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Ronron

Let me put my foot in it

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Hello,

Please allow me to embarass your eyes and ears for a minute or 2 (actually I think it's nearly 5, but if you stick with me for a minute it'll be great anyway).

At the end of this post, you will find a link to me trying to sing The Cross (By Within Temptation, the acoustic version specifically).

Now on to the excuses (so that I will be able to say " You were warned that it was bad " ;) ) :

I presently am in a student house, so I don't feel like going loud at all (It's horrible enough to stand my vocal experimentations, after all). Also, my voice is tired, hence the kinda breathy tone, at least that was the feeling I had while recording. I'm also singing over Within Temptation.

I use Audacity, but have no clue as to how the darn thing might work, so you'll only hear me, and no music (I couldn't play any instrument to save my life, anyway). My microphone actually is a headthing you use to talk over the internet, like for skype, listen to music, or coordinate in mmo s. I don't know how it's called :rolleyes: but you will hear some " wind ", unfortunately. I did have a small warm up before.

The Cross is one of my favorite song from this band. A few months ago, it was a struggle, couldn't raise the pitch to match the increase at the end. Nowadays, it's better (I can only thank you for this !). I know I have missed some notes (especially at the end) and wasn't always right on time, but I really did not feel like I'd do another take, as roommates where coming back from their trips in the city :P

Within temptation's Cross (hopefully Youtube won't be mean and allow you to see it !) :

My Cross (hopefully you won't end deaf hearing it ! Actually you might need to increase the volume to hear something) : http://www.4shared.com/audio/JH8yrs3E/The_Cross.html

(again, I talk too much :()

*hits submit and hides shamefully*

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What a beautiful song.

Yours is definitely a quieter version and not just because it is a capella. In the original, she is twanging quite a bit. And I would like to hear you do a full volume version of this. Until then, I like the tone you have. Oddly enough, your version sounds happier than the haunting original.

I also use Audacity and I don't know everything about it. I had a funny time trying to work on the "Immigrant Song." The original uses echo and so I used it but I'm not sure I meshed correctly. Any, anything you can learn, don't hesitate to tell me as you might just teach me something.

I have learned a few things of which order to do something. Recently, I have been experimenting with different ways to sing "Highway to Hell." It's easily in my range but the trick is translating that to a recording that is interesting. So. I use the "acoustic" eq. Then "bass boost." Then "compressor."

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Hi ronws,

I may be sounding happier because, well, I was happy to be able to sing in a way that I found correct. That is, hitting mostly the right notes, without feeling strain, and without sounding like a castrated little girl on the high notes, which is a big novelty for me. Anyway, I'm note quite functional on the interpretation part yet.

Today was a good day overall, so I tried what you asked. I'm not sure however if it's " full volume " or whatever. Volume scares me. It definitely *felt* easier, and it definitely was louder. All in all, I'm happy about what I did.

I did need 5 tries, though, as there was always something wrong. Like " Oh I might overload the mic, let's put it farther away !" Oh well, not at all.

The Cross 2 : http://www.4shared.com/audio/FhnpTi0f/The_Cross_2.html

Also, as I was feeling lucky, I DID try Sam's Town at what I believe the original pitch lies. It is a bit louder, but I don't know, the song calls for it :

http://www.4shared.com/audio/A-52RhE1/Sams_Town.html

I would be very thankful if somebody told me if this is the right pitch or not. Hopefully I got it right ! Otherwise, well I'll try again.

Also, I will try playing around with Audacity, as you suggested :)

(Sam's Town by the Killers :

)

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You did better on the "Cross." I know it's a "soft" song but it needed the volume, now and then.

And, "Sam's Town" was good, as well. Good volume. Yes, the mic was overloaded a few times. I don't care. I overload my mic, too. But the volume was good and you could use even a little more volume on the choruses. The singer is using twang. It is a configuration that brightens the notes, especially in the upper parts of the range. You had good use of vowel modification, which is astounding since I can tell there is a slight accent and english is not your native language. In fact, I amazed at the number of people here who don't speak english as a first language and sing and sound american when they do sing. Near as I can tell, you were in the correct range and on pitch.

