This my formula for working with a new/relatively new singer.
- If she is a solid half step off on the entire song then you have a correctable problem.
- Chill out when they first arrive. Don't let them listen to any other work you have done. Just chat and let them talk about themselves. Don't counter their story with one of your own.
- It is best to not compliment them on their looks. They are here as a professional musician/artist. If they are looking for a complimented they will go fishing for one
- Suggest that they warm up their vocals. I usually have them sing their favorite song. Give them some quick compliments. Don't say they sound like another singer.
- Salt. Give them a small bowl with plain potato chips and fill them in on why you use them. Just plain old chips will work. No flavors. They will like the “magic” of it.
- Let them warm up a bit and use this time to set your gain and other goodies you have in the vocal chain.
- Record everything. This time can also be spent putting in your markers and such
- Give them some effects while they are tracking. Singers dig that. I also use some type of channel strip. Compliment them as often as you can on the performance but don't look like a stalker.
- At this point you have heard how they sing so this is a good time to correct any major issues
- Record. I do most of my lead vocals using loop recording and again I record everything. Which I comp then I correct the vocals. "Everything" is pitch corrected.
Oh. Compliment them some more 😉