Thank you to everyone for leaving us great reviews year upon year.
I really enjoyed my time and it has boosted y confidence and given me an awesome memory to look back on - I definitely want to come back soon!
It was great and I want to come again! Paul was great and made both of us feel more comfortable.
Once again, I've returned for my 26th visit and once again I've had the best time ever. Always feel like family when I'm here. Thanks for saving the vocal runs, Paul. Leppaquasee!
Oh I loved it! Such a good experience. I enjoyed not only how lovely it was to work with someone so kind & helpful, but to perform with no judgement.
Great fun. Really enjoyable and Paul was really knowledgable, accommodating and gave us the most out of the experience - would definitely come back
Brilliant experience, Loved it once I got over some nerves. Definitely would recommend to everyone! Thank yo so much.
This was for my Grandads 90th Birthday, unfortunately he couldn't come up so I recorded this song for him as a surprise! We were both going to do it together. Happy 90th Grandad - Love Emily. I had a really great experience. Thank you
Wonderful to watch the magic take place. A great experience for the girls to have making memories with their cousins from afar. Thanks for the experience. We will be back again and again!
Seventh visit, always a fantastic experience with amazing results. Paul knows his stuff and shares insight to how he produces the work. Always leaves great advice how to progress in the game.
It was a wonderful experience, it made me feel like a pop star (Beatrice). It was fascinating to see how the songs got through the 'magic' of Audio Sorcery and ended up sounding amazing! (Francesca)
At first I was nervous but after a short time I relaxed and then didn't want to leave!
Really enjoyed this experience. Professional equipment & location. Paul is very friendly and accommodating, makes you feel at ease.
A great experience, very happy with my tracks.
I really enjoyed the experience and loved the recording studio set up. I am pleased with the final results and had fun being part of the mixing will definitely be returning soon!
As always fantastic service, super friendly Paul is easy to talk to and have a laugh.
I love my experience today. A very relaxing environment and a lovely studio. A very high standard of mixing and production. I will be using again for sure!
Thanks so much for my day. I really enjoyed it and well done it sounded great!
I had such an amazing time. My first ever recording experience after only singing for 6 months. Paul is so encouraging and fun to work with. Thank you so much for making this amazing and unforgettable experience!
Brilliant Session, had a lot of fun & 4 great recordings as a result. Paul made me feel very relaxed, and the nerves soon simmered down.
Always a great experience. Can't wait for next time. If you're keen on singing this is ideal to get a professional track recorded.
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