"Sam's Town" is your song, as far as what you can do vocally. I can totally see you doing this song with full back up, whether a downloaded track or even a live band. And you have a clear and consistent tone. And the ability to emote sadness, too, which means you can also effectively cover "the Cross."

Keep up the good work.

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Thanks you very much ronws, that means a lot !

I still haven't been able to get my hands on twang yet (or maybe I have but don't know, quite a possibility too). But it'll come one day or another I think. And when I nail it... >;] As far as vowel modifications, I mostly emulate what the singers do, though if I dared say, it seems to come quite naturally.

And I guess my "Sam's Town" is kind of like your "Highway to Hell". This very song is the reason why I'm trying to learn how to sing. It has carried me through some hard days.

english is not your native language

Zut ! I got caught ! :o

I'll certainly keep on going, thanks again.

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"Highway to Hell" is an important song to me but the song that made me want to sing was "Sweet Child o Mine" by Guns and Roses. Do you know that song?

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In fact, the song I linked to you is a good example of twang. A whiny, smiling set-up. In this song, Axl

Rose, who normally speaks in bass is singing in tenor, by means of lots of twang and some vocal distortion, mostly fry.

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Ron, I don't think Axl Rose's main distortion technique is fry, although he uses tons of twang, because fry would be where you sing with such a soft volume that you're almost not producing a sound at all, and it works best for very low notes, right? I think he uses creaking sometimes and distortion sometimes to use CVT terms, and to use more common terms, I think he gets his high rasp mostly by "over-twanging" and his low and medum rasp mostly by singing a bit too powerfully with a hold/cry sound so the sound distorts. No offence meant. Maybe I misunderstood you. For both me and you, Axl is one of our all time favorite singers, right? On some days, number one, I guess :)

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A friend of mine is a big fan of guns and roses, so yeah, I heard that song. The guy is just great. She also wanted to hear me singing that, but I said " no way ".

But hey, who knows after all ? I'll try it one day.

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You may be right, jonpall. I've never been able to sound like him and I'm okay with that. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that individuals have individual voices. It really doesn't matter what techniques we do, it won't quite match the original. And so, I try to sound like myself, which is not to everyone's liking and I'm okay with that, too. It's like when you sing U2 songs very clean. I do the same thing, in my own way.

And Ronron, I dare you to do this song. Give it a try. Who knows, you might sound more like him than I ever could, and more power to you. I will warn you that this song is not sung quietly. Even if you don't sound like him, who cares? I would rather hear you sound like Ronron. If I want to hear Axl Rose, I have a number of cd's to listen to.

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You may be right, jonpall. I've never been able to sound like him and I'm okay with that. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that individuals have individual voices. It really doesn't matter what techniques we do, it won't quite match the original. And so, I try to sound like myself, which is not to everyone's liking and I'm okay with that, too. It's like when you sing U2 songs very clean. I do the same thing, in my own way.

And Ronron, I dare you to do this song. Give it a try. Who knows, you might sound more like him than I ever could, and more power to you. I will warn you that this song is not sung quietly. Even if you don't sound like him, who cares? I would rather hear you sound like Ronron. If I want to hear Axl Rose, I have a number of cd's to listen to.

ron, you're about sweet child of mine.

i've been playing around with that song (it's a toughee) and here's my take on how i can best sing it.

although for me it's 1/2 step down on the karaoke machine, lol....sounchoice is a good disc.

a non-cvt explanation:

major twang mandatory

must be totally warmed up before i even go near it

strong breath support mandatory

very wide open throat and very wide open mouth for vowel modifications all over the place, looking for chances to phonate on "ah" (father) and "eh" (egg) wherever possible

when that song gets going it's resonant and a little whiny

is that your set up for it?

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ron, you're about sweet child of mine.

i've been playing around with that song (it's a toughee) and here's my take on how i can best sing it.

although for me it's 1/2 step down on the karaoke machine, lol....sounchoice is a good disc.

a non-cvt explanation:

major twang mandatory

must be totally warmed up before i even go near it

strong breath support mandatory

very wide open throat and very wide open mouth for vowel modifications all over the place, looking for chances to phonate on "ah" (father) and "eh" (egg) wherever possible

when that song gets going it's resonant and a little whiny

is that your set up for it?

