Marcella Puppini: All Things Vocal

Jul 02, 2020 2:11pm


In her first lesson for Mixmasters Marcella Puppini discusses all things vocal, from singing in key to syncing tempo with acapellas and harmonizing. She uses Logic but most of her advice applies to all DAWs. 

Marcella Puppini has always been, throughout her career, quite difficult to pigeonhole: a pioneer of the Vintage revival when it was still underground and subversive, a known face both on the indie scene and the BBC, at ease both in the rarefied atmosphere of a Moscow Conservatoire and in hipster clubs.


Marcella’s first foray in the electronic music scene was as a vocalist, in 2002, on Rich B’s House hit ‘Revolution’. 


While touring with The Puppini Sisters (with whom she has sold over half a million albums and toured worldwide) and working as a guest conductor on George Garanian’s Big Band in Russia, Marcella started developing as a producer and songwriter, collaborating with artists such as Viktoria Modesta and Adamski, and at the same time becoming a respected DJ both on the Underground scene at venues such as: Torture Garden, A Curious Invitation’s Masked Balls and Le Boutique Bazaar and in commercial clubs: Proud Camden, Popstarz, Gay Pride Brighton and more. 


Her lessons are a culmination of her varied background, providing insight from many different angles that you can apply to all genres.


Here are some insights taken from the full lesson:


Marcella Puppini - All Things Vocal: Producer Insights  

  • When working with a vocalist try to get a performance as perfect as possible before using it in your productions. If it isn’t quite there you can use tools such as Flex Time to change tempo or Melodyne to alter the pitch.
  • As long as you are proactive you can find vocalists everywhere, common options include: open mic nights, vocal agencies online, credits of songs you like, Instagram and putting ads up in rehearsal spaces
  • One way to look at key is as the flavour of your song, minor keys tend to be darker than major keys. Make sure to match your harmonies with the key you are in, using your ear / and or musical theory to check. Delving into music theory can snowball your creativity when you learn it. 


Full Tutorial Description

  • Where to find vocalists.
  • How to work with vocalists. 
  • Working with acapellas.
  • Chopping up vocals.
  • Finding inspiration when writing vocals.
  • Writing vocal melodies.
  • Harmonizing.
  • Vocals and key.


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