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Found 29 results

  1. I use a digital recorder that records the effects in real time while recording. With this recorder I cannot add effects after the track is laid down other than a master effect which is applied to all tracks. I usually check for decent sounding preset for my microphone before recording and use headphones. My questions are.....How much does this effect the initial sound being produced by you the singer. And can it interfere with overall voice production? An example would be....Does too much Bass in the EQ lead to a higher larynx to compensate for the sound and vice versa, too much treble lead to other compensations. ect...
  2. The vocal geek mind took over when I started watching this video of Joni back in '79 singing, "Goodbye Porkpie Hat." I've always been a fan of Joni and thinks she's a beautiful woman! I couldn't help but notice those big beautiful front teeth and I thought, "it's almost like she would never have to be reminded to keep a "wide" embochure (as most of us so easily forget to maintain when singing). Her consistent teeth bearing embouchure seems like the perfect "E.Q. balance" to her warm (larynx lowered) alto-ish tamber. Then, as I watched her sing (the camera angle is such as to give just the right view of her face), I'm noticing that she's singing all these cool lines with lots of vowel modifications as she sings lines that flow quickly up and down between M1 & M2. I thought it was a good example of someone masterfully applying the technique.
  3. Control Master

    I had mentioned this singer "Chris Stapleton" in another thread. Thought I'd share this video/song he recently published. I was really struck by the numerous examples of solid vocal athleticism that arise in this performance. I try not to overanalyze every good vocal too often, cuz sometimes I loose the "soul" of the song in my ear from all of the deconstruction I use to understand the vocal. Couldn't resist on this one. Still "hearing the soul" to date. I've tagged all the key words that I believe I recognize "done well" in this composition. Personally, I'm most impressed with his mastery over what I would assume are the critical configurations which bring great resonance with comparatively low level respiration. I'm convinced that, with the best possible formant, combined with the strength support of skilled appoggio, the "illusion" of a belt is created. He is singing at a relatively low volume yet, the intensity of his voice is sustained. The same nuance is applied to his vocal distortion, which he employs mostly in the higher notes. Those are my impressions.
  4. Dear all, It has been a while that I have visited this forum. I have been very busy with my studies—having completed my BA in Musicology and currently finalising my MA in Applied Musicology. I did keep on working on my singing, however. Yesterday, “The Music of the Night,” a song that I auditioned with at the Conservatory of Rotterdam over a decade ago and that I had used for my singing lessons with many different teachers, was one I had never actually performed—until now! Indeed, there appears to be balancing issues with volume between me and the piano. On the other hand, I asked several attendees whether they felt there were problems with it, but they all did not notice them live. While I do think we could work on balancing our instruments, I believe the recording is augmenting the issue quite a bit. I am really satisfied with the performance—especially my acting abilities, intonation, enunciation, and stage presence. I could be more confident with the fermata notes just doing them as long as I want, rather than thinking I might do them too long (I think the “soul”-note [2:32] is great, the “be”-note [3:44] is just about right, the ”night”-note [5:20] is executed pretty well, but could easily be five seconds longer). I could also definitely stabilise and pronounce my “ring” more. Manolito Mystiq
  5. Yo! All my fellow singing geeks! I came across the article I've linked here (below video). I thought it is was very well written (a quick read), and includes a couple comments by Justin Stoney (coach most of us probably know from Youtube). I have read & posted in our "techniques" forum regarding so called "Natural Singers," percentages of the population who are or are not, training, and etc. Hope this helps lend some clarity to the matter(s). article - Singing Tips: Have A Certain Skull Shape, And Other Science Behind Carrying A Tune http://www.medicaldaily.com/singing-tips-have-certain-skull-shape-and-other-science-behind-carrying-tune-308372
  6. This is a song I've been having my more advanced students study and work through. The guy has impecable technique through most, if not all, of the song. I usually use this as a great song for practicing tuning the formant when they get tired of going through the exercises. He rides the line between light-mass head voice and full voice all the way to belting, all the while keeping great placement. As some of you know, when you're tuned well (especially in head voice), adding in chest voice muscles, dampening, twang, distortion, and just about any other sound color is much more simple. This song is an incredible example of that tuning and manipulation of the voice. It's worth studying and attempting to mimic.
