You are here

Enya's layering technique

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Enya's layering technique

Postby AMOS63 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:50 pm

Does anyone know what Enya does in the studio? and what she's always done? She has this unique sound of layers and trails on her voice. I'd love to be able to recreate that in my New Age project.
User avatar
AMOS63
Poster
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:44 pm
Location: Bourne, MA USA

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby desmond » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:22 pm

User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11436
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:58 am


And very informative they are too!

Although the technology has moved on, knowing the instruments she used and the engineering techniques remain very useful.


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 17485
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby AMOS63 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:55 am

Thanks for the links, I look forward to reading it
User avatar
AMOS63
Poster
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:44 pm
Location: Bourne, MA USA

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby uselessoldman » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:42 am

nothing clever about her sound its lots of subtle harmonics and plenty of reverb. Ohs and ahs and vocals spread and tight on top. Its just a copy of a church choir singing psalms, except its one female voice dubbed over and over, a seriously beautiful voice she most certainly has. Its all about the acoustics, like singing in a Cathedral, wide open spaces for the voice to bounce off, yet a clear distinct voice over the top. I wouldn't say clever, certainly beautiful romantic even, but any good choir with some good singers could do that in any space with good acoustics.

You could say its an alternative to sleeping tablets or dare I say it, counting sheep? Anyone actually managed to finish listening to a full album and not fallen into a deep sleep? Then you wake up and think oh its finished, and how beautiful those 40 winks were. then its time for some loud hard rock music, cos your wide awake again
uselessoldman
Regular
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun May 03, 2020 7:39 pm

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby Dave B » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:51 am

(or, you could have said : "not my kind of thing, personally" or not even mentioned it .. )
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5826
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby Dave B » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:05 am

Interesting reading. I am sure that I read another interview years ago with Nicky Ryan where he stated that Watermark was done on a 16 track and that the S900 did have some 'ooh' and 'ahh' samples to bolster (but Enya would still fill up a tape with voices). I'm now wondering if he was talking about his own studio rather than the recording of the album - 2 Mitsibushi digital 32 tracks! That's a lot of tracks when bouncing.

The other comment in that interview which caught my eye was "no compressors". Wow.
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5826
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:30 am

Dave B wrote:(or, you could have said : "not my kind of thing, personally" or not even mentioned it .. )

:clap: :clap: :clap:

I like Enya (and Clannad), It was pretty original back in the '80s (for popular music at least).
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15715
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Still taking this recording lark seriously (and trying to record my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby Folderol » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:19 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
Dave B wrote:(or, you could have said : "not my kind of thing, personally" or not even mentioned it .. )

:clap: :clap: :clap:

I like Enya (and Clannad), It was pretty original back in the '80s (for popular music at least).
:clap: :clap: :clap:
And a few more. Beautiful songs, excellent performance, sensitive production.
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12836
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby The Elf » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:57 pm

'Legend' - the Robin Hood TV series soundtrack - remains one of my all-time favourite albums. Roland JX-8P featured heavily, which was a favourite of mine, too.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16586
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby desmond » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:02 pm

The Elf wrote:'Legend' - the Robin Hood TV series soundtrack - remains one of my all-time favourite albums. Roland JX-8P featured heavily, which was a favourite of mine, too.

Me too. Lots of DX7 in there too, it's mostly DX7 in fact. Technically, the show was called "Robin Of Sherwood", and remains the best screen adaption of Robin Hood to this day. Loved it as a kid, loved the music and the vibe then, and it totally holds up now. :thumbup:

As for Enya's Watermark album, I loved it back then, and used to crank it up loud in a dark room for a lovely, floaty experience...
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11436
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby DanDan » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:14 pm

Nicky/Enya/Roma allowed me to use the original Aigle Studio ( Back Garden Scouting Shed) for my first Multitrack work. Fostex E16 mixing down to Sony F1 via a big mixing desk built by those three. It was like a Neve in some ways, but with the features of an SSL. I am trying to remember the designer, Sean X..... BBC I think. Nicky phoned me one day, tech question. He had the 16 Tracks filled with harmonies and a guide track and needed to move on.
There were no samplers yet so flying something in was hit and miss. To make matters impossible the F1 was based on Betamax Video, so no instant start there.
I had my own F1 so I played around and called back with the solution. F1 in pause, one could go frame by frame to the required audio start. Horrible glitching and stuttering going on, but easy to find the wanted spot. Fader down, play 16 Track, recording a stereo pair. At the right moment unpause the F1 and slide the fader up fast.
User avatar
DanDan
Regular
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:00 am
Location: Cork Ireland
Dan FitzGerald MIOA  MAES
www.irishacoustics.com
www.soundsound.ie

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby AMOS63 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:24 pm

I listen to Clannad almost daily, can't say I have a favorite album, I like them all. But I think the most interesting is when they added a touch of Prog in the mid-late 80's
User avatar
AMOS63
Poster
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:44 pm
Location: Bourne, MA USA

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:42 am

Clannad have always captivated me, and I have a massive soft spot for Enya's subsequent solo work.

uselessoldman wrote:Anyone actually managed to finish listening to a full album and not fallen into a deep sleep?

Yes, me. I often revisit numerous albums made during and after the Clannad days. I love prog rock, trance, electronica, rock, metal and much besides but on occasion there is nothing to beat a proper Enya listening session; it can get me into a wonderul frame of mind.

If you can't manage a full album of it then, meh, there are many things I can't manage a full album of but don't really feel the need to comment publicly about. On the other hand if you like anything she does, then she's touched your ears in a good way so on the third hand, if you're somewhere in the middle, why bother to mention it? We all have music in that category I'm sure.
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 5860
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works | The SOS Forum Album projects
 

Re: Enya's layering technique

Postby wdsteele » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:05 am

And easy to forget Clannad formed as far back as 1970 .

I had the pleasure of seeing them perform with the Ulster Orchestra some years ago and was a very successful and entertaining mix of their compositions and orchestral arrangements , probably one of the finest live performances I’d ever experienced.

My old Kawai K1 had a patch reminiscent of the Clannad sound , can’t recall what now but I always liked to assume they’d used something similar , perhaps not though.
wdsteele
Regular
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:00 am

Next