The Making of VX1

NOTE: The session walkthoughs are still in-progress. I will update the links as I complete them, so this is the page to bookmark!

What is VX1?

Spotify // Apple Music // Youtube Music // Soundcloud

VX1, or VOX 1, or Vocal Experiment 1, or Vocal Experience 1, is meant to be the first album that puts together all of my acappella experience into one album. I've spent a great amount of time involved in different acappella projects in the past (mostly in various UCSD Tritones projects). I think I have been able to put my signature on a lot of these, but they were never "Ben's Album". VX1 is that album. It is a benchmark album for me that demonstrates: this is where my music right now.

While VX1 is recorded entirely from my vocals, it is NOT really meant to be an acappella album. I wanted to write the album as an acappella album because that is where my expertise is, and as a benchmark album, I feel like it's the best representation of "where my music is right now". However, I did not want the "this is acappella" mindset to limit how we process it. I didn't hesitate to modify the sound in all sorts of ways if it sounded more interesting, whether that means electronic effects or techniques. I have always treated this album as a music album that happens to be acappella.


My songwriting has a lot of different influences, and I will point these out in my session walk-throughs, but here are a few of the artists I listened to a bit during the creation of this album: Anderson Paak, Billie Eilish, Disclosure, Berhana, Justin Timberlake, KAAN, Chance the Rapper, Ariana Grande, Moses Sumney, Calvin Harris, HONNE, Capital Cities, Daft Punk, Jacob Collier, Mac Miller, Surrija, Vulfpeck.

The Tools

Here is a walk-through of the different tools I used when working on VX1.

My Process

timeline of my process

These are the steps I went through while making this album. I explain each of them in-depth:

  1. Ideation & Songwriting
  2. Arranging
  3. Tracking
  4. Editing
  5. Exporting
  6. Mixing & Mastering
  7. Art & Distribution

Song Retrospectives

For more descriptions of specific decisions, I have also made song retrospectives and session walk-throughs for each song:

  1. Charlatan Days
  2. Sweet Honey
  3. S.U.S.
  4. Highwire
  5. The Problem
  6. Everything
  7. Fired Up
  8. Pay Attention
  9. Getaway