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jonpall
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I was wondering, guys ... sometimes I'm singing in my mixed voice/curbing, at or a bit above the passagio and I'm using a NON-raspy tone and then suddenly I want to colour one scentence with rasp - sometimes I find that the only way I can add the rasp is to simply increase the volume until I get EXTREMELY loud all of a sudden, out of mixed voice and basically just doing a primal scream in chest voice.

Do you guys know what I could be doing wrong when this happens?

(...I might add more detail to the question later but I want to keep the question simple for now)

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Does anyone know if having a cold or a bad case of allergies/hay fever/running nose affects one's abilities to control the false folds?

I have cat allergies/hay fever and when I have a bad case of it, I can't breathe through my nostril(s) and there's mucus in my nose and throat. Usually I can get rid of it if I want with a particular spray, though.

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No one knows anything about this?

Anyway, I had to re-learn recently that if you want to add distortion to your high notes, probably THE most important thing to do is to relax your throat as much as HUMANLY possible so that your underlying CLEAN tone is as easily produced as possible. If you struggle with your high clean tones, the slight extra effort your need to add rasp on top of that will be too much.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's the question again:

I was wondering, guys ... sometimes I'm singing in my mixed voice/curbing, at or a bit above the passagio and I'm using a NON-raspy tone and then suddenly I want to colour one scentence with rasp - sometimes I find that the only way I can add the rasp is to simply increase the volume until I get EXTREMELY loud all of a sudden, out of mixed voice and basically just doing a primal scream in chest voice.

Do you guys know what I could be doing wrong when this happens?

(...I might add more detail to the question later but I want to keep the question simple for now)

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Perhaps you are trying to get louder rather than pulling back? Also, when I'm up high distortion is extremely forced. I can do fry, but it is HARD to pop into on a dime 100% correctly (without a little bit of grating the cords.) Whenever I really screw it up I can trace it back to trying to increase the volume and/or pressure rather than pulling back. Just my two cents.

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If the voice was an electric guitar...

Then its all about keeping the volume down a touch on the clean so you dont overload the fuzzbox ;) Focus on the harmonics instead (vocal resonance) to bring the illusion of 'loudness' to the sound.

THE most important thing to do is to relax your throat as much as HUMANLY possible so that your underlying CLEAN tone is as easily produced as possible

Definitely works like this for me but the hard part is keeping the slightly hyped-up twang thing going on when I've gone into distortion without tension building in related muscles (I suspect this happens when the twanger gets a bit whacked). I find that attention to facial muscles is key in keeping the balance between the underlying clean tone and the raspy twang. I've not quite figured out exactly what helps but a wise match between vowel / lips / 'snarling' muscles seems to be the order of the day.

One warning though - if like me you're still on the way to perfecting resonance then this way of rasping can be fairly quiet compared to the shouty chest tones of your local primitive :) So its a mic technique above all else (although I bet it has a lot of high-freq content when perfected so it might carry well).

Whenever I really screw it up I can trace it back to trying to increase the volume and/or pressure rather than pulling back.

Aye thats it for me as well. I also get that 'pullin back' feeling when its working. I swear the tongue can be a bugger sometimes as one mishandled vowel and yer tongue is in a bad place and you cant pull back so you instinctively push a bit more which only makes things worse. I laugh at my mistakes now, this singing lark is far too slippery to be proud about it.

I'm no expert so take that lot with a pinch of salt, but boy is it fun when I get the balance right ... a sort of wet / gurgly rasp that can slide in and out of clean as ya need. If its healthy and I can finally track it down, I'm a hunting it and puttin it on my wall :)

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Hi. I am in a mood of writing... So jonpall, about the effect you want to do, I didn't understand really what is it that you mean. maybe some example will help. about you allergies - so yes! When you have a cold or those sort of things your resonance spaces are becoming altered. They are not empty anymore, so your whole vibration box is much different than the normal situation. Of course if you are not experienced singer (and use good technique) all you normal vocal possibilities will change . By the way I won't recommend you to sing when you are in that situation. You may hurt your vocal chords.. I have a good friend who had regularly those allergies. He started a rough therapy with injections every beginning of a month and after sometimes those sensibilities should pass. He said it worked for him....

SARIT ALONI

www.onlinevoicestudio.com

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jonpall - I understand exactly what you mean, but I'm not good enough myself when it comes to grit to help you out. Since I lost my voice in december due to a cold I haven't really dared to start up grit practice again. For me it's still sort of all or nothing with the grit, and I find it much easier to grit in rock falsetto than in chest/overdrive.

One idea though - instead of adding "regular" distorsion, maybe you could try creak distorsion? At the moment, that's the only distorsion type I can sort of "sneak" into from a non gritty tone, and gradually increase. Here's an example:

http://speedy.sh/M6GpV/Creaking-example.mp3

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Cool type of rasp, Marcus. Can you do that effect just at will, whenever you want on your high notes? I don't seem to be able to do that. Often, but not always. Sometimes when I try a similar effect, I just get louder, no rasp comes out - until I get so loud that the sound distorts out of sheer volume and then I'm pulling chest like crazy and straining.