  7. Concentrate on the Right Things

    Lately I have been lurking on the forums more than answering questions. I am finding that a lot of the questions that are being asked can be answered very simply but are being answered very wordy and creating confusion. I want to say that maybe I was lucky to study with who I studied and study with and also how I made my career singing for a living. It wasn't easy but I put a lot of work into my voice many many years 20 + and many years on the road away from an apt whether it be in NYC, CA, ATL,CHICAGO, CT.. I blew out my voice many times and studied with whomever I could never once did any of my teachers worth anything bring up terms like Twang,compression, hold or hold back your breath, embouchure,dampening, sphincters of any kind;), this anchor that anchor,chewbaca sounds, guinea pigs,curbing,overdrive etc etc etc.. Of course when I started teaching 7 years ago(after mastering technique In other words sing anything I want and diagnose problems quickly) I started seeing all these terms and had to know what they meant to keep up with the young guns term wise. So what I am trying to say is if you want to be a great singer you only need to concern yourself with a FEW principles/exercises Practiced Perfectly. Ask yourself these questions and listen to yourself closely when you practice. Does the vowel I am singing sound like the vowel i want? Is my voice ringing and buzzy? As I sing higher in my range do I stay consistent? Does my teacher demonstrate exactly what his "method" says it does? Hope this helps and doesn't sound like I'm looking down on the new terms. But TRUTH be told I got my technique down from perfect practice,vowels sound like vowels,and keep the buzzy ringy sound constant. hard hard work no b.s. years not months at least 15 years of perfect practice…Anyone of my musician friends/band mates would tell you the same.. Hope this helps.. Daniel
  8. I was pondering these metaphors and thought I'd see if I could expand it some. Let me know how you see it! Easel is the pedagogy/coach Canvas is the formants Paint is the phonation Colors are the acoustic qualities & vocal modes Brushes are the intrinsic muscular configurations & appoggio Frame is the musical context/setting (band, choir, acapella, singer w/ instrument, musical, etc.) Lyrics are the finished image Lighting (as in a gallery) is amplification & vocal effects
  9. Hey guys! I have been thinking about what is physically different inside when someone has a more accentuated F1 ( shouty/yell quality ), versus someone that doesn't have a big difference between his "high chest" shouty range and his "mix" or above his bridge point. Is this what makes voices more "dramatic", "heroic", "lyrical" ? What is this acoustic space, where is it ? Does it have a distinct sound or participation in the high range, even if you are out of F1? Do Baritones have bigger Overdrive/Yelly sound than lighter voices? So these are several questions I've asked myself, do you guys have any observations on it? Any experience? What can your voices do?
  10. Hey Rob ! Howzitgoin' ? I'm practicing ( not as much as I would want : Work + daughter and stuff ...) During our lesson, we was reaching an E4 and then came the time to do vowel modifications We went obviously from Eh to a Ah or Uh and you said : Ah is your Trebble knob, Uh is your Bass Knob and said that formants are this : Multiple sound colours at the same time Is that to say that we can have simultaneously Eh+AH+Uh vowels blended together ? or is it just EH+AH or EH+ Uh Simply put : Can we have more than 2 vowels blended together ? If yes, how many of them then ? Question might sound silly, but I was wondering Let me know Thanx
  11. A GREAT BOOK ON THE ACOUSTICS OF SINGING I just had a great discussion with Ken Bozeman, the author of the book, "Practical Vocal Acoustics - Pedagogic Applications for Teachers & Singers". We talked a lot about how the CT and TA relate to each other and specifically, what they are doing inside of contemporary belt voice. I think I am lot more clear on CT/TA involvement now and "get it". I also have this book guys. It talks a lot about the acoustics of singing, but is practical and not too difficult to follow. It comes with a CD and a web site you can check into with supporting materials. I highly recommend. I'm posting it here since there was a lot of discussion about CT/TA in here and I think Ken's publication needs to be brought to your attention. CHECK IT OUT! CLICK HERE TO GET THE BOOK! http://www.kenbozeman.com View full article
  12. A GREAT BOOK ON THE ACOUSTICS OF SINGING I just had a great discussion with Ken Bozeman, the author of the book, "Practical Vocal Acoustics - Pedagogic Applications for Teachers & Singers". We talked a lot about how the CT and TA relate to each other and specifically, what they are doing inside of contemporary belt voice. I think I am lot more clear on CT/TA involvement now and "get it". I also have this book guys. It talks a lot about the acoustics of singing, but is practical and not too difficult to follow. It comes with a CD and a web site you can check into with supporting materials. I highly recommend. I'm posting it here since there was a lot of discussion about CT/TA in here and I think Ken's publication needs to be brought to your attention. CHECK IT OUT! CLICK HERE TO GET THE BOOK! http://www.kenbozeman.com
