Start to Finish: Greg Wells - Episode 3 - Setting Up The Vocal Chain

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After recording and editing the piano for "Lucky Number," Greg continues building the track by having Bryce sing the vocal down to establish the heart of the song.

As Greg stated in Episode 2, nothing is ever truly scratch. With that in mind, Greg searches for the ideal vocal chain to match Bryce’s voice with his vision of the track, nailing the tone now to ensure that anything sang in the scratch recording can be used in the final vocal.

In this video, watch as Greg:

  • Troubleshoots microphone issues
  • Talks about recording the vocals for Mika’s hit "Grace Kelly" with Joe Chiccarelli
  • Breaks down his settings for tracking vocals with an 1176 and an LA-3A
  • Does a microphone shootout between Sunset Sound's beautiful vintage Neumann U-47, Telefunken 251, and AKG C12 Microphones.
  • Sculpts the vocal tone with a vintage Pultec EQ
  • Records Bryce’s vocal

Watch the rest of the series here

Equipment & Software
  • Telefunken 251
  • Telefunken C12
  • Neumann U47
  • Urei 1176LN
  • Urei LA-3A
  • Neve 1073
  • Pultec EQP-1A
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Greg Wells

Grammy award-winning, Canadian musician, songwriter, and record producer, Greg Wells, has been dubbed “A Swiss Army Knife” in the recording studio by the legendary Stewart Copeland for good reason.

As a multi-instrumentalist, he has the ability to artfully mold his productions with incredible precision, craftsmanship, and most importantly, taste. Combining his musicianship with his uncanny abilities as a producer, engineer, and mixer, he has seen album sales top 120 million, with streaming numbers in the billions. With a B.

His diverse list of credits includes superstars such as Adele, Dua Lipa, Twenty One Pilots, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Celine Dion, Deftones, Kid Cudi, Weezer, OneRepublic, Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, Aerosmith and so many more that we would need a really long scroll bar to list them all. 

Greg has seen monumental success recently with the release of the motion picture soundtrack for “The Greatest Showman”, which he not only produced but played on as well.


