Jump to content

Robert Lunte

Administrator
  • Content Count

    6,125
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    287

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to TMV World Team for a article, JZ Microphones Vintage 11 - What does “modern yet vintage” really mean here?   
    European company JZ Microphones is amongst many manufacturers that offer a modern take on vintage sound. Their Vintage 11 (V11) is said to produce very smooth sounding top end, and in theory, should be very good for voice-over work. But the concept of “modern vintage” still sounds a bit vague and lacking explanation to some. Needless to say, we got our hands on one of these mics to see what it does.
    When it comes to striking visual design characteristic of JZ Microphones, the V11 is no exception.
    This thing looks like it belongs in the interior of an expensive luxury car, perhaps as an ashtray or a compartment for your diamond encrusted smartphone.
    A modern take on a vintage sound
    The V11 is a high-performance cardioid condenser microphone with a one-inch gold sputtered capsule (JZ Microphones patented GDC capsule making technology).
    JZ Microphones claims that while the microphone is quite versatile it works best on acoustic guitar, vocals, and wind instruments. The frequency graph of V11 shows a noticeable bump in the lower end and suggests it is designed to deliver smooth, rich, and warm sounds.
    The V11 has a large diaphragm 27 mm (1,06") capsule, extra low self-noise level (6,5 dB (A)) maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of 134,5 dB, class-A discrete electronics, and gold-plated output contacts. It comes with an external specially designed shock-mount and, just like all other mics that JZ Microphones produces, is handcrafted.
    Noticeably above the similarly priced competition
    Opinions about microphones are subjective, but it has to be mentioned that V11 has caught the attention of award-winning producer Rafa Sardina (Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder).
    Sardina has repeatedly stated that he loves many JZ Microphones products and judging from the interviews, the V11 is one of his favorites.
    We tested it on both male and female singers, trying out a number of singing styles and settings.6

    Other “Vintage” series mics (V47, V67) are supposedly made to bring back the sound of all time classics but with the V11 (11 stands for 2011 – the year in which the mic was launched) the company’s founder and designer Juris Zarins hoped to create a microphone that would give you a vintage vibe, but with quite a bit of modern mic-making tradition present in design and during production.
    The sound, however, shows why JZ Microphones is confident enough to call it the “next classic” on more than one occasion.
    It proved to be a true gem when it came to spoken word performances. This microphone doesn’t look the part, but it is indeed an excellent tool for radio and performs exceptionally well as a voiceover microphone. Minimal to no EQ intervention is needed, in my opinion.
    When it comes to singing, it is quite warm yet does not lose clarity. Also, if the bass lift is not welcome at all, you can deal with it easily. The built-in shock-mount is very simple, easy to use, and actually works.
    The V11’s price tag makes it fair to compare it to all other work-horses that are used for spoken word and broadcasting, and the V11 stands out with a more refined, classy sound.
    You can just feel that it wasn’t designed as a budget microphone meant to overwhelm the market. They’ve obviously put serious thought into it. I can’t find any problems with construction or sound.
    I’m going to guess that the reason for this is that the company mainly produces expensive “premium” class microphones and hasn’t really optimized the V11’s production to fit the mid-range price tag. I am pretty sure that most if not all of the high-grade components they use for their most expensive mics are in the V11 as well.
    After all, are there many other mid-priced microphones that have impressed the likes of Rafa Sardina?
     
    In conclusion
    All in all, what strikes me is the big picture. From what’s written in brochures, the big claims and peculiar marketing strategy might make some buyers confused.
    I’m still not sure why the whole “modern yet vintage” concept was chosen. In reality, it is simply a very good, very well built, warm-sounding studio microphone with an attractive price tag (and from what I can see, they have generous discounts very often).
    Someone who is operating on a budget looking for that hi-end studio sound should consider the V11. Accomplished pros have no reason to shy away from it, too.
    Granted, it is not made to compete with and function like more expensive studio classics, but it is so much more (I can’t stress this enough) than the price tag suggests.
    Find out more about JZ Microphones products.
  2. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to TMV World Team for a article, JZ Microphones’ HH1. Did we really need another dynamic mic?   
    In a world full of manufacturers who offer various dynamic microphone models, a handful of proven classics rule the market. Many will agree that the design of this type of instrument has been pretty much perfected and completed over the years, so is it worth paying attention to similar products that still pop up from time to time? We chose one recent entry that has made quite a big name for itself, the JZ Microphones’ HH1, and tested it to see whether it really is an improvement of age-old microphone technology.
    The HH1 is a handheld dynamic microphone made by a European company called JZ Microphones. It’s their first product to feature a dynamic capsule.
    They claim it is “developed in best traditions of JZ Microphones” and provides users with “extended frequency range to suit most vocal and instrumental needs.”
    Neodymium magnet equipped cardioid capsule is housed in a handcrafted metal body with a special shock-mounting technology. It comes with a rather elegant pouch and a microphone clamp.
    Lighter and brighter
    That’s the thing with JZ Microphones: it seems that everything they make has some unique visual twist.
    As you can see, the same goes for the HH1. One has to admit that the microphone looks awesome: matte black coloring, a fancy logo, and diamond-shaped flat-fronted grille.
    It is the size of a typical dynamic (58 x 172 mm), has an XLR-3 connector, and an extended frequency response (50 Hz – 18 kHz). Weighing 280 grams (9.8oz), it is a bit lighter than the SM58.
    The frequency graph that comes along with the microphone shows a noticeable peak at 5 kHz and shelving-down right before 200Hz, meaning that it’s lighter and brighter than most standard dynamics.
    The simple geniality of a flat grille
    JZ Microphones says that the HH1 is a perfect fit for vocals, drums, and guitar amps. We tested it in various scenarios for all three applications.
    We started by trying it on both male and female vocals, and were impressed instantly. It turns out this mic needs little to no EQ.
    Gone were our fears that the HH1 would have a cheap brightness you get from low-quality mics. Instead, it had great clarity on male as well as female vocals.
    The HH1’s flat grille has to be mentioned here as well. It keeps the sound source on-axis while avoiding tone and level variations.

