Perfect isn't interesting
The other day my partner Jess and I were listening to Fiona Apple, and she observed, "Hey, she's kinda pitchy. That helps me feel less worried about my own pitch." I record and mix a lot of singers who are insecure about their pitch. But beauty is imperfect. R.A.P. Ferreira says, "Art is not about a best self; it's about a where-you-are self—to me, anyway. It's about documenting that moment and letting that shine." Pair with this video on Adele's pitchiness in her single "Easy on Me," and why that's cool.
Exercises for breath management
Last week I shared that breath management ≠ breathing so deep. Here are a few exercises to better manage your breath, both using voiced consonants. These voiced consonant exercises are helpful for two reasons: 1) consonants are a sound where we singers may expel too much breath too soon, and 2) the voiced nature allows us to carry a tune on these consonants. Pick any comfortable melody and sing it on a V sound. If your breath support goes slack, you won't be able to sustain the pitch and the fricative sound. To amp this up, try it on a rolled R or a lip trill.
Why keep your arrangements sparse
When recording, it's tempting to add layer upon layer of instrumentation with the intent of making a song sound huge. But this runs the risk of many instruments that have to be made quiet so they can all share sonic headroom. Sometimes a wall-of-sound arrangement is absolutely what's called for, but sometimes fewer instruments can make for a punchier mix with greater clarity between instruments. Take for example this song I mixed for Doctor Generous, produced by Tai Wyban. When the chorus comes in, those growly, garage-y guitars and drums can really cut through because there's not much in their way.