Draven Grey

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Draven Grey last won the day on July 22

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About Draven Grey

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  1. Do you have something with less autotuning on your voice? It's hard to hear your technique for the pitch correction. There are other ways to achieve a similar effect, but many years as a recording engineer, it's rare to hear a voice without very little variation that doesn't have pitch correction or a massive amount of other effects to achieve the same sound. Sadly, it makes it almost impossible to analyze your voice as a coach.
  2. Yep! Currently being edited and will be uploaded for replay soon.
  3. Susanna Hoffs. I guess autocorrect took over in a very odd way.
  4. Much more controlled! I like the high note near the end too. Your voice reminds me of Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) for some reason. I think you have a similar timbre. She puts a lot more air in her voice, resulting in a bit of grit too, but your voice reminds me of an almost punk-ish version of her - like a cross between Susanna Hoffs and Hayley Williams (Paramore). Great job! I would love to hear more in your higher range, especially getting into belting.
  5. Having a well-rehearsed band definitely makes a difference! How are you arranging a band live currently? Backing tracks can definitely make a huge difference too, but, as you said, can come across a bit cheesy. However, it's all in how you do them. My drummer always plays to a click, along with backing tracks. But teh backing tracks are just that, backing. We try to make sure anything that stands out is being played/sang live (even if along with the backing). For instance, we have 3 or 4 guitar parts, but 1 guitarist. He chooses the most prominent guitar part to play live. Bacling vocals also have 3 to 4 parts, but someone is always singing along with them. Keyboards are on backing tracks unless there's a prominent piano part of synth lead. Another way I've seen it done is making a spectacle of having a backing track. I've seen the lead singer of a punk band do a solo performance on acoustic guitar. He set up a stool next to him with a mic'ed tape recorder. Pressing play gave him a light rhythm part and backing vocals, and everyone loved it. On a bigger scale, Trent reznor did the same when he performed on piano. All his beats and strings were on a boom box, placed on top of the piano. In a band setting, I've mostly seen it done with vocals and keys, even on a pro level. Tesseeract's last singer, Ashe, had very lush harmonies, but no one else was singing. Van Halen did an entire tour without a keyboardist, only keys on backing. Granted, one screw up on their song Jump, and it went viral in a bad way. The backing tracks were out of key. I've also seen some big label guys have people on stage with them faking it. Sadly, it was obvious. The point is, backing tracks can work, if you find other ways to make the performance interesting and don't try to pretend it's live.
  6. Like we've said before, you have a VERY particular style. Very unique and pretty damn cool. On the top end, your voice is reminiscent of Robert Smith. Is there something in particular you feel you're struggling with in this song, or something about your voice you would like to work on?
  7. Your pitch is great! That's 90% of singing! Your technique is fine for choir, but I'm not sure it's where you want it for contemporary singing. You have a lot of great potential, and I'm really looking forward to what you're able to do with your voice as you keep training. I like the little nuances in your voice that set you apart, such as some of your pronunctiation choices. You have a long way to go, but this is an incredible start. I also don't know more than the very basics of vocal fach, since it doesn't really apply to contemporary voice, and thus dosn't apply to my students. I wish I could help more on that side of things. There are some here who can. On your technique: Are you currently training? Like I said, your pitch is on, which gets you most of the way there. However, your breath support, anchoring, resonant placement, etc, are not stable. They move constantly, most falling back to a more "singing from the throat" that I've seen with a lot of my students who took lessons in their teens from teachers who either didn't know at all what they were teaching, or didn't know how to teach contemporary singing. You really need to be training, if you're truly serious about your voice. I highly recommend checking out The Four Pillars of Singing, linked to in the footer of this forum. One thing you can do, in order to start getting better resonant placement in general, is to starting tracking (humming and buzzing the lips) all the time. And I mean ALL THE TIME. It will help you engage the constrictors better and get you used to a better esonant placement. I also often have students hold a finger on their bottom lip and try to sing up and over it, to experience a similar resonant placement. The idea is to lift the voice out of the throat and onto the soft palate (perhaps edged toward the hard palate), much like what happens when you smile. And speaking of smiling, another thing that helps lift the voice is your embouchure (mouth piece or shape of your mouth). When you open vertically, especially wide, it puts a lot of pressure on your vocal folds, which you compensate for by modifying your vowel further back, and your resonance ends up falling out of place. If you focus more on opening horizontally instead, baring your teeth, you'll keep the voice lifted and anchor things down better. Like I said, great start! A lot of unique qualities to your voice! Keep it up!