    It was the same story when it came to the acoustic guitar, which produced just the right amount of brightness even at close distances. The flat grille also made for easy, spot-on guitar amp miking (obviously). It was a good fit for a snare drum as well, providing much-needed definition.
    Among all the pros, the only con I could think of would be a mild self-noise (the HH1 has a pretty strong output). To be frank, it is not even close to being a real problem (at least for us, in our setting it wasn’t) but it is a bit more noticeable than that of other classics.
    HH1 – a dynamic with distinct studio mic pedigree
    In conclusion, the HH1 easily fits among the best sounding industry standard dynamic mics.
    It has its own sound but isn’t a black sheep or avant-garde in any way, and if the market for dynamic microphones wasn’t so oversaturated, this little piece of technology would make the competition worried.
    It is hard to be completely blown away by yet another dynamic because there are so many to choose from. However, there’s no denying that with the HH1, JZ Microphones has managed to raise the bar for sound and design.
    It is very apparent that this dynamic mic was made by people who mainly specialize in high-quality studio microphones. It is elegant yet very well built and should withstand the punishment of live performances.
    If you’re ready to try something new, don’t hesitate and get one of these. This can be an excellent choice for rehearsal studios, live performances, demo making, and bedroom studio projects.
    Find out more about JZ Microphones products.
  3. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to TMV World Team for a article, JZ Microphones Black Hole 2: Is it really what it claims to be?   
    For about ten years, a European company called JZ Microphones has made its flagship Black Hole 2 (BH2) studio microphone, supposedly a versatile, visually stunning, and beautifully sounding mic that “easily finds its place among celebrated all-time classics”. It seems that up until now critics have showered this piece of technology with one favorable review after another (to the point where it almost gets a bit ridiculous), so we thought we’d give it a try and see if it really deserves such generosity.
    The looks
    JZ Microphones present their BH2 as a “premium”, “high-end” studio microphone, but I’m sure most of you will agree that it does not really look the part. First of all, there’s a hole in the middle. The microphone seems to be rather small and thin, and it doesn’t look like it will fit in a standard spider shock-mount.
    It leaves you with quite a few questions when you unpack it for the first time, but let’s take a look at some important facts in the brochure.
    The tech
    BH2 is a fixed cardioid, large diaphragm 1,06" (27mm) condenser microphone with one large, true electrostatic capsule inside the compact head.
    Qualities that make it stand out amongst the rest of the herd are JZ Microphones’ patented capsule making technology, Golden Drop Capsule (GDC). Once this technology is implemented, it gives the microphone extra low self-noise level of 7,5 dB (A), discrete class-A electronics, maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL) of 134,5 dB, and a unique reverberation-canceling shape. It also comes with a specially designed shock-mount and is made by hand.
    The sound
    When we decided to test the BH2 we came up with quite an obstacle course: we would use it in all sorts of vocal applications with numerous singers and different types of voices.
    Upon playing back the very first takes, it became clear how unfair it was to judge this microphone by its looks. The recorded voice sang to us with almost no coloration yet the sound was very flattering (especially for male vocals, as it later became clear) and seemed polished.
    BH2 presented itself to us in a very primal way. It was like being approached by a large wild animal: you feel its presence instantly. There was no need to analyze the sound or compare it to something else. It was clear right then and there that this mic should not be disregarded.
    It produces very crisp, detailed voice recordings and would probably do an amazing job with rap vocals. It performs very well both close up and from a considerable distance and captures clear recordings of multiple singers at once.

    Sure, it gave off U87 and C414 vibes (as often mentioned in reviews), but the amazing part that there’s a very large, dominating chunk of its own personality in there. It delivers the actual sound of whatever it is you’re recording with no apparent noise and features ridiculously low, yet beautiful coloration.
    This microphone is made for professionals and should be used in high-class studios. 
    To a seasoned recording engineer, it will deliver the pristine sound that is expected of such a specialist. To a singer, it will bring out the very best characteristics of your voice. To someone who is not yet ready, it will tell it to you straight and emphasize your shortcomings.
    There is no disputing that putting “premium”, “high-end” (or any other fancy English words that the BH2’s European engineers can think of) on to the box of this microphone is completely justified.
    Although the unusual shape and origins of this microphone can leave you perplexed at first, it soon becomes clear that back in 2007 when JZ Microphones created the BH2, they came up with a whole new design for technology that recently celebrated its 100th birthday.
    Find out more about JZ Microphones products.
     
