Thursday, the 19th of May, Melbourne’s Abbey Road Institute had the pleasure of welcoming Sydney-based vocal producer and mix engineer, Simon Cohen, to present an insightful master class. With over a decade of experience in the Contemporary Pop genre, Cohen has worked with a number of well acclaimed Australian artists including; Guy Sebastian, Tuka, Will Sparks and Indian Summer. His extensive production catalog also includes working with International artists Will.I.Am and Justin Bieber. Cohen’s latest commercial success, “Love Yourself”. performed by Bieber, was a global hit having reached No.1 in 21 countries, along with spending 24 nonconsecutive weeks in the top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100.
The four-hour master class better resembled a discussion with the beginners and professionals in attendance rather than that of a lecture. During which Cohen outlined three golden rules that he deems essential to becoming a great vocal producer; don’t underestimate your gear, learn and use them to their full potential; the most valuable tool you can give your vocalist is a killer headphone mix; and lastly, don’t settle until you get the perfect take, you can always fix pitch later on but you can never add performance in post-production.
Cohen also shared a number of gems in regards to his recording with Grammy award winning artist, Justin Bieber; running him through a Telefunken ELA M 251E microphone, into Studio 301’s NEVE pre-amps, and simply adding a High End boost to resemble Bieber’s unique and established airy sound.
Overall the afternoon was a valuable insight into the mind of arguably Australia’s current best vocal producer.
Article by Zhaun Woodard student attendee