Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

Can you get a great vocal sound from a $200 mic? (Hint… Yes you can!) With AUDIO!


In Your Eyes by Celivia is the title track of a CD with the same name, produced by Richard Boyer in a bedroom. And it proves that you don't need an expensive mic to get a great vocal sound, all you need is a decent mic and a great singer.

For this style of music, Celivia's voice is perfect. The vocal sound is rich, clear and without any faults such as popping, blasting, distortion or excessive sibilance.

And all it took to achieve this was the AKG C2000B, which you can find on sale for around $200. No tubes, but it does have a fairly large diaphragm, which always does seem to help vocals.

The instrumental arrangement is interesting too, in that it is clearly generated through MIDI rather than conventionally-played instruments. However, the arrangement is excellent, treating each instrumental sound with individual attention, rather than just hammering the chords out as so often happens.

Granted, MIDI arrangements always do sound like MIDI arrangements, and the recording would have been better with real instruments, but this is definitely in the higher class of such productions. The incorporation of a real guitar is a bonus.

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Oh, and one thing I did notice when I looked at the waveform in my digital audio workstation – there's no mastering! Yes, this is one CD that has louds and quiets, where most CDs these days have only louds.

Here are the words of producer Richard Boyer…

“I have very little equipment. The computer is a Hewlett Packard HP Pavilion Intel Pentium D 3.00 GHz, 2.00 Gig Ram, Windows XP Media Center Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 2, 300 GB internal drive. I also have a 160 GB FireWire drive.

My keyboard is a Roland JV-80 61 keys. I only used it as MIDI controller. I have a Switch MIDI guitar made in Japan. I bought it through eBay.

I have a G7 guitar effects console. I also have an acoustic Takamine 335, this is the only guitar that I used for my CD, believe it or not. The electric guitar that you hear was passed through a Alien Connection Revolver.

I have an M-Audio Firewire 410 interface. My speakers are Paradigm. My mic is an AKG C2000B. I also have a SM86 Shure condenser vocal microphone for live shows only. My digital audio workstation is Sonar 6. I also have Reason version 1.01, which is extremely good for my piano and violins.

I did my mix in a room 10' by 10'. This is not a soundproof studio, it is a bedroom in my little house. I am not a professional sound engineer. I work very hard to get the best possible mix. Hard work and using only my ears was my way out for the lack of experience and knowledge. Thanks to MIDI sequencing I was able to do some very difficult arrangement in some songs.

My wife and I are not professional artists. She is a secretary, I am a councilor for handicapped people. I am partially retired. In my younger days, I played in local bands. I made a 45 rpm record on my 33rd birthday (that's how old I am hahaha).

This CD adventure started when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. With courage and prayer she is now in remission . Our mission was to contribute financially to the breast cancer society in Canada. At our CD launch we gave $500.00 to cancer research. We live Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada with a population of 10,000 souls. We have sold 250 CDs. Everyone who buys it are very impressed by Celivia's voice and music.”

Congratulations to Celivia and Richard on a well-made recording. You can buy this CD at Pharmacie Jean Coutu in Hawkesbury, Ontario.

David Mellor

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David Mellor