kickingtone

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About kickingtone

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  1. Google Leaves "Auto-Tune" In The Dust!

    Impatience, laziness, pretence, frogs legs and puppy dog's tails, and whatever else is at the bottom of the cauldron, I guess. A bit harsh, maybe. You could ask, why use a mic? Why not just train to sing louder? etc. etc. Basically, I think that the software would make it easier for lazy people. For some people it is about "production" by hook or by crook. At the other end of the spectrum there are people who like to be more in touch with what they are producing. Well, when you think of robots that are able to observe their environment for themselves, their "truths" are already at the mercy of fallible analogue technology. On top of that, you have programming bugs and program complexity, both of which lead to unpredictability of outcome and irreparably corrupt databases. Rumour has it that national telecoms systems have for decades demonstrated behaviours that nobody can explain. That is put down to accident of complexity. But we also have human factors... People would be writing viruses. Robots will fall "sick". Maybe they would need robot clinics, staffed by other robots. (In a sense, diagnostic technology has already reached this point.) In the world of AI, many human factors can be mimicked. The best way of tackling such viruses and malware may be a form of software vaccination, etc. because the scope and scale of virus infection would be of a different order. Infected software could learn how to write viruses even in inscrutable machine code, and they could write viruses that write viruses, and they could hide inside vast data sets, inaccessible to human scrutiny. So, you would need computer cops, allowed to make decisions that humans have to trust, and with powers of arrest and destruction of software and data. Then we could have corruption, infiltration and spying at that level. I have a saying. If we are afraid of a person who can do what we do, only better, then we are doing something wrong. Humanity is being forced to look its crooked self in the mirror. The voice comparisons in the video I believed were both artificial. But, even if one was human, I bet a computer would be able to tell! If you were to quickly write, off the top of your head, a random thousand digit number, a computer should be able to tell that it was done by a human. For example, we tend to prefer certain patterns of numbers that are buried in our subconscious, maybe bits of old address, dates telephone numbers, etc. These would be represented with abnormally high frequency. There would also be other patterns that should appear occasionally, but which we somehow psychologically do not envisage. A computer could scan our number and pick up on these human traits. Now, could a computer be trained to mimic ALL such human traits, however nuanced, so that no other computer could tell between a human and the trained computer? At one time I was going to write a program that could ID a person from their typing profile. All you would have to do is type a paragraph and the computer would examine the pauses between various keystroke combinations, spelling errors etc. etc. But, to work well, the algorithm would have to be built parallel into a microchip, as its execution affects the thing it is monitoring.
  2. Google Leaves "Auto-Tune" In The Dust!

    No amount of AI or quantum computing is going to achieve such conversion on the fly, unless it can look inside your brain. Such a conversion has to look ahead. A very simple example would be where two vowels sound the same in one accent, but different in another. If you are converting from the first accent to second, you would have to look ahead for context. That is just a simple case. When it comes to all the nuances and inflections involved in singing, the information for conversion is not available on the fly, without being able to read or control your mind. It is similar to a language translator, like Google Translate, not being able to do an accurate translation word by word. A sophisticated translator has to look ahead for context (Google Translate does some, I believe). However, with the help of the singer it would be possible to do the conversion on the fly. Just like working a mic, you can "work software" and get out whatever the software is capable of. The difference is that you would have to manipulate you voice to cue the software, so it doesn't need to guess ahead.
  3. Emotional Responses to Certain Musical Things?

    Believe me, I have come across so many people who won't get that! Their expectations are so tuned in to "sob" and "fry", that anything different becomes a failed attempt at what they are expecting. For them, defiance would be a catastrophic failure. To use that expression you introduced, they would think you were "phoning it in". Your choice is quite subtle, especially "matter of fact", which some people easily confuse with "no emotion". I would totally get it, though. I enjoy listening to singers who can nail positive defiance, particularly "quiet defiance", which is the most subtle. "Dead pan", "monotony", "reminiscence"... are other subtle qualities that don't reach the most people. These are all very interesting emotions. Sometimes they are mere effects the singer uses as a foil for another singer or the mood of another instrument. e.g you can bring out the the quality of something else by singing in a contrasting style. This is one of the dangers of the concept of "universal emotions". The person who doesn't pick up on these subtle emotions has a smaller "universe", but may not know it.
  4. Emotional Responses to Certain Musical Things?

