The Vocal Lab

Sara Ramsay

This show aims to pull back the curtain on the music industry, and give up-and-coming artists some of the knowledge that veterans wish they’d had when they were just starting out. Our format on The Vocal Lab incorporates some solo episodes where it’s just Sara, talking about voice care and singing and performance coaching, the realities of life on the road, and how to prep for the studio - basically answering questions you may or may not even know to ask!We will also have TONS of guest interview episodes, where veterans can draw on their experience to lay out the yellow brick road for the next generation of artists. You’ll get to hear their perspective through the lens of “what I know now that I wish I’d known then.”


If you're an emerging artist, this is your music industry primer.


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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Joy, Instinct, and Eliminating the Unnecessary Notes with Serial Collaborator, Craig Northey, pt 2
4d ago
Joy, Instinct, and Eliminating the Unnecessary Notes with Serial Collaborator, Craig Northey, pt 2
Today we have the second part of my interview with Craig Northey. Craig was so generous with his thoughts and knowledge gleaned from many years as a joyfully pro musician.We talk about the realities of life on the road, and the importance of taking care of yourself and your instrument, in order to achieve what you’re setting out to achieve. Craig gives us the inside look at the extensive plan the band undertook in the early days of the Odds, which involved their alter-ego band Dawn Patrol working as a house band at the Roxy, opening for themselves, spending years writing and recording in the basement of the Roxy, before ultimately commuting back and forth to LA.Craig talks about the process of a band breaking up and then ultimately re-forming, working with other artists, and jokes that didn’t land. We go down the rabbit hole about people’s most common misconceptions about the music industry, and being a successful writer or artist. And we come full circle, talking further about relationships, lessons, the importance of great teachers, and the importance of lateral skill development.New Odds album coming soon!IG: @craignorthey  IG: @oddsmusicTwitter: @oddsmusicWebsite: https://oddsmusic.com/_________________________SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONSSUGGEST A GUESTTHE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAMTHE VOCAL LAB WEBSITEEmail the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.comTheme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars AudioSome links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Joy, Instinct, and Eliminating the Unnecessary Notes with Serial Collaborator, Craig Northey, pt 1
1w ago
Joy, Instinct, and Eliminating the Unnecessary Notes with Serial Collaborator, Craig Northey, pt 1
Today on the show, we have Craig Northey, founding member of renowned Canadian rock band "Odds". Formed in1987 they crossed over into radio success, platinum awards and Juno nominations during the mid 1990s and have maintained their vitality to this day. Craig is also known for his work as a film and TV composer (Kids in the Hall, Corner Gas, Hiccups, Young Drunk Punk, This Blows). Craig and I talk about his music roots as a child whose mother was a symphonic violinist/violist, and moving from a classical pedigree into rock and roll, and the role his musical education has played in his musical journey…how theory helps eliminate the unnecessary notes.We get into the important relationships in Craig’s musical life, and how learning music was a social concept that involved hanging out at the music stores on the weekend to learn from your peers. Craig has a great perspective on community over competition in music. We talk about Craigs journey from live performer into music for Film and TV, and collaborating with Kids in the Hall, and writing music for Brent Butt. The process is much more streamlined now than it was when he was starting out!Craig talks about his songwriting process, both his solo writing, and when in collaborative process. We talk about the concept of storytelling as a songwriter, and I love that one of Craig’s most driving forces in lyric writing is “how can we make this funnier?” We talk about the different ways we listen to music, and Craig talks about Susan Rogers’ (record producer turned brain who worked with Odds) book This Is What It Sounds Like.IG: @craignorthey  IG: @oddsmusicTwitter: @oddsmusicWebsite: https://oddsmusic.com/_________________________SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONSSUGGEST A GUESTTHE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAMTHE VOCAL LAB WEBSITEEmail the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.comTheme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars AudioSome links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Vocal Journey of a Career Creative, with Saffron Henderson (pt. 2)
26-01-2023
The Vocal Journey of a Career Creative, with Saffron Henderson (pt. 2)
Today we have part two of my episode with Saffron Henderson, professional voice talent. (And I do mean talent!) Saffron has spent a lifetime in the arts, and works as both a singer and voice over actress.Saf and I talk about how to create community and celebrate with friends while also potentially being in competition with them for the same work, and the delicate balance of holding both things simultaneously.Saf explains the differences between all the various kinds of voice over work she does:  narration, advertising, animation, anime, descriptive video, audiobooks, video games, and more. Each comes with their own joys and challenges.We finish off by talking about the advantages and disadvantages of auditioning or recording from home and in studio, and some of Saffron’s insights surprised me. (Hint: convenience isn’t everything it’s chalked up to be!)For training in the realm of voiceover acting, check out On the Mic Training, where Saffron is one of many working actors, teaching the skills you need.Check out Saf’s live Streamily Signing event with her Anime Time Machine crew, coming up January 29 at 11 am PST on Instagram.TikTok @SaffronVoice IG: @saffron.voiceIG @anime.time.machineTikTok: @anime.time.machineYouTube: animetimemachineStreamily Signing: Sunday Jan 29 streamily.com/animetimemachine_________________________SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONSSUGGEST A GUESTTHE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAMTHE VOCAL LAB WEBSITEEmail the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.comTheme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars Audio Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Vocal Journey of a Career Creative, with Saffron Henderson (pt. 1)
