Mixing a live Band -
Part 2
Meet the Vocalists

The orchestra can be accurate, perfect and very professional agreed, but every thing counts only if the singers rise to the occasion. Rasika is also blessed in this area. Apart from having a talented and dedicated orchestra, they have exceptional vocalist who carried the show well.

Priya Raman, this is the first time I am meeting Priya. She is a direct product from the 80’s and early 90’s era; Priya based out of NC, a senior member of the band gave a brilliant performance. Katril from “Johnny”, second song in the show was her highlight. She also sang perfectly my favourite song "pAratha nyabagam illaiyo" from pudiya paravai.

Raghu, Carnatic musician trained under TNS captured the audience with his vocal acrobatics. The song “oru naL poduma” was his highlight. Sapna Kartik, another senior member, “pAdava un pAdalai” was done remarkably well by her. I was surprised when she hit few lower notes while singing the famous “apidi podu” from Gilly, Tonality in her vocals was very unique and distinctive. Composer Srikanth has already taken a note.

Singing accurately is 40% of the task. Meaning basics are to be addressed first however 60% of the effort goes to the emotion, pronunciation, brightness or feel [what ever you call] the vocalists could produce. The next man I going to talk about is blessed with plenty of talent. As far as Rasika is concerned, Suresh Ramachandran is a new comer, however knowing him well I was not really surprised by the energy he got on the stage. Suresh can carry any song to a different height by his natural emotions and his stage presence. The show opener by him, devuda devuda clearly marked the beginning of a great show and indicated what is going to follow to the audience. His medley with other artists was real fun. The way Suresh and Priya sang “vanitha mani” from Vikram,man this was out of this world. This includes the opening dialogues. I would say this was the best song of the evening.

Kartik is a vocalist in the band, since Kartik is already suffering from heavy cold due to the intro I gave about him in the first part; I will let the album H1BEES do the talking about his singing ability.Prabodh, based out of Richmond, a naturally talented stage vocalist. He knows the knack to get the audience go along with him, though his Tamil pronunciations were questionable, he peeked well at the end.

The band had a new lady voice this year, Uma Ravishanker, her vocal range was quite high. When ever she went on higher octaves I had do some manual limiting. A great find for the band. Apart from the above Rasika had few part time singers Aswin, the mimicry guy and Guru.

Finally, I have to mention about the great “backing vocals” by Vatsa [Vatsa okva] . Vatsa was also the MC.