    I also think that what we deem to be "the majority of people" can be distorted by the fact that most of us tend to gravitate towards like-minded people, and are exposed to the echo chamber effect. This reminds me. I was brought up with no TV as a child (very strict parents, who didn't believe in it. I was 18 before I had regular access to TV). When I started watching the news on TV, the body language of the news anchors (news readers in the UK) just looked WEIRD! THOROUGHLY WEIRD! They are no doubt trained to emphasize and stress information with head and body movements, and this was supposed to convey gravitas and assertiveness. But to me, who had not been exposed to it, it looked exaggerated and comical! I guess that people can get desensitized to effects, which then need to be made more explicit. Same sort of thing happened with movies. I would hear what was supposed to be a "chilling" and foreboding cello interlude, but it would sound comical. I think that the nuances of a lot of these associations are learned, and not instinctive. I wonder how much of the evolution of expression is also beset by desensitization.
  5. Emotional Responses to Certain Musical Things?

    That can depend on whether it is trending, and with whom it is trending. "Train to give yourself more choice" is too obvious an answer to the question. "Nothing specific" seems to be closer to the mark, imo. Isn't that what makes it an art more than a skill?
  6. Emotional Responses to Certain Musical Things?

    I've just youtubed "sob", and the description is as I would have expected. Off the top of my head (I am not familiar with Hozier, although I checked him out) Tom Jones singing "Green, green grass of home" is fine, for example. Excellent in fact. But that is a lot more subtle than some modern trends. Personally, in such a song, I am expecting the artist to communicate nostalgia, not sound as if they are on death's, door. I believe it is even possible to capture the nostalgia in that song well with very little sob. There is a popular trend of sounding emotionally "broken" that seems to have taken a grip on some people.
  7. Emotional Responses to Certain Musical Things?

    True, but the sort of thing I am talking about is downstream of choice. The artist has made the choice and folk are reviewing the vocals. There are situations where I am fully engaged by the vocals, and I can hear plenty of emotional content and uniqueness, yet another listener would say that the singing lacks emotion, expression, or distinctive quality. Yet, I can hear all these things. Then they suggest some "remedies", which are usually dogmatic and along the same technical lines. What is really happening is that they are not tuned in to the emotional content. So they will make blanket statements like, "in order for the singer to 'engage' the listener, he should do x, y or z". I am engaged, they are not, but this fact is bypassed by using the term, "the listener". Usually, when I don't like a vocal production, I can still hear the emotional content and quality. It's just that it is not my personal taste. When people tell me that emotional content that I can hear is lacking in emotion, it suggests to me that they need to educate their ears until they can hear it. Then they are in a position to like it or dislike it.
  8. Emotional Responses to Certain Musical Things?

    "Sob", "fry" and distortion are more likely than not going to make me reach for the OFF button. So I think that interpretation of emotional content can be quite a personal thing. The fact that some of these things go in and out of fashion suggests that it is not as primal as some people make out. There is also a huge cultural aspect to it, where certain effects have quite opposite interpretations in different cultures. This can be a problem if you are not on your toes, because people giving you advice on improving your singing often assume that their own emotional response is universal. They often jump straight into the "necessary" technique, and take for granted that their preferred sound is "better singing". It is important to figure out where such advisers are going, before you adopt their technique. (Some are not too happy if you don't share their opinion.) I came across one accomplished singer and coach who claimed that pop music was about emotional expression, while classical singing was not! Yes, his opinion was that opera singers, for example, are not that interested in conveying emotion!
  9. Are most rock and pop singers basically thin, light tenors?

    Maybe tenors are fat, heavy pop singers.
  10. Classical teacher's thoughts on rock singers

    As you said earlier, there are many ways of making a sound. So, you can follow each of them, and take each to its natural conclusion. If something differentiates them, like how loud they can go, then respect that. As your ear improves, you may also be able to hear the difference between sounds that used to sound the same. But, so long as you keep experimenting, even when you have one coordination for the sound, i don't see the problem. Discover as many coordinations as you can, and run with the best and most comfortable. You can only be on the wrong path if you anticipate everything a coordination will deliver. Why push it? Just keep experimenting and adapting. That reminds me of that false fold thing. Some people confuse the sound of false fold engagement with incomplete cord closure and airiness. Then they tell you not to sing like that as it will dry out your vocal cords and damage them, and a load of other wrong advice. I didn't stop, because the coordination was comfortable and had been so for ever. But I kept experimenting with other coordinations.
  11. Classical teacher's thoughts on rock singers