  13. A GREAT BOOK ON THE ACOUSTICS OF SINGING I just had a great discussion with Ken Bozeman, the author of the book, "Practical Vocal Acoustics - Pedagogic Applications for Teachers & Singers". We talked a lot about how the CT and TA relate to each other and specifically, what they are doing inside of contemporary belt voice. I think I am lot more clear on CT/TA involvement now and "get it". I also have this book guys. It talks a lot about the acoustics of singing, but is practical and not too difficult to follow. It comes with a CD and a web site you can check into with supporting materials. I highly recommend. I'm posting it here since there was a lot of discussion about CT/TA in here and I think Ken's publication needs to be brought to your attention. CHECK IT OUT! CLICK HERE TO GET THE BOOK! http://www.kenbozeman.com
  14. Introduction In the male voice lower and mid ranges, (what has been traditionally called the "chest voice"), the harmonic structure of the sung tone contains many partials - harmonics, which fit nicely into the pattern of resonances for any particular vowel chosen. Throughout this range, the strong, lower harmonics are reinforced by the first vowel resonance corresponding with Formant 1, (F1), midrange harmonics are reinforced by the second vowel resonance from Formant 2 (F2), and higher harmonics are emphasized by the higher "twang" or "singer's" formant resonances. The combination of multiple, powerful low, midrange, and high harmonics present in all vowels is a distinctive characteristic of this section of the male voice. In contrast with this, in the male high range, (what has been traditionally called the 'head voice'), the harmonics produced by the voice are higher in frequency and more widely spaced. Here, few of the harmonics fit into the vowel resonance pattern. For one particular span of notes in the head voice, there is no significant resonance available to amplify the lowest two harmonics produced. To achieve vocal power and consistency of tone in the high voice, the male singer uses what he has available, "twang" (singer's formant) and the resonance from F2 strengthening harmonic 3 or 4, depending on vowel. Between these two resonance strategies is a region of transition, too high for the 'chest voice' strategy, and too low for the F2 alignments of the 'head voice' strategy. This transition region is the passaggio. Acoustics of the rising fundamental Throughout the voice, as the fundamental frequency moves, the alignment of harmonics and resonances for a vowel changes. On an upward-moving scale or leap, the fundamental and all the overtones rise in frequency. Since the harmonics are spaced at multiples of the fundamental, the harmonics also get farther apart, too. For most of the chest voice range, this is not an issue, as the resonance from F1 covers a wide frequency range, and midrange harmonics are close enough together for at least 2 or 3 of them to get some benefit from F2. These conditions apply to all the vowels. However, in an upward pitch pattern, as the voice passes middle C (C-F, depending on voice type) eventually the scale reaches a region in the voice where the alignment of harmonics to formants is no longer advantageous. Overall vocal power and tone quality will be lost if an adjustment is not made. The particular point in the male voice where this occurs is as the 2nd harmonic passes F1. Visualizing harmonics and the /e/ vowel in a spectragraph As illustration of this, what follows is a series of spectragraphs made with different fundamentals sung to the vowel /e/ (ay), made using my own, baritone, voice. As representative of a lower chest voice tone, the first is of the A natural just a bit more than an octave below middle C , also known as A2. Each vertical blue line represents the intensity of a particular harmonic, where 'up' = louder. Low frequency harmonics start on the left side. The leftmost peak is from the fundamental, and if you look at each peak to the right of that (increasing frequency of harmonic), you can see that the 4th harmonic is the very tallest, and then the peaks become successively shorter. This peak volume for the 4th harmonic, and the emphasis of those surrounding it, is the result of Formant 1, F1 in its position for /e/ in my voice. Harmonics to the 'left' of the formant center get progressively louder as they get nearer to it, and those to the 'right' of the formant center get softer. Proceeding to the right is a section of quite harmonics, not so tall in the display, and then there is another build up to the 13th harmonic. This is the area amplified as a result of the location of Formant 2, F2. The spacing of F1 and F2 is what makes this vowel sound like 'ay' to the listener. After another gap, there are two more areas of emphasis, which are the result of F3 and F4, clustered together. These formants move very little vowel-to-vowel, and form the high frequency 'brightness' resonances of the singer's formant. The