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DrD

Beyonce's Vocal Technique

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1 hour ago, Jeremy Mohler said:

You calling me white boy?!?! LOL 

We're both challenged my friend. My speaking voice is more like this:

And then it would hit G4# and started straining. If black people never sang, I'd never have rock n roll, blues, soul, jazz, or a bridge. :blush: 

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I can explain the various body motions she has quite easily but it will hurt ya'll's feelings.

It's called lip-synch. What happens is at a large stage production, they are playing pre-recorded material that includes vocals and she is moving her lips to appear as if she was actually singing when she was not. And they don't have her synch all the songs, just the ones with a lot of choreography. In that style of music, it happens all the time, and not just to this genre. And they do use it at her live shows and only the  FOH for that show could tell me otherwise.

In music videos, she is lip synching. Best case, she is singing the song during filming but they are not recording that, they just have her singing the song so that the synchronization looks real. She doesn't really have a band somewhere in the middle of Compton, Ca or Red Bank, New Jersey, or the Bronx, New York City, and they just always sound like they are in a studio in Capitol Records.

But she really does sing and that is her on the records. She only milli vanilli's it when necessary. Even milli vanilli could sing, they were just following the instruction of their soi-disant manager, who took their money and ran.

And oddly enough, and I don't know how to make video producers change their mind unless you guys want to give it a go. The physical motions of the dancing or even the action in video is to relate a story rather than proper noble chest technique for opera singing. I know, it's a tragedy but maybe one that you guys can do something about to help avoid the tens of people watching her vids who might think that is the way to sing,

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11 hours ago, DrD said:

Classical? Her breathing is anything but classical but I do feel everything else about her singing is quite well. Her transitions from and through different registers is always perfectly done. 

Well but that´s the training she received indeed!

When going for the extremes of tessitura and loudness, even the neck will be part of the coordination, which is consistent to what I saw her doing (she uses a lot of belted notes).

Observe how she sings as if it was easy as breathing, that´s what correct support should be like! The execution does not need to look like you are doing a breathing exercise... Powerful, natural and totally under control, what else is there to it?

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@ronws

If this is lip-syncing

 

 

Her team is a few centuries ahead in know-how of what most holywood productions can pull currently.

Edit: There are lot of pop artists that do lip-sync their live stuff, but most of the stuff Ive heard from her live was done properly, and with a really incredibly competent band behind her. Definitely a show I would like to check if I have the opportunity despite the style not being my thing!

 

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42 minutes ago, Felipe Carvalho said:

@ronws

If this is lip-syncing

 

 

Her team is a few centuries ahead in know-how of what most holywood productions can pull currently.

Edit: There are lot of pop artists that do lip-sync their live stuff, but most of the stuff Ive heard from her live was done properly, and with a really incredibly competent band behind her. Definitely a show I would like to check if I have the opportunity despite the style not being my thing!

 

And you mis-read what I wrote. A singer doesn't necessarily lip-synch through an entire stage show. Nor was she lip-synching in this live shot you have linked. That is not what I said. But the pros use pre-recorded loops all the time.

Even Queen uses a loop for the high part in "Bohemian Rhapsody." Never mind that Adam Lambert will get a note that high closer to the end, it was still a loop to be played.

My point was, sometimes, there is lip-synching. Then, again, if Queen Bee shrugs her shoulders, does that mean that was the mechanism she used to intake a breath before singing? Is it? How do we know that?

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A funny video about all this. I've been investigating but still don't know how all this works.

 

The famous day:

 

My mother asked me one day: "Why are all singers now wearing something in their ears"? And I told her: "It's to hear themselves or they'd be out of tune" :D I don't really know how this works, but we sure want them to sound good...

Is somebody understanding it all? It seems she was listening to a recording but singing herself, right? She said she couldn't even rehearse with the band.

 

 

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9 hours ago, ronws said:

I can explain the various body motions she has quite easily but it will hurt ya'll's feelings.

