Friday, October 12, 2018

A brief music production story

On September 15th (Mexico's celebration of independence) the song Vera from María Ferrina was released. It was very well received because only 48 hours later it surpassed the 5,500 plays on Facebook and made its way as far as Japan and the Czech Republic.

Except for the trumpets, all instruments were played and recorded by maestro Ernesto Anaya whilst all vocals were produced by myself. I also did the mix and mastering duties.

My main goal was to make María Ferrina's voice to be able to "compete" with mariachi since her style is too soft for this kind of music. We worked vocals together for about two months, in which I helped her to emphasis on the parts that needed it, but most of all, to let go of her voice and make her feel comfortable singing fortissimos. 

Left to right:  Enrique Espinosa (photographer), Patricia Alcaraz,
María Ferrina, Sergio Patiño (producer) Roxana Río 

Just on the recording day, she came to the studio joined by Patricia Alcaraz and Roxana Río, both were guest singers that were also supposed to record, the problem was that nobody told me that and I didn't knew them, to make things a bit more complicated, they didn't knew the song or lyrics. To address this, I took advantage of the fact that they were also going to shoot a video in live session style so I looped the song to them while they were putting on makeup and put the lyrics on the screen.
To my best luck, both are amazing singers so they didn't have a problem, plus the song was very close to their style so when it was time to give them direction I just had to encourage them to keep with their own style and trademark sound, and it went very, very well

Roxana Río, María Ferrina, Patricia Alcaraz, Sergio Patiño

The mix, on the other hand, was aimed to achieve a very powerful sound but at the same time, crystal-clear hence, I avoided duplicating instruments except for the parts where vihuelas are not present and leaves rhythm guitar alone. All the mix was done in 24 bit @ 96 KHz with McDSP, Nomad Factory (Blue Tubes y Liquid Series) and Waves plugins, specially the vocals' reverbs where I used the Abbey Road Chambers to design a custom preset for each voice.

Abbey Road Chambers Reverb Plugin

For mastering I used Tegeler Audio Créme, Mastering Compressor, Voxengo LF Max Punch low-end exciter, SPL Vitalizer harmonics exciter, SPL Passeq mastering EQ and Softube Weiss MM-1 as maximizer.

SPL Passive Mastering EQ

There's no question that songs are the first step towards true success, if you have a good song, you're halfway but the other half is a great sound which not only comes from using the right equipment but also from great interpretations, specially for the vocals, and a great audio work; all of these combined will raise the audience's interest and eventually will make people want to attend your shows.

If you want a similar outcome for your music, call me, doesn't matter the genre or style, I can help you achieve a great sound. Whatsapp me at +52 1 442 489 1873 or email me at

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