reason we start with this: for any given vowel pronunciation, (like /e/) the formants stay at the same locations even while the fundamental (and the associated harmonics) are moved during the production of different notes. Especially important in the understanding of the male passaggio is the relationship of F1, F2 and how the harmonics align with them. A2 on /e/ vowel. Harmonic spacing As mentioned earlier, for any given sung note, harmonics are always the same frequency distance apart. That frequency spacing is the same frequency as the fundamental... the note being sung. So, if a fundamental is 110 cycles per second (like that A2,) all the harmonics will be 110 cycles apart from their neighboring harmonics. You can see this equal spacing in the picture above. Because of the closeness of the harmonic spacing, you are able to see pretty well the 'shape' of the formant regions. Up an Octave The next picture is of the same /e/ vowel, but singing the A up one octave, the A just below middle C, A3, which is 220 cycles per second. Notice that the peaks are farther from each other than in the prior picture... now they are 220 cycles per second apart. Looking at the peaks for a moment, you can see that the amplification effects of F1 and F2 are still in the same place (left to right), but now different numbered harmonics are boosted, and fewer harmonics are affected by each individual formant. In the case of F1, the 3rd harmonic is now the most emphasized, with the 2nd harmonic also getting some help, while F2 is emphasizing the 7th harmonic tremendously, but not much else. This excellent alignment of F2 with a harmonic makes it really ring distinctively, and is an example of 2nd-formant tuning, which will get discussed later. Finding the exact location of F1 for /e/ Are you curious about the exact location of F1? Look at the bottom of this next picture, right beween harmonics 2 and 3. See the blips? All voices have some soft, non-harmonic noise. When that noise falls under a formant, it gets amplified enough to measure. These low blips on the spectragraph are the giveaway to the location of the formant. A3 on /e/ vowel Continuing the scale upward As I continue up the scale from A3, three things happen due to the musical intervals represented by the harmonics: 1) My 2nd harmonic gets closer and closer to F1, strengthing that harmonic. This makes the warmth of the voice 'bloom' in this region, and the resonance makes it possible to oversing some and still get away with it. 2) My 3rd harmonic gets higher above F1, and so it gets progressively softer. In combination with #1, this changes the tone quality somewhat. 3) F2 tunes to successively lower harmonics. These three trends are very important in understanding the male passaggio. More on 'What happens when a harmonic rises above a formant'? As a particular harmonic rises above a formant center, it rapidly decreases in intensity. In this next picture, now singing Bb3 (up just one half step from the A), you can see the effect on the 3rd harmonic. It is quite softer now when compared to the 2nd harmonic. For this note, the principal power of the vowel is being carried by the 2nd harmonic. You may also note that the F2 tuning is emphasizing harmonics 6 and 7 more or less equally. That is because F2 is between them. Harmonic 7 is no longer in the 'ringing' position, and harmonic 6 is not yet high enough to be there. Bb3 /e/ vowel The male upper chest voice My voice is now in the 'fattest' part of the upper chest voice, where most of the vowel power is coming from the 2nd harmonic. This range is just about a perfect 5th wide, because that is the spacing of the 2nd and 3rd harmonics. The region begins as the 3rd harmonic passes F1, and ends as the 2nd harmonic passes F1, in other words, for my /e/ vowel, from the Ab below middle C, to the Eb above middle C. This is what makes my voice a 'low baritone' quality. (Note, you can still see the noise blip.. its getting closer to the 2nd harmonic the higher I sing) Now, the Db in the following picture. Notice that there are little noise blips on each side of the 2nd harmonic. This indicates optimum alignment of the harmonic with F1, the place where the 2nd harmonic is exactly aligned with F1. Db4 /e/ vowel The effects of strong resonance on ease-of-singing Through the entire compass of my voice, up to this point, lower harmonics have been boosted by F1, which has provided for some cushioning effect for the vocal bands. That situation is about to change significantly as the fundamental rises past this point. A very important challenge to the singer as this happens is to resist the temptation to maintain vocal power via pushing. And now to the Eb. The 2nd harmonic has just past F1. Its still very strong, but will lose ground very rapidly as I proceed upward. This is the beginning of the tricky section of the passaggio, where the resonance provided to the 2nd harmonic decreases rapidly, and I must, to retain vocal power and tone quality, find another way to shape the vowel. Eb4 /e/ vowel My next post, 'Male voice passaggio 102' will discuss the various strategies that can be used to retain resonance through the passaggio.
