Kevin Alexander’s passion is that singers realise that they can take more control over their sound. His lessons on working with a sound system, using microphones and recording one’s voice are popular on our platform.
Kevin brings to these lessons his past experience as CEO of singing technology company TC-Helicon, as well as his work with live sound, recording and a deep love for music and how it’s made. His training in multimedia content production inspires him to create practical and engaging learning resources.
What you feel singers most need to know about audio?
Be interested in what you hear and ask why it sounds the way it does. Don’t ever let your interest in gear – whether a genuine interest or from a feeling of “fitting-in” with techies – be greater than your interest in listening.
A key turning point in developing your audio expertise?
Performing. Although I prefer to work as a sound engineer in any video or audio production, the times when I’ve sung in a choir, ensemble, played trumpet for a recording, etc. – those experiences help remind me that an artist’s performance to an audience is what we help with when we work with sound.
The lesson you found it most difficult to create for Singdaptive?
I freaked out at the idea of doing a specific lesson on the topic of volume, level, and loudness as a part of my “Deep Dive into Audio” course. These are terms that are thrown around – but have different meanings. I’ve been fortunate to work with some experts on this topic that have informed my work. It felt like those experts were watching my every move! That took a lot of takes.
The lesson you were in that you found it most easy to create for Singdaptive?
One of our values at Singdaptive is that singers can become more Audio Savvy. I am so passionate about this value that my lesson on this was really easy to create. You may think Audio Savvy is just about gear. But it’s really about singers taking and wanting the responsibility for the aspect of their sound they typically don’t control.
Something that happened off-screen when creating a Singdaptive lesson that you’re glad isn’t on screen!
For me it’s the opposite this. The thing that happened off screen that I wish was on-screen: filming by myself during COVID, getting a perfect take and realizing I didn’t push record!
A favorite Singdaptive lesson that is not yours?
Emily Braden has a series of videos on improvising. She breaks down the different ways we can play with melody and interpret a song. She does this with effortless demonstrations. What I love about it is any of the concepts she breaks down seems more manageable.
A vocal artist who inspires you?
I’m inspired by any singer who has the guts to record and share their voice. But in the late 1990s getting to record jazz singer Pearl Brown was incredibly inspirational. Her life as a jazz singer started late, for the most part in her 60s after she went blind. Although she never said it outright, the live concert I worked featuring special guest Wynton Marsalis, was in her mind her last. She was direct and demanding, but gave everyone their space. So thankful for that experience.
An object that inspires you in your audio work?
Reference speakers – I’ve always had a set. Currently, they are Dynaudio BM5 MkII Compacts – pretty snazzy. But through my sound engineering life they haven’t always been a speaker someone would consider “pro quality”. For example at one point I mixed on Castle brand hi-fi speakers (nice wood finish though!).
Any advice on getting a good set of reference speakers for singers into producing?
Your reference monitors are less about quality and more about familiarity. Your reference speakers are ones you’ve listened to plenty of music on. Ideally, you’ve heard these speakers in different rooms. The concept being that when you hear music on any other speaker you can hear the difference that the “speaker” makes vs. your mix. This is how you can make sure your mixes make people smile, no matter what they’re listening on.
What are you currently working on for next lessons/courses at Singdaptive?
I’m really looking forward to a course that shows the different ways you can record in your home and how it affects the final product – from just using your phone to a multi-track recording with “professional” equipment.
See an overview of all of Kevin’s lessons on Singdaptive
Kevin Alexander is CEO and co-founder of Singdaptive, bringing his past experience as CEO of the singing technology company TC-Helicon, as well as live sound, recording and love of music. Recently, he has been a university instructor in Multimedia Learning and is helping to envision an exciting future with technology at the research firm Kinsol.io