Sticky subject, but what do you do when you are recording someone that can’t sing very well?

First off I want to clarify that this isn’t coming from a disrespectful place. There has been times a singer has sang completely off key and completely off time. I’m talking about drastically off, not something subtle. Everyone is off a little bit, we aren’t robots. I want to share my experience with recording artists that need a lot of help. The first thing to do in this situation is be accountable towards them. Pretending that they sound good and just hitting record isn’t the right thing to do. I understand you may not care at this point but this is where the producer has to dig in. You do however need to except that even after pushing them and coaching to your best ability that it still may sound very bad. That’s okay, you tried. Try things like record one small line or section at a time and sing or guide them through the take over the talk back button. If you are a producer that can sing… another trick you can try is to go sing the part then they can sing along to your take as a guide. If you are a producer that cant sing, use the program Melodyne to drastically correct the pitch and timing to what it needs to be and use the drastic edited voice as a guide they can sing along to. This is a great method. It works almost every time! Lastly the easiest approach can be to describe to them exactly what they are doing wrong. Saying something like “you are singing too high on this word and singing too fast through the section” can really let the singer understand where to improve. Some people do great with this approach, while others need to hear a guide to sing a long to. Leave your comments below!

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