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Teaching the Voice – with Gear.
Renowned coach Jeannie Deva uses TC-Helicon technology when she teaches.
Her years of research into the voice and the challenges of singing contemporary genres resulted in her voice training method known as The Deva Method®, Complete Voice Training for Stage and Studio™.
But Jeannie has been equally dedicated to technological know-how.
In this exclusive interview for TC-Helicon, Jeannie shares her views on singers, technology and TC-Helicon gear.
What’s the state of tech know-how for the singers you work with?
The many thousands of singers I’ve worked with and encounter typically aren’t educated on the components and use of the electronic gear they are in fact depending upon. This lack of tech savvy – from mic selection, mic technique, use of vocal effects and working with stage sound and equipment such as monitors and mic stands – weakens their overall vocal sound and reduces the impact of their performance.
Singers need to form a comfortable and confident relationship with technology to support their love affair with singing. It’s that simple.
I want to add that it’s understandable how little singers tend to know about mics and other sound technology. I think one reason for this deficiency is that most descriptions are too technical. Assuming everyone already knows, the terms many pros use are rarely defined. So one of my goals has been to write technology reviews FOR singers; in OUR language, explaining terms as needed.
So, where do you start with singers when it comes to tech?
Going over the simple basics of how to use a mic immediately helps my clients sound better and sing more easily– which surprises them as well as their audiences and managers. The next thing that amazes them is when I add some of the TC-Helicon vocal effects pedals such as reverb, doubling, and the vocal tone warmth button. This is always met with delight.
Jeannie Deva using TC-H VoiceLive 2 Pedal vocal thickening
and harmonies, performing “The Letter” by Joe Cocker
Why focus on pedals in singing lessons?
Singing on a mic through a PA and hearing yourself through monitors is different than singing in a room acoustically. I want my students to practice the singing techniques they need for their live stage performances. Singing through my PA on mic with TC-Helicon vocal effects, I can mix my student’s vocals with the music so that their voices sound like professionally mixed stage and record quality.
You’ve been endorsing and recommending TC-Helicon vocal effects products for years – why?
When TC-Helicon came onto the scene, I was very excited by the possibilities they offered the gigging singer. Before endorsing them I thoroughly tested the products on myself during band rehearsals and live stage performances. To this day, I continue to find each piece of gear supports my voice and inspires me due to the fabulous sound representation and effects choices.
What TC-H gear do you use in your own performing and why?
Before the VoiceLive Singles came out, I used the big VoiceLive Pedal and then the VoiceLive 2 Pedal. Now I mostly use a number of the VoiceLive Singles daisy chained together as they’re so easy to use and have the same fantastic sound that the bigger pedal offered. I really like the fact that the pedals also contain a mic preamp to boost the power of my mic before the signal reaches the mixing board. That feature really helps give the mixing engineer the full sound of my voice while helping to avoid nasty feedback squeal. Since I sing such a varied repertoire, the pedals make it fast and easy for me to adjust my sound appropriately for each style.
Are the rumors true that you’ve been at this for a long time?
Yes! Back in the 1980s, I designed rigs for singers to use on stage that would give them control over their stage sound and mix. But this was a complicated and costly process, and still didn’t totally answer our needs. So you can imagine my delight when TC-Helicon came along with user friendly and amazing sound quality gear designed with the vocalist in mind.
Jeannie Deva is a celebrity voice and performance coach and recording studio vocal specialist with a list of impressive clients and endorsements. Jeannie is located in Los Angeles and teaches an international clientele. Visit her new singer’s performance development channel and explore her singing enhancement method in: “The Contemporary Vocalist” book and CD series and “The Deva Method® Vocal Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs” CD. Jeannie has penned over 400 published feature articles in a wide variety of music magazines and web-zines. See her contributions in VoiceCouncil Magazine and Music Connection Magazine.
Photo of Jeannie Deva using the TC-Helicon MP-75 mic courtesy of BobMcClenahan.com