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Tommy DeCarlo – Falling in Love with TC-Helicon
Born and raised in Utica, New York, Tommy DeCarlo lived and breathed sports, playing baseball, football and basketball throughout his school years. Tommy’s interest in music began in elementary school when he joined the school choir. He recalls, “Every year I would try out for one of the lead singing solo parts and every year I never got one. “They always told me my voice was too soft” Many years later, he would show the world that was not the case.
Tommy started playing piano when he was about 14 years old. Self-taught, one could usually find him picking out chords on an old upright when he wasn’t playing sports. As far as singing goes, DeCarlo explains, “Well… I truly have to thank Brad Delp for helping me develop that gift. When I first began to listen to BOSTON as a young teenager, I absolutely loved Brad’s voice and how he would sing those classic hits whenever there was a BOSTON song on the radio. It wasn’t like I was trying to sing like Brad, it was just that I loved to sing along with him.” Tommy explains; “Although I never took any singing lessons…it was Brad Delp who taught me how to sing, even though he never knew it.” Tommy, lives a relatively normal life, a dedicated family man, he says that his family is the best part of every day.
“The Voice Live 2 opens up so many possibilities…”
In 2007 BOSTON founding member Tom Scholz happened to hear Tommy’s cover of “Don’t Look Back,” and was shocked. Knowing every nuance of Brad’s voice, he could not believe that this was not Brad singing, exclaiming, “I haven’t heard anyone else sing like that in 35 years.” Fallowing an appearance on stage with BOSTON at the Brad Delp Tribute Show, Tom Scholz invited Tommy to join BOSTON as a lead vocalist. “Being a long time fan of the band BOSTON I was always amazed at the clarity Tom Scholz was able to produce with Brad’s vocals. Being that I am primarily a vocalist, it’s very important to have a clean vocal sound and my TC Helicon products give me the clarity I need both live and in the studio.”
We asked Tommy about how he discovered TC-Helicon “I first heard about TC Helicon while surfing the Internet one afternoon looking for vocal effects. I came across a video demonstration of the VoiceLive 2 & VoiceTone pedals and was totally amazed at what they could do. I was so impressed with the demonstration that, before the video had ended I was already drafting an e-mail to TC Helicon to inquire about them as well as their other products.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that my TC-Helicon products have changed the way I work but they’ve definitely made my work a lot more fun and easy. Just scrolling through the presets on the VoiceLive 2 alone has given me new ideas not only for my current and future projects but for past projects as well. The Voice Live 2 & VoiceTone units open up so many possibilities. Where I once used to cringe at the thought of coming up with vocal harmony parts for a particular song, I now look forward to that aspect of it with the help of the VoiceLive 2.
As far as tips and tricks for using the VoiceLive 2, Tommy had an interesting one; “I’m big on harmony tracks, but only in certain parts so, if you don’t want to harmonize a whole song, start a new track and sing unison with yourself just on the parts where you want harmony. Then eliminate the lead part in the harmonizer. This will give a slightly different timing & phrasing to the harmony part from the lead vocal, making the overall vocals sound more realistic. Also, by adjusting the timing, the harmony voices will not be so synchronized with the lead vocal, making the overall vocal tracks sound even more realistic.”
Tommy tells us that the Reverb is definitely his favorite effect in his TC-Helicon products; “There’s nothing more pleasing to a vocalist than to sing into a microphone and like what I hear. The clarity and overall warmth I get make it very difficult to walk away from the microphone”
Lastly, we asked Tommy what piece of advice he’s offer to any aspiring singer; “As a vocalist, it’s very important that I keep my voice (instrument) in the best shape possible. I have a wonderful vocal coach by the name of Mark Baxter who is amazing. I would strongly recommend anyone interested in becoming a singer to look him up and purchase a copy of his book “The Rock-N-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual” Mark did a great job with this book and, it’s helped me tremendously.”
Keep up with Tommy via his official website and keep an eye out for his upcoming solo album. Tommy’s single “I Think I Fell in Love with You” is currently available on iTunes: http://www.tommydecarlo.com/