The Human Instrument


Episode 3 | Official Trailer

Aired: 2016-11-17 03:00:00 0:30 Rating: TV-PG

“The Human Instrument” explores the art and science of recording the human voice.

About the Episode

Celebrating the most powerful of all instrumentsthe human voicethe third episode of Soundbreaking surveys the range of ingredients that go into a perfect vocal track. At once the most fundamental component of a song and the most challenging to capture, the vocal track is the product of a complex collaboration between performer, producer, and sound engineera titrate of artistic commitment, compelling concept, and technical wizardry that, at its best, turns a lyric into the soul of the song. Featuring rare studio footage of some the world's most renowned vocalistsfrom blues divas to suave crooners to rock star screamersthe show considers the gamut of tricks and techniques that can both enhance and alter the human voice, and explores the ineffable emotional quality that makes a vocal track truly great.

Freddie Mercury and Brian May record "One Vision" in the studio in 1985.Freddie Mercury and Brian May record "One Vision" in the studio in 1985.Peter Hince

Featured Stories/Artists:

  • Producer Paul Epworth talks about recording Adele’s hit “Rolling in the Deep”
  • Amy Winehouse’s unique voice and how it was captured in the studio
  • Interviews:  Mark Ronson, Ben Harper, Annie Lennox
  • Songs: “Valerie”, “Rehab”
  • Various artists discuss the challenge of recording vocals, including Roger Daltrey of The Who, and Suzanne Vega
  • The use of Auto-tune and vocal manipulation by artists like Kanye West, Roger Troutman, and Cher
  • Interviews:Ben Harper, Linda Perry
  • Linda Perry talks about recording Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful”

The Human Instrument Song List

Please sign into your Spotify account to stream this Soundbreaking playlist. | pbsofficial on Spotify

More from Soundbreaking

Previously on Episode 2

Previously on Episode 2

"Painting with Sound" reveals how the recording studio itself became an instrument.

Next on Episode 4

Next on Episode 4

“Going Electric” explores how amps and electrification transformed sound.

| Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music
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Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music

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