Pure vocal talent
In the past, I've recorded lots of full band audio. Sometimes it was just a practice setting where we were recording to see how it sounded. Other times, it was something intended for an album (or at least a demo). However, it was always some music down first or at the same time as the vocals so there was some frame of reference.
Recently, I had a vocalist come to me to record a contemporary Christian album. This sounded like a reasonable request, but none of the music was ready to go and she was. So, I told her to sing it and we'd use that as scratch vocals if it didn't work out.
Totally. Blown. Away.
After she left, I grabbed my acoustic and started playing the chord progression that was supposed to be under the first of the songs. The between verses was, of course, not timed properly. She would just sing one verse, wait a bit, then sing another. However, the timing within the verse and the pitch were all nearly perfect. Sure, I can do pitch correction if needed, but she's been through these songs enough that it won't be needed.
I think this is what it's supposed to be like when you record vocals. Instead of needing 10 takes to get something usable, 1 take to get something that the instruments need to live up to is so much better.
I'm excited to be able to release a few samples here very soon.
Quick snip of audio to satisfy some curiosity...