  8. I'm, unsurprisingly, 100% in agreement with Robert. I adore your voice. Absolutely incredible. For those low notes, it might be worth attempting a few things to stabilize: Bring the voice more forward, edging, harsher, and then open to more air, which naturally modifies to a more curbing position. Dampen the larynx a bit more to taste, while adding slightly more breath support and locking down on the diaphragm. Do tuning exercises downward. This has been incredbly helpful with my female students who want to sing lower. Start with tuning slides E4 to A3, working your way down in half steps (D#4 to G#3, D4 to G3, etc). The main point is tuning as your voice and pitch moves. By tuning, I mean paying very close attention to a well balanced placement, musculature, support, and anchoring. For the higher notes, do you feel relaxed or like you're pushing? It sounds great, but I know that sound can be produced by either pushing a LOT of air/volume, or by relaxing completely and adjusting tiny things (like vocal twang and jaw placement) to get the same sound color. I've blown out my voice before from pushing too hard. I would hate to see that happen to you.
  9. First I would like to qualify that there are currently no doctors here, and medical advice may be from a professional singer, but not a medical doctor. My talking voice lowered quite a bit after training for stronger TA (chest voice musculature) engagement above my bridge. I've heard it happen with a lot of my students and other singers. Thicker TA muscles, thicker vocal folds, can lead to a lower voice. However, soreness is a different issue. You need to recover, even if you only experienced a minor cold, allergies, or anything else that caused swelling. Warm salt water gargles morning and night can help. Vocal rest is really good for you. Ingo Titze's straw exercise can help you gain your voice back, even help the soreness subside when done lightly. If it is sore muscles, there are a few things I've come across with my students. I hope this at least helps point you in the right direction. (1) TA muscle strength training like I described above can cause soreness of the muscles. But it feels like a sore muscle (like a day or two after a workout feels), not the same as swelling from illness or allergies. (2) Pushing too hard can pull a muscle. I had one student who decided to push his voice to the limit without my guidance and popped a blood vessel on his larynx. He couldn't sing at all for 6 weeks. I've experienced this type of things first hand when belting along side a soprano student of mine. 15 minutes in, something popped and I very suddenly coudn't do it anymore. When I tried, I would have a sharp pain on the side of my larynx. I had pulled a muscle. It took 3 months before I got my range back, and another year before the pain was gone completely. The ENT couldn't find anything wrong, but there definitely was. Thankfully I found Robert, the owner of this forum, and his program. Then I was able to learn how to belt above a tenor C without any strain at all or risk of blowing out my voice again. But that's beside the point right now. (3) Illness effects and linger. I"ve had a couple of student who experienced severe laryngitis. Afterwards, their singing voice had changed drastically. They had to push harder, fight with compression, and pretty much re-learn how to sing. The straw exercise I mentioned above helped them a lot. Here's a quick rundown of what I recommend if it is illness or allergy related: Ingo titze's Straw Exercise. Good for recovery, warm-ups, and assist both relaxation and placement n training. I show a full, quick warm-up here. But the straw exercises is first.
  10. You honestly won't know for sure until you train. While it's impressive that you're singing in whistle register, the rest of what you're singing is not placed well, and therefore is not a proper representation of what you're truly currently capable of. Also fach classification is meant for classical, opera, and choral, so they can quickly put you into a pre-written part. If you're learning for contemporary voice, it doesn't matter. Any way about it, you nbeed to be training, either through a course like The Four Pillars of Singing, or with a solid teacher - which tehre are plenty of here.