It's called lip-synch. What happens is at a large stage production, they are playing pre-recorded material that includes vocals and she is moving her lips to appear as if she was actually singing when she was not. And they don't have her synch all the songs, just the ones with a lot of choreography. In that style of music, it happens all the time, and not just to this genre. And they do use it at her live shows and only the  FOH for that show could tell me otherwise.

In music videos, she is lip synching. Best case, she is singing the song during filming but they are not recording that, they just have her singing the song so that the synchronization looks real. She doesn't really have a band somewhere in the middle of Compton, Ca or Red Bank, New Jersey, or the Bronx, New York City, and they just always sound like they are in a studio in Capitol Records.

But she really does sing and that is her on the records. She only milli vanilli's it when necessary. Even milli vanilli could sing, they were just following the instruction of their soi-disant manager, who took their money and ran.

And oddly enough, and I don't know how to make video producers change their mind unless you guys want to give it a go. The physical motions of the dancing or even the action in video is to relate a story rather than proper noble chest technique for opera singing. I know, it's a tragedy but maybe one that you guys can do something about to help avoid the tens of people watching her vids who might think that is the way to sing,

I completely agree! She lip syncs all the time but people just don't want to see it. When I first found out she was doing it I, as well, didn't want to believe it. It was important for me to note she's just human like the rest of us. But the chest displacement I was referring to is noticeable in ballads as well, specifically Halo. I don't think she ever lips ballads unless it's Love On Top, which is more mid tempo but you get the idea. 

 

52 minutes ago, YouCanSingAnything said:

eh i dont hate too much on lip syncin so far as the singer is talented. maybe i give too much credit. If you gotta do interviews, radio shows, sing every night, dance, and then hop on a flight to do it again the next day while being expected to deliver flawless studio quality vocals... eh. It's tough! Sometimes it's safer to lip sync a few notes or songs to help avoid injury. Cause then if a singer does have an injury its all over the news ;p. If they flub an important high note the press is all over it! Can't win!

But yee just watching someone during a live miced set.. you never know.

@ronws did you just call her Queen Bee...... lolol

I completely agree. It's one thing to lip sync EVERY time you perform  and a completely different thing to lip sync here and there to maintain vocal health. 

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1 hour ago, YouCanSingAnything said:



@ronws did you just call her Queen Bee...... lolol

Thanks but I didn't make that up. Others in the world call her that. I was just using a popular name for her.

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I'm pretty sure nearly all of the pop diva dancers at minimum have a backing track turned up during the most intensive dancing sections. Some of them are actually singing but have the mic muted/turned down more so. But in live televised performances lip syncing goes way back. Soul train was almost all lip synced for example.  

These days many performers are using live pitch correction as well. Beyonce is among the least guilty among the current crop in a live setting from what I'm aware of, but I'd imagine any of those body flinging moments where there is no audible change in airflow, there is some trickery going on. The body doesn't work that way, but when selling a celebrity superstar perfection is the name of the game. Photoshop the image, load up the makeup, plastic surgery if the performer's body is out of proportion, correct the pitch digitally, make the person seem superhuman. Even Kim Kardashian released a single these days. Production is a science. 

But Beyonce can sing live well. She can and that's all there is to it. It's more of a packaging thing. I'd rather hear the real thing, no matter how unconventional or unattractive it was. I'd rather hear huffing, puffing, running out of breath, grunting, straining, sweating. blood, sweat, and tears from a dancer/singer while they gyrate and throw their body to and fro. But that's not how the mainstream commercial music industry works. A product is being sold, not reality. Products undergo heavy 'production' to become larger than life fantasies. It doesn't mean the person can't sing in real life, but that real life product isn't the one being sold.

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And I don't particularly think a singer should rely on tuning software or synching to playback but sometimes, it is what is necessary for the show. It's easy for us to say that one should never lip synch while we are sitting in our chairs in front of our computers in whatever room, not ever having to get up in front of 5 to 10,000 fans while fighting a cold and having to make too many visits to the restroom. Being on tour is a job, it is real work.

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Boy,

2 observations:  That music through the years video missed come key people.