     
  4. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to Glen Parry for a article, How Karaoke Is Going to Improve Your Singing   
    Before you totally write off this article you'll have to admit: karaoke is fun! If you haven't yet had the experience of blasting out vocals to your favorite songs with your friends then you are missing one of life's greatest experiences. If this is you, stop reading right now and make a date with your friends to hit up the local karaoke bar this weekend. 
    With a little bit of practice (okay, maybe A LOT of practice) this could be you:
    What about those who still have a fear of performing in front of people? Well, that's why the home karaoke system was invented. Designed for those who want to host a more intimate karaoke outing. Also, a great addition to liven up any regular house party. 
    For the rest of us, we know how exhilarating it can be hitting the high notes to the backing track. We know the feeling of seeing the crowd actually enjoying a karaoke performance. Some of you may even be familiar with the high that comes from an enthusiastic applause from the audience. But karaoke isn't something that we actually should take seriously is it? 
    Well, in my opinion, the answer is both YES and NO. 
    Mastering singing is just like any other musical endeavor. It requires both time and purposeful practice. Those who have the control to really let loose while singing have spent hours training their breathing, vocal chords, and posture. They've put in the hours and hard work required to master a skill. 
    One common thread that every experience singer shares is time. If you ask them they will likely tell you they are constantly singing. The sing in the car, in the shower, doing laundry, washing dishes. While this is not exactly purposeful practice, the hours add up over time. 
    If you're like most people, finding all that time to sing can be exhausting. Seriously, who has an extra hour a day to devote to singing? 
    This is where karaoke comes in. 
    While it may be difficult to find the motivation to grind out an hour of practicing the major scale, it's far easier to head down to the bar with your friends for a fun night of karaoke. This is a place where you can relax and let loose. You can challenge yourself under pressure. You can push the boundaries of your range and ability with a little help from alcohol.
    You may even find yourself getting far more singing in then you would during your typical practice session. 
    Learning a new skill doesn't always have to be a grind. Through finding fun workarounds you are able to make the process much easier.
    You may even find that karaoke provides you with a new source of motivation. The karaoke stage can be a great way to showcase your talent to a receptive and forgiving crowd. 
    If you underperform, no one has to know that you've been secretly taking singing lessons for the past year. 
    If you knock it out of the park, all the power to you. 
    So while karaoke can be another powerful tool in your arsenal, it doesn't have to be shrouded in a technique and rigor like your regular rehearsals. 
    While I know many of you will still look down your noses at karaoke, I hope I've inspired at least one person to go and give it a chance. 
    What do you think? Is karaoke something worth trying? Let me know in the comments below! 
  5. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to TMV World Team for a article, The Copperphone by Placid Audio   
    The Copperphone by Placid Audio is a vintage character effect microphone. Unlike full range high fidelity microphones, it operates within a limited bandwidth of frequencies which imparts a compelling nostalgic quality on the signal.
    Some might compare the sound to an AM radio or an old telephone... The sound is achieved through a combination of the microphone’s element and a mechanical filtering device. The element is rear ported into a hollow resonant chamber and as sound passes through the diaphragm into the chamber, upper midrange frequencies are accentuated while low and high frequencies are reduced.
    The Copperphone can be used as a stand-alone mic on vocals or any other instrument to create an all-out, attention-grabbing sonic effect.  Or it can be used in conjunction with a more traditional mic and the resulting signals can be blended together for subtle character and midrange enhancement.
    Sound samples of the Copperphone on vocals and various instruments can be heard here:  https://www.placidaudio.com/products/copperphone/
    The critically acclaimed Copperphone is the worlds most popular vintage effect microphone and used by hundreds of professionals and vocalists around the world.  Here are just a few notable users:
    Norah Jones (Norah Jones) Sam Smith (Sam Smith, 2014 Grammy Winner) Annie Clark (St. Vincent, 2015 Grammy Winner) Sean Lennon (Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Cibo Matto) Beck (Beck) Jack White (Raconteurs, The White Stripes) Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) Tom Petty (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) Geddy Lee (Rush)  
  6. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to Zac Green for a article, 7 Great Ways To Accelerate Your Songwriting Skills   
    There’s nothing more intimidating than a blank piece of paper. Starting the process of writing a new song can take just as long as finishing it. So here’s seven tips to help you speed up your songwriting.
     
    1. Work in a group, then alone
    Having a few people to bounce ideas around with helps the creative process get started. After you’ve got your song started, the democratic process is more likely to slow you down. If you’re writing songs as part of a band, it can be better to go and complete your parts individually once you’ve gotten the overall idea in place.
     
    2. Drink alcohol, then coffee
    Research has shown that drinking alcohol boosts your creativity, but makes it hard to focus. Coffee, and other drinks containing caffeine, has the opposite effect. For your brainstorming session, loosen up with a few drinks. This works especially well if combined with the first tip, but be careful not to get carried away and turn it into a drinking session. Once you’ve sat down to start writing the ideas you have onto paper, fire up the kettle.
     
    3. Give chance a chance
    After a long music career, you might find that all of your songs are starting to sound the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a recognisable sound, but you don’t want to get stale. Shake things up by writing different elements of songs onto pieces of paper, such as keys, lyrical themes, and so on. Place them into a hat and draw five at random. Force yourself to use these, no matter how badly they seem to go together. The results can be surprisingly good - and more importantly they help you to think outside of your usual boundaries.
     
    4. Write somewhere different
    Creativity doesn’t exist in a void. If you want to be inspired, go for a long walk somewhere far away from your usual haunts. The change of scenery, fresh air and act of walking itself can be great for generating new ideas. If nothing else, it gives you a chance to let yourself relax. Stress is a major impediment to creativity.
     
    5. Learn your music theory
    I don’t care how unappealing this seems. You might think that learning theory chokes your freedom or that it’s boring. However, if you don’t know what the rules around music are, it’s impossible to break them in a way which is both purposeful and well-executed. This applies no matter what genre you’re in. For example, my own personal foray into EDM was vastly improved when I started learning about cadence, a concept from choral music.
     
    6. Steal from other songs
    Now let me just clarify something before we go any further. I am absolutely not telling you to copy somebody else’s song in it’s entirety and try to pass it off as your own. That’s not songwriting, and you’re unlikely to get away with it for very long.
     
    What you can do, is jot down interesting chord progressions, licks and lyrics. Playing around with these later, such as using inverted versions of the chords, trying it in a different key or modulating can lead to something brand new as the changes you’ve made will lead to a naturally different conclusion.
     
    7. Use good notation software
    Writing music by hand can take quite a while, and you can’t always check to see if it sounds right straight away. By using notation software, such as Sibelius, or if you can’t read music, just programming the notes into a digital audio workstation (DAW) can transform your songwriting process completely, as it’s quite easy to quickly change sections of your music without having to rewrite every single note.
     
    Armed with these tricks, your songwriting skills will change practically overnight. It doesn’t matter if you apply all of them at once (although that isn’t entirely practical) or try them out a few at a time. Your own process is going to be a factor in this, so perhaps some of them won’t be entirely applicable. Don’t fret about this, just do the ones that feel ‘right’ to you.
     