  11. Before I jump in, I do want to say that I like your storyteller style. I suspect the biggest culprit in your accent for causing problems is your hard "R" at the end of words, whihc is a consonant that is almost crossed with a vowel. It sounds like you pull the tongue up on that consonant. Most people pull the hard "R" to their throat, so you at least are headed in the right direction! I have a specific exercise to correct this type of issue, but it would be difficult to explain here. I can at least get the most important part here though. It's what I call "relaxed speech." I've used not just to help correct placement and throatiness, but also to change accents. One of my students was from France, where everything is spoken near the back of the tongue. This helped her a LOT. I've also seen it get many people out of their throat when in a tough spot in the recording studio. First, make a soft "g" into /eh/ (geh), and pay attention to where the tongue hits the roof of the mouth. I call that the "resonant spot". I use it as an anchor or default point for vowels. That anchor can be moved a bit further forward or back for sound color, but in general, the vowels will stay anchored to, pointed at, or move around that one point. It should feel like your vowels are being generated in that point and then only outward from there. Try to stay relaxed and speak a whole line of the song from that point, then sing that line into the exact same spot. At first, your speech might remind you of the priest from The Princess Bride. It sounds ridiculous when speaking, but it makes for a solid singing accent. Now try to say problem words, like ones with hard "R" sounds, into that point. Your "aR" should sound more like /ah/oo/. For "eR", it might ssound more like /uh/ou/. The "R", if sung at all, would be at the very very end, closing the word, and not really sung. For the pitchiness on high note, it sounds like you might be moving into a grunt mode, where your neck and glottis tense up to try and "hit" the note. I see this a lot. Try humming into a cocktail straw for those lines, relaxing the throat and neck as much as possible so that the only tension you feel is the solar plexus, then the resonant spot (above), and maybe, just maybe a little bit in the TA muscles. There should be very little air coming out of the straw, even if you hold your nose. You might have to start that at lower volumes at first, just to get used to it. Grunting on high notes is difficult to overcome. I've yet to find an onset that immediately releases that particular type of compression. Isolating the note with Pulse & Release, Wind & Release, Contract & Release, Head to Chest only, Relaxed Speech, The Straw, and more, seem to work sometimes and not others.
  12. Your pitch is spot on for the most part. That is the most difficult thing to train in singing, so you've got a 1-up on most people who haven't taken lessons. The thinness you're experience is because you need to be training strength and control of your TA muscles (chest-voice musculature) to be able to carry them up into that range. I don't mean just yelling at full force either, but rather training in how to turn them on without strain - which there's a point where they have to taper off. You can train your body to be able to use TA engagement for that "chesty" sound as high as your head voice can go. On top of TA engagement, Chris also used larynx dampening often, really solid acoustic mode and vowel modification as he went higher, incredible bridging and connecting of teh voice, and very solid breath support. He's also a great example of a singer who trained to completely relax his voice no matter what he was singing. If you want to be able to sing like that, then get determined to learn and start training. Check out The Four Pillars of Singing. it's an incredible program, and you'll get a ridiculous amount of solid instruction for the price.
  13. You have a great voice! Good choice of song too. However, most of your singing and resonance is being placed in your throat, in more of a speech mode. This will make higher nd lower notes more difficult, even if your more relaxed chest voice range is easy to control. It's also apparent in some of the dynamics of your plosives, the low level of breath suppport, and some of your curbing vowels (vowels resonating further back). You are, however, always on pitch in the more comfortable parts of that range. What I hear you need is better resonant placement, more lifted to the soft palate and a bit forward. A bit more push or lockdown in the diaphram area (your solar plexus specifically) will support that better resonant placement and give your voice more body too. But that's only a start. One way to begin training yourself to resonate and support in this way is to start humming songs while buzzing your lips. This is called "Tracking". Another that I teach is to place a finger across your bottom lip and try to sing up and over it. Are you training? Do you have a teacher? I highly suggest you check out the course, The Four Pillars of Singing, created by the owner of this forum.
  14. I noticed a bit of strain there too. Get a cocktail straw and start humming those parts with the straw in your mouth. Don't push. There should be minimal air coming out of teh straw, and it should'nt feel like you're pushing once you can relax those notes properly. To test if you're balancing the air and relaxing well, you can hold your nose. When holding your nose, there shouldn't be a major change in pressure from when not holding your nose. I know this sounds really strange, but it does so many great things for you. If you use it on warmups, it cuts down your warmup time to 5 to 10 minutes because of the push-back gently stretching out every muscle you engage. If you use it like I described above, for training a song, it is an incredibly helpful assitant in getting proper resonant placement, tuning your formant, relaxing any tension, balancing air pressure, and more -- in short, training your body not to push on those higher notes, but just sing them without tension intead. I suggest using it for cooling down after an hour or more of singing too. However, don't do it for more than 10 minutes at a time. The gentle stretching I talked about will become more like power yoga, and you'll end up wearing yourself out instead of helping.
  15. Before I dive into this, where do you feel you're struggling or want to imrpove?