La Toya Lewis and Recording the Classical Genre


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When you think of a musician who records their own music on a Mac, a lot of times people think of electronic Musicians, Hip-Hop artists or a DIY Rocker. That isn’t always the case, La Toya Lewis is an Opera singer and recorded a few classical tracks that came out excellent. It is assumed, too many times, that classical music must be recorded in a large ambient hall or studio with $3200 Neumann Microphones and vintage tube pre-amps. Well what if your budget doesn’t allow for such a thing? Do what La Toya did. Below are some samples of the tracks. Give them a listen and we will tell you how it was recorded/mixed with GarageBand, Logic and a handful of microphones and pre’s.

Remember the most important points to take away.

1. Performance is the most important part of any recording.
2. There is technology for every budget
3. Even Carnegie hall gets unwanted subway noise and everyone would record there if they could.

About La Toya,
Brooklyn Native La Toya Lewis is a 26 year old emerging professional opera singer. She received an MM from Binghamton University and a BM from Purchase College. La Toya has performed country wide in various leading roles and has won numerous competitions. Some of her favorite roles are: Fiordiligi (Cosi Fan Tutte), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Micaela (Carmen). She’s a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies, Harry Potter and the television show LOST.

Check out La Toya’s Website.

John Arida – Piano

Palmer Johnston – TRIBECA Performing Arts Center, New York, NY
Quentin Bradley – Mac For Musicians, New York, NY

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  1. Just to open the discussion on recording classical music, anyone have an experience or concept to share?

  2. I know this isn’t exactly classical but i think there are some parallels between the genres when capturing a performance. I used a similar setup for recording a jazz quartet. 1 mic a per player and 1 room mic. turned out great.

  3. I agree, a good (or great) performance can transcend less than optimal gear. Good gain structure and mic technique remains the key to capturing any performance. Many people with lots of good gear tend to fall into the habit of always trying to use it when it’s not needed. Very often less is more, as michael says above^^ Another thing that can hamper optimal recording conditions is sight lines during a live performance. Again, it’s a matter of doing the best you can under the circumstances and learning by trial and error what’s best for a situation.

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