    This post was written by Zac Green from popular music blog ZingInstruments.com
     
  7. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to Steven Fraser for a article, Approach to vocal technique   
    Hi, TMV-ers!
    I thought it would be useful today to write a bit about how I approach and talk about vocal technique, in the hope that by putting these ideas out there, you can pick and choose some of them that make sense to you, and that you will hopefully find useful.
    As a starting point for this, I am inspired to recall an idea I read in Cornelius Reid's book, 'Voice - Psyche and Soma'. I cannot remember the exact quote, but the gist of it is that the mind and the body are acting together to produce the singing voice. I think this means for vocal technique that singing is simultaneously psychological and physical.
    A survey of books written on singing over the last 200 years shows that every teacher has a different approach to working with singers, a different mix of the psychological and physical. Some favor emphasis of the physical aspects, and talk about doing things with body parts, muscle groups, tendons, nasal cavities, lower jaw, the tongue, etc. Others emphasize the sensations of the singer, i.e., 'sing so that you feel such and such a sensation in such and such location in your body'. Still others rely on metaphors and imagery, i.e., 'sing out the top of your head', or 'imagine that you are projecting the tone toward a target on the wall', or 'think of a happy memory'.
    I don't do any of these alone. Perhaps better stated, I do them all, cherry-picking ideas and approaches from these authors that have these characteristics:
    1) are based on anatomical fact, acoustical principles, and physiologically healthy bodily action.
    2) are easily expressed and understood using in common language
    3) can be practiced beneficially by the student without the teacher's constant supervision
    4) help the singer build their ability to sing what they desire to sing - whatever genre or style that is.
    When it comes to teaching, I am also an optimist. :-) I believe that most people, with very few exceptions, can learn to sing for their own & others' enjoyment if they approach it with patience.
    In my next posts, I will be writing about the basics of how the voice works - 'what happens where' in the mind and body to produce healthy vocal tone. Along the way, I will address some common misconceptions I've encountered, and clarify some terms that are often used by singers and teachers, but not well understood.
    I have no illusions that the way I approach this is the only way, or even the best way. I am very interested to hear other ways of doing it as well, as that is how I learn myself.
    If you have a particular area you'd like to discuss, send me an e-mail or comment to my blog, and I will pull that text forward in a response.
    Best Regards,
    Steve

     
     
  8. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to TMV World Team for a article, Audix VX5 Condenser Vocal Mic Review   
    Audix VX5: American Built Budget Condenser Vocal Microphone
    What do Travis Barker, Buckcherry and Ani DiFranco all have in common? Give up? They all swear by Audix microphones. From its humble start in Redwood City, California in 1984 to its move to a state-of-the-art facility in Wilsonville, Oregon in 1991, Audix has a long-standing reputation of engineering and building world-class microphones. They are also one of the seemingly dwindling group of pro audio companies who have managed to maintain the entire design and manufacture of their product line domestically. There's something I find oddly satisfying knowing I could jump in the car and be at their facility in the matter of a few hours. While vocally speaking their primary focus has been leaning towards the live end of sound Audix has recently introduced some rather capable workhorse products that sonically speaking are at the level where they could pull double duty to provide some very satisfactory results in the studio as well.Without further adieu ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce you to one of the latest offerings from Audix to visit the TMV test barn: The Audix VX5 condenser microphone.
    THE AUDIX VX5: LOOK AND FEEL
    As a departure from the typical all-business tuxedo black satin finish Audix has upped the ante with the VX5. In addition to a slimmer than average shaft this bad boy sports a rather subtle but sexy silver recessed lower grill which according to Audix also serves to provide some additional acoustical qualities. While it doesn't scream look at me its one of the nicest looking handheld mics I've had in my hands recently.
    THE AUDIX VX5: DURABILITY AND USEABILITY
    Unscrewing the pop screen reveals beauty is more than skin-deep as the capsule is also enclosed in an additional solid meshed polished cylinder so if durability were a concern for you its a safe bet the Audix VX5 could withstand a hell of a drop and survive unscathed. While I tend to prefer handheld microphones with a thicker handle the slim shaft on the VX5 combined with its balanced weight proved to be quite comfortable when used for extended periods. After a couple sessions, I found myself actually preferring it over some of the other mics in my arsenal.
    THE AUDIX VX5: PRICING AND COMPETITION
     
     
    At a retail price of $249 its pretty clear Audix has aimed the Audix VX5 squarely at some of its notable competition. In fact, the veteran condenser Shure Beta 87A also retails at $249 which I find hardly to be a coincidence. T his class of mic, commonly referred to as budget condensers are generally geared to pull double duty both live and in studio.
    It must also be noted however that these aren't to be confused with studio condenser microphones which still typically will have a superior frequency response.  That being said a well-engineered electret condenser using modern design technology will give you sound nearly approaching that of a studio condenser on top of the fact their typically super cardioid pickup pattern will offer fairly good sound rejection off axis.   That's not to say you can't use a dynamic to record vocals but given the choice between a dynamic handheld and a condenser you generally are going to have better results with the latter.
    With the VX5 Audix has also added in a few additional features that normally aren't found in a condenser mic in this price range that could potentially come in handy. Those include a recessed -10db pad switch as well as a 150hz bass rolloff both of which may come in handy given the VX5's fairly hot 6.9mv sensitivity. In light of durability, I especially appreciate the fact that these switches are actually chassis mounted with recessed screws.   As is fairly standard with a condenser style mic the Audix requires phantom power to operate so you will need to make sure your mic pre supports this.
    THE AUDIX VX5 TEST: THE CLARITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
    http://astore.amazon.com/thevocastudin-20  
    For the actual test my signal chain consisted of the VX5 running into a TC Helicon VoiceLive for preamp/phantom power into a Mackie VLZ-1602 out to a pair of Mackie SRM-450 active monitors in my 13x13 studio. To get a feel for how the Audix VX5 would perform in different live environments my first test was performing vocals with pre-recording backing tracks followed up by the second test of performing with live drums, guitar, and bass - some very high SPL's for a rather small room.
    For the first test upon initially firing up the VX5 with all EQ zeroed out as well as bass roll-off / pad disengaged on the mic I was initially quite disappointed just how little gain before feedback the Audix exhibited - significantly more so than my Shure Beta87A. Afterfurther experimenting with monitor placement as well as some EQ adjustment I still was not happy with the results. However, after engaging the bass roll-off I was pleasantly surprised that this was able to eliminate nearly all of my feedback issues and after a slight EQ tweak to compensate for the room I was able to get the mix up to performance levels.  This is when what makes the Audix VX5 special became apparent. My vocals with the Audix VX5 took on a clarity and airiness that I have difficulty creating this side of a full blown studio condenser.  They were not thin nor were they muddy on the lower end. They possessed a very natural quality to them that just sounded right.  Along with an extremely low handling noise, the Audix VX5 sounds more expensive than it is.
    Test number two with the full band also proved interesting.  While  it should come as no surprise the VX5 does not handle extremely loud environments as well as a dynamic hypercardoid would it performed admirably well.  I might add that my small square studio is not likely an accurate representation of a performance environment so getting a workable sound in a fairly high SPL environment is a fairly good indication that the Audix VX5 would perform quite well in a more typical performance setting.
    WRAP UP: SONICALLY SLICK
    The Audix VX5 represents yet another fine offering from Audix. From a clarity of sound standpoint it without a doubt ranks right up at the top of my list when stacked up against some of its notable competition from the likes of  Shure, Rode, and Electro-Voice.  It sounds good right out of the box requiring little if any EQ to get the sound dialed in.  The quality of craftsmanship is top notch and the 3-year warranty lets you know Audix stands behind their products.  Short of full on screamo or extremely heavy metal acts this is one of the few mics that I feel confident would work well with nearly all voice types as it posesses a very natural frequency response.  The Modern Vocalist rates the Audix VX5 as highly recommended.

