Producer, songwriter, arranger and keyboardist Kevin Flournoy has been working on several projects at United Recording in Hollywood. In his star-studded career, Flournoy has produced, written, performed, and recorded with artists such as Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Teena Marie, Jeffrey Osborne, The Pointer Sisters, Jennifer Hudson, The Jazz Crusaders, and Harvey Mason, to name a few. He has also performed and provided music for prominent TV projects such as “American Idol” and Roseanne Barr’s CBS talk show.
Flournoy explains why he chose United Recording, “I originally decided to try tracking drums in Studio B at United because of what I had read online about the quality of drum sound that room was famous for. Well, everything I had heard and read about was absolutely correct. The recorded sound I achieved in that room actually surpassed all my expectations. For me it’s all about how the sound of the drums sit in the mix with the other musical elements after the tracks are recorded. When the room quality is exceptional, the music will have the right type of space and dimension separating the various tracks even before mixing. I would describe the recorded drum sound as being smooth with no rough edges. Just beautiful.”
Flournoy is presently producing and co-writing Amanda Cole's first solo record. Cole was previously a member of the Grammy-winning group En Vogue. “We starting working together about five years ago after discovering our mutual affection for the big pop arrangements,” says Flournoy. “We both love songs and production you would hear from Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand. This was our first Los Angeles session at United Recording, making new music in that pop style, and featuring Amanda’s powerful voice. We’re working together to create something solid, both lyrically and musically. I found that the control room was tuned extremely well. I typically will do a 12hr session for several days and I noticed no excessive wear and tear on my ears from listening to the recorded music all day.”
Flournoy is also composing and producing the first of his two solo instrumental albums. “The first record will focus on my production and writing and will feature several well known and up and coming vocalists. I’ve been asking artists I’ve toured with over the years to work with me on this project. Initially at United we tracked musicians for “Caribbean Blue,” a song I co-wrote with Gary Benson and Quino McWhinney, the lead singer of the reggae group Big Mountain. And for my contemporary jazz record, we recorded legendary jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws as well as guitarist Ramon Stagnaro, both of whom will be featured players on my first single.”
Flournoy reflects on one instrument in particular, “The recording of the steel drum with two B&K mics was true to the sound you hear when standing in the room listening to the instrument being played. And that is of course the goal, to capture the true sound of the instrument. All the complex frequencies and overtones were brilliantly captured in the room. The sound was distinctive and never harsh or overbearing.”
Regarding the recording of vocals at United, Flournoy says, “I noticed the same sonically clean and distinctive vocal sound when recording Amanda. The true test is when I bring up the track in the music the following day and hear her vocal track sitting in the mix as if it had already been mixed and mastered. There’s nothing like that sonic quality. I could hear all of her whispery nuances as well as her belted-out powerful passages. The room at United Recording definitely lived up to all my expectations.”
Learn more about Kevin Flournoy: kevinflournoy.com