Being Kevin Bowe: Inside the IPR Sessions – Hot Date

Award winning producer, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and IPR Instructor Kevin Bowe

Award winning producer, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and IPR Instructor Kevin Bowe

This is the first in a series of entries from inside the production mind of Audio Production & Engineering Associate Program Chair Kevin Bowe. Kevin will detail the audio production sessions that he and his Production Portfolio class run during the course of the term. This term, Kevin and his class are working with artists like Alexander Young, Jonah Marais, Batteryboy, Hot Date, Maudlin, Jake Ilika, and Communist Daughter.

10/21/15, Mastermix A

Hot Date (Nora Targonski-O’Brien and Eric Carranza) returned to IPR for follow-up work on some songs they had cut basics for on a previous AP292 session. Vocals were the main goal, they sing together very well and we decided to cater to that by setting them up to cut the lead vocals simultaneously. Eric in the main room, Nora in the isolation room (or “spending a night in the box” as we put it…. This turned out to be a great help because they could SEE each other as they sang; a lot of the vocals are close harmony so the visual really helped them stay tight with their phrasing.

A highlight of the day was their cover version of “Tell It Like It Is”, the 1966 Aaron Neville soul hit. Multiple takes of vocals were recorded for three songs, all of them done duet style.

One of the biggest decisions was the signal path for the vocals; we decided on the Neumann U67 for Nora’s vocal. The U67 is hard to beat on female vocals, it’s silky top end and detail is a wonder to behold. The Neumann TLM 49 captured Eric’s huskier, deeper vocal tone perfectly. For the vintage sound of these songs, one of the students suggested we use the DW Fearn mic pre on both mic’s instead of the more obvious API pre’s. The tubey warmth that the Fearns bring to vocals turned out great!

We just TOUCHED each of the vocals with the Distressors to even out the signal, only about 3 or 4 db of compression at most, although we did use the “Dist 2” setting on Eric’s vocal because it brought out a little bite and attack.

All three vocal tracks were completed, one of them was even comped. The artists directed the students and the instructor wisely stayed out of the way.

-Kevin Bowe


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