Beyonce - Yes she's an excellent singer, but boy does she go overboard on the trills and runs...i.m.h.o.

Instead of delivering the message or meaning in the song, she distracts you with those crazy runs.  I'd much rather listen to someone like Lara Fabian where you are transfixed by the beauty of her tone, emotion, and intensity and not all these vocal tricks.

This performance still give me an emotional reaction..Yes, the big guy gets all chocked up when I hear this.

3:15 to 3:29

 

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That song Lara Fabian is singing is beautiful, and she sings it very well, yes. Take her to the Females thread! :D I have seen her name but don't really know her...I thought she was a pop singer.

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She got known by this hit in the USA. I have a theory about why she didn't do well in the US.  I think her voice is so close to Celine Dion's that there was only room for one, and the record compnies saw a potential conflict.  Just my own feeling on this.

 

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Autotune destroys the natural harmonics and vibrato in the human voice. For people who talk about formants so much, it's interesting to me it's so hard for people to hear the alteration.  

Melodyne is more natural (can sound somewhat natural octaves away by digitally altering the formants, you can sing something a single time and make endless harmonies with it):

Another thing, notice the 'speech like quality' of the vocals regardless of where the pitch is moved digitally. Hmmmm.... Coincides a bit to your idea that singers today are closer to speech than ever before, eh? ;) 

There is an enormous difference between a human voice doing multiple takes with human vibrato, human formants, and human pitching, compared to a a computer simulating those qualities. If people like digital tuning, go for it. But to say there's no difference between a human voice doing something twice and a computer blatantly altering pitch, formants, and vibrato that was 'once' made by a human voice doesn't seem like much thought was put into that issue. 

It's very different. In my view, it is objectively different for a voice to produce a sound inherently and a computer to make these alterations. And it is a magic button. If you can move a pitch an octave up or down without losing the 'speech like quality' of course you can move it a semi tone here or there from someone with tuning problems.

For me there is this gross, disingenuous sound to most of the pitch corrected music I hear. The only exception I can think of off hand is this:

That sounds like a passion project to me, free from deceit and filled with respect and love, meant to strengthen a message and not bury the truth of it or hide it.

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All voices have vibrato. Even your speaking voice. Just because it's not exaggerated doesn't mean it's not there. Use an objective pitch program get a straight line. I've never succeeded, this is free: http://miracle.otago.ac.nz/tartini/

Only possible with autotune. It tampers with the voice's natural phonation which is irregular and out of tune (the laryngeal mechanism and acoustic mechanisms cannot support mathematical perfection). Microphones simply record what is there to the best of their ability based upon location, including the irregularities.  Mixing generally involves a cut in a part of a spectrum, so the relative expressive changes remain in vowel structure are not consistently altered on a per vowel basis.  

Opera sounds more like it comes a cultural tradition than from a more innate part of an individual's expression, that's why it's not really for me. If you erased the culture, most singing would probably sound more like grunting, moaning, sighing, screaming, shouting, wailing, hooting, and hollering among other emotional sounds. Opera sounds detached from the primal and attuned to the culture. Lots of unusual vowels and very little resembling an ape like sound at all. It sounds more like a generic ruleset to use for 'singing' rather than a human being emoting.

Beyonce honestly sounds way better when trying to present a live sound (can hear a few alterations, like delay, so not sure the extent of the tampering, nor the amount of lip syncing). But I can hear scooping, flat notes, relatively sloppy runs by her standards, hoarseness, shouting, some pressing on the folds, screaming, nasal harsh/snotty tones, etc. Not very 'talky' at all and much less clear than the album. Way more primal. Auto tune limits the communication of primal sounds like that because it alters the signal of the primal sound directly and continuously. Turn it up on the max setting and people sound like robots. It's equally obvious that mild use makes people sound more mildly like robots and to me that's just disingenuous. It can ruin a good performance for me in fact. There's no setting I can put my EQ slider to make someone sound like a robot, because the relative changes made by the original human being are still there in the signal are still there regardless of how much of the spectrum of these changes is being represented. .

