Gsoul82

Brian Mcknight's Tone/Technique?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

 

It's a hobby of mine to try to figure out the techniques of my favorite singers. For example, how D'angelo uses twang in head voice and falsetto, as well as rasp, how Musiq Soulchild gets his falsetto tone, or how Joe sings certain words in his phrases. I've noticed that there seems to be a lot of conversation about this kind of thing here, so I have another thing to discuss here.

 

Brian Mcknight's singing technique is something I've been trying to figure out for a couple of years. He gets this real smooth tone going, and it's weird because it sounds soft, almost like a whisper, but he can increase volume and retain the quality of it. He is able to float into these quick melismas with ease from there.

 

Check 1:26

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_Sl1akAyas

 

For the first few seconds there, it's hard to make out the words and you just hear that tone. Opinions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, 

 

Welcome to TMV World Forum... 

 

Would you kindly upload a picture to your profile... thank you ahead of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian is one of my favs. He's a master with a gifted family, been around great singers and music since he came out of the womb. You want to be great start singing and listening. No vocal exercise alone is gonna give you this. I've seen him live 3-4 times he's flawless. He doesnt do conventional warmups either he sings a Stevie wonder song and a Kenny loggins song backstage then he is ready..

Good taste keep listening to him

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny you should choose that song Mr. GSoul :lol:

 

Yeah, man, a friend showed me the music video for that song last night and I wanted to see if he performed it live, LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently this song was a jab at the music industry. The label wanted a song that would be a hit with the kids and represent a younger generation. So he made this.

His voice makes my man ovaries burst. Guys is a legend. No one will take his place EVER!

I wish I had his versitility

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got a chance to watch this... funny song.

 

This is great singing... I love the soulful embellishments... but the vocal configuration to me, sounds a bit Falsetto-ish,,, an open, windy glottis... typical of this genre and groove of music. Its great singing... but opening the glottis and singing with some wind isn't really that difficult compared to fully compressed, more anchored positions in the head voice. I may be under-estimating this a bit, I don't sing like this typically and I don't really sing R&B songs.. but that doesn't change the fact that an open glottis/windy position is fairly easy comparatively... so the tone, although sounds nice, is not particularly "impressive" to me from the stand point of the challenge of it...

 

However, I think its the great intonation, soulful embellishments, dynamics and feel that are really noteworthy.... thats just my opinion, but I'm a rocker that likes big belty high notes and compressed positions... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently this song was a jab at the music industry. The label wanted a song that would be a hit with the kids and represent a younger generation. So he made this.

His voice makes my man ovaries burst. Guys is a legend. No one will take his place EVER!

I wish I had his versitility

 

Hi D.Starr... great to hear from you... 

 

I'm just giving you a "thought equation" here... versatility... Hmm?  Can Brian do this?

 

 

Im not wanting to be argumentative or take anything from Brian... he is brilliant!  But... in this sample, Geoff Tate is also singing with an open glottis, windy configuration in the opening sequence and then goes on to compress notes for 5 minutes above A4 and sounds frickin amazing... !  This has balls!  ... and believe me is NOT easy... it takes a lot of strength and belt training to do this... and understanding vowels... Could Brian sing like this?  Im just big on muscle and power I guess... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently this song was a jab at the music industry. The label wanted a song that would be a hit with the kids and represent a younger generation. So he made this.

His voice makes my man ovaries burst. Guys is a legend. No one will take his place EVER!

I wish I had his versitility

 

 

Yeah, the little interview about it is right here:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-msH1BHiGo

 

It's also funny, because it sounds like natural Brian McKnight until you listen to exactly what he's saying. I immediately thought, "This is some Trey Songz ****", and that's exactly the type of thing he was trying to attack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok,, this is all a spoof or a joke?  Well, then all bets are off... 

 

The actual song was made as a joke, but he normally sings like that.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si2eECjoOs0

 

He made the song as a joke because a lot of stuff classified as mainstream R&B today is about sex rather than love or anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After Rob's comment, it just goes to show you how subjective singing and our opinions of singer's and singer's vocal prowess can be.

 

I like McKnight's voice, and I appreciate the skill it takes to sing like that.  

 

But I'd rather hear someone like David Ruffin, or Otis Redding personally and sometimes you just don't know why or you don't give much thought as to why you prefer one over the other.

 

 

 

 

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point Bob... I am not stupid... I can clearly hear the elements of Brian's singing that are great... like I said, intonation, embellishments, soulful intervals, melody... really great. But it doesn't make me say "wow"... for me to say "wow", I need to hear something like this...

 

Timestamp 3:02... & 3:50 - 4:08...   :o

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I was intrigued by this topic so I decided to try to imitate all three singers:

 

https://app.box.com/s/4t69856u0fyflec58s33pu2gi11jxd7a

 

McKnight is really, really hard. The biggest problem is trying to keep enough air in the timbre, while still getting cut and body. I honestly don't know many McKnight songs so I grabbed the first one google came up with. I were to study him it would help a lot more. I did listen to him, and it sounds like he always has the spectrum around 10 khz boosted which adds a sparkle to air. It sounds to me like there is still a little bit of like a higher placed like 'oomph.' And he has a lot of different melissma stuff. You'd really want to isolate that.

 

Trying to imitate Tate required a lot of vowel modification and support. I kind of suck at it, as I sing soul 90 percent of the time, and prefer soulful lower mid warmth timbre in my voice. I think he might be the least likely the 3 that someone would find intuitively without training and intellect. It feels far away from conversational vowels.

