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Had a richer bass with a cold. This cold is nearly over, and am able to reproduce the richer bass, at times, possibly by relaxing the upper vocal tract so that the entire vocal tract, including chest, can resonate fully. My cold caused this rest-relaxation.

I can willfully relax upper vocal tract above larynx, but in doing so, I also relax most of the vocal tract, resulting in a too-mellow bass. My guess is it's possible to have a strong powerful diaphragm push, and yet relax the vocal tract all above, such that it's a powerful, rich bass. But, I can't figure out how exactly to separate a powerful lower diaphragm push from a relaxed upper vocal tract. Most times, for me, it's either powerful or mellow all throughout the vocal tract. Any ideas?

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That's interesting. What might of happened though is that the cold forced you to stop singing so much, so your vocal muscles were able to catch up on some rest. Sort of like an athlete that usually trains 12 times per week, gets sick then comes back 1 week later even stronger.

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Had a richer bass with a cold. This cold is nearly over, and am able to reproduce the richer bass, at times, possibly by relaxing the upper vocal tract so that the entire vocal tract, including chest, can resonate fully. My cold caused this rest-relaxation.

I can willfully relax upper vocal tract above larynx, but in doing so, I also relax most of the vocal tract, resulting in a too-mellow bass. My guess is it's possible to have a strong powerful diaphragm push, and yet relax the vocal tract all above, such that it's a powerful, rich bass. But, I can't figure out how exactly to separate a powerful lower diaphragm push from a relaxed upper vocal tract. Most times, for me, it's either powerful or mellow all throughout the vocal tract. Any ideas?

please explain what you mean by a strong, powerful diaphragm push? the diaphragm doesn't get pushed, it gets lowered by inhalation. support is the dynamic opposition to the return of the diaphragm.

what notes are we talking about? if you're talking low, bass notes. you can't get them with power, you have to get those with resonance. the vocal folds become thicker and relax more the lower you go. you never want to push notes in the lower ranges. you don't want to "push" anything.

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I've had some time to reflect on this, and can now probably explain this better.

When had cold, my vocal tract relaxed in a way that I naturally had a longer, more open tube path, producing better bass resonance. Additionally, the cold relaxed the entire vocal tract, such that the sound produced is a softer sound.

Upon recovery from the cold, I tried to reproduce the relaxation. Unfortunately, I relaxed the entire vocal tract, and the bass sound became too mellow.

Though the diaphragm can be said to be "returned", I believe that the return can be increased, by 1. lowering it further (filling more air) 2. increasing the speed of outflow 3. even push-supporting the muscles and tissues under the diaphragm to still further increase. If the upper tube is still slightly longer, this should produce a stronger resonating bass.

Bass should be affected by volume and pressure of air moving, thickness of vocal cords, and type and length of open vocal tract.

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I've had some time to reflect on this, and can now probably explain this better.

When had cold, my vocal tract relaxed in a way that I naturally had a longer, more open tube path, producing better bass resonance. Additionally, the cold relaxed the entire vocal tract, such that the sound produced is a softer sound.

Upon recovery from the cold, I tried to reproduce the relaxation. Unfortunately, I relaxed the entire vocal tract, and the bass sound became too mellow.

Though the diaphragm can be said to be "returned", I believe that the return can be increased, by 1. lowering it further (filling more air) 2. increasing the speed of outflow 3. pushing the muscles and tissues under the diaphragm to still further increase. If the upper tube is still slightly longer, this should produce a stronger resonating bass.

Bass should be affected by volume and pressure of air moving, thickness of vocal cords, and type and length of open vocal tract.

that's not always correct.

give us a particualar note(s) you are referring to. you cannot push the voice to produce bass, rather the opposite.

here's where i'm confused....are you talking about bass notes, or bass as in "bass" and "treble?"

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For example of bass (or close to) notes, the "You'll Never Find" first words in Lou Rawls singing.

I think you and I are saying similar actions on the returning of the diaphragm. I changed the wording to "3. even push-supporting the muscles and tissues under the diaphragm to still further increase. " This is accomplished much in part by straightening the lower middle back spine. #1 and 2 are the bulk of the increase in bass though.

This explanation, I believe, also explains the "Ha, Ha, Ha" exercise mentioned above.

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ah, i know the song well.

low notes.

very similar to a song a do "i've had the time of my life." bill medley from the rightious brothers is like that.

the key is vocal resonance. those notes are best done by relaxing and opening up the back of the throat to produce a resonant, rich tone with your vocal resonators. power will not help you. in fact, power will defeat the purpose because the vocal folds on notes this low aren't taut or heavily adducted to sustain the air pressure. they're more slack and thick.

but you will find it very helpful to warmup the voice and wake up the natural resonating cavities. things like chewing hums help open you up and help enrich the tone. what's also great is slowly singing the word "ohm" on a single comfortable pitch...make it sound like "aw" as in "hawk" rather than "oh. sing it like a chant. this helps activate the pharyngeal resonators which also assist in good tone.

also, experiment with lowering the larynx to add more bass response and a darker timbre.