    Audix VX5: Specifications
    Type Pre-polarized Condenser  
    Frequency Response 40 Hz - 16.5 kHz +/- 3 dB
    Polar Pattern Supercardioid  
    Impedance 150 ohms
    Sensitivity at 1k 5 mV / Pa
    Equivalent Noise Level 26 dB (A weighted)
    Signal to Noise Ratio 68 dB
    Off Axis Rejection >20 dB
    Maximum SPL1 40 dB (w/ -10 pad)
    Power Requirements 9-52 V
    Connector Switcraft Male XLR connector
    Polarity P ositive voltage on pin 2 relative to pin 3 of output XLR connector
    Housing / Finish Die Cast Zinc Black E-coat
    Weight 227 g / 8 ounces
    Length 181 mm / 7.1 inches
    Audix Microphones
    www.audixusa.com
    +1 (503) 662-6963
    Review by Travis North
    *This product review is a courtesy of The Modern Vocalist World and is endorsed by The Vocalist Studio International.

     
  9. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to VocalScience for a article, Vocally Speaking and Otherwise… Be your Healthy Best! Prevent your Vocal Disorder!   
    Ms. Yampolsky's coaching concentrates not just on the voice, but on the performer as a whole. Her approach can boost stage confidence by improving the voice's range, pitch and power. She believes that a singer has 25% natural talent, while 75% of a singer's performance relies on technical training. Her special exercises enable the singer to meet any combinations of pitch and duration of sound. Ms. Yampolsky views the body as an instrument whose quality of well being determines the quality of sound produced and recognizes that the voice is a reflection of the 'inner self.' All courses are customized to the unique needs of each individual singer and program the brain using visualization and vocal repetition. The Vocal Science (TM) Method alleviates strain on vocal cords and develops proper use of facial and abdominal muscles while stressing posture.
  10. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to TMV World Team for a article, Placid Audio Copperphone Mini Review   
    Throw out your vintage effects, this mic does it better.

    You can find Placid Audio products on Vocal Gear Store.    
    Most of the time in either a live or studio situati on when I'm looking to give a vocal track a bit more of a distinctive sound I instinctively either reach for some flavor of an effects processor or my favorite plugin.  Why?  Because generally unless one enjoys combing through Craigslist and eBay listings for that perfectly elusive esoteric microphone, modern effects processors with hundreds if not thousands of available models to choose from often sound quite good in addition to offering nearly infinite control over our sound. Convenience, however comes at a price and there is one effect situation in my experience where the cold unfeeling electronics continually seem come up a bit short of something authentic sounding:  the vintage "telephone" effect.  Sometimes there's no replacement for the real thing and thanks to Mark Pirro of Placid Audio we have something called the Copperphone Mini  that may just fill that niche.
    INTRODUCING THE COPPERPHONE MINI
    Placid Audio was initially spurred by a need of the singer of Pirro's band - The Polyphonic Spree -  to find the perfect vintage sounding microphone. Instead of trying to actually find something authentically old Mark - whom is also a sound engineer - decided to have a crack at creating his own.  After creating a few prototypes, word started to spread around the musician community and in 2003 Pirro started producing small quantities in his garage outside of Dallas, Texas to fill the need.  As popularity grew he created two additional models, one of which is the Copperphone Mini .
     

    One of the most distinctive features about the Copperphone series is Placid Audio builds them out of rather robust looking polished copper housings.  The Copperphone mini is no exception and is rather attractive to look at especially when installed it is removable aluminum shock mount housing.  Construction and fit and finish is high grade and I would say the overall look belies its $299.00 MSRP. Oddly enough the Copperphone Mini was originally designed with Harmonica players in mind but after artists started using it on vocals, guitars, upright basses and the like it became apparent that the point of the Mini isn't the application but rather the creativity it can introduce into the sound.   The Copperphone Mini uses a fairly forgiving dynamic as well as a cardioid pickup pattern to make it fairly versatile both live and in studio.   Contrary to the look the Mini does not use any vintage internal components but rather high-grade modern electronics with an impressively low noise floor. It should be noted that any mic or effects box operating in a limited frequency bandwidth can increase the potential for feedback depending on how much gain you are trying to pump through it.  However, in practice  I didn't find the Mini to be any better or worse compared to other similar devices when pushed beyond realistic limitations.
    THE SOUND OF NOSTALGIA

     

    So then how does the Copperphone Mini sound?  Impressive. On vocals, the Mini finds an excellent balance between that vintage lo-fi effect and leaving a wide enough of a frequency band so the vocals still have some weight to cut through the mix.  The Mini when compared to some telephone effects I had in my signal chain really shined with its warm analog goodness. I found the Mini to inspire more creativity than just a stock telephone effect as I felt generally it had a much more authentic sound  and that could even be varied by careful use of proximity effect.
    WRAP UP
    With its tank-like boutique build quality, killer vintage sound and lifetime warranty the Copperphone Mini is decidedly one to consider adding to the arsenal.  It's not so much IF you'll find a use for it but rather WHEN and I'm willing to bet the first time you do you'll quickly find more and more uses.  We at TMV are certainly having some fun with ours.  ~TN
    Copperphone Mini Specs:

