Deyder Cintrón is a vocal editor, a vocal producer, and a vocalist in his own right. He’s engineered for recording artists like Richie Sambora, worked on the GRAMMY nominated film “Rock of Ages,” and edited over 300 tracks for the hit television show “Glee.” In the studio, he wears many different hats and works on both sides of the glass; and yet, one obvious element remains his true north: the human voice.
“I wanted to be a singer in my teens,” says Deyder, who graduated from Full Sail’s Recording Arts program in 2007. “But I always wanted to learn more. I realized that I loved the process of recording music. Once I got to Full Sail and walked through the recording studio experiences, it reinforced how magical this is to me.”
Deyder’s foray into the music business kicked off with a post-graduation internship at LA’s Chalice Recording Studios. He worked first as a runner, then as an assistant engineer, and soaked up knowledge from experts like Marcella Araica, Pharrell Williams, and Spike Stent. Deyder used these opportunities to hone his talents and make a name for himself as a specialist in vocal editing.
“Anyone can edit a vocal,” he explains. “Anybody can learn the chops in Pro Tools. But it’s different when you have an engineer that’s a singer. An engineer who vocal edits without being able to sing – they’re not aware of certain things. The little inflections. The feel. The push.”
“In the studio, I made sure I was learning every day. At the end of my eight-hour shift, I would stay for hours. I would literally sleep there, reading books, learning all the quickies for Pro Tools, learning to be as fast as I could.”
His perseverance paid off. With a recommendation from Chalice’s studio manager Sandra Stevenson, Deyder soon landed a full-time engineer/editor position at the Music Production division of Anders Media, Inc. (AMI), a company whose credits include “American Horror Story,” “Glee,” and the film “Rock of Ages.”
Working on the film was a personal milestone, Deyder recalls. “They flew us to Miami. It was such a change. You start out as a runner, living in your car, and a year later, they’re paying for me to stay in a hotel with a room all to myself. The studio was right across from the hotel, in South Beach. It was so surreal. That was one of my biggest joys.”
And because he worked closely with AMI founder Adam Anders during the project, the film marked a professional milestone for Deyder as well. “Adam Anders was my mentor. He mentored me in ways to break out of the box instead of thinking there are so many limits. I thought too technical. Once technical meets creative, that’s when everything opens up. That’s what music is about.”
Over the next few years, Deyder was tasked with editing vocals on over 300 songs for Fox’s hit series “Glee.” His team, usually composed of just four or five people, worked in a sort of assembly line to meet rigid deadlines: Read the script, record guide singers (whose tracks serve as temporary placeholders in Pro Tools), record background vocals, mix in the instrumentals, record the actors’ lead parts, and edit it all together.
That last step was often where Deyder’s editing magic – and lots of help from Melodyne – was needed most. “[The actors] don’t have much time to practice, and you need a little help to make it sound real. Melodyne gets it in there, and it sounds like they sang it all together.”
Since the conclusion of “Glee,” Deyder has been working full time as a freelancer – a busy one. “I’ve been involved in songs with Howie Dorough, Shane Harper, Giorgio Morodor. Richie Sambora has an album coming out with Orianthi; I sang on one of the songs, and edited multiple vocals on two songs. I am a workaholic in a way, because I do love it. It’s good and it’s fun.”
Now, Deyder has set his sights on reaching out to producer Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, ’N Sync). “He’s one of my biggest inspirations as a producer. I think my editing style goes with his kind of method, which is very tight, very pop-sounding, but still organic. I would love to work with him. I’m actually trying to reach specifically to Max Martin, because he’s the reason I’m here.”
Reaching out and taking initiative is vital in this word-of-mouth business, Deyder explains. “When you go to Full Sail you have a great foundation, and it’s up to you to be aggressive or passive. I feel like the more aggressive I am, the more I study the books, the manuals, the more I set my price and I’m firm on it, the more I go out and network, the more great things happen. You’re looking for opportunities to help other people, and that’s what it’s all about. Create value, and people will want to help you in return.”