23-01-2023
The Vocal Journey of a Career Creative, with Saffron Henderson (pt. 1)
Today, I’m thrilled to welcome one of my dearest friends, Saffron Henderson. Saffron and I have worked together in a lot of different capacities for a lot of years, starting with singing on a SunRype jingle as kids, and recently having a party band together for a number of years called The Ticket.Saf has had a varied career, depending on her creativity, and largely relying on her voice as her main creative tool. In addition to voice work - both singing and speaking - she has worked as a dancer, an actress, and a songwriter.I’m so excited for you to come along on the journey with Saf and I as we talk about navigating the trials and tribulations of a publishing deal as a songwriter, coming into her own right as an artist while being the daughter of a successful musician (Bill Henderson, episodes 3 and 4), some great war stories from both the singing and acting worlds, and the early imprinting of misogyny and being a woman in the music industry. In addition, Saf really breaks down the nuts and bolts of being a hired lead singer, background (BG) singer, singer/songwriter, and working in a cover band. We talk about the value of collaboration, and the important relationships Saf has valued in her career, We’ll be back on Thursday with the second half of Saffron’s interview. In the meantime, I want you to know about her live Streamily Signing event with her Anime Time Machine crew, coming up January 29 at 11 am PST on Instagram.TikTok @SaffronVoice IG: @saffron.voiceIG @anime.time.machineTikTok: @anime.time.machineYouTube: animetimemachineStreamily Signing: Sunday Jan 29 streamily.com/animetimemachine_________________________SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONSSUGGEST A GUESTTHE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAMTHE VOCAL LAB WEBSITEEmail the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.comTheme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars AudioSome links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
From Humble Beginnings to World Class Engineer: How to Love the Journey with Mike Fraser, pt. 2
19-01-2023
From Humble Beginnings to World Class Engineer: How to Love the Journey with Mike Fraser, pt. 2
On the show today, we have part two of my interview with Mike Fraser, legendary rock and roll mix engineer. Mike and I talk about the importance of leaving the egos at the door, elements of his favourite projects, as well as difficult projects he’s worked on. Mike lays out the way he structures his rates, and emphasizes the importance of clarity around how much you’re spending and exactly what you get for that money, so there are no unpleasant surprises later. He also works through the pre-production process, the studio process, the post-production process, mixing and mastering.We talk about the importance of creating a comfortable setting in the studio, in order to create the best possible product. Mike talks about the realities of working at the legendary Little Mountain Sound Studios, and some of his favourite local and international studios he’s had the pleasure of working in throughout his career.Mike shares his favourite pieces of gear to work with (hint, new isn’t always better in rock and roll!), and talks about the importance of having some business knowledge and acumen as an artist, so that you can take care of yourself and not get taken advantage of.I’m so grateful to Mike for sharing his invaluable knowledge of the industry. www.mikefrasermix.comFB: Fraser Productions Inc_________________________ SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS SUGGEST A GUEST THE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAM THE VOCAL LAB WEBSITE Email the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.com Theme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars Audio Some links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway!   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
From Humble Beginnings to World Class Engineer: How to Love the Journey with Mike Fraser, pt. 1
16-01-2023
From Humble Beginnings to World Class Engineer: How to Love the Journey with Mike Fraser, pt. 1
Today, I’m joined by world class mix engineer, Mike Fraser. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Mike since I was literally in utero, so there’s a long, long history to draw upon. Mike tells us his unique story of growing up in the industry, from starting out as a janitor at Little Mountain Sound, to living in the loading bay and assisting Bob Rock on sessions at night, right up through to his own career mixing ACDC, Aerosmith, Metallica, and others, and recording in castles, playing daily golf with the bands, and living/working in exotic locations like Ibiza.We talk about the important relationships in Mike's career, the art form of learning to “hear” in the scope of music, and the importance of the skill of songwriting. Mike gives us insight into the specifics of the roles of producer, engineer, and artist, how each can come best prepared and work together to get the best creative end product, and how to utilize different studios for different purposes. We also talk about vocal management when working live, and the realities of vocal fatigue as part of the job.You won’t want to miss this episode! It’s part one of my interview with Mike, and we’ll be back on Thursday with part two.www.mikefrasermix.comFB: Fraser Productions Inc_________________________ SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS SUGGEST A GUEST THE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAM THE VOCAL LAB WEBSITE Email the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.com Theme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars Audio Some links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway!   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
How to Create Success in Music for Over 50 Years, with Bill Henderson of Chilliwack (pt. 2)
12-01-2023
How to Create Success in Music for Over 50 Years, with Bill Henderson of Chilliwack (pt. 2)