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This makes sense, videosphere. But there's got to be a way of adding power with bass.

videohere...lol!!!!

if you're a natural bass perhaps. but i don't think it's possible because it's inconsistent with the way the voice operates.

can you sight a youtube video example of a loud powerful low note?

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Should be doable. If one maximizes the resonance of the vocal tract forming the initial bass sound, then one should be able to "exhale harder (return the diaphragm faster)" to increase the volume of air going through the vocal cords. Vocal cords and brain adjust to accommodate the greater air flow. The pre-set bass resonance tract will simply resonate far greater. No different than blowing a long resonating tube a bit harder harder.

In blowing a resonating tube a bit harder to increase resonating volume, there is, of course, more skills involved. Likewise, if one increases the volume of exhalation air, the initial bass resonating vocal tract will need to make adjustments as well.

My personal experience is also that the more air I provide, the lower my bass can go and louder too. I don't see yet why bass resonance and more power can't go together.

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Lowered larynx, increased support and glotal compression will allow to use a semitone or two more, with consistency. But the dynamic margin will still be limited to mezzo at best. The best way to use resonance on low notes is with placing it fully forward.

I have a recording of Elton John where I had to use it, its on the review section. All the lower notes requires a heavier support. All of them are forward, lower ones are almost totally focused.

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Should be doable. If one maximizes the resonance of the vocal tract forming the initial bass sound, then one should be able to "exhale harder (return the diaphragm faster)" to increase the volume of air going through the vocal cords. Vocal cords and brain adjust to accommodate the greater air flow. The pre-set bass resonance tract will simply resonate far greater. No different than blowing a long resonating tube a bit harder harder.

In blowing a resonating tube a bit harder to increase resonating volume, there is, of course, more skills involved. Likewise, if one increases the volume of exhalation air, the initial bass resonating vocal tract will need to make adjustments as well.

My personal experience is also that the more air I provide, the lower my bass can go and louder too. I don't see yet why bass resonance and more power can't go together.

show me a video of a singer who sings the notes you are desirous of singing.

are you a bass?

or can you send us a sample of what you're trying to do?

if you return the diaphragm "faster", you are esentially saying you want the diaphragm to rise and return quickly. you've just lost your control and will result in exhaling in an uncontrolled (possibly) forceful way, pushing air up to the vocal folds....now on low notes (like your lou rawls song) the folds are slack and thick. extra air pushing against slack, thicker folds is counterproductive to your goal.

listen to lou rawls singing. he's not singing loudly. why? because he can't at that pitch! as the pitch rises the folds elongate and thin. at the same time adduction and compression becomes gradually easier providing a resistance to the stronger current of air that will be needed to vibrate the folds.

it's the resonance that gives the body to his tone.

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Hi Videohere,

Thank you for the excellent response.

I am not a bass. My focus is on developing a full voice--I like many of your excellent postings on these.

On my first passes at viewing the Lou Rawls video, and also having tried to sing "You'll Never Find" many times, the "You'll" Rawls begins with is a resonant bass that he puts power into it as well. My personal experience is that it's very difficult to make that "You'll" sound right, without the power. Rawls himself misses this on a weaker first "You'll", but his second "You'll" creates his signature resonant bass that also has power. If one watches the several times of "You'll", one sees he sings these with different power levels. Also, when he sings "Yeah, Hey"-- he's using power coupled with bass.

When Rawls sings in certain higher pitches "I'm the one who loves you and there's no one else", he tries to be expressively "louder", but I believe that if we take a volume meter to this, his bass sounds will truly be louder (more energy) than his higher frequencies.

One has to remember that compressed Internet video transmission truncates bass, so for example, if one plays a CD of same song, the bass is louder. Live sound almost always has more bass than Internet transmissions. The true power of Rawls "You'll" bass is best felt at the concert. I seem to recall sound speakers basses simply requires more power, and this is, I believe, also true with singing. In all cases, I believe the logic shows power is necessary for bass, and greater power bass is possible, and indeed seen.

Lou Rawls' forte is a smooth, resonant, lower pitch singer; so he's not trying to create a harsher loud bass sound, if you mean that by being loud. Nevertheless, as Lou Rawls can adjust his power while coupled with smooth resonance, I can't see reasons to believe such can't be accomplished also for other bass textures. Incidentally, though Rawls is naturally gifted in bass, one can see his posture is weak. I personally believe he could have created a still better bass with a better posture. His potential on his highs and its resonance isn't well achieved either, as shown on this video.