    - Type: Dynamic
     - Polar Pattern: Cardioid
    - Frequency Response: 200Hz , 1.4kHz
    - Impedance: 150 ohms
    - Output: 105 +/- 2dB SPL @ 1 kHz
    - Microphone Dimensions: 1.75 inch x 2.25 inch
    - Shock Mount Dimensions: 6 inch diameter x 0.75 inch
    - Weight: 0.75 lbs
    FEATURES
    - High-grade passive variable reluctance transducer
    - High-quality Switchcraft 3 pin XLR connector
    - Rugged copper housing and components
    - Dismounting kit for optional ergonomic handheld use
    - Handcrafted in the U.S.A
    - Lifetime operational warranty
    - Aircraft aluminum shock mount ring to fit North American style stands
    http://www.placidaudio.com/products/copperphone-mini/  
    Review by Travis North
    *This product review is a courtesy of The Modern Vocalist World and is endorsed by The Vocalist Studio International.

  11. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to VocalScience for a article, How To Attend To Vocal Cord Paralysis - What Could Be The Causes & How You Should Deal With Them?   
     
    Mainly, vocal cord paralysis occurs after related (and unrelated) surgeries such as, for example: Thyroid removal surgery, spinal fusion and even simple surgical procedures that require surgical intubation (Tracheotomy). Often, those tubes are inserted incorrectly and, as a result, the vocal cord(s) could be damaged and/or paralyzed.
    The voice could be easily jeopardized if you have experienced stroke, or even unrelated surgeries, for example, due to even any accident, which requires surgical procedure. Of course if (God forbid) the sufferer had any growths like tumor, or even a simple nodule or polyp on a vocal cord, removal of any of the above could easily cause vocal damage and vocal cord(s) paralysis.
    The Vocal Science™ technique is the only alternative way, which could dramatically improve ones’ speech and even singing voice for that matter.  The Vocal Science method is a holistic and alternative approach to voice mechanics.
    By the virtue of fact, the method suggests to remove the pressure of the sound from he vocal cords and lift the voice to the alternative muscles, which once put to work together in full conjunction and coordination, will amplify the sound 4 to 5 times over and will employ the wholesome vocal mechanism to work in its fullest capacity and with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy. The space on the bottom of the throat is also released and thus, allows the room for the natural herbal and homeopathic remedies to work in the full force, which will greatly aid to the patients’ voice/vocal recovery. Please be advised that this process of restoration of the voice (after the vocal cords/vocal folds paralysis had occurred) is extremely tedious and intense.
    It could be also a very emotional process on the patient’s part. Obviously, their voice is not sounding the same and, at times, it Is difficult for them to pronounce certain syllables. I have seen a lot of tears in my studio/clinic, which sometimes served a positive deed, as after a good cry, the patient had regrouped and caught a second breath, so to speak. By that point, they got their sadness out of their heart and soul by releasing their emotions and even their voice became lighter and more compliant to the instruction.
    A lot of the patients, understandably, possess a lot of ‘stuffed-up’ emotions. That, by itself, could be one of the reasons of their voice disorder. I receive a lot of patients with thyroid problems and even removed thyroids due to cancer. In holistic teaching, the thyroid represents suppressed emotions and hurts. So, in the first place, they were experiencing something that, emotionally, they could not comprehend.
    Majority of the diseases are emotionally induced and then, they manifest in the physical body. For example: A bad marriage could cause a lot of anger and anguish. The human liver (in the holistic understanding) does represent suppressed anger. When one of the spouses dies of cancer, it is almost 100 out of 100 that it would be the cancer of thyroid or, even more so, cancer of liver.
    That’s, of course, if the marriage was full of disagreements and fights. So, from our side, we are wishing you peace and harmony in whatever you are doing in your life path. That will keep you happy and healthy & most likely by osmosis will keep your voice intact.
  12. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to TMV World Team for a article, CVI vs TVS: Review of “The Four Pillars of Singing″   
    CVI vs TVS: Review of “The Four Pillars of Singing″
    BY FELIX, ON APRIL 21ST, 2015 
    So I finally decided to buy “The Four Pillars of Singing″ by Robert Lunte (TVS, The Vocalist Studio). Some of his tutorials and lectures on YouTube caught my attention and after a few days of consideration (+200$ is a lot of money) I decided to give it a try. When I started my singing studies I had decided to look at as many different approaches as possible and learn as much as I can and Robert Luntes perspective is certainly interesting and he definitely knows what he is talking about. I will compare his training system to CVT (Complete Vocal Institute) because it seems to be aimed at the same target audience.
    “The Four Pillars of Singing” is a comprehensive vocal training system that includes a book, over 350 videos, audio training content, detailed training routines, guide files and a robust learning management system that allows you to take a comprehensive course to study and master the TVS Method. It offers workouts starting in the key of C and G (to make it easier for women to use), training work flows and training routines for over 64 workouts, guide files that help you learn how to perform the workouts quickly and a very useful interface that organizes this massive amount of content. A user interface like this, is not available in any other program.. Robert advertises it as being the system with "the most content in the history of mankind". That is not only marketing but certainly a fact. But what does it mean? There is a lot of data in here, that’s for sure.
    The content of the book is similar to what CVT teaches. Especially the TVS method for organizing the vowels of singing into what they call, "Acoustic Modes". But unlike the CVT vocal modes, the TVS Acoustic Modes have stripped out a lot of additional levels of complexity, focusing only on where the singing vowels resonate in the voice and their respective sound colors. It is a very effective and intuitive way to learn about the acoustics of singing.
    In addition to ideas from TVS such as training work flows (teaching students to train with "step by step" instructions), specialized onsets and vowel modification formulas, "Pillars" also offers "physical modes" which are essentially very similar to the EVTS voice qualities or Estill modes. If your looking for CVI and Estill concepts as well as the unique TVS techniques, you can only find it in The Four Pillars of Singing. The focus is on all styles of singing.
    The 616 page book includes descriptions and illustrations of all the important components for singing; physiology, acoustics and mental imagery. The product is very comprehensive and a lot of work has clearly been put into it. With CVT, you only get a book and some sound samples and that leaves the less skilled voice student lacking for guidance and instruction on how to train and practice. One of the strongest aspects of The Four Pillars of Singing very well may be, that it seems to not miss the important point that students of singing technique programs have to have the content and guidance that no only teaches them the method and techniques, but also teaches them how to apply the techniques with training and practice routines. The sound samples with CVT are helpful, but the value is far below what you get with The Four Pillars of Singing.
    Then there is Robert. He sure is an interesting voice coach, he sounds very credible and his way of teaching is captivating. In a real-life coaching situation, that might be great and it certainly is important if you want to reach your full potential as a singer quickly.
    What is better, CVT or TVS? Should I buy Complete Vocal Technique or The Four Pillars of Singing?... or BOTH?
    It is important to point out that both systems are actually compatible together, but if you had to make a choice, given that "Pillars" already includes the main CVT premise, vocal modes oriented around singing vowels, then The Four Pillars of Singing is the way to go, given that they cover that topic with the "TVS Acoustic Modes".  If you are a person who needs or learns faster with video tutorials and audio files to listen to in the care and practice with, then "Pillars" might be the better choice for you.
     