  15. Hi! A little background: I have trained my vocals with a college instructor for roughly four years, I haven't had a lesson in nearly two. The reason I say this is because I had posted on Yahoo forums only to be lectured without constructive criticism by someone who had the information I was asking about only because I was hoping someone would provide it free of charge. I am a student. I am also broke. Whenever I can afford to, I will reinvest in a vocal coach because I am aware that not having one has lead me to developing bad habits. She pretty much told me I shouldn't sing at all without years of proper training; in other words, said my vocals sucked! My techniques are full of bad habits. I need help analyzing them and figuring out what I can do to release the tension and build a stronger, healthier voice--that much is certain--but I am determined to learn the techniques used by a specific singer. Anyways, here is a song of mine for example. I did every part by myself, I also produced it with Cubase LE 5 and Ozone, but I am a crap producer and I don't have great equipment. The vocals are also completely random and nonsensical because I am more concerned about the tone of my voice at the moment and would like to address that before I do any serious song writing.. This song was really just an effort to get myself out there in the first place, but I'm apprehensive to advertise myself because of the quality of my voice. Here are a few more random examples. Clip C isn't my backing track...just to clarify. It's only for an example. I'm bothered by this in a few ways. For one thing, there's no smoothness in my tone. For another, I'm shouting at times. I am actively aware of my diaphragm and attempting to further naturalize my reaction to breath down into it, but the control seems to be an issue...I've heard that I need more breath while singing higher, but I can't separate myself from pushing the notes and it actually seems like I'm using less air...I feel like the only thing that sounds good most of the time is my distorted belts.. It should probably be worth mentioning that I had a background in metal too. I was unable to learn my screaming method under a teach...so I think I may be fry screaming and I've heard that was bad as well. Could that be relative to my incorrect executions of belted distortion? I am very fond of the distorted belt, one used by my favorite singer, Jonny Craig. This song here is amazing, it's my goal to be able to sing this correctly without strain in my own unique voice. But, I would be content with starting off this song correctly without strain to build up to more challenging techniques. I am under no disillusion that I can make my voice sound like his. However, I want to be a better singer, and I am determined to reach this magnitude of greatness. The only problem is that I'm broke, although I have a job, and live in a very plain area in Missouri that harbors very few musicians or coaches who can help me achieve these goals. I live about an hour away from St. Louis. If I knew of a coach there that could help me out, that might be a decent start. I could probably even take some exercises and run with those. Most of my equipment can run my voice back into my headphones, which gives me a good representation of my overall tone, which helps me decipher where I can improve...this has actually helped me improve dramatically in the past week or so. Thank you in advanced for your services! I'm looking forward to hearing your critiques.
  16. For a long time, I have been practicing to have similar technique to this vocalist. Mind you, I do not wish to sound exactly like him, I know that's not possible, but I would like to better understand his techniques and vocal flexibility. Over the past five years, I have accomplished his range and some use of techniques, but as you will hear in the recording at the bottom, my formant and vocal flexibility are lack luster. This has been hard to fix for me. Part of my formant problem is me finding the spaces in my voice where I sound my best. And, due to imperfect technique, I get tired very quickly. This is the song I am singing. Below is the same song with me singing over it. You should be able to hear it pretty clearly, how much voice doesn't quite have the same overtones, yet, it seems like our vocal tones are within the same ballpark. You can hear my voice get so, so tired after a while. Sometimes I sound mouthy and muddled whenever I feel like I sound so much brighter or warmer. I am unsure of what to be looking for. I want to be a performer. This doesn't sound very healthy to me. Please help me to understand where my voice needs to be worked on. Thank you.
