Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

“I can do better” by Sue


First I listen to what the artist has done before and capture the red line, then I have a chat with my partner Lisa Lee about where we would like to take her, and then compromise.

It is very important to me that Sue sounds like Sue in the end and not like a cheap imitation of some other rapper.

I start out with a beat contemporary or classic, I mess around with the midi often and move sounds around by hand to get the right feeling, for this track I did not use the Akai MPC.

Then to the music bass synths ect,everything i add is with Sue in mind otherwize if the sounds dont fit the artist then we have to start over again and i dont have the time or the will.

Next we bring in Sue and she´s feeling it, ok now I got an ideer for a hook wanna try it? She says sure, by recording it I can hear that we need some changes here and there,we quickly rewrite the hook and yes it's working now, Sue is sent home with a CD to write. First we do a varmup, since im also a vocalcoach at New DNA the varmup is the most important if one wants the artist to sound convincing, after 30/40 minutes we start recording and I wrote down the settings of the preamp so we will get the same sound as yesterday, the varmup also makes sure of that,the first couple of times I tell her that I am not recording thou I am, I do this so I can hear her natural way of rapping in case she changes her flow later so we have something to refer to, I also want everyword to sound like she means it, so the melody she expresses must be perfect if the listener is to believe it.

Ebook = Equipping Your Home Recording Studio
FREE EBOOK - Equipping Your Home Recording Studio

The third day we re-do the chorus because all that rappin does not help her singing voice at all, so after a day's rest it's time to sing and no milk products today because we want her to sound smoother than her rap voice and it does, great that´s a rap.

On to the mix first I create the sound using loads of pluggs in protools then I give it to Lisa for additional mix Lisa also tunes and EQs the vocals and then I set the levels and mix it down for mastering not boosted yet that I leave for mastering.

Victor Jam

Further information is available at

Spatial Effects

Spatial Effects

Learn the techniques of creating spatial reverberation FX in this deep listening course by the engineers at Singing Canary and Modern World Recording.

Learn more...

Add comment

David Mellor