WHAT IS IT? Started by local music production company Playground Studio, the Sing A Song
Studio Experience gives everyone a chance to step in to a studio to “cut an album or EP” — pitchy journos included. There’s even post-recording editing to spruce up your vocals. Shell out more dough for an accompanying live band and a video recording of your experience.
1. You don’t need to have top-notch vocals
“Everyone can be a singer these days! Sound engineering technology has advanced greatly and we can ‘correct’ individual notes onscreen,” Playground Studio’s co-founder and sound engineer Ou Kexin, 41, tells us. Phew, that makes us feel a little less stressed about our maiden recording session. “There was a man in his 50s who wanted to fulfill his lifelong dream of cutting a CD. He loves singing, but he’s a bit tone deaf. I had to touch it up for him, but he was so moved by the end result,” she tells us. Generally, Kexin tries not to tamper too much with the original singing — unless you really insist.
2. It’s all about the song choice
Admittedly, we hit KTV joints mostly for the free-flow tidbits, so choosing a song to record feels more stressful than the actual recording itself. Now we know the trauma all these Idol contestants go through every week. Kexin, who’s been in the scene for the past two decades and produced for many a young and indie singer, forces us to decide on the song a week before our hour-long sesh. “Pick a song you’re comfortable with and confident about. Most people like slower ballads ’cos they’re ‘easier’ to emote to,” she advises. We’re too shy to get all emo in front a complete stranger… so we eventually pick Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’.
3. Practise, practise, practise!
“Most people come in cold without any practice, and that delays the process. When you practise, you’ll know which parts of the song you’re unfamiliar with or tend to go off-key,” says the former music teacher. She also gives practical tips on singing (“You can break the song up in verses”), and her friendly demeanour puts you at ease very quickly.
4. Be thick-skinned and find occasions to play your song to your friends
Kexin’s customers run the gamut from wedding couples who want to make a grand entrance with a song they wrote, to a loving wife who cut a 10-song album and printed a few hundred copies to distribute at her husband’s 50th birthday party. But there are also folks like us who just want to cop a feel of the singer’s experience, and keep our eponymous debuts forever hidden. We were so nervous about hearing our own recording, we buried the CD in our pile of documents. It took us a whole month before we finally took a listen. Conclusion? It was honestly quite fun to hear ourselves on CD, and we may or may not keep it for our future kids to poke fun at us with. But, er, we’ll just stick to our day job for now.
Prices start at $149. Playground Studio is at #02-07, 195 Pearl’s Hill Terrace. For more info, go to www.singasong.sg.