  17. View File Voce Vista Formant Tuning Software VoceVista - Vocal Training Software Turn any computer into one of the most powerful, yet easy to use tools to increase the power and range of your singing voice. VoceVista provides immediate feedback on your singing so you can analyze what you're doing in real time, make changes and see how those changes help you improve dramatically and quickly. The software also lets you save your sessions, or analyze your favorite singers' recordings to see what they're doing. VoceVista & The Science Of Vocal Bridges - Formants In SingingThe VoceVista digital download offering is easy to install and use. In a matter of minutes, your computer will be running the world's only formant tuning software specifically designed for singers. Sing into your computer's internal mic (no need for an expensive recording mic) and you'll see immediate feedback. It's that simple. With more experience, you can start to take advantage of other, more detailed information that the software reveals to help you improve even further. VoceVista - Academically Acclaimed See what teachers and students at hundreds of university music schools around the world have already discovered using VoceVista: that a computer-based feedback mechanism is one of the most effective ways to improve singing technique. Dr. Donald MillerOne of the world's leading vocal formant research scientists"VoceVista gives you powerful visual feedback so you can see the harmonics of your singing. Immediately, you can tune and calibrate your voice to an optimized harmonic color and resonant energy." Note For Apple iOS Users Note: VoceVista currently runs only on the Windows operating system, however, you can run the software on Apple computers running Windows (either in Bootcamp, or using a virtual machine). Submitter TMV World Team Submitted 09/10/2015 Category TMV World Training Tools & Apps.
  18. Version 1.0.0

    0 downloads

    VoceVista - Vocal Training Software Turn any computer into one of the most powerful, yet easy to use tools to increase the power and range of your singing voice. VoceVista provides immediate feedback on your singing so you can analyze what you're doing in real time, make changes and see how those changes help you improve dramatically and quickly. The software also lets you save your sessions, or analyze your favorite singers' recordings to see what they're doing. VoceVista & The Science Of Vocal Bridges - Formants In SingingThe VoceVista digital download offering is easy to install and use. In a matter of minutes, your computer will be running the world's only formant tuning software specifically designed for singers. Sing into your computer's internal mic (no need for an expensive recording mic) and you'll see immediate feedback. It's that simple. With more experience, you can start to take advantage of other, more detailed information that the software reveals to help you improve even further. VoceVista - Academically Acclaimed See what teachers and students at hundreds of university music schools around the world have already discovered using VoceVista: that a computer-based feedback mechanism is one of the most effective ways to improve singing technique. Dr. Donald MillerOne of the world's leading vocal formant research scientists"VoceVista gives you powerful visual feedback so you can see the harmonics of your singing. Immediately, you can tune and calibrate your voice to an optimized harmonic color and resonant energy." Note For Apple iOS Users Note: VoceVista currently runs only on the Windows operating system, however, you can run the software on Apple computers running Windows (either in Bootcamp, or using a virtual machine).

    $60.00

  19. Singing extreme notes

    I go from f#2 up to f#5 then a slight squeaky whistle at f#6. I thought it sounded really cool so im sharing it on the forum. IMG_5197.mp3
  20. Robert Lunte, founder of The Vocalist Studio explains what the formant and the significance of acoustics in singing. For the first time, a voice coach on YouTube can properly explain vocal formants. To learn more about The Vocalist Studio training program for singers, "The Four Pillars of Singing", CLICK HERE:   Formant is also used to mean an acoustic resonance. In acoustics, it refers to a peak in the sound envelope and/or to a resonance in sound sources, notably in singing. In singing pedagogy and phonetics, it refers to the resonance of the human vocal tract. Formant is often measured as an amplitude peak in the frequency spectrum of the sound, using a spectrogram (a special instrument or software that maps vocal frequencies) or a spectrum analyzer.  Peaks in the harmonic spectrum define the tone quality of sound color in a voice, distinguish the vowels and provide vocal ‘ring’, ‘presence’ or ‘quality’.    In the simplest terms  â€œthe formant is not the resonant space itself, but the measurement of resonant energy in the resonant space (for our purposes the vocal tract)”.  Most formants are produced by “tube” and “chamber resonance”.  For example, when singing, the upper vocal tract, the resonators, the pharyngeal space, soft palette, the throat, and the mouth combine to create this chamber resonance.   By no means am I pretending that this is a complete explanation of formants in singing, it is a very complex topic. However, this is an attempt to just sort out the main ideas for students of singing, so they can grasp some basic understanding of the topic, which is all that is really needed to get some benefit for your singing.   Singing Vowels & Formants - BEST EXPLANATION ON YOUTUBE!    I partnered with Dr. Donald Miller to offer a digital download of his Voce Vista Software as well.. which allows you to better understand vocal formants. It is an application that works on PCs ONLY... and it is for purchase. I thought I would place that here as well, given the topic. Hope this is helpful.   Voce Vista Formant Software For Singers
