Thank you to everyone for leaving us great reviews year upon year.
Had a fantastic day recording with Paul. He made me feel very relaxed from the start and gave a lot of attention to the editing. I've ended up with CDs I am proud to give to family and friends.
Excellent day. Paul was fantastic bringing my song idea to life. Would highly recommend!
My fifth visit to Paul's Audio Sorcery studio. Always great fun & very professional advice and results. We managed to get 19 cover tracks down today. Thanks as always Paul. I'll be back!
Amazing, excellent experience, very professional, will definitely be back!
Had the best time ever!! Paul made us laugh and smile and managed to drag out any little talent we had! Even when we have none. Highly recommend and will definitely be back.
Great! Had a very good time and enjoyed it immensely. Was made to feel welcome.
Amazing experience, thank you so much.
What a fantastic day. Paul is very professional, friendly and put us at ease straight away. Would recommend heartedly.
We were given this opportunity to sing by our uncle who payed for us to come here. Paul was brilliant and so helpful when we were stuck with some tracks. He made us all feel relaxed and the whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable and fun!
An amazing experience! This is Sofia's second time here and she loves it. Paul is very friendly, welcoming and got the best out of Sofia. Highly recommended and we will be back!
A great day in the studio. A collaborative session ending in a song that is better than imagined! I'm so excited to share it with family!
Brilliant experience for Hannah and very interesting for us to watch in the Green Roon. Would definitely come again. Thank you.
Really enjoyable. Felt comfortable all the time. The producer was really friendly and re-assuring. It was a great experience.
Great experience for Emily, she really enjoyed it. Very professionally done, we enjoyed watching just as Emily enjoyed singing. Highly recommended, I'm sure we will be returning.
Awesome experience - relaxed; fun; professional yet made you feel comfortable in the studio. Really enjoyed it and would highly recommend. Best birthday present I've ever had! (Wolverine)
Enjoyable day, Paul was very helpful and friendly. Far exceeded our expectations. Would love to visit again in the near future. Thank you
Fabulous experience for my 11 year old daughter. She loved it! This is her 3rd visit to your studio for a recording session. Highly recommended!
Such a good morning. Really enjoyed singing after such a long time since my last session!
Absolutely brilliant as ever. Paul did a great job in putting me at my ease while recording a solo guitar piece - and did an outstanding job in recording, mixing and mastering it.
Paul was very welcoming and put me at ease. Clearly a perfectionist at his trade! A thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours. Thanks 🙂
Do you really need a voice to cut your own CD? Yes, Helen Lederer discovers, but not necessarily a good one.
Well, I’ve done it in the bath, with a hairbrush and in the car - but I haven't done it in public - and call me a prude, but I haven‘t done it in front of two strangers either. I mention this in order to explain the slightly raised blood pressure I felt when stepping out on to a sweet little Kent station to be met by Paul - a singing maestro who was going to make my school girl fantasy come true. He was going to get me to sing a song, record it and send me home with a personal CD. Calm, moi?
Although Paul reassured me that all sorts come to sing their own CDs with him: “Grandparents, teens, five-year-olds." I noticed he hadn't included the tone deaf, the shy or singer-phobic, which was worrying. You see, I was avoiding something that, sooner or later, we were all going to have to confront. In spite of my closet hope (now firmly out of the bag) that I, too, could sound like Dido, Madonna and Celine rolled into one, could I actually do it?
My biggest fear was that when I opened my mouth, I'd either be mute or sound like a baby starling or parrot. After all, I'd been chucked out of the school choir and I only sing in church if I’m next to a loud person, or in a group situation if drunk. But at least I was prepared. When I first spoke to Paul on the phone, he suggested I peruse some 2,700 titles on his website or even come up with one of my own, “to practice”. He would make sure I‘d be sent the lyrics beforehand. In the event, I chose Yesterday by Paul (the other one) because I felt it would be easier to tackle than Nessun Dorma and more engaging than Needles & Pins.
We drew up outside a pretty house set in a fantastic valley with great views and various buildings dotted about. John (my second maestro/singer/teacher) was waiting for us with a twinkle in his eye, a smile and a cup of coffee. So far, so very good. Next, I was standing in a warm, wood-panelled studio with a microphone stand, a music holder thing and OMIGOD - earphones! Once those were on, I knew there would be no going back.
John suggested breathing out to empty my lungs in order to fill up nicely. I felt like a pair of fireside bellows - all very cosy and at home and not at all self-conscious. In fact, it was only when I heard those famous guitar chords spilling into my cans that the panic set in. I was to sing the words to Yesterday over Paul McCartney’s guitar backing. It felt ghostly and awe-inspiring at the same time.
I tried to get a grip and adopt a “Kylie-Minogue-being-filmed-for-comic-relief,” type of stance, but I wasn’t very convincing. Suddenly, I heard Paul’s cheery voice in my cans say “Here we go, after four bars…”
I struck out into my first yodel of Yesterday. This was fine. but then I got ﬁxated about whether I should go up or down on the words “far away,” which were still in the first line.
This took some sorting out. Then it got better, especially when the power of the famous music took over. In fact, there were bits of the song that really made the whiskers stand up on the back of my neck and beyond.
After several “takes,” I went into Paul's section to recover and watch him twiddle knobs. This was where he was going to make the song sound less like a hamster solo and more like, well, a CD.
When I first heard myself back. I did the decent thing - I screamed. "I sound like I'm 10!" John agreed that singing was like releasing the inner child. Trouble was, I wasn't sure I was ready to share mine with the rest of the world, so I said, “Can‘t you do something to alter it, Paul?” Paul replied. “I have already." Luckily, he had a sense of humour and resumed knob twiddling until my inner child sounded less Brownie pack and more womanly.
Meanwhile, John was strumming his guitar to a tune I'd become inspired to tell him about. It felt glorious. Here I was strumming, humming and jamming with real musicians! But finally, I had to tear myself away, clutching my CD, as well as one of John's band, The Varlies.
My family were amazed that it sounded so “real”. Their reactions were wide-eyed and open-mouthed in the main with only a tiny amount of laughing. In fact, I‘ve taken to keeping it in my handbag in case anyone has a portable. And, I have to say, that while I've grown fond of The Varlies - I've grown even fonder of the sound of my own voice.
If you’d like to record your own CD, call Paul Midcalf at Recording Experience Gifts on 0800 567 7197, or visit www.recording.gifts. Sessions cost between £99 and £529. W&H
Re-produced with kind permission from Anouschka Meredith, features editor.
Visit Helen Lederer's website