Tag: voice layering

The Making of the Emma Cook Voice Instrument

Although my voice is already an instrument of sorts, this week we created an instrument using many layers of my voice, and it sounds dope! (Yes, I just wrote the word dope, and?)

My producer Dean Drouillard and I are trying to get the first single from Living Proof finished so I spent a few hours this week recording vocals. Dean had this amazing idea to make an instrument out of my voice that he can play as an added backing track layer on the album. He got this idea from the iconic 1975 hit I’m Not In Love by 10CC. Take a listen to the first 45 seconds of the original version of the song and you’ll immediately know what I’m talking about. There is this really cool sounding effect made up of layering the bands voices and ‘playing’ them so they swell up and down. In order to create this instrument back then, it would have taken days as they didn’t have computers and were recording to tape!

In our case, Dean made tracks for just shy of two octaves and had me sing Ah’s, Oh’s and Ooh’s held for as long as I could and without any vibrato. He then cut off the beginning and ending of each and spliced them together so there was essentially a never-ending sound. I had to do this for each note, going down chromatically from a high A. I was really thankful for my classical voice training for this exercise, because it sure took a lot of breath control to hold the notes and stay perfectly on pitch AND not have any vibrato.

I am super happy about the way it sounds and can’t wait to see what Dean does with it on our first single I Will Stay. Take a listen to the example Dean sent over of how the instrument sounds with my voice.