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How to get an "evil" sound?

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Estef
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Hi everyone, so here's the deal. My passion is metal and hard rock but I feel my voice is too "soft" for those genres. I made a clip of The Evil that Men Do by Iron Maiden (actually I'm trying to cover Floor Jansen covering Maiden) and I would like to hear any suggestions you might have to make my voice more "evil" hahaha... I hope you see what I mean... I know there are female metal singers with girly voices, but that's not what I want to achieve!

P.S.: sorry the places where I go out of tune, it was my first try and I just came back from work after 5 hours on the phone...

Hahah almost forgot to add the link!!!!!!!!

http://www.box.net/shared/qteornvj2z

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My suggestion would be to experiment with distortion of the false folds. On a high note, you twang to the max but with a relaxed throat and a relatively high larynx (but IMO with a resonant vowel such as the curbing ones) and then you gradually lower your soft palate until you hear distortion.

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I am the evil one. For I dare to say that your voice is perfect, as it is. I would beg of you not to change it, if begging does any good.

I liked your version of the song. And if that is your "shabby" version after a day of working on the phone, you must be astounding when rested and energized.

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Very valid, ronws. However, blackstar's goals are also very valid. And, from what I understand, in recent history of vocal teaching and understanding, it's become clear that people CAN be taught to produce all sorts of sounds in a healthy way. Many, many men and women have managed to do that with the help from modern vocal instructors, most of which have been mentioned on this forum many times - so blackstar certainly could, just like anyone. But if you don't get the proper help, such as a vocal coach that knows how to teach this, or the right instructional, it's unlikely to happen, unless you stumble upon these sounds as a child, IMO. Or do play-singing a lot like a child or a stand up comedian would, perhaps. Ron, doing grit is taught in Raise your voice, which I believe you have. That's false fold distortion and that book was one of the keys for me to unlock the mysteries of the high screams. Btw. it took me a LONG time to get close to being happy with how I do it, like I am now. And it's very important to do it only for 5 minutes at a time to start with because no one does these sounds perfectly to begin with - which WILL make your throat hurt. But after a while, you start to be able to do it correctly and then it does NOT hurt - even though it does take (slightly) more effort to do.

blackstar, could you record an example of you trying out distortion in the way I described above?

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I'm also going to be honest. Blackstar, if you use that type of clean, non-agressive sound for that song - unless you totally change the arrangement and make it into something not heavy metal, you're not going to connect to the majority of the audience, at least not in the same way you would with more agression. This is an agressive song, right? So sing it angry, like you mean it.

And btw. you could actually sing it sounding angrily WITHOUT being raspy and it would be better than what you ARE doing - but still - without at least slight rasp it's like 99% there but not quite :) . There is a reason why many people like raspy singing. It connects to something primal within them, especially people who have some troubles and some anger sometimes in their lives (99% of people). I'm a fan of both clean and dirty vocals but I think the song, lyrics and the instruments behind the voice kind of dictate what kind of singing sounds best for that particular song.

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Hi everyone, so here's the deal. My passion is metal and hard rock but I feel my voice is too "soft" for those genres. I made a clip of The Evil that Men Do by Iron Maiden (actually I'm trying to cover Floor Jansen covering Maiden) and I would like to hear any suggestions you might have to make my voice more "evil" hahaha... I hope you see what I mean... I know there are female metal singers with girly voices, but that's not what I want to achieve!

P.S.: sorry the places where I go out of tune, it was my first try and I just came back from work after 5 hours on the phone...

Hahah almost forgot to add the link!!!!!!!!

http://www.box.net/shared/qteornvj2z

hi blackstar, if you want, i posted a rumbling kind of example on the "is this safe to do" post....is that something similar to what you want?

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I am the evil one. For I dare to say that your voice is perfect, as it is. I would beg of you not to change it, if begging does any good.

I liked your version of the song. And if that is your "shabby" version after a day of working on the phone, you must be astounding when rested and energized.