We’re back with part two of my interview with Bill Henderson. If you haven't heard the first half of my interview with Bill, go back and listen to episode 3 of the show.On today’s episode, we talk about the importance of a good song, storytelling, and the need to make it accessible to your audience. Bill gives us some great information about the history of author’s organizations rights, starting with Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, moving through the mechanics of Canada’s own SOCAN. Bill sat on the Board of SOCAN for 23 years, so this is the guy you wanna hear it from! Bill also gives us his best, worst, and most unexpected gig moments!Referenced in today’s show:Pierre-Augustin Caron de BeaumarchaisSOCANWebsite: www.gonegonegone.comChilliwack’s Facebook Page Bill’s Facebook: @therealbeel_________________________ SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS SUGGEST A GUEST THE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAM THE VOCAL LAB WEBSITE Email the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.com Theme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars Audio Some links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway!   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
How to Create Success in Music for Over 50 Years, with Bill Henderson of Chilliwack (pt. 1)
09-01-2023
How to Create Success in Music for Over 50 Years, with Bill Henderson of Chilliwack (pt. 1)
Today is part one of my interview with Bill Henderson of The Collectors, Chilliwack, UHF and others.Bill and I talk about all sorts of things, from songwriting and answering the Muse, to how formal music education impacted his career (the positives and the negatives). We talk about the important relationships in the course of his career, the things he's come to see as non-negotiables to create a great show that now make up his riders, voice care, and what goes into career longevity.The fact that Bill went to University with my mum, and our families have known each other since before my birth makes for some great stories along the way. It's funny how a shared history is more intertwined than you ever realize.Here are some things that are referenced in the interview:The Let's Go ShowTake Off For MilesUp Up and AwayJohn CageCharles IvesCamille Henderson, Pro Vocal CoachSeth RiggsWebsite: www.gonegonegone.comChilliwack’s Facebook Page Bill’s Facebook: @therealbeel_________________________ SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS SUGGEST A GUEST THE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAM THE VOCAL LAB WEBSITE Email the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.com Theme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars Audio Some links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway!   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
An Unexpected Perspective on Success in the Music Business with Jonathan Simkin of 604 Records, pt. 2
02-01-2023
An Unexpected Perspective on Success in the Music Business with Jonathan Simkin of 604 Records, pt. 2
Jonathan Simkin Interview, Part 2I interviewed Jonathan Simkin, President of 604 Records, Light Organ Records (alternative), Intraset (ambient), and Comedy Here Often (comedy) in this look at the artist journey in partnership with label support. Jonathan offers so much great insight into the different ways those partnerships can look. We talk about different kinds of development and record deals, how an Indie label differs from a Major label, and what the most important pieces are to build artist success.Jonathan also discusses the way the internet and social media has changed the way marketing an artist looks now, growing out of the early days of Marianas Trench social marketing. As a result, he uses these three simple questions to craft a marketing strategy:Who’s the audience?How do we reach that audience?What are the tools we can use to get this band to that audience?You will hear us refer to my brother (Josh Ramsay) or his band throughout the interview. Jonathan signed, and has managed Marianas Trench for years, and more recently, Josh for his solo record as well.Web: www.604records.com (scroll to bottom for links to all other labels)Twitter: @jonathansimkin Email: jonathansimkin@604records.com_________________________ SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS SUGGEST A GUEST THE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAM THE VOCAL LAB WEBSITE Email the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.com Theme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars Audio Some links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
An Unexpected Perspective on Success in the Music Business with Jonathan Simkin of 604 Records, pt. 1
02-01-2023
An Unexpected Perspective on Success in the Music Business with Jonathan Simkin of 604 Records, pt. 1
Jonathan Simkin Interview, Part 1I interviewed Jonathan Simkin, President of 604 Records, Light Organ Records (alternative), Intraset (ambient), and Comedy Here Often (comedy) in this look at the artist journey in partnership with label support. Jonathan offers so much great insight into the different ways those partnerships can look. We talk about different kinds of development and record deals, how an Indie label differs from a Major label, and what the most important pieces are to build artist success.Jonathan also discusses the way the internet and social media has changed the way marketing an artist looks now, growing out of the early days of Marianas Trench social marketing. As a result, he uses these three simple questions to craft a marketing strategy:Who’s the audience?How do we reach that audience?What are the tools we can use to get this band to that audience?You will hear us refer to my brother (Josh Ramsay) or his band throughout the interview. Jonathan signed, and has managed Marianas Trench for years, and more recently, Josh for his solo record as well.Web: www.604records.com (scroll to bottom for links to all other labels)Twitter: @jonathansimkin Email: jonathansimkin@604records.com_________________________ SUBMIT YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS SUGGEST A GUEST THE VOCAL LAB INSTAGRAM THE VOCAL LAB WEBSITE Email the Vocal Lab at thevocallab@sararamsay.com Theme music for The Vocal Lab by FreshEars Audio Some links posted in the show notes may happen to be affiliate or partner links. That just means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, I may receive a commission for sharing it with you, even though it won't cost you a penny more. Which is pretty great, because I was going to share it with you anyway! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.