Vocally, yes, that is how I approach it. In fact, it is so twangy it's nasal. I guess I don't use that much twang because I'm naturally a tenor. As opposed to Axl who sings and speaks in bass yet is able to sing in tenor through his modifications, mostly twang.

And perhpas I have misdefined fry. He does use it on other songs. On Sweet Child of Mine, however, it is super-twang, at least for many people. Breath support, yes, especially on the vocal acrobatics later in the song. In fact, I have just re-recorded this song where it was all about breath support and I am mixing it down, to see what kind of timbre I am getting. And yes, much of the covering is ah or eh.

It is a whiny song. In fact, as far as I can tell, Axl is far whinier in the song than I think I am.

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Fine, I accept your challenge !

But be warned, if it's even half as high as it seems to be, it's gonna sound crap, or I'll end up in my horrible horrible horrible falsetto and it's gonna be even crappier. Or I'll finally find that elusive twang. Either or.

So. You said it requires volume, is it because, generally speaking, twang requires volume ? If so, it's no wonder I haven't found it yet, even though I've tried doing the witch cackling thing.

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Well, twang, which is a configuration of the pharynx, creates a particular resonating chamber that reinforces the note. So, a well-resonated note is louder, even if you aren't technically "screaming." Think of the way a note resonates in a guitar or a piano. The note bouncing off the sides of its resonating chamber reinforce it, creating a decibel increase, or volume increase. However, decibel is a logarithmic function. Changes need only be very subtle to create the maximum benefit.

Even though I have challenged you, just remember that this forum is not a competition. We are here to learn from and support each other. So, whatever you can do is good and if possible, we can give hints or our bits of knowledge that help you go where you want to go. And if you don't sound like Axl Rose, that's fine, because neither do I.

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Well I actually fell in love with this song, so it's more of a humorous way of saying I'd try it sooner than later. There are a few highs I can't hit though, which make me quite sad. Giving my voice a break while I think this whole twang issue through.

I may sound a bit competitive, but in effect, I'm not as much as you would think. And while I like Axl's voice, I don't intend on souding like him.

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But I would also like to hear you doing "Sam's Town" with musical accompaniment because I think your voice is well suited for that song.

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Matching the accompaniment is actually waaaaaaay harder than I thought. I seemed to be randomly in advance or late by a half to a full time, even though while recording I felt I was perfectly in time. I think I wait for the music, and I maybe should lead it. After around 12 takes, I actually had enough and stopped. I'll try again sometimes in the future. I was so focused on having the damn thing match perfectly that I'm not even sure I'm on the right pitch. And it didn't match perfectly.

I also tried Sweet child o mine. It is very awfully high, so I strain a bit on it. There is a note I can't hit however hard and different I tried (and I tried. 10 times). I even tried falsetto and couldn't get out of this horrible sound, while still unable to hit it. After the 9th time, I stopped for a few hours, came back to it, barely warmed my voice up, and had what I think is my shot at it. Go figure :/

Today I had easily more power, so my crappy microphone is overloaded more than half the time. Apart from changing it, I don't think I can help it. The good news is I think I have a grasp on twang though, but I'm not used to this sound so I tried to stay away from it, as far as I could. And I think I finally understand support a bit better (thanks to VIDEOHERE actually !). Also, I am far far more comfortable with the idea of power. I mean, I haven't exploded yet so it might not be too wrong.

All in all, it's pretty awful, but hopefully it'll help me well in the end (thanks to you).

Sam's Town : http://www.4shared.com/audio/n30CZdd3/Sams_Town_inst_BAD.html

Scom : http://www.4shared.com/audio/c-ZfJtnZ/sweet_child_o_mine.html

Now, I'll have to let my folds relax for a few days :p

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Just now, I only had time to listen to SCOM. I am the monster GnR fan around here and let me say that you did very well on this. You were on pitch. As you said, you had only one soft note and that was the high one at the end. Good volume. And your light and airy tone was a good take on it. Man, you are almost there. When I have a final mix, I will post mine either in this thread or a separate one, if you like, so we can compare.

