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Studio Diary: Vocals In A Time Of COVID

There's nothing like making music with other people. There's something special about artists vibing off of each other in real time and then capturing that in a recording. COVID has made this almost impossible, especially with more virulent strains (the Delta variant is ripping through the world as I write) so we try to make all sorts of things we do in person happen through video calls.

Zoom has probably been the most used app during this pandemic - for better or worse - and while there's just no substitute for being in the same room, it probably is the next best thing.

Ebe Dancel just put out his latest single Tanging Kailangan. Helmed by Rico Blanco, it's his second release this year under Widescope Entertainment. We recorded his vocals at the studio: me in the control room, Ebe in the live room, and Rico with us via Zoom.

It's the sort of futurist thing that you wouldn't think would have been possible up until the advent of fairly decent (and reliable) internet in Manila. It's also something that you would otherwise think would be unnecessary, but then COVID happened and, well, here we are.

We did a quick live take as well for Manatili, which he performed for this year's Myx Music Awards

Despite not being in the same room, the entire vocal recording session lasted just a few hours (they are professionals after all!) with great results - we tracked with a Warm Audio WA47 mic through a Manley VoxBox plugin with very mild settings. Ebe sounded amazing as usual, and I liked how the verses in Tanging Kailangan sit in the lower regions of his vocal register so his voice had this rich tone that was a nice contrast to his usual singing style.

It also felt good to be in the engineer's seat because I had to be on my toes the entire time to make sure I was cueing things and punching in properly the way Rico wanted.

You can check out the track on Spotify and Apple Music.


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