  21. Introduction In the male voice lower and mid ranges, (what has been traditionally called the "chest voice"), the harmonic structure of the sung tone contains many partials - harmonics, which fit nicely into the pattern of resonances for any particular vowel chosen. Throughout this range, the strong, lower harmonics are reinforced by the first vowel resonance corresponding with Formant 1, (F1), midrange harmonics are reinforced by the second vowel resonance from Formant 2 (F2), and higher harmonics are emphasized by the higher "twang" or "singer's" formant resonances. The combination of multiple, powerful low, midrange, and high harmonics present in all vowels is a distinctive characteristic of this section of the male voice. In contrast with this, in the male high range, (what has been traditionally called the 'head voice'), the harmonics produced by the voice are higher in frequency and more widely spaced. Here, few of the harmonics fit into the vowel resonance pattern. For one particular span of notes in the head voice, there is no significant resonance available to amplify the lowest two harmonics produced. To achieve vocal power and consistency of tone in the high voice, the male singer uses what he has available, "twang" (singer's formant) and the resonance from F2 strengthening harmonic 3 or 4, depending on vowel. Between these two resonance strategies is a region of transition, too high for the 'chest voice' strategy, and too low for the F2 alignments of the 'head voice' strategy. This transition region is the passaggio. Acoustics of the rising fundamental Throughout the voice, as the fundamental frequency moves, the alignment of harmonics and resonances for a vowel changes. On an upward-moving scale or leap, the fundamental and all the overtones rise in frequency. Since the harmonics are spaced at multiples of the fundamental, the harmonics also get farther apart, too. For most of the chest voice range, this is not an issue, as the resonance from F1 covers a wide frequency range, and midrange harmonics are close enough together for at least 2 or 3 of them to get some benefit from F2. These conditions apply to all the vowels. However, in an upward pitch pattern, as the voice passes middle C (C-F, depending on voice type) eventually the scale reaches a region in the voice where the alignment of harmonics to formants is no longer advantageous. Overall vocal power and tone quality will be lost if an adjustment is not made. The particular point in the male voice where this occurs is as the 2nd harmonic passes F1. Visualizing harmonics and the /e/ vowel in a spectragraph As illustration of this, what follows is a series of spectragraphs made with different fundamentals sung to the vowel /e/ (ay), made using my own, baritone, voice. As representative of a lower chest voice tone, the first is of the A natural just a bit more than an octave below middle C , also known as A2. Each vertical blue line represents the intensity of a particular harmonic, where 'up' = louder. Low frequency harmonics start on the left side. The leftmost peak is from the fundamental, and if you look at each peak to the right of that (increasing frequency of harmonic), you can see that the 4th harmonic is the very tallest, and then the peaks become successively shorter. This peak volume for the 4th harmonic, and the emphasis of those surrounding it, is the result of Formant 1, F1 in its position for /e/ in my voice. Harmonics to the 'left' of the formant center get progressively louder as they get nearer to it, and those to the 'right' of the formant center get softer. Proceeding to the right is a section of quite harmonics, not so tall in the display, and then there is another build up to the 13th harmonic. This is the area amplified as a result of the location of Formant 2, F2. The spacing of F1 and F2 is what makes this vowel sound like 'ay' to the listener. After another gap, there are two more areas of emphasis, which are the result of F3 and F4, clustered together. These formants move very little vowel-to-vowel, and form the high frequency 'brightness' resonances of the singer's formant. The reason we start with this: for any given vowel pronunciation, (like /e/) the formants stay at the same locations even while the fundamental (and the associated harmonics) are moved during the production of different notes. Especially important in the understanding of the male passaggio is the relationship of F1, F2 and how the harmonics align with them. A2 on /e/ vowel. Harmonic spacing As mentioned earlier, for any given sung note, harmonics are always the same frequency distance apart. That frequency spacing is the same frequency as the fundamental... the note being sung. So, if a fundamental is 110 cycles per second (like that A2,) all the harmonics will be 110 cycles apart from their neighboring harmonics. You can see this equal spacing in the picture above. Because of the closeness of the harmonic spacing, you are able to see pretty well the 'shape' of the formant regions. Up an Octave The next picture is of the same /e/ vowel, but singing the A up one