New York, NY (December 8, 2010)–Glee scored its first #1 iTunes single ever with a cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” which was recorded and mixed by Robert L. Smith of Defy Recordings.
Tommy Faragher produced the track, with Smith recording the FOX show’s Darren Criss and Tufts’ famed Beelzebubs men’s choir at New York’s Avatar Studios. “The scene this song appears in is empowering and socially-minded,” Smith says. “An amazing choir presenting a great pop/dance song in this way really captured something special.”
Smith oversaw a fast-paced but meticulous recording session that recorded each vocal performance one at a time, an intensive process that yielded over 140 tracks. “The drums, synth parts, and everything else on the original were reproduced vocally by The Beelzebubs,” he explained. “It’s a 12-man choir, and each guy has his role in the ‘band’ they create. We all took the same approach for Glee’s version of ‘Hey Soul Sister’ by Train, which also made Top Ten on iTunes.”
Smith, a producer, engineer and mixer who has worked with Lady Gaga, Aerosmith and David Bowie, continued, “You have to mix as you record, making parts into stereo pairs immediately on the console,” says Smith. “That way, when you’re done recording, you have a rough mix already constructed.
“When I was mixing on the SSL 4000G+ at Avatar’s Studio G, I went to work with my proven mix system. It’s a basic template with a couple of delays, a couple of reverbs, and an Eventide Harmonizer–some of the best mixes ever made have been done with that simple combination of tools.”
With the show’s first #1 resulting, “Teenage Dream” accomplished its mission and then some. “The goal was to make a real pop record,” Smith says. “Katy Perry gave us all the inspiration to match her creativity with a just-voices version of her song. When you compare the two, they match up extremely well.”