    There is also subtlety of the engagement, control and balance themselves, in the sense of lightness of touch. A common example is vibrato. In classical style it is often a matter of getting out of the way of the vibrato. So one does not let heaviness of touch swamp what the breath is trying to do automatically. That is an example of the breath moving the musculature, which responds with sympathetic motion to enhance the effect. Other styles may emphasize pumped vibrato, where it is definitely the musculature dictating the agenda. This is why there can be so much communication breakdown. Imagine someone giving you advice, but without knowing what sound you prefer and intend to produce, or how you are producing the sound. What most people seem to do is imagine how they would make the sound, which could be completely different. Then, giving you advice on how to control or tweak the sound would be a heap of nonsense. I think that trial and error can help you "follow the sound". It is how we learn to speak and sing naturally, consciously and subconsciously. Even very small children experiment with sound. What you do have to discover and remember is the sensation, to cue you to the right coordination. The magic is that this learning process bypasses detailed knowledge of anatomy. It's just that you can't easily communicate it to anyone else. I use the word "energy", which I think is broader than emotion. So, for me, a pure sound can be very evocative, like that of a musical instrument. But I know that my taste is really personal. For example, emotion of anger, angst, frustration etc just grates on my ears. So you can imagine the swathes of songs that I don't like, lol. Far from sounding powerful to me, these emotions sound very weak. That is why this stuff is so subjective. I much prefer the relatively unpopular energies of reminiscence, celebration, reflectiveness, ethereal... (very non-political). it is not unusual for me to be tuning my ear in to a backing singer in preference to the lead singer, because the sort of energy that appeals to me is not always so in your face.
  12. Classical teacher's thoughts on rock singers

    For me this makes it less confusing, because it means that you can eliminate any kind of literal interpretation of "I'm not doing anything with my throat" or "the breath moves everything". Then it becomes more about the subtlety of the touch, which will vary with genre. In classical singing it results in what they call "natural colour", whereas non-classical styles involve more manipulation and variation of colour. The problem I found with the "false" fold thing was some people confusing the sound with incomplete closure of the "real" folds. So I got wrong advice. They probably didn't know a whole lot about the false folds. Then I found out about the false folds years ago (from you, I seem to recall).
  13. Classical teacher's thoughts on rock singers

    i know that this is going to invite a backlash, but I am going to say it anyway: It appears from the OP that the teacher in question did not volunteer or proselytize her opinion. She was asked by her student, and she gave her honest opinion. So what's with the thought police? All this stuff about trying to find out who she is, and the "jokes" about hurling her through a window just give the thread a nasty, creepy, cliquish edge.
  14. Classical teacher's thoughts on rock singers

    For me, it is the other way round. False fold engagement is what I do naturally. I have had to learn to disengage the "false" folds to expand my range of sounds. A lot of coaches of pop/rock singing confuse false fold engagementt with breathiness, even falsetto, which leads to a lot of screwy advice. But to coaches of classical style I would sound normal.
  15. Classical teacher's thoughts on rock singers

    A famous classical singer, in one of his YouTube classes, said, "the breath moves EVERYTHING". The way I understand this is that the breath is the essential mover. The vocal tract reacts to the breath, more than the other way round. Even as the vocal tract shapes, it is the feeling of the breath that fine tunes the timing, rather than pure memory. It would be a bit like a racket sport where the coach tells you to try to feel the ball on the racket, as you hit it. The breath is like the ball, and the vocal tract is like the racket. Rather than the vocal tract dictating to the breath ("snatching" at the ball), there is a balance of power. A lot of control information comes through feeling the breath in the vocal tract. I don't play a musical instrument, but perhaps it is the same thing there. You probably don't strike imperiously through the strings of a guitar or keys of piano. Instead, you allow yourself to feel the resistance or weight of each string or key as you strike it. So the instrument, like the breath in the vocal tract, is communicating to you how it will respond. Because of the subtlety of the breath, the responsiveness of the vocal tract has to be effortless. So, the feeling of "doing nothing" would relate to the sensation of effortlessness required for respecting the breath, which would actually come through doing exercise and practising. I guess a summary would be, "the classical singer said, 'don't fight the breath'".