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  #1  
Old 09-29-2000, 12:32 AM
Kickin.da.speaker Kickin.da.speaker is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: City of Angels
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Default WAY OFF: vocals forums or sites anywhere?

Sorry for the Off Topic, but you guys are all musicians and some of you just like me probably try to sing your own stuff?

I'm looking for some good websites or forums/BBS for vocals tips, technical help or discussions...

Anyone wants to throw in a tip?
Thanks!!!
David.

6am eternal
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2000, 06:24 AM
hyp0static hyp0static is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Posts: 155
Default Re: WAY OFF: vocals forums or sites anywhere?

Kickin':

I hear what you're screaming!

I tend to become an over-obsessive uber-perfectionist when it comes to vocals. Since the voice is a built-in instrument on humans (even though not everyone can 'play' it well), it is the instrument in your recording that most people will relate to first (or totally turn them away).

I'm always hearing every single slight mistake, detune, whatever - in my tracks sticking out like a sore thumb, and then I start over thinking the tracks to death. And I'm (IMHO) what I'd consider a decent if not pretty good singer.

I think the hardest part of recording your own vocals is this - getting the right sound, and knowing you're getting the right sound. When you are singing, you hear what's going onto disk, but you also hear what's coming out of your mouth in a very weird way because your head resonates when you sing. This is so different than miking a guitar cab in the same room that you are recording. Yeah, you hear the actual cab as well as the mic'd sound in your headphones, but the sound from the cab is 'over there' and the sound in your headphones is 'over here.' With your own vocals, the sound coming out of your mouth is 'right here' and the sound in your headphones is 'right here, too.' I've been thinking of getting an engineer friend to help out when I do vocals. It's really hard to set EQs based on what you are hearing since what you hear is being significantly reinforced by your own head resonating!!

Another tricky point for me(because of this phenomenon) is having the right level of overall music in my phones, as well as the right level of voice coming back at you. Too little voice, and I sing harder (which isn't always a bad thing). Too much voice (where the voice in my phones drowns out the voice in my head - hah!) and I have a harder time keeping in tune.

So, yeah - any tips from anybody?

hyp0static
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2000, 03:36 PM
dans dans is offline
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Location: Boston
Posts: 440
Default Re: WAY OFF: vocals forums or sites anywhere?

I have been a piano/keys player since I was 4 and I can play a little guitar, bass and drums as well. But I just started singing about a year ago. I have learned that the voice is the hardest instrument of them all. My solution was to take private lessons. And it has worked wonders (although I still cringe when I hear myself).

I think that a few months with a good teacher may make an enormous difference in your singing. There are certain techniques you just can't figure out on your own. The voice has many counter-intuitive aspects. For example, singing soft can be as hard on the vocal chords as screaming. I spent the first two months with my NYC coach doing NOTHING but humming. It worked wonders for my pitch. I do crazy octave jumps, scales and such, all in a hum. It's like lifting weights for the voice. A key aspect to my improvement has been an emphasis on building the strength of the voice with carefully tailored exercises; the pitch improvements necessarily follow.

I live in NYC, but before that I lived in Boston. I have great vocal coaches in both cities. If anyone wants to know who they are, just ask.

Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2000, 02:15 AM
onemanband onemanband is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 257
Default Re: WAY OFF: vocals forums or sites anywhere?

Heres a link that may be interesting for you: www.thesingersworkshop.com/index.html

There are only a few things you have to do to sing well but it takes a lot of work to put it all together. The easiest and perhaps most helpful lesson is to simply take a deep breath before each line. You also have to learn to support your voice with your diaphragm and this can take a lot of practice especially to consistently support softer, quieter lines. Also you get much better tone with an "open throat" (yawn and say ahhhhh) and it takes a while to do this and sound natural (unless you're into that opera sound and all those italian vowels)

I have had a hard time finding a teacher who doesn't just take me through some la la la's. I am looking for a good coach in the Miami area.

I can tell you from doing lots of gigs that your overall health and fitness is very important. Alchohol, nicotine, caffeine, anything that is a diuretic will dry your vocal chords and affect your range and endurance.Drinking lots of water (not coke) and eating foods with high water content is good. Anything unhealthy will get in your way. For a tired voice, forget the honey and lemon - shutup and get some sleep. Regular aerobic exercise will help alot. If you don't sing all the time, start singing all the time to develop those little muscles. Always hum for a while before singing louder and if you have to record or do an important performance warm your whole body up - jog, ride a bike, whatever, and hum or sing real soft for 20-30 minutes and you'll be ready to rock and you won't wear out so fast.

A lot of famous singers don't have "good voices". If you sing with your heart and soul it will communicate anyway. I'll bet Neil Young didn't win any talent contests with his voice but his songs have sounded great for a long time. Many people are self-concious when they start out singing. I was. When I stopped being self concious and just started having a good time then everyone all of a sudden started saying I had a great voice. Your voice sounds good when you're having a good time.

Hypostatic - I do the best recording when I don't think about any of that stuff. Set it all up as well as I can and forget about everything except levels and distance to the mic. You can avoid a lot of compressor limiter stuff by getting the feel of backing off the mic or turning your head just a little. Also if I have to turn up the levels after a few takes it's better to take a break. If I get tired it just gets worse.

In conclusion, I can't believe I wrote that much.

See Ya.

Bob
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2000, 03:34 AM
Marzuki Marzuki is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
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Default Re: WAY OFF: vocals forums or sites anywhere?

If you are looking for a real proven technique, try the Seth Riggs "Speech Level Technique". Seth has taught singers such as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson and countless others. Seth has a book out called "Singing For The Stars" that is helpful but ultimately it's important to either study with Seth (in L.A) or one of his associate teachers to really get it. I've been studying this technique with David Stroud, who Seth recommended to me as being the most experienced teacher in the Bay Area. Dave has a web site http://www.davestroud.com with lots of great info explaining the technique and may be able to help you hook up with teacher in your area if you're interested.
This technique has been working wonders for me!
Good luck.
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