Doni Gross’ Last Minute Decision

Every artist wants his album to be as perfect as can be, but sometimes he has to take a gamble. Is the song he’s deliberating over going to soar or flop? Is that last-minute replacement going to be dynamic or a sleeper? How do these entertainers know they made the right choice?

 

Perfect Range

The Kumzitz in the Rain 4 album features mostly children’s vocals. For one song, “Bitchu Bashem,” I found I had a problem. The key in which the sing starts was too high for an adult, but too low for a kid. I felt I had no choice but to leave that song off the album. Then, the day I wanted to master the album and send it off to print, I thought of someone who might be able to sing it — Avrumi Schwebel, who has a very high range. He came into the studio, hit the key perfectly, and less than 24 hours after he sang, the album went to be mixed, mastered, and off to print. I’m so happy that song made it on, because the message is so important — “He knows what you need, you just need to believe” — and people have told me it’s a highlight for them.

— Doni Gross

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 768)

Bitchu BaHashem
Doni Gross
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Shlomo Simcha’s Last Minute Decision

Every artist wants his album to be as perfect as can be, but sometimes he has to take a gamble. Is the song he’s deliberating over going to soar or flop? Is that last-minute replacement going to be dynamic or a sleeper? How do these entertainers know they made the right choice?

Can You Hear the Difference?

The song “Modeh Ani” on the album Ani Kan was recorded in New York. It was all recorded, mixed, and ready to go, when, back in Toronto, I sang the song to my rav. He commented that there was a mistake in the words — I had sung “Beruchim heim malachecha ha’osim retzonecha,” when the text is really “… she’osim retzonecha” [from the Friday night “Ribon Kol Haolamim”]. I called my producer, Doni Gross, to discuss what could be done. It was the day before the tracks of the album were mastered. Tzvi Silverstein just happened to be with Doni in the studio, and he offered to try and imitate my voice. It took a few tries, until I said, “Okay, I think that can pass.” He sang the “sheh” syllable a few times, because each time you repeat the words in the song, the “color” of the voice is different, and the technique is slightly different. After that, Doni had to replace my syllable with Tzvi’s in the vocal track. I’m grateful to both of them for a job well done. Check out the song, and see what you hear.

–Shlomo Simcha

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 768)

Modeh Ani
Shlomo Simcha
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