Dynamics in Singing: How to Get the Right Performance, Right Away
Dynamics, essentially, is how loud or soft something should be. Compression will even most of this out in a song (see my article about compression here) but having softer/louder parts in a song is important and helps the listener connect emotionally. I can sing something in a whisper or shout it, and those are obviously very different and give your song a different feel.
Why are dynamics important?
The reason I included this in my book (check it out here) is that clients often ask me to sing something “softly,” and it turns out we have different ideas about what that is. Edits can take up a lot of time and money, so the sooner we get on the same page the better!
Take these two real-life examples from previous clients:
“Can you sing it softly?”
– vs –
“Please sing this in almost a whisper, and on the chorus climb gradually louder and fade back into whispers again in the verse.”
Obviously, I had a much clearer idea of what the second client was looking for. I was able to deliver the song exactly the way they wanted it immediately without any edits. The first client had several edits done.
Now, it’s possible you might not know how loud or soft you want your session singer to sing and you’ll figure it out as you go. That’s okay! Just please understand that edits are costly and time-consuming, and be prepared for that going in. Some artists give a certain number of free edits before charging, some give none. Make sure you determine all of this beforehand! I have free forms you can download and share with your clients and session singers right here.
The more pre-planning you can do prior to entering the studio, the better experience everyone will have overall. It’s worth it in the end, trust me!