The Producer as you have been reading, has been very busy!
Meanwhile, the lead singer 'Chakra Bleu' (moi) needs to rehearse a lot for this recording session.
The best key for my voice has been determined already. Now it's time to get into the vocal details of each song from start to finish. This is where my vocal performance training has come in handy, applying the techniques to bring out the best expression possible in each song.
There in my music office, I sit in a chair with my black F-25 guild on my lap, opening up the folder of studio songs and charts there on the music stand in front of me. It is my job now to determine where exactly I need to take a breath on each phrase. I mark the lyric sheets accordingly with a red pen, so that I'll follow that plan in the studio.
I then determine how to shape the phrases, with attention to dynamics and sensitivities to vowels, and attacks to particular consonants to bring out the best emotional delivery possibly.
For example, there's a song with the word 'Imagine' at the very beginning of the chorus. Singing a word with 'i' as the first vowell, needs sensitivity, whereby a vocalist adds a slight 'hhh' before it to give lift to the overall word.
Another example is a song that has the word 'fight' in it. I over emphasise the 't' to give it extra energy and gusto to the meaning of that word.
I go through each and every song, focusing on phrasing, breaths, diction, and dynamics, making notes, so that each time I rehearse that song again, I drive in those important nuances. When it comes time to record them in the studio, I will be prepared with the details that will bring the song into is best possible delivery.
I rehearse for 1-2 hours at first and then lengthen the rehearsal time, being careful to drink water. (water the vocal chords). I've learned the hard way of injuring my vocal chords years ago. Not fun and long recovery! Basically, the vocal chords are just like muscles. One trains them like a athlete would for a big game approaching. It's very nit-picking vocal stuff. That's another reason, I do not like to rehearse picky vocal details when anyone else might be in ear shot range. Behind the stage rehearsals like this are not enjoyable for other ears!Lol. Yet, I actually enjoy picking apart a song like this, because of the transition it takes on its course, blossoming in the end.
Another detail of importance, is learning to sing the song the same way every time, giving attention to exactly how long I hold the notes, how I end a word, and how and when I place inflections, rise and falls of a sung word. I know now where the harmonies will be, so once I lay down my main vocal, it has to be solid for the harmonies to create a perfect match, rhythmically and harmonically. If I would sing it one way this time and another the next time, the harmony singer would be frustrated in trying to follow me. (On my past four CD's I've sung my own harmonies. Yet on this studio recording, Kim Morrison sang 99% of the harmonies, which meant that I REALLY had to stick to exactness, for the sake of professionalism, time and money. The producer (moi) is always looking for efficiency in every aspect of studio recording projects, for the good of all.
I'm going to add a little further information about about vocal training. It is also important to train the lungs in a cardiovascular manner.
As Willie Nelson said, "When you're singing, you're using extra muscles, and it requires a lot of exercise and breathing. You can't do that if you're a sissy. If I have any fitness advice for people, I'd tell them to sing more. It's good therapy too."
He's right. I usually so hungry after a long session of singing. Long story short, I make sure that my cardio exercise is consistent, especially before a recording session that will demand several hours of laying down vocals. It's rare that one just sings a song through one time. There's usually several takes of shaping this or that into where the song is the best it can be! It's tedious, and yet it's a blast! I love vocally perfecting a song, so that it's delivery can move the listeners heart and/or mind. If I have brought Joy/enjoyment to a fan, then I have done my job well! Doing what I love and loving what I'm doing is important. Yet, when both parties are really finding Joy/enjoyment through the music, it's all worth it, especially when the fan is buying my music. That's frosting on the cake for everyone!