Phoenix has been lucky to have had huge success with our Covid-era virtual choir videos, which makes it high time to introduce you to Brad Andrews, our sound engineer extraordinaire and the master of the audio behind all Phoenix virtual videos and concerts. Brad’s insight and skill is invaluable to us, and we are grateful for his commitment to the Phoenix Family.

During the month of January, due to continued provincial restrictions around rehearsing together, Phoenix singers are spending time working 2:1 with the Andrews duo (Brad, and Phoenix Artistic Director, Nicholle) in order to improve vocal performance and sound. We asked Brad his top tips for getting  quality sound when everyone is stuck at home with “what they’ve got” and don’t always have access to studio-quality sound equipment. Below are Brad’s tips.

Phoenix Sound Engineer, Brad Andrews (top left) and Dr. Nicholle Andrews (top right) spend time on Zoom with Phoenix singer Shannon in a January 2:1 workshop session.

How to record with what you’ve got 

Any device with a microphone will do the job!

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Computer
  • Portable recorder (Zoom, etc.)

There are also many microphone brands out there that will plug in to your device:

  • Blue
  • Apogee
  • AKG
  • M-Audioa
  • Etc.

I’m not suggesting you should buy a microphone, but IF you want to buy one, I  recommend Shure MV88+ Video Kit because it works with multiple devices and because  of portability with your phone. 

 

Recording Technique Tips: 

  • You want a sound that is
    • Clean – has little to no background noise
    • Dry – free of too much reflection and reverb
    • Direct – has you in the foreground, not too distant sounding
  • Experiment with location
    • Closet – typically most “dry” if it is big enough
    • Laundry room
    • Garage
    • Bedroom
    • Record one verse in a few rooms and listen to see what sounds best
  • Experiment with distance from microphone
    • Voice is extremely powerful and can distort easily
    • Try near, medium, and far at high and low passages and see what sounds best
  • Benefits of external microphone
    • You can adjust the “gain” or volume to avoid distortion
    • You can select the “polar pattern” or pick up to reject sounds you don’t want from  the back or sides of the microphone
  • You may need to record your audio and video separately because the location and distance you determine sounds best may not make for the best video. If that’s the case, record your audio and then sing along with it for your video.