    Learn more about "The Four Pillars of Singing".
    Read reviews on Amazon.com. CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON.COM REVIEWS >>> 
     
  13. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to Steven Fraser for a article, Male Voice Passaggio 101 - Where Is It and Why   
    Introduction
    In the male voice lower and mid ranges, (what has been traditionally called the "chest voice"), the harmonic structure of the sung tone contains many partials - harmonics, which fit nicely into the pattern of resonances for any particular vowel chosen. Throughout this range, the strong, lower harmonics are reinforced by the first vowel resonance corresponding with Formant 1, (F1), midrange harmonics are reinforced by the second vowel resonance from Formant 2 (F2), and higher harmonics are emphasized by the higher "twang" or "singer's" formant resonances. The combination of multiple, powerful low, midrange, and high harmonics present in all vowels is a distinctive characteristic of this section of the male voice.
    In contrast with this, in the male high range, (what has been traditionally called the 'head voice'), the harmonics produced by the voice are higher in frequency and more widely spaced. Here, few of the harmonics fit into the vowel resonance pattern. For one particular span of notes in the head voice, there is no significant resonance available to amplify the lowest two harmonics produced.
    To achieve vocal power and consistency of tone in the high voice, the male singer uses what he has available, "twang" (singer's formant) and the resonance from F2 strengthening harmonic 3 or 4, depending on vowel.
    Between these two resonance strategies is a region of transition, too high for the 'chest voice' strategy, and too low for the F2 alignments of the 'head voice' strategy. This transition region is the passaggio.
     
    Acoustics of the rising fundamental
    Throughout the voice, as the fundamental frequency moves, the alignment of harmonics and resonances for a vowel changes. On an upward-moving scale or leap, the fundamental and all the overtones rise in frequency. Since the harmonics are spaced at multiples of the fundamental, the harmonics also get farther apart, too. For most of the chest voice range, this is not an issue, as the resonance from F1 covers a wide frequency range, and midrange harmonics are close enough together for at least 2 or 3 of them to get some benefit from F2. These conditions apply to all the vowels. However, in an upward pitch pattern, as the voice passes middle C (C-F, depending on voice type) eventually the scale reaches a region in the voice where the alignment of harmonics to formants is no longer advantageous. Overall vocal power and tone quality will be lost if an adjustment is not made. The particular point in the male voice where this occurs is as the 2nd harmonic passes F1.
     
    Visualizing harmonics and the /e/ vowel in a spectragraph
    As illustration of this, what follows is a series of spectragraphs made with different fundamentals sung to the vowel /e/ (ay), made using my own, baritone, voice. As representative of a lower chest voice tone, the first is of the A natural just a bit more than an octave below middle C , also known as A2. Each vertical blue line represents the intensity of a particular harmonic, where 'up' = louder. Low frequency harmonics start on the left side. The leftmost peak is from the fundamental, and if you look at each peak to the right of that (increasing frequency of harmonic), you can see that the 4th harmonic is the very tallest, and then the peaks become successively shorter.
    This peak volume for the 4th harmonic, and the emphasis of those surrounding it, is the result of Formant 1, F1 in its position for /e/ in my voice. Harmonics to the 'left' of the formant center get progressively louder as they get nearer to it, and those to the 'right' of the formant center get softer.
    Proceeding to the right is a section of quite harmonics, not so tall in the display, and then there is another build up to the 13th harmonic. This is the area amplified as a result of the location of Formant 2, F2. The spacing of F1 and F2 is what makes this vowel sound like 'ay' to the listener.
    After another gap, there are two more areas of emphasis, which are the result of F3 and F4, clustered together. These formants move very little vowel-to-vowel, and form the high frequency 'brightness' resonances of the singer's formant.
    The reason we start with this: for any given vowel pronunciation, (like /e/) the formants stay at the same locations even while the fundamental (and the associated harmonics) are moved during the production of different notes. Especially important in the understanding of the male passaggio is the relationship of F1, F2 and how the harmonics align with them.
    A2 on /e/ vowel.
     