Thanks so much! I'll have to agree with jonpall though, that's not the sound I'm happy with... I'm naturally a very aggressive (not always in the good sense of the word) person and do have anger issues, but somehow I can't translate that to my singing, I've always felt my voice is too girlish for my taste... I guess it's because I was always very ashamed of practicing singing in front of my family because my brother would mock me and I actually had to move in with my boyfriend to feel "free" to practice... So I guess that's why I feel my voice can't do what I want it to do, it's so frustrating!!!

Jonpall, I am re-reading the distortion part on CVT but when I practice it, my throat hurts and it makes me gag... Is that weird or what? Anyways I haven't really focused on effects yet because I've wanted to have a more solid technique first... Let me try to post something over the weekend, when I have more time to practice... I will take your suggestion of doing no more than 5 min., cause that's what I did and even when I was trying to make only the noise without adding any note to it yet, it felt uncomfortable...

Bob, let me go through that post to see if that's what I'm looking for...

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Nothing should hurt when you practice effects. Try a different approach. My first guess would be that you need to relax the throat while twanging more. Can't suggest anything more though, that sort of stuff is very new and elusive to me.

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Blackstar - have you tried some of the distortion excersizes in the CVT book by listening to the examples? There's one that is like your gagging or being choked. This is a good one in that it doesn't use your real voice at all, so there no chance in hurting the folds. Once you get that sensation and can sustain this sound you can try addiing some of your real voice into it. It's a safe approach. I think your voice is great as it is - and if you can get some of distortion into your style it would really be cool. You might try adding some overdrive too.

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I can't sing and record mostly punk rock, but I'll add my input anyway just because I can. Muahahahaha. Anyway... the most aggressive distortion I can get without hurting my voice, think Rancid and RKL, is by singing like I'm squeezing out the biggest turd of my life. Twanging adds to it, of course. Then it's a matter of mixing in that sound with my singing voice (or vice versa). I find that to get screeching sounds I have to get quiet. Not so much get quiet as I can't do them loudly without starting to grind my vocal cords. And for all of this the sensation is in the very top of my throat, especially when doing all out screaming/screeching. Just my two cents.

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Blackstar - have you tried some of the distortion excersizes in the CVT book by listening to the examples? There's one that is like your gagging or being choked. This is a good one in that it doesn't use your real voice at all, so there no chance in hurting the folds. Once you get that sensation and can sustain this sound you can try addiing some of your real voice into it. It's a safe approach. I think your voice is great as it is - and if you can get some of distortion into your style it would really be cool. You might try adding some overdrive too.

HI guitartrek, actually that's exactly what I've been doing. I do own the CVT book and I've been trying to make the "noise" without any note underneath but that's what makes me gag... And it does feel like it constricts my voice. I guess I'm not doing it right...

I can't sing and record mostly punk rock, but I'll add my input anyway just because I can. Muahahahaha. Anyway... the most aggressive distortion I can get without hurting my voice, think Rancid and RKL, is by singing like I'm squeezing out the biggest turd of my life. Twanging adds to it, of course. Then it's a matter of mixing in that sound with my singing voice (or vice versa). I find that to get screeching sounds I have to get quiet. Not so much get quiet as I can't do them loudly without starting to grind my vocal cords. And for all of this the sensation is in the very top of my throat, especially when doing all out screaming/screeching. Just my two cents.

Mmmm going quiet seems to be helping... I think I'm gonna work more on this, never thought about it but it is helping thanks!!!

Its hard to beat an inhale ESD (extreme scream distortion), demonstrated on my video training system. Its an inhale, over fry, the an aggressive pull with splatty formant... actually, very easy to learn how to do... you just need someone to show you how.

Hi Robert, I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but how much are Skype lessons with you? Is it possible for you to work with me if I haven't read Pillars or used your program yet?

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Yeah, I get it, Black Star, you're young, angry, stressed, the world needs an ass-kicking and your just the one to deliver that. Even your avatar has a goth look. And yet, you are "cursed" with the voice of an angel. Just remember the angel as played by Christopher Walken. He doesn't have a particularly low voice, for man. And look at the evil that can drip from his words. In fact, the trick to impersonating Walken, other than adopting a new yorker accent is to speak a little lighter than one would expect and cease phonation before a consonant, but I digress.

