that you rest the muscles used in playing your instrument.


In short, Practice sessions should have a structure, a goal and conscious attention from you to actually make it effective. Practising without a goal is like traveling without a destination! So, roll up your sleeves and set up your space and time for effective practise.


BlueTimbre is a unique Music Company with Music Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio based out of Whitefield, Bangalore, India. BlueTimbre also provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running Structured Businesses, Music Curriculum Development, Music Education and Performance.



References

  1. http://musicaladvice.com/tips-for-developing-a-music-practice-routine/
  2. http://www.effectivemusicteaching.com/articles/students/how-to-develop-a-practice-routine/
  3. https://www.classicfm.com/lifestyle/wellbeing/musician-practice-tips/