A lot of people involved in audio recording tend to underrate an aspect during vocals recording sessions: the singer “play” a slightly different instrument than others. He definitely plays his body. Sometimes ago I read some lines of this excellent Mark Baxter‘s book: “The Rock-N-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual“. A real “must” for all singer, even not rock-oriented ones. A big part of the book talks about exercises and “habits” to follow to be always healthy with the voice. To be honest, after few pages, I thought “That’s too difficult!”. Simply I wouldn’t be able to explain how much things a singer should take care to make his instrument better! From fitness to diet, it’s quite a tour-de-force!
That said, it’s really important to let the singer feel comfortable during recording sessions. This is important beacuse if he feels tense his voice is not going to be as good as it could, his “instrument” will suffer the muscular and nervous tension, with awful results. Moreover, trying to compensate the stress, the singer will try to overexert, reducing his voice endurance during recording, result: bad recording session. During your sessions, the singer must stay focused so don’t him be surrounded by lots of people. Lights inside the room should be soft but enough strong to let him read well the lyrics he’s going to sing. Of course, he should already know the lyrics bu let’s be careful 😉
The task of every good recording engineer is to let the singer feel comfortable first of all: an untroubled environment, a glass of water ready for him, some talking to just let him relax before recording and to keep everything friendly and then, some warm up takes of the whole song. Believe it or not, these warm up take could be the best of the entire session, because the singer is relaxed and feel free to sing without pressure! And that’s thanks to you, letting him find the right environment.