For my tastes pitch correction sucks except when the goal is explicitly to sound more robotic/less human in a transparent and honest way. Primates aren't robots. When I want to hear a primate being honest, I want to hear a primate being honest. If I want to hear a primate being presented as a robot, I want to hear that. If I'm listening to a primate trying to deceive me with 'fake perfection' then all meaning and sincerity is lost.

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  • music : a way of making small, rapid changes in a musical note that you are singing or playing so that it seems to shake slightly

Vibrato is a note that is shaking slightly. I first learned it on guitar. It can be infinitely small or very wide. Enormous size has nothing to do with it. If enormous vibrato is the only kind you listen to then we don't share tastes. I listen to every bit of vibrato the smallest amount and appreciate the distinctiveness of every voice on the planet having a unique vibrato. Getting rid their vocal identity is like erasing people's faces cause they 'aren't pretty enough.' 

As for all of my favorite music using some kind of auto tune like thing, no. Here is possibly my favorite vocal performance of all time: (hint it was one take, they ran out of tracks on the 24 track so he had to give it everything he had)

BBC documentary illustrates the subject:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03g18sx

Sounds more sincere than auto tune. So there you go. Favorite vocal performance = one take. Damned near all of modern pop music I disliked before I even knew what auto tune was. It sounded fake and robotic. I didn't always know why, but once I started experimenting with pitch correction and music in general I could see why I disliked it. It's painfully obvious to me when I pay attention to the kind of emotionally charged pitches/timbres that move me in singing and contrast them with things that leave me cold or annoyed. I really dislike it. It's not for me at all. It may be a myth for you, but definitely not me.

And I'd honestly rather listen to this than any auto tuned pop record I know of.  

Sounds more sincere and honest. "I'm a robot automaton singing with a robot girl voice!' Now that's a sincere statement I can get behind more so than "listen to how perfect my voice sounds. Isn't it just amazing? Can't you feel my sincere human voice? Can't you relate to my humanity and individuality? Buy my album, I promise I'm being sincere.' Nope.

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For people who have difficulty understanding why the sound is unappealing. Every single person has a unique vibration pattern when air passes through their vocal tract. It is completely distinct and completely human. When people create sincere sounds, it is actually their body creating these sounds. So when one person is crying, you hear an actual person's body physically crying.

For me the reality of the singer's vocal identity, the distinct nature and the way their voice emotes is the most beautiful part of singing.

For someone to step in and say, 'the reality of this person's voice is not beautiful enough to be heard, we must digitally alter the sound wave to remove the distinctive vowels/formants, vibrato/pitch, and timbre to meet contemporary society's beauty standards.' That horrifies me. This is what happens to the voice:

Just like faces are mangled every day to sell products, the identify of the singer's voice (right down to the vibratory patterns occurring at the fold level) are mangled into a robotic ideal. It's determined to be 'more beautiful' by the pitch correction software or record company executives to sell records and that kind of 'beauty' in singing repulses me.

I'd much rather listen to an unconventionally attractive but sincere voice than one of these synthetic abominations. I'd rather see a real person on a magazine cover than a synthetic idea of what that person should look like. It used to be people offered platitudes about beauty only being skin deep, that what's on the inside matters most. But it seems for most beauty isn't even skin deep anymore. Beauty isn't even human. Beauty is as deep as a computer can simulate. Even natural human bodies and voices aren't acceptably beautiful anymore.

I may be old fashioned, but at least in the arts and especially singing, I can experience genuine beauty. Inner beauty, deeper than the skin. The kind of thing that platitudes would refer to. I can hear psychology, emotional states, and the individuality of someone's body/mind producing a sound that was meaningful for them. I can hear so much beauty in that sound. I find that sound infinitely more valuable than the tampering done with so it can be deemed 'beautiful' by contemporary culture, industry standards, or focus testing.

Art is the last refuge for inner beauty for me. The purest state I can witness. But art has reached an all time low in how high the standard of cosmetic beauty is placed upon artists.

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