The Greatest Showman


Katy Perry

Twenty One Pilots

Grace VanderWaal

Dua Lipa

What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2022 Sep 01
Bryce is absolutely incredible! Greg, a proven force and then the assistant engineer is just very average.. I really hope if I was ever working at Sunset that the engineers would be way more across fault finding, patching, pro tools-ing, pre-empting the producer's needs and just being more on top of everything. That all said, loving this series!
2022 Feb 14
So many goose bumps if she sings. Amazing!
2021 Jan 10
Interesting and very good singing performance. I miss to see more of the settings for the hardware. It would be nice if that could have been summed up in the end. The settings for the 1073-1176-LA3A-Pulteq etc. How much they compressed and so forth. The hum solving part I could do without... Otherwise great and fun...
2020 Oct 31
Cool one, still when looking at the video I think Greg could improve a few things in order to get better results. He recorded the piano as the guide for the vocal take but I noticed playing the guitar while singing was really much more inspiring for the singer, so I think it would have been better to record the piano later.The technical side of the mikes not working correctly should be sorted out without the singer, it certainly don't help either to be in the right mood. And in a general way being more "out of the way" would help even more I think. Thanks for sharing.
2020 Oct 26
Pretty sure that 1176 is on 4:1 ratio. I like everything he is doing. I think his rapport is unmatched. Rapport is everything when working with a vocalist. I've noticed you have to be very sensitive when you critique them, even if they're as talented as she is. The voice is too much of a personal thing to anyone and everyone. Greg does a great job at instilling confidence while pushing the artist to explore new territories. I wish I could afford him to produce my own music! Really great series.
2020 Sep 13
Anybody knows what kind of quick release they used for the vocal mics?
2020 May 26
Her Voice is supper amazing!
2020 Apr 01
Amazing! And what a voice!
2020 Mar 12
Podrán subtitular al español esta y todas las secuencias de la sesión, que faltan , please ?
2020 Mar 08
Honest to God, what could this guy POSSIBLY do better ? What a pleasure it would be to work with him. In addition to his genuine depth of knowledge and experience, he's an awesome musician, songwriter and engineer. YET a gentle, friendly, totally unassuming, approachable and very real person as a producer. I've talked with him at NAMM and he's exactly the same in person. As good as the original song idea was and as well as she sings it (love her voice), this song ended up about 1000 times what it would have been without Greg. This is one very lucky young lady.
Tazmanian Ninja
2020 Mar 05
That mic sure gets mounted, huh? :D
2020 Feb 07
Love it! Especially how the engineer never chimed in in any way, letting the producer do his job, accentuating the producer artist “intimate” relationship. Amazing job!!!
2020 Feb 05
I'm 71 yrs young and miss my days in the studio at Warner Bros. (Amigo Studios) OH , if only I could be setting on the couch in that room watching Greg first hand, experienceing once again the studio vibe. Watching Greg's work flow shows me how much I could have done differently. I missed out on so much! MANY THANKS TO PUREMIX for your part in making this series happen. PS..... Any chance you can create a MAKE A WISH PROGRAM for guys like me to relive his glory days? Lol
2020 Feb 05
really complete! I mean the way everything was approached was very deep and understanding LOVE IT
2020 Jan 19
peut on avoir des sous titre francais svp
2020 Jan 10
Very cool to see this whole process, including the challenges and how they dealt with them.
2020 Jan 05
My name is Ricardo and I'm Brazilian. I'm really good at this Greg videos, it looks like I'm in the studio interacting and seeing how everything really happens in a recording process. My difficulty, unfortunately, is the English language. With the English subtitles (sometimes I use transscript to help me) I can still follow a little, with almost no subtitles. I know how laborious and expensive it is, but if you can help me with subtitles I would be grateful. God bless. Let's go to episode 4.
2019 Dec 24
Wow!!! I love that girl!!! what an artist!!! So gracious and humble, yet super talented Her spirit was more engaging that all that gear.
2019 Dec 15
So in the end wich mic is used, C12 AKG or Telefunken?
L Pass
2019 Dec 14
Crazy great scratch vocal.
2019 Dec 10
this is so cool to see things like this......thanks for doing this series!
2019 Dec 09
I bet they were getting that buzz in the mic because they are sharing the same outlet with their lighting set up...
2019 Dec 08
Great episode! Yes, go get some sleep, you well deserve it. :-) I cannot wait for the next one!
2019 Dec 08
To Lolly78 below: yes, they used the C-12
2019 Dec 08
Enjoying this series. Not my kind of music (although Bryce does a fantastic job!), but Greg - what a great guy: talented and skilled, yet self-effacing.
2019 Dec 08
This series is so great! Can't wait until the next episode comes out.
2019 Dec 08
Contact cleaner anyone? I just love Bryce's style. So talented!
2019 Dec 07
Great video, watched it twice... I love to hear the song growing up in all its aspects, mostly in Bryce's intentions and feeling. Just a question: did they record with the C12 in the end? ( sorry I'm not native english speaking so I miss part of the conversation sometimes! )
2019 Dec 07
What a joy to watch two talented people bringing their best skills to create something new and beautiful. Can't wait to hear it progress.
2019 Dec 07
HUMMMMMMM? I love how Greg equalized the vox and tracking with his quality music mind all the record, btw..the vocal part at the end of the bridge? I love how Bryce did it. Amazing singer, and amazing record! Brava!
2019 Dec 06
I love the way Greg conveys to Bryce the quality of the vocal and allows her build on the song . Which is bringing the best out her artistry. Amazing vocal performance also . His experience and knowledge and infectious enthusiasm for the craft are real pleasure to watch I'm sure the artist gets the same positivity . Great episode look forward to the next .
2019 Dec 06
Interesting to see how Greg deals with her waning confidence during the 2nd verse. I think he did a good job of bringing her back in and reassuring her that it's no problem to experiment try things that don't sound right. Also, a fantastic voice makes this so painless! haha
2019 Dec 06
Interesting and very good singing performance. I miss to see more of the settings for the hardware. It would be nice if that could have been summed up in the end. The settings for the 1073-1176-LA3A-Pulteq etc. How much they compressed and so forth. The hum solving part I could do without... Otherwise great and fun...
2019 Dec 06
Most of my work is in the Broadway/Pop/Songwriter world so these Greg Wells videos are perfect! Thank you for these.