Did you ever wonder, as a singer, why all the sounds and fine nuances you can clearly “hear” in your head never make it to the final recording?
If you do not know this frustrating feeling, good for you. But I had to live with this my whole life, until I came to the conclusion that my voice is somehow “complicated”, “cannot be recorded”, that I have to accept that I am a horrible singer that has no control over soft and powerful tones, sibilance, and that I’m simply unable to express what I really want to express. Before I finally quitted singing for several years, I had been recording in several studios, different equipment, different musical styles, different technicians, but no way, my voice never came out the way I wanted it to be.
This nightmare has finally come to an end. I still can’t believe it, and writing this makes me feel really nervous. This weekend, we recorded about 8 songs with the best microphone that ever came into our hands, and for the first time, every little tone that I produce is on the recording. I can’t believe it.
My new love is a Neumann U 87 Ai that we have rented over the weekend. It is not that I had never heard about Neumann microphones before, they are known for being excellent, but also extremely pricey, and they are so omnipresent in music studios that this could not be the right choice to create a signature sound.
Well, it is. I simply love it. For the first time ever, everything I want to express is on the recording. Nothing is missing, everything is there the way it should be. If someone now says that he or she does not like my voice, they had at least the chance to hear it the way it really sounds. That is such a relief.
I know I’m not a natural born soul talent like Aretha Franklin or Beyoncé Knowles, voices that would probably come out good even recorded with a Shure SM58 and a cheesy tape recorder. I like my voice, but I can also understand that not everybody is a fan of my style. However, I always thought that if it is possible to record rather mediocre singers like Madonna, Courtney Love, Deborah Harry, or Roisin Murphy, there must be a way to get my voice on tape in an acceptable manner. And there is.
Thank you Robin for convincing me trying out the Neumann, even if we cannot afford it. I know that song writing won’t be easier with this one, I know that equipment is no guarantee for success or at least being heard, I know that I’ll still have to struggle with my incapacitates when singing, but what the hell, at least the mic is on my side.