The 2022 MPG Awards – who won Vocal Producer of the Year?
About last night…
The team attended this year’s Music Producer Guild awards and sponsored an exciting, new category that we align with very well (pardon the pun), Vocal Producer of the Year. Last night, Lorna Blackwood claimed the award for Vocal Producer of the Year, and from everyone at Synchro Arts, we congratulate Laura on a much deserved win! We were thrilled to be able to support producers, both experienced and up-and-coming, and be at the heart of who our products are used by.
We also got to chat with Cameron Gower Poole ahead of the event, who was nominated for the Vocal Producer of the Year award – along with two outstanding producers, Lorna Blackwood and Charlie Brown.
Cameron has been using VocAlign for some time and we were very pleased to see him nominated for this prestigious award. Here’s what he said to us…
The full Cameron Gower Poole interview
How did you start working in music as a producer / mixer?
I had been working at Sarm Studios and with Trevor Horn for about 6 years. The turning point was when I realised that I was going beyond the traditional remit of an engineer - I had started to dictate the pace and direction of the sessions I was engineering (a lot of these were vocal sessions), and I was making much more creative and musical decisions. I realised that often artists had only a partially formed vision of what they were working towards - so anything I could do to help that along (ideas, feedback, opinions, specific direction etc) was beneficial. Artists / other producers / A&Rs / managers all began to rely on me to get the most out of a session - consistently delivering vocals and vocal mixes of the highest standard.
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Despite becoming Grammy nominated (!!!) last year for my work with Dua on her album ‘Future Nostalgia’, the biggest career highlights for me have been watching artists I’ve worked with from day one achieve so much. I learnt a lot working with Anne-Marie, Mabel, Mahalia and Raye very early in their careers, and it’s been so inspiring to grow with them. So grateful to still be working with them even now they are at the top of their game. Seeing that journey is such a buzz for me, so I’m always super excited to be working with new artists who have all that ahead of them.
How does it feel to be nominated for MPG’s Vocal Producer of the Year award?
This is a surreal question to be answering! My career goalposts are always moving, but before I even chose to go into music I remember telling myself that whatever I did - I would want to be the best at it. Obviously that is a ridiculously ambitious goal to set, but truthfully I’m here for the journey and the process, perhaps even more-so than the accolades. This nomination is also for the artists and their teams who’ve trusted me to date, because they’re the ones who’ve encouraged me and helped to create opportunities.
When did you first discover Synchro Arts, and which product did you start using?
I would’ve first discovered VocAlign while working with Trevor Horn. We did some long album projects for Seal, Billy Idol and Spandau Ballet. Trevor has an extremely maximalist approach to production, and we would often have multiple people singing background vocals on these records. Vocal editing was one of the more time consuming tasks. Work on the songs would span months, and often we would end up punching into a lead vocal recorded several months beforehand to change a lyric, for example. So having access to tools that streamlined things a little more was always welcome. In addition to just maintaining obscene levels of session organisation and file management!
How does VocAlign impact your workflow?
If I’m completely honest, I do most of my vocal editing by hand. When I’m working on the timing of a stack of background vocals, I’m usually being quite selective and deliberate about where each vocal sits in relation to another. That being said - VocAlign Ultra’s ability to match the pitch across a stack of vocals is a game changer. I’m being quite creative with it lately; if I only have vocal takes of the main melody - then I can record my own guide harmony (with all the little inflections / bends etc that I want), and use VocAlign Ultra to warp a normal vocal take into a new harmony vocal. Madness.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring producer, what would it be?
Do it for the love of the journey, find the people you enjoy working with most and stick with them.
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