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 Rob Hoffman, audio engineer, on Michael and Janet singing Scream together, 1995

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PostSubject: Rob Hoffman, audio engineer, on Michael and Janet singing Scream together, 1995   Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:39 am

“I was fortunate enough to work with Michael early in my career. He was an incredible artist. Talented beyond your wildest dreams. Extremely generous, and a hard worker. I actually went from a staff assistant at the Hit Factory in New York City to freelance engineer under [Bruce] Swedien. One morning MJ came in with a new song he had written overnight. We called in a guitar player, and Michael sang every note of every chord to him. “Here’s the first chord first note, second note, third note. Here’s the second chord first note, second note, third note,” etc. We then witnessed him giving the most heartfelt and profound vocal performance, live in the control room through an SM57.

“I was in the room with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis while they recorded the background vocals for “Scream” with MJ and Janet. The two of them singing together was amazing. Super tight, no bad notes. One part after another. When they took a break they sang the show tunes they used to sing as kids. Again, perfect harmony. MJ refused to sing the “stop f*ckin’ with me part” because he would NOT curse.

“One day we just all sat in the studio listening to his catalog with him for inspiration. He loved the process, he loved the work.”

Here’s another funny story about a Michael session that MJ was not there for, but I think he would have appreciated quite a bit.

When Michael entered the building a whole host of people would spring into action. People would vibe the room, order food, start boiling water for him, clear out the various rooms in the studio. General panic and mayhem would ensue. At the end of HIStory I kind of let it slip that MJ had snuck into the building when no one was ready for it. I sat back and watched everyone run around like crazed kids cleaning up a party when their parents came home early from dinner. They kept asking me if he as here, and I just said “I think so, that’s what the receptionist said”. After about 20 minutes, they realized it was a false alarm . . . . Never found out it was me, until now. Sorry guys Smile
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Rob Hoffman, audio engineer, on Michael and Janet singing Scream together, 1995
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