 

I sing Ruffin all the time. For me it's kind of like a ragged, primal oomph. Part of the sensation, is like maybe someone is going to punch you I the gut, and you're primed to just go at it. It feels feral and primal but there is more weight to carry. Of the 3 he's my favorite singer so it's probably not a fair comparison. When I want to sing like that, it requires good support for me, I can't get a good explosive quality to it unless I really support and dig in. It feels like I'm carrying the most weight there.

 

I don't really care who is the most difficult, I listen to music for art and emotion. Technique I almost pay more attention to so I can help people here if I can, if they have a goal, I might be able to help someone. It helps people reach goals.

 

If there was something that felt ballsiest for me, it would be Ruffin. If I were to get in a fight, I wouldn't be the Mirror Never in the 5th octave at my opponent. It's just too high and head voice. It doesn't feel as primal aggressive and masculine to me, like if I were in a true primitive fight or flight situation, I think I'd be more like Ruffin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob, our vocal influences are almost 1 to 1. We seem to like the 80's high range metal singers.

 

That Luna Park concert is great, so is the one at The Boston Opera House (2014).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I have noticed that Jabroni... but I am far more then prog and metal vocals... so I'm not about to get type casted into that. That is not what TVS training techniques are about. That may be what I want to listen too in my Jeep when I'm driving down the road, but it is NOT what TVS is teaching or what "The Four Pillars of Singing" is all about. 

 

TVS and "The Four Pillars of Singing" is about training techniques and learning how the voice works, learning how to train to get stronger, ... if you train "The Four Pillars of Singing", you are getting strong and coordinated for all styles of singing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Killer,

 

On Ruffin magic I totally agree, support and stamina....and to get it really beefy, I have found success when you insert some extra snap breaths where you might not think to, to maintain that punchiness.

 

Like "I refuse (breath) to let you (breath) go." 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Killer,

 

On Ruffin magic I totally agree, support and stamina....and to get it really beefy, I have found success when you insert some extra snap breaths where you might not think to, to maintain that punchiness.

 

Like "I refuse (breath) to let you (breath) go." 

 

Great advice. It's a very physical style. Those little snap breaths could help a lot. I tend to take larger less frequent breaths so that's a good thing to practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I was intrigued by this topic so I decided to try to imitate all three singers:

 

https://app.box.com/s/4t69856u0fyflec58s33pu2gi11jxd7a

 

McKnight is really, really hard. The biggest problem is trying to keep enough air in the timbre, while still getting cut and body. I honestly don't know many McKnight songs so I grabbed the first one google came up with. I were to study him it would help a lot more. I did listen to him, and it sounds like he always has the spectrum around 10 khz boosted which adds a sparkle to air. It sounds to me like there is still a little bit of like a higher placed like 'oomph.' And he has a lot of different melissma stuff. You'd really want to isolate that.

 

Trying to imitate Tate required a lot of vowel modification and support. I kind of suck at it, as I sing soul 90 percent of the time, and prefer soulful lower mid warmth timbre in my voice. I think he might be the least likely the 3 that someone would find intuitively without training and intellect. It feels far away from conversational vowels.

 

I sing Ruffin all the time. For me it's kind of like a ragged, primal oomph. Part of the sensation, is like maybe someone is going to punch you I the gut, and you're primed to just go at it. It feels feral and primal but there is more weight to carry. Of the 3 he's my favorite singer so it's probably not a fair comparison. When I want to sing like that, it requires good support for me, I can't get a good explosive quality to it unless I really support and dig in. It feels like I'm carrying the most weight there.

 

I don't really care who is the most difficult, I listen to music for art and emotion. Technique I almost pay more attention to so I can help people here if I can, if they have a goal, I might be able to help someone. It helps people reach goals.

 

If there was something that felt ballsiest for me, it would be Ruffin. If I were to get in a fight, I wouldn't be the Mirror Never in the 5th octave at my opponent. It's just too high and head voice. It doesn't feel as primal aggressive and masculine to me, like if I were in a true primitive fight or flight situation, I think I'd be more like Ruffin.

 

 

Killer gave it a try, so I thought I should do the same:

 

[Redo] Pussy Works: http://picosong.com/2iWH/

 

6 8 12:  http://picosong.com/2ir8/

 

Oddly enough, I had a youtube window open after I finished trying this, and this guy was in the recommended videos. Sounds like he's got it down-pat. From 20 seconds to the 2 minute mark.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHEWIsrPu3s

 

If you note the way his mouth his opening when he sings, it looks to me like he's directing the air behind the soft palatte. Upon trying to imitate that setup, I find the pronunciation gets closer to Brian's as well.

 

I can't speak on the whole glottal thing that Rob brought up, because I have no idea how that would be done, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good video there. He seems to have pretty good.

 

Gsoul, you've got a good tone there, but you're nearly whispering. You've got to have a little more than that, but not too much and no squeezing. That's why it's so damned hard.

 

Now, I started singing 'pussy works' and was like.....Wait, neighbors. :o Quieted down. Grabbed One. But you've got a good starting tone, but I think it's a bit more than that. Exactly where it is. I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good video there. He seems to have pretty good.

 

Gsoul, you've got a good tone there, but you're nearly whispering. You've got to have a little more than that, but not too much and no squeezing. That's why it's so damned hard.

 

Now, I started singing 'pussy works' and was like.....Wait, neighbors. :o Quieted down. Grabbed One. But you've got a good starting tone, but I think it's a bit more than that. Exactly where it is. I don't know.

 

Yeah, I talked about his technique being strange to me because it's very soft, but he can add volume to it. I happened to still be sitting at my desk when I read your comment, so I just did it over again. I tried to make it a bit louder, and I was still trying to maintain what I just mentioned in the comment you replied to. I didn't expect to switch and be able to do it just-like-that, because I don't really sing that way, lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.