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Target sound for top note on siren?

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Keith
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I recorded a few sires - the first two are A3 to A4, the third is from B to B in the same area. I am looking for what my target sound should be on the top note. I recorded 3 of them, but only 2 different sounds. The first and last sound a bit twangy, I'm not sure what the one in the middle sounds like.. Can anyone help with this?

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=11290666&q=hi&newref=1

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That's sounding pretty good Keith. All three sound good. Of course in the 2nd one you are going a little lighter as you go high, which is fine. That's usually how you start out connecting chest to head. The 1st and 3rd are more what you want to be able to grow into, but you are already there. Basically you should be able to do both lighter and stronger. Just as long as it isn't strained, I'd say you want to work toward the stronger one - it's the most difficult, but be able to do both.

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With all due respect to Guitartrek, I don't think anybody has the right to be deciding what sound you should pick. Don't think there is only one path with the voice, looking for that elusive "full voice" people keep raving about. There are many things you can do with the voice, many ways to approach high notes. A number of those sounds can be considered "full voice". There are other sounds that aren't, but you might prefer those... perhaps "full voice" isn't the goal you are aiming for. I don't know what your goal is.

It might be difficult, but this is a stylistic decision, it's part of defining who you are as an artist and singer. If there are examples of the sound you're looking for, then we can certainly provide tips to help you get there, but at the end of the day you need to be the one deciding what that sound is.

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With all due respect to Guitartrek, I don't think anybody has the right to be deciding what sound you should pick. Don't think there is only one path with the voice, looking for that elusive "full voice" people keep raving about. There are many things you can do with the voice, many ways to approach high notes. A number of those sounds can be considered "full voice". There are other sounds that aren't, but you might prefer those... perhaps "full voice" isn't the goal you are aiming for. I don't know what your goal is.

It might be difficult, but this is a stylistic decision, it's part of defining who you are as an artist and singer. If there are examples of the sound you're looking for, then we can certainly provide tips to help you get there, but at the end of the day you need to be the one deciding what that sound is.

I'm still working on bridging lol. As far as my "tone" question, I wasn't sure what vocal tract "set up" will get the job done faster. I want to be able to sing the high notes like Roy Khan for one song, and RJD for another. I don't want to be restricted to one "style". So, I tend to sing all sorts of songs that require different tones to accomplish. But, when I am just doing the exercises, I want to do them in the most efficient manner, especially when school is in session - because Law is very time consuming and I don't get a lot of spare time.

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Spektrum - I appreciate your take on this. I am familiar already with Keith and his goals - he's been wanting to get stronger up there in head, and he is making terrific progress. A lot of methods that I know start out with a lighter bridge technique and then you add weight later, after you gain control and coordination. That's how it worked for me and many others. One of the most difficult things in singing is the ability to master both light and heavy (and everything inbetween) up high. You are right - if you only want to sing light or in a particular style, then go for that only and forget the rest. And that's up to the individual.

Keith - as you go higher (like C5), think "smaller". Keep on working in that "small" place and it will definitely open up where you can sing heavier - easier and with more efficiency. It takes days or weeks of daily practice.

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Everyone raises good points. And Geno said something analagous to what I have said several times. A high note is a small note, resonating in a small space. Physiologically, sounds from the vocal folds are actually created in the gelatinous layer at the edges of the folds. What differs is underlying tension from length and/or thickness of the layer at the point or area of vibration. A high note has a short wavelength, which is the distance from peak to peak on the waveform. Any volume increase comes from a greater amplitude, which is the height of the wave from the zero line on the axis of waveform analysis. There is a finite limit to how much initial amplitude one can create at the point of tone generation. It's just like the pre-amp stage for a guitar or vocal mic. There is a limit as to how much amplitude of signal or height of wave that can be produced by the mic itself or the preamp into which it is plugged. Anything past is distorted and in the case of the voice, damage can occur from coupe de glotte that is too harsh for too long a time. Either there will be damage or the body reacts by building a callus, known as a nodule or node.

A far greater amplification happens in resonance. If the resonating chamber is the right size, the initial waveform is added back to itself, creating an amplitude twice as high as the original creating a logarithmic increase in volume. That is, the new apparent volume is more than twice as loud as the original.

Well, a high note is a physically short note, peak to peak, which is not amplitude but wavelength. Therefore, it needs a smaller resonating chamber than a low note that has a longer wavelength. So, rather than thinking in target sound for a top note, I think of target area. Where should I feel a high note? My 44 inch chest is too cavernous to support such a small note. Even the lower pharynx is too large. Someone even told me that he could not imagine how I can sing tenor range because I am 6' 6" (2 m) tall. Well, I am not using all 2 meters of me to resonate.

Where must it go? Right up between the eyeballs. And the highest notes I can manage? They are tickling the top of my skull. And how do I articulate so high? with the lips barely meeting but just enough to give shape or sound that is somewhat like a consonant. It's almost opposite of a ventriloquist, who speaks without moving lips. I sing by moving my lips, but only when necessary. Singing is on the vowel, not the consonant.

The other thing about resonating chambers is that they give you your individual sound. That's part of what makes the difference in voice between, say, Trent Reznor and Chris Cornell. The indivduality can also control, somewhat, someone's top note. It's a physics thing.

Our Mike (Snax) noticed some difference in timbre and resonance after his tonsilectomy. Fortunately, it was for the better and he finds singing more managable than before.

Dr. Fillebrown was a doctor and surgeon who repaired vocal maladies, specializing in cleft palate and deformities of the head cavities, sinus and maxillary. And he often had to re-train his patients how to speak. And his own experience with singing and his medical work solidified what he understood about voice production. And it gets back to that physics thingy.

Anyway, what may feel like a small note to you can be blasting others with sonic onslaught, if the resonation is right.

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i think that it's great to try to make all kinds of great sounds whether loud or soft. the whole goal is to make the transition from the heavy register to the lighter register (terms i use lately to mean chest and head) and back again as seemless and as smooth and controlled as possible so as to seem like one connected voice.

as of late, i am a firm believer (i know i don't have too many people who will agree) that it's the support (appoggio) that really helps to eliminate the break. that and vowel shading per your particular voice.

i'm moving away from the concept of registers lately. i just stopped thinking in terms of registers. i know this also sounds like i'm contradicting myself as well. lol!!!!

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