octave, the A just below middle C, A3, which is 220 cycles per second. Notice that the peaks are farther from each other than in the prior picture... now they are 220 cycles per second apart. Looking at the peaks for a moment, you can see that the amplification effects of F1 and F2 are still in the same place (left to right), but now different numbered harmonics are boosted, and fewer harmonics are affected by each individual formant. In the case of F1, the 3rd harmonic is now the most emphasized, with the 2nd harmonic also getting some help, while F2 is emphasizing the 7th harmonic tremendously, but not much else. This excellent alignment of F2 with a harmonic makes it really ring distinctively, and is an example of 2nd-formant tuning, which will get discussed later. Finding the exact location of F1 for /e/ Are you curious about the exact location of F1? Look at the bottom of this next picture, right beween harmonics 2 and 3. See the blips? All voices have some soft, non-harmonic noise. When that noise falls under a formant, it gets amplified enough to measure. These low blips on the spectragraph are the giveaway to the location of the formant. A3 on /e/ vowel Continuing the scale upward As I continue up the scale from A3, three things happen due to the musical intervals represented by the harmonics: 1) My 2nd harmonic gets closer and closer to F1, strengthing that harmonic. This makes the warmth of the voice 'bloom' in this region, and the resonance makes it possible to oversing some and still get away with it. 2) My 3rd harmonic gets higher above F1, and so it gets progressively softer. In combination with #1, this changes the tone quality somewhat. 3) F2 tunes to successively lower harmonics. These three trends are very important in understanding the male passaggio. More on 'What happens when a harmonic rises above a formant'? As a particular harmonic rises above a formant center, it rapidly decreases in intensity. In this next picture, now singing Bb3 (up just one half step from the A), you can see the effect on the 3rd harmonic. It is quite softer now when compared to the 2nd harmonic. For this note, the principal power of the vowel is being carried by the 2nd harmonic. You may also note that the F2 tuning is emphasizing harmonics 6 and 7 more or less equally. That is because F2 is between them. Harmonic 7 is no longer in the 'ringing' position, and harmonic 6 is not yet high enough to be there. Bb3 /e/ vowel The male upper chest voice My voice is now in the 'fattest' part of the upper chest voice, where most of the vowel power is coming from the 2nd harmonic. This range is just about a perfect 5th wide, because that is the spacing of the 2nd and 3rd harmonics. The region begins as the 3rd harmonic passes F1, and ends as the 2nd harmonic passes F1, in other words, for my /e/ vowel, from the Ab below middle C, to the Eb above middle C. This is what makes my voice a 'low baritone' quality. (Note, you can still see the noise blip.. its getting closer to the 2nd harmonic the higher I sing) Now, the Db in the following picture. Notice that there are little noise blips on each side of the 2nd harmonic. This indicates optimum alignment of the harmonic with F1, the place where the 2nd harmonic is exactly aligned with F1. Db4 /e/ vowel The effects of strong resonance on ease-of-singing Through the entire compass of my voice, up to this point, lower harmonics have been boosted by F1, which has provided for some cushioning effect for the vocal bands. That situation is about to change significantly as the fundamental rises past this point. A very important challenge to the singer as this happens is to resist the temptation to maintain vocal power via pushing. And now to the Eb. The 2nd harmonic has just past F1. Its still very strong, but will lose ground very rapidly as I proceed upward. This is the beginning of the tricky section of the passaggio, where the resonance provided to the 2nd harmonic decreases rapidly, and I must, to retain vocal power and tone quality, find another way to shape the vowel. Eb4 /e/ vowel My next post, 'Male voice passaggio 102' will discuss the various strategies that can be used to retain resonance through the passaggio. View full articles
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    Ingo R. Titze is a vocal scientist and executive director of the National Center for Voice and Speech at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He is a professor at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa and has written several books relating to the human voice. He is considered to be one of the world's leading experts on vocal research. Dr. Ingo Titze www.NCVS.org

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    With over 25 years of experience, John Henny is regarded as a leading vocal coach in the music industry and as a true teacher of teachers. John’s techniques not only keep the voice healthy, they also improve the overall sound, help eliminate cracks in the voice and extend the singer’s range allowing the singer to express themselves vocally without limitation. John Henny has lectured at prestigious colleges and institutes such as USC, Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of the Arts and The Academy of Contemporary Music in England. He is also a Master Teacher for vocal coaches all over the world, including his annual teaching engagements in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. John Henny www.JohnHenny.com

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