Songstress/Composer Shana Halligan Warms Up to HARMAN’s dbx 676 Tube Mic Preamp
August 20, 2015
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Shana Halligan’s voice is sweet, sultry and compelling, drawing listeners directly into the emotional heart of her songs. Vocalist, composer and lyricist Halligan was one of the co-founders of trip-hop duo Bitter:Sweet and has collaborated with Nouvelle Vague, Thievery Corporation, System of a Down and others. Her music has been heard in movies and TV shows including "Sex and the City", “Orange Is the New Black,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and many more. Her new solo album, "Back to Me" will drop on October 16. As someone involved in electronic-based pop, Shana Halligan has always embraced the latest studio technology, most recently HARMAN’s dbx 676 Tube Mic Pre Channel Strip.
“As soon as I heard about the dbx 676 I wanted to try it, since I’ve recorded with some of their previous mic preamps in the past and they sounded lovely,” she said. “I’ve also used the dbx DriveRack series and Personal Monitor Control products on the road for live performances, so I’m no stranger to the great sound that comes from dbx.”
The dbx 676 is a vacuum tube-based microphone preamplifier that offers a host of flexible sound-tailoring options. It can be adjusted to be clean and pure-sounding or dirty and full of harmonic character. The 676 incorporates the compressor/limiter design from the highly sought-after dbx 162SL and a 3-band parametric EQ for exacting control of dynamics and tonal balance.
Halligan had the opportunity to put the dbx 676 to the test on one of her latest tracks, “Eu Te Amo,” produced by Brian Malouf, who has more than 50 gold, platinum and double platinum records to his credit and has worked with Michael Jackson, Pearl Jam, Queen, All Time Low and other top artists. “It’s a dreamy, romantic bossa nova song I wrote for my husband on our wedding day. The 676 really captured the mood and velvety vocal vibe that Brian and I were looking for.”
She’s extremely particular about the vocal sounds she wants to achieve in the studio. “I definitely prefer warmer tones, and sometimes grittier, ‘earthier’ sounds. I’m personally not a fan of sounding too slick or smooth when it comes to my vocals since my voice tends to be quite floaty, airy and understated. She noted that the 676 was able to create a very intimate and up-front sound that worked beautifully with “Eu Te Amo.” “Of course it helped to have someone with Brian’s exceptional engineering skills! He was able to create just the perfect vocal sound with the 676.”
In fact, the dbx 676 enabled Halligan to achieve a vocal quality unlike anything previously. “Since ‘Eu Te Amo’ was so different stylistically then the more DJ-influenced music I had been doing, I was really able to hear a big difference in the overall tone of this much more raw and stripped-down performance. Since the vocal was more prominent, it was especially important that it sound warm and had a lot of presence. What we got with the help of the 676 was a vocal that sounds very round, full and immediately inviting.”
“The dbx 676 was so lovely to use. It really captured what I hope is the essence of the way I hear my voice.” Since Shana Halligan also writes for other artists, she encourages them to try the dbx 676 in their recordings. “I know they’ll get the same feeling of authenticity in their voices.”
She concluded, “I can’t wait to get back into the studio and record my next project using the dbx 676 now that I’ve had a taste of what it can do!”
HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems; audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company's software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 27,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $6.2 billion during the 12 months ended June 30, 2015.