Juxtapose that with you being a vegan. And you get yourself seen by the doctor or dentist for ailments. You are political and wear that on your sleeve. Or backside, in the way of a t-shirt, I imagine. You cross to bear is that you care too much about the world. And I don't think you will lose that. Chrissy Hinde is still passionate about her causes, too, and she's my age.

Learn what you can about distortion. But remember that what is often memorable is contrast of good and evil, light and dark. You could be the sound of death metal as sung by an angel. Or, you come out looking like death on earth and out exudes this modern aria.

I would listen to Robert about the inhale screamo. I know of band of guys my age that figured out how to do that and made some good money with it. If I were you, I would use that as accent, rather than the main sound.

Again, I like your voice the way it is. Then again, my favorite voice in the whole wide world is Sarah Brightman and I think you have a similar voice type.

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I think that this forum should mostly about singers getting together and sharing some ideas in order to help each other become better singers. NOT only patting each other on the back and saying that they like everything that they hear. Just because some people want to have a clean sound doesn't mean that others can't pursue rasp and distortion.

On the topic of inhale scream, I'd say that in the right context it can be a very cool effect but I don't think it's a good idea to use inhale screams as your main rasp technique. I can't think of a single singer who does that and it's probably for a reason. Screams or raspy singing when you're actually exhaling/singing are much more valuable to learn. Inhale screaming is more like a nice trick.

Blackstar, I think that the CVT book has a great anatomy section on distortion and growl, rattle, etc. but personally I think they could have done a better job teaching how to do it and give better excercises. It didn't click with me until I combined the info in the book with Jamie Vendera's "Raise your voice" book. What probably confused me was that in the low range distortion sounded/sounds too silly (to me) or like someone pretending too much to be evil - or just basically too twangy (for my taste). But for high notes they sound awesome. Probably because high notes HAVE to be more twangy than low notes (less apparant in opera than in modern music). However, guys like Ronnie James Dio could do false fold distortion on low notes and make them sound cool, but he also used a fairly dark sound colour, which is harder to do, and low distorted notes are also probably better in heavy metal than hard rock. For any style of music lighter than extreme heavy metal, I think that creaking personally sounds better on low notes, so I'm usually doing creaking on low notes and distortion on high ones. Or just clean sound all the way :)

You could also do distortion/creaking/rasp/rattle/etc. another way - forget about HOW it's done and what it's called, and just "think evil" while you sing. You see, our emotions usually change the sound of our voice. Surely you can talk like an evil person? Try singing like one and just remember that the key point is that you have to keep your throat as relaxed as you can at the same time. That's the difference between hurting when you do this and not. It's also a matter of hours upon hours of experimentation. Sometimes it's just not possible without seeing a vocal coach that knows how to do this.

What will be even more helpful for you is if you record a clip of yourself attemping distortion - and failing :) Then we could try to tell you what you did wrong. You'll be glad you did.

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You could also do distortion/creaking/rasp/rattle/etc. another way - forget about HOW it's done and what it's called, and just "think evil" while you sing. You see, our emotions usually change the sound of our voice. Surely you can talk like an evil person? Try singing like one and just remember that the key point is that you have to keep your throat as relaxed as you can at the same time.

Wisdom of the ages. How does the song make you feel? How do you feel about the subject matter? Let that come through, soprano or not.

A goal you might work toward is listening to the work of Pat Benetar. She is a bona fide trained opera singer who crossed over into rock. And puts a nice rasp in her voice, mainly by relaxing the compression of the folds. It's a subtle effect.

No, really. Learn from a woman who moved from opera to what was really hard rock though she received wide radio play. And has even been covered by country star Martina McBride.

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys, I am going to record a clip probably by the end of the week when my boyfriend's done studying for an important exam. Until then, I can only use the internet at work and I don't have any recording device other than the PC...

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys, I am going to record a clip probably by the end of the week when my boyfriend's done studying for an important exam. Until then, I can only use the internet at work and I don't have any recording device other than the PC...

Cool. While you're waiting, also listen to the singing of Anne Wilson (Heart.) She uses a subtle rasp. Get the feel of the sound.

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