To answer some of your other questions:

I rarely record myself because, after buying that $500 Sterling ST77 condensor mic, I found out I didn't know how to get it to work properly, and all the recording methods I've tried just seem to take up time from my singing and removes money. So, I try to learn how to hear accurately by ear.

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i'm having a hard time trying to get you to realize that any "perceptable" increase in volume or power you're going to hear can only occur through resonance.

the "you'll" note, a2, is low. no increase in air or volume will make that note more powerful especailly if you're not a base. ask a singer like steve perry to sing that note, it is likely to be impossible.

rawls in endowed physiologically advantageous to sing like that.

try this experiment: "sing a steady, legato, a2 "you'll." as you are singing it, try to add additional air pressure or anything you want glottal compression, whatever to increase the power or perceived loudness (without going off pitch).

do you see what i'm getting at? very little air is needed to sing that tone. but when you have placed the air into the appropriate resonators.....

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I understand what you're saying and disagree. The "You'll" fairly clearly shows this. He is powering into this.

I had sang the "a2" with resonance, and can add more power to it. When adding power, one has to make adjustments to sustain the same note. And, it's not a little air--lots of air.

Country singers frequently sing resonating basses the way you describe. But Rawls is doing differently. And I'm claiming that regardless of how much air one starts out with at the bass, the amount of air can be increased to gain more power. This makes sense. One can blow across a jug and attain a resonance, and one can blow across a bit harder to gain greater resonance.

Also, bass contains physical power-- this is what listeners' bones feel when standing in front of amplified speakers. To attain this power energy, air push energy is needed. Bass simply needs more air, and though resonance bass amplifies it, bass still needs the raw air push.

Also, the vocal tract is dynamic in its shape, such that, I suspect same frequency note can attain resonance using different combinations of vocal tract shape and air power.

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For further reference, this is what a bass sounds like when going loud:

Notice the distance from the recording mic.

You can not use resonance because there is nothing there to resonate. The resonance depends on odd harmonics from the asymetric wave form generated by the folds. When this sound form becomes less rich, you lose resonance and most of the power to project your voice, no ammount of air will compensate it, you would need to make the chords physically longer and more rigid so that you could stretch them and achieve the same pitch, which is impossible.

As I said it is possible to compensate this to an extent by using more support and lowering the larynx a little. But it will not allow power. Its a physical limit given by the folds properties.

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Thank you for the video, Felipe.

I'm not sure what you're saying.

Resonance is a property of sound vibrations reinforcing each other, and I agree resonance is supported by harmonics.

As with any kind of resonance, a power source (vocal cords) has to build up the sounds resonating in the vocal tract.

What are unclear are:

1. Can the total sound power of the resonance increase by adjusting the vocal tract and adding more air?

2. How does a dynamically shaped vocal tract adjust for resonances with different air volumes?

I don't remember the physics of all this, but it seems to me that it is possible to increase total resonating sound volume by adding in more energy, in a way similar to classic physics rope experiments to create a standing wave. It takes just a little power to creating a resonating standing wave. But add a little more power, and the standing wave can become larger. (Can't remember my physics correctly, sorry).

I'm not saying resonance doesn't play a part. I am saying that it is possible to power up the resonance. Also conservation of energy principles--if more power is added to a resonance, either the resonance stops or it increases. So far, the explanations given doesn't explain what happens when extra power is applied.

Pardon my physics again. As an analogy. If a bass resonance occurs at a set frequency due to vocal cords and shape of the vocal tract, the amplitude of the frequency then causes the vocal tract tissues to resonate back, causing resonance. The question is, if air power is increased, does the amplitude increase, thus causing greater vocal tract tissues resonating back, causing greater resonance and thus a more powerful bass sound.

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I understand what you're saying and disagree. The "You'll" fairly clearly shows this. He is powering into this.

I had sang the "a2" with resonance, and can add more power to it. When adding power, one has to make adjustments to sustain the same note. And, it's not a little air--lots of air.

Country singers frequently sing resonating basses the way you describe. But Rawls is doing differently. And I'm claiming that regardless of how much air one starts out with at the bass, the amount of air can be increased to gain more power. This makes sense. One can blow across a jug and attain a resonance, and one can blow across a bit harder to gain greater resonance.

Also, bass contains physical power-- this is what listeners' bones feel when standing in front of amplified speakers. To attain this power energy, air push energy is needed. Bass simply needs more air, and though resonance bass amplifies it, bass still needs the raw air push.

Also, the vocal tract is dynamic in its shape, such that, I suspect same frequency note can attain resonance using different combinations of vocal tract shape and air power.

not in the lower note "you'll." the a2, cannot happen.

feel free to disagree. more air will do virtually nothing for you at a2....higher notes, "yes"...more air pressure 'yes."

you don't have fold configuration at this low a note to resist the push of air. he gets louder in that song commensurate with his rise in pitch. i told you, send us over an example where you sing an a2 note more "perceptably" louder or more powerful without raising the pitch

addendum: when you say "lots of air", yes, he's moving air across the folds (slack folds) into the resonators. but he cannot push more air. just try to sustain the "you'll" for several seconds ...you have to support really well and actually hold back from emptying your air too quickly. it's the folds at these pitches that prevent a buildup of any pressure.

