Sean FaheyNew York City Recording Connection

First Day at Shelter Island Sound Posted on 2015-06-08 by Sean Fahey

For my first day at Shelter Island Sound my mentor Steve Addabbo engineered a vocal session for a Latin Style record. The existing tracks were also recorded at Shelter Sound a few months prior. Steve first ran me through how to power up the studio and we quickly arranged a vocal booth and set up a Neuman U47. Then we went though the inputs wired to the tracking room and what preamps and compressors they are routed to. Everything was pretty straight foward and we got to work quickly with the simple set up that was required. A camera man followed the singer and producer in and filmed their entrance but did not stay long.

The arrangements for the songs were complex and had drasticly different rhythms. The song we spent the most time on had a flamenco style guitar part and seemed like the most challenging for the singer to complete, but Steve is wizard when editing quickly so there was little stress involved.

I studied the gear in the control room for most of the day looking at the settings on pres and compressors Steve used for the session. For smaller tracking sessions, it seems like he relies on the 9 Neve mic pres he has going into his MCI Frankenstein board that has API equalization strips on each channel as well as Neve automated faders that were installed after he bought the board itself. He records onto protools although he has a few reel to reel recorders in the control room too.

When the session ended all parties seemed very pleased and tired after perfecting vocals for four songs. It can take a lot patience to let the artist get in their zone espicially with vocals. Luckily this session was a breeze. When working with a trained vocalist it's a lot easier for the producer to shine light on what works best for the arrangement of the song. No ideas were turned down or ever seemed out of bounds and a lot of new ideas were in some of the final takes. Definitely one of my first experiences working with real professionals.

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