    Harmonic spacing
    As mentioned earlier, for any given sung note, harmonics are always the same frequency distance apart. That frequency spacing is the same frequency as the fundamental... the note being sung. So, if a fundamental is 110 cycles per second (like that A2,) all the harmonics will be 110 cycles apart from their neighboring harmonics. You can see this equal spacing in the picture above. Because of the closeness of the harmonic spacing, you are able to see pretty well the 'shape' of the formant regions.
    Up an Octave
    The next picture is of the same /e/ vowel, but singing the A up one octave, the A just below middle C, A3, which is 220 cycles per second. Notice that the peaks are farther from each other than in the prior picture... now they are 220 cycles per second apart.
    Looking at the peaks for a moment, you can see that the amplification effects of F1 and F2 are still in the same place (left to right), but now different numbered harmonics are boosted, and fewer harmonics are affected by each individual formant. In the case of F1, the 3rd harmonic is now the most emphasized, with the 2nd harmonic also getting some help, while F2 is emphasizing the 7th harmonic tremendously, but not much else. This excellent alignment of F2 with a harmonic makes it really ring distinctively, and is an example of 2nd-formant tuning, which will get discussed later.
    Finding the exact location of F1 for /e/
    Are you curious about the exact location of F1? Look at the bottom of this next picture, right beween harmonics 2 and 3. See the blips? All voices have some soft, non-harmonic noise. When that noise falls under a formant, it gets amplified enough to measure. These low blips on the spectragraph are the giveaway to the location of the formant.
    A3 on /e/ vowel
    Continuing the scale upward
    As I continue up the scale from A3, three things happen due to the musical intervals represented by the harmonics:
    1) My 2nd harmonic gets closer and closer to F1, strengthing that harmonic. This makes the warmth of the voice 'bloom' in this region, and the resonance makes it possible to oversing some and still get away with it.
    2) My 3rd harmonic gets higher above F1, and so it gets progressively softer. In combination with #1, this changes the tone quality somewhat.
    3) F2 tunes to successively lower harmonics.
    These three trends are very important in understanding the male passaggio.
     
    More on 'What happens when a harmonic rises above a formant'?
    As a particular harmonic rises above a formant center, it rapidly decreases in intensity. In this next picture, now singing Bb3 (up just one half step from the A), you can see the effect on the 3rd harmonic. It is quite softer now when compared to the 2nd harmonic. For this note, the principal power of the vowel is being carried by the 2nd harmonic. You may also note that the F2 tuning is emphasizing harmonics 6 and 7 more or less equally. That is because F2 is between them. Harmonic 7 is no longer in the 'ringing' position, and harmonic 6 is not yet high enough to be there.
    Bb3 /e/ vowel
     
    The male upper chest voice
    My voice is now in the 'fattest' part of the upper chest voice, where most of the vowel power is coming from the 2nd harmonic. This range is just about a perfect 5th wide, because that is the spacing of the 2nd and 3rd harmonics. The region begins as the 3rd harmonic passes F1, and ends as the 2nd harmonic passes F1, in other words, for my /e/ vowel, from the Ab below middle C, to the Eb above middle C. This is what makes my voice a 'low baritone' quality. (Note, you can still see the noise blip.. its getting closer to the 2nd harmonic the higher I sing)
    Now, the Db in the following picture. Notice that there are little noise blips on each side of the 2nd harmonic. This indicates optimum alignment of the harmonic with F1, the place where the 2nd harmonic is exactly aligned with F1.
    Db4 /e/ vowel
     
    The effects of strong resonance on ease-of-singing
    Through the entire compass of my voice, up to this point, lower harmonics have been boosted by F1, which has provided for some cushioning effect for the vocal bands. That situation is about to change significantly as the fundamental rises past this point. A very important challenge to the singer as this happens is to resist the temptation to maintain vocal power via pushing.
    And now to the Eb. The 2nd harmonic has just past F1. Its still very strong, but will lose ground very rapidly as I proceed upward. This is the beginning of the tricky section of the passaggio, where the resonance provided to the 2nd harmonic decreases rapidly, and I must, to retain vocal power and tone quality, find another way to shape the vowel.
    Eb4 /e/ vowel
    My next post, 'Male voice passaggio 102' will discuss the various strategies that can be used to retain resonance through the passaggio.
     

  14. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to Steven Fraser for a article, Male Voice Passaggio 102 - Resonance Strategies   
    This article is 2nd in a series on the Male Voice Passaggio.
    Introduction
    In the first article in this series, I explained the acoustic basis of the male voice passaggio experience. In short, the passaggio is a place in the range where the resonance characteristics of the voice are 'between' those of the so-called 'chest voice', and 'head voice'. Of particular interest is the relationship of the first hamonic of the sung tone with the lower vowel resonance.
    In this article, we will examine some of the resonance strategies available to the male singer in this range, and how those strategies help consistency of vocal tone, power and ease-of-singing.
    'Chest voice' power... to a point
    As mentioned in the prior article, a great deal of the power of the voice, and the sensation that the voice is 'in the chest' comes from the strength of the lower harmonics. This situation continues during the upward scale until the the 2nd harmonic passes F1, the location of which varies by voice type and vowel. Singing upward from there, the 2nd harmonic rapidly loses power halfstep-by-halfstep, and since the fundamental is an octave below it, there is now no strong resonance in either of them from the lower vowel resonance. The 'bottom' (powerful low resonance) has fallen out of the tone quality, and the sensations of that resonance in the chest and other tissues, becomes rapidly much less. The sensation for many is that the voice has 'left the chest'. Also, since the middle harmonics are farther apart in frequency now, F2 has not yet been of an advantage to make up for the missing power of the lower harmonics. In another way of putting it, the singer is no longer in the chest voice, but not yet in the 'head' voice.
    Passaggio effects
    This change in resonance character and power does two things to the singer, one at the laryrngeal level, and the other in tone quality: 1) it removes the cushioning provided the vocal bands by the inertive vocal tract, and 2) it causes a tone quality change which favors the brightness (singers formant component) of the tone. Item 1 makes the voice less stable (sensitive to disruption, for example, cracking, blips, etc), and item 2 makes it brighter by comparision to the notes immediately below it, without having any satisfying vowel resonance.
    Arriving in head voice
    Continuing the scale, the male singer reaches a point where F2 finally aligns with the 4th or 3rd harmonic (depending on vowel) and F2 greatly strengthens this harmonic, to the point that it is the most prominent in the entire voice. Very often, this circumstance is accompanied by pronounced sensations in the bones of the front of the front of the face, and very often elsewhere. For the singer, the voice is now fully 'in the head'.
    In effect, the passaggio is the section of the voice between these two distinct areas of resonance characteristics, above the area where F1 helps the 2nd harmonic, and below the area where F2 helps the 4th and 3rd. When the word 'passaggio' is used to mean an active technique, it means whatever is done to