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Since few people seem to know the answer to my question, I'm gonna take a stab at it myself. I've found that high rasp is easier when I'm focusing a lot on twang, which shouldn't surprise many of you, but to be more precise, it's easier when I try to focus my tone ONLY on the "spot" in my throat that produces twang. I can focus my tone on that spot AND also a bit on an area around it, which seems to give an ever so slightly more breathy sound to it and it feels more "open", but this openness seems to make it harder to do rasp (on high notes), than if I try to make my sound come from a very, very tiny spot. Tiny spot, folks. What do you think about this tiny spot? :)

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Since few people seem to know the answer to my question, I'm gonna take a stab at it myself. I've found that high rasp is easier when I'm focusing a lot on twang, which shouldn't surprise many of you, but to be more precise, it's easier when I try to focus my tone ONLY on the "spot" in my throat that produces twang. I can focus my tone on that spot AND also a bit on an area around it, which seems to give an ever so slightly more breathy sound to it and it feels more "open", but this openness seems to make it harder to do rasp (on high notes), than if I try to make my sound come from a very, very tiny spot. Tiny spot, folks. What do you think about this tiny spot? :)

That has become my understanding, as well, with the overlay distortion from Pillars 2.0. The twang config provides just enough proximity in the upper end of "funnel" to allow some rattly vibration of the uvula, even as it is retracted to achieve head resonance. Yes, the note is in a tiny spot, tiny enough that a slight vibration in that tissue can affect the sound. While leaving the lower part of the throat free and clear.

Granted, my rattle and/or distortion may not sound as thick as yours but then, again, I am not going for the same level or types of distortion that you may be seeking.

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Thanks Jonpall, and no I can't always do that type of distorsion whenever I want. Sometimes I have to stop singing, and sort of feel my way into that correct placement and do a retake on it. But it's coming along easier now than before I think :) And that is what I think of as creak distorsion, wich to me feels like a more "soft" type of distorsion. I cannot really bring this down into chest though, then it becomes more like a vocal fry onset instead.

When it comes to other types of distorsion (false folds/overtwanging), it's more hit or miss for me. And I have to do it full out. Can't sneak into it or use just a little. This is something I really want to learn much better, and I will try to put in some in daily practice routines now that my voice is back on track after that evil christmas cold! But sometimes I hit that sweetspot and feel like I can go for hours, and sometimes I fail miserably with the placement, dropping it too far back or what to call it, and choke on the note instead. I have to keep the volume pretty loud, or get pretty loud when distorting, just as you describe. (But one thing comes to my mind concerning loudness - and it is that since distorsion takes a lot of twang, this can maybe be part of what is increasing volume as well!)

Also I definately feel it's easier to grit on high notes, rock falsetto being easiest, getting harder for me in my mix and I can't really do it healthy in chest/overdrive at the moment. A tiny spot indeed :P

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JP, (covering - hopefully - the getting louder / primal)

Have you a pre-amp or access to a desk that will give you the DB level?

Give a nice clear tone "ee" or "oo" c4-c5 or maybe a e4-e5 if you are up for it. Watch the lights / Needle.

Do you find, level shows a nice -6 or something until that darn pesky A4, when it's -3 or zero, then hitting the B(4), it's 0db, C(5) +3, D5 +6 .. etc you get the picture.

Have a look, as it's common for the dynamics to get quite loud. I commented a while ago on the mic thread about the singers pre-amp that was clipping due to dynamics. If you do see (but not hear) then you may not be aware of the dynamic change from p through mf to f. So look at the Meter and let it tell you. (I see this often, and thus control it by having the compressor on insert).

Then reign in the volume dymnamically and add effect to it as require. Likely you'll stop being primal, but you "may" find that you don't have the depth of tone required (i.e. boomy ... more neutral.), then have a look over Mr Frasers Harmonics post for that post that explains, tongue, mouth opening, lips .. etc and have a play.

Anyone doing head voice slides from say G5, F5, E5, D5, C5, may find that it's quite piercing the sound initially on the G (and down).

Stewart

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jonpall - I know what you mean - rasp seems more difficult in the range of E4 to E5. Lately, for me, it has become easier in the range of E4 to C5. I use Tamplin's suggestion of "leaning into the note". It is not a scientific explanation, but it seems to work for me. I'm not sure if it is false fold distortion or a scream produced by CVT creaking. Above C5 it seems to be much easier to use creaking which is kind of a screamy sound.

But jonpall - your rendition of zepplin has a lot of rasp up high, and you have great control over it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One thing that seems to be helping with this is to be concious of keeping a very broad tongue and the tip of your tongue against your bottom front teeth - especially during long sustained notes, because after sustaining a high, raspy note for a couple of seconds I found out by looking into a mirror that my tongue wants to pull back into my throat. That probably causes me to tire more quickly. Also, keeping a broad tongue is supposed to lighten your sound colour and make twang easier. What do you guys think?

*Update*:

I think that when this happens to me (i.e. I'm trying to put rasp on high notes and I can't do it without adding WAY too much vocal weight) - I'm not using enough twang. A relaxed throat, broad tongue and allowing the tone to be loud (even "full-metallic", i.e. overdrive and edge) seems to be very important.

...OR, I'm not closing my throat (or the back of my throat) enough. I need increased energy for the rasp, but I must also close the throat a bit.

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