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My Band's New EP - NEED AS MUCH HELP AS I CAN GET!!

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jinxnothing
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Hello, my name is Michelle and I sing for a Toronto alternative/rock band called Capital H. I've never had a singing lesson in my life (unless you include highschool choir) and as it is I'm really unhappy with my voice. I'd love to improve on everything! Tone, projection, range, perhaps develop a vibratto (in my dreams!). If you go to http://capitalh.bandcamp.com you can listen to/download our album for FREE (just enter $0.00 where it says to pay). I'd reccomend listening to the songs Fade or Meaningless to use for your critique; the other two don't really represent my voice well. Give me tips for improvement, tear me apart, suggest exercises... anything helps! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING, I really appreciate it!

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first thing i'd suggest is finding a way to notch the volume up in the vocals (maybe some sort of compression) as is it's not quite in the forefront from what i hear. From what i understand vocals are always to be emphasized, no matter how good the instrumental is.

I wouldn't even know what to suggest to you vocal wise though, it sounds great to me. I think the most beneficial thing you could do is invest in a pro vocal trainer. Just someone who can help you in person.

I think something to consider though is that the mix just might not be doing you the proper justice. As listenable as it is.

Wish i could be more a help!

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I agree with bigwon. What does Rich Taylor have against you? ;)

The only track that has a good vocal presence is the title track which features him singing with you. The other ones, all good songs, are mixed with an ear for guitar and drums and the vocals are an afterthought, in danger of being drowned out. Maybe I am too harsh. Don't get me wrong. I'm not at all about vocals squashing everything and I firmly believe in having the vocals in the song, not above it, but, yet, with presence. Perhaps it was just the eq. A little more sauce on the eq at even the same track volume would help, I think. That is, I think your singing was fine. It just the whole song(s) needs a little tweaking in the mix to balance the components better

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Thanks for your responses! I don't know, I really like the way everything is mixed... No need to emphasize the vocals too much when a) they're really nothing special and B) the music IS. And that's probably Sam (the bassist) singing with me... not sure which track you're referring to. Regardless, I personally like the mix and think everything blends well. I appreciate the compliments though, haha. I do think a session with a pro coach would be beneficial... they say that about any instrument, after all. Perhaps part of the issue is the fact that I'm not projecting too well? Does anybody have any tips on projection? Or is that question better suited to the "vocal technique" thread? Either way, thanks so much for the feedback... I'll have to look into setting up a lesson or two. :)

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Thanks for your responses! I don't know, I really like the way everything is mixed... No need to emphasize the vocals too much when a) they're really nothing special and B) the music IS.

Goodness gracious, let me see ...

In a vocalist forum and the "vocals are nothing special"? Now, that's some irony.

Here, the vocals are as important a part of the music as are the other instrument and some guys here spend more time mixing than the actual recording. Yeah, the songs are good. But this is a vocalist forum and we want to hear your vocals. Yeah, I know, that's crazy, right? If you don't think your singing is important, you are doing a great disservice to yourself. Who is it that brought this emotional abuse on you that makes you think your voice should drowned out? As politely as I can manage, I think they are wrong.

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Aww, yeah sorry... sometimes I can be a bit obstinate/ridiculous. I just wish (regardless of the mix) that my vocals were stronger and ... just... better sounding! I guess (hope?) that will come with more practice, and the right kind of practice. Seriously though, thanks for all the support and encouragement. I shall mosey on over to the techniques thread to see if I can glean something useful for band practice tonight!

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I think you sounded really good and you have a great pop/rock type tone. If you want more, then I would check out some vocal DVD's and videos - this is Robert's forum, so you'll want to check his stuff out for sure. If you don't already do this, I would certainly recommend getting a regular warmup / practice regimine in place that you'd go through every day. At least a half hour at a time if not more. Starting with semi-occluded vowels, scales and arpeggios throughout you entire range and then regular vowels. After some time with this you'll be able to "find" more resonance in your voice by tuning in the vowels for optimum power with the least amount of effort.

The CVT book is always a good reference book and is very informative. Especially if you want to learn some effects like distortion and such.

Your band sounds great by the way.

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Thanks very much!

I do have a regular warm-up routine but it's never for more than 5 minutes (arpeggios and scales mostly), so I'll have to be much more comprehensive - I'll start doing the 'every vowel sound in the entire range' warm-up. I must admit I'm a bit confused, however: what do you mean by "find"ing more resonance by "tuning in the vowels"? I *think* I might have an idea of what you mean... do you mean practicing each vowel sound throughout my entire range in order to develop a kind of somatic memory of what a powerful note "feels" like, so I can keep coming back to it? I have that with some vowel sounds (mostly head-voicey oohs and ees though). If that's not at all what you meant, I apologize!

And yes I will check out some videos (have checked out a few already)... any suggestions for any good youtube vids? And I'll have to see where I can find the CVT book, it sounds really informative.

Thanks so much for your response! Glad you like the music.

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I guess you weren't paying attention to me the first time. So, let me try again. Your voice was fine. The only improvements could come from whoever is mixing the recording to get over his/her prejudice against singers and allow the vocals to have a slightly better prominence in the mix of the song. Really, seriously, how can we actually fairly evaluate your vocals when we can hardly hear them, thanks to the mixing strategy of whoever mixed it? Yes, I said that out loud. I used my "outside" voice.

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jinxnothing - What I meant by finding more resonance is this: developing your voice is a matter of optimizing a lot of different aspects of your voice getting more with less. One of the goals is to reduce tension in your larynx by letting your breath do the work underneath you larynx. And then above your larynx, shaping the entire vocal track for optimum resonance. If you spend enough time working with each of the different vowels, and your breath support is correct, you'll probably be able to feel the best way to shape each vowel. If you get the CVT book they talk about the "center" of the mode, basically when the vowels are shaped to the optimum resonance.

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