So, seriously, bravo, from a GnR fan who has been listening to that song since about 1988. It was the song that inspired me to build my range and volume.

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And now, I've had time to listen to your accompanied version of "Sam's Town." And I think that was well done, too. Your voice is perfect for this song. And I think it's partly because of the accent. The whole song as a euro flavor. And you've got a lovely tone in your voice that is even throughout your range. A couple of times, I thought your timing slipped but I listened closer and you were right on the beat. I think it was because the song shifts a time signature and there is some counterpoint in the melody.

I liked your volume. It was solid and your voice sounded supported.

You and I have the same problem. A mic that just can't handle volume. So, there is distortion, like on my recordings. But hey, we'll each gear up when we can, nicht wahr?

I recorded again, tonight, with SCOM. From my own feeling and what I hear, it was my best recording yet. My voice was clear and strong, but the mic doesn't pick up all of it. Anyway, let me know if you want to hear it. I can post it here, in another thread, or I could email you through this forum.

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Also, I just re-read your comment about timing. I had a problem of being late when singing to playback. Because I was waiting for the musical phrase. In actuality, the singer leads the music, by a slight fraction. Keep that in mind and you will be surprised.

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Also, I just re-read your comment about timing. I had a problem of being late when singing to playback. Because I was waiting for the musical phrase. In actuality, the singer leads the music, by a slight fraction. Keep that in mind and you will be surprised.

ronws: In classical singing, the way this 'leading' is accomplished is by being sure that the vowel sound starts as written. If there is a consonant preceeding the vowel, its put 'before the beat'.

Rock on.

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I would love to hear yours ronws :)

And I still find all I did to be quite bad, but I'm going to apply what I said to Nik, and trust you on this. I'll think about your point on leading the music. I tried to be a bit ahead on some takes, but found myself waiting for the beat more often that not. I'm just not comfortable with this, it feels a bit awkward. And I'm not german, though I did study it a bit at school.

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Thanks, Steve, for clarifying that.

Anyway, Ronron, here you go. I sing with the mic around two feet away for most of it. This does result in tonal differences, as well as the limits of my cheapie mic as far as how much volume and high frequency it can handle. This version was all about breath support. Not too much air pressue, just enough to hold the note, which allows better control on resonance, etc. That is, I am not shouting or screaming at any time in this song. I sang some lyrics a little differently to shade the vowels differently and get what I think was a better connected vocal legato. As Bob and I talked about, this song is mostly about twang. I don't twang as much as Rose might. On this mic, a supertwang would sound really nasal. But I have been using this twang so long that much of this song felt like "chest" voice, too. The highest notes felt kind of like head notes. And I say that to hopefully help myself and others understand that what it sounds like is not always what you think it is, even for yourself. Some others have heard me and thought I go into head voice "too early." They might think that of this song, though most of it, except the highest notes, felt like chest.

So, where does the discrepancy lie? In the mic, partially. It's ability to handle or inability to handle certain ranges and volumes. The post-recording mixing of different effects such as eq, compression, bass boost. Most of eq's are pre-set in Audacity. So, different songs may require different eq's.

It's the same effect that you have going. Where you have sang with more volume but you still have what is like a light and airy sound when you might really by singing with fully engaged vocal folds and great air support, the mic you are using and whatever mixing effect happens when you record gives that sound, which may or may not be truly indicative of how you sound live and in person.

Anyway, here it is, only as a comparison of how two people approach a song from their own perspectives.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8750209/scom3.mp3

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In classical singing, the way this 'leading' is accomplished is by being sure that the vowel sound starts as written. If there is a consonant preceeding the vowel, its put 'before the beat'.

Interesting. :/

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Thank you very much, ronws. Although hearing you only highlights my shortcomings even more x)

You've got so much strength up there. It also strikes me how you, and actually most singers I can think of, can not sound too high this high. I always feel like I sound so very very high compared to them, singing the exact same pitch. It's got to be one of my major frustrations at the moment (with my inability to hit the highest notes of Scom, but this one won't stay too long I hope).

Interesting.

Indeed. Seems like a different mindframe is in order. I'll give it a try. Thanks Steven, even if you weren't answering my question ;)

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