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At best what's said is that the folds have a limit to resist the air. But anything between reaching the limit has to physically increase the amplitude of the fold vibrations, thereby increasing bass. Also, the explanations do not explain-- what happens to the air after the supposed limit is reached.

He is less loud with his rise in pitch. This is also explained further by the bass sound compression explained above. That's how much of Internet audio works-- remove much of the bass to save bandwidth.

vocal folds are pitch regulators, period. they have no bearing on bass response.

perhaps all you want to do is sing thicker and more resonant in general?

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Thank you for the video, Felipe.

I'm not sure what you're saying.

Resonance is a property of sound vibrations reinforcing each other, and I agree resonance is supported by harmonics.

As with any kind of resonance, a power source (vocal cords) has to build up the sounds resonating in the vocal tract.

What are unclear are:

1. Can the total sound power of the resonance increase by adjusting the vocal tract and adding more air?

2. How does a dynamically shaped vocal tract adjust for resonances with different air volumes?

I don't remember the physics of all this, but it seems to me that it is possible to increase total resonating sound volume by adding in more energy, in a way similar to classic physics rope experiments to create a standing wave. It takes just a little power to creating a resonating standing wave. But add a little more power, and the standing wave can become larger. (Can't remember my physics correctly, sorry).

I'm not saying resonance doesn't play a part. I am saying that it is possible to power up the resonance. Also conservation of energy principles--if more power is added to a resonance, either the resonance stops or it increases. So far, the explanations given doesn't explain what happens when extra power is applied.

Pardon my physics again. As an analogy. If a bass resonance occurs at a set frequency due to vocal cords and shape of the vocal tract, the amplitude of the frequency then causes the vocal tract tissues to resonate back, causing resonance. The question is, if air power is increased, does the amplitude increase, thus causing greater vocal tract tissues resonating back, causing greater resonance and thus a more powerful bass sound.

The model is this:

Power source

Sound source

Resonators

The power source is the breathing and support system

The sound source is the larynx

The resonators are bones and empty spaces

The only reason why the resonators can amplify the sound produced is because of the harmonics produced on the larynx. INO, if the waveform generated by the larynx was a senoid with the note frequency, there would be no amplification. The resonators are not amplifying the note itself, but the odd harmonics and thus reinforcing EACH pulse of the folds.

Lets say that you wanted to resonate the fundamental frequency of the notes: To create a stationary wave on a C3 you would need 2 and a half meters of distance between each solid surface (bones). Its simply not possible.

The formants amplify frequencies on KHz, MUCH higher than the note emited, and that is given by the distances existant on our head structure.

Also, tissues do not take part on resonation itself, they only move to shape the open spaces. All soft tissues cause dampening instead of resonance, tongue included.

As you descend the pitch the CT muscles relax, reducing the longitudional tension on the folds, thus reducing the speed of open/close cycle and lowering the pitch produced. As you relax them more and more, they eventually reach a limit where the folds become too flacid to resist air pressure without applying more longitudional tension.

So either you keep the pitch constant OR you relax and break the modal voice. There is no choice in this. There are other factors and muscles involved, but the limit you reach is mainly because of this.

As you go near this limit, you deal with air pressure by reducing or increasing the compression of the folds against each other. Both situations will reduce the quantity and strenght of harmonics and with it the "fuel" for the resonators to operate. On the first case, the tone will become airy, on the later, strained and small.

Thats why you cant amplify it. Its not a problem of ajusting resonators but of having material to resonate in the first place.

Blowing more air will only turn the problem worse, since you will need more longitudional tension to sustain modal voice if you increase air pressure.

Thus the best way to improve those extreme lower notes is to reduce air pressure using the support system, thus alowing the folds to be relaxed a little bit more without compromising too much the open/close cycle and still keeping a decent quantity of harmonics to amplify. In other words, you reduce the overal sound pressure on the larynx in order to allow the resonators to work better.

Edit: By extreme, I mean just on the edge of your range, not like "siberian deep bass extreme"

But this is of limited efficiency. The lower the note, the less dynamic range you will have. Depressing the larynx will help resonating lower frequency harmonics and will contribute to increase the resulting projection you can achieve, but this is also limited. As I said, when you go bellow your tessitura, your will be limited to mezzo at best. The lower you go, the quieter you will become, even after optimizing it.

All voices works like this. Be you a tenor or a bass, you will have this limit and you will lose volume when you reach it.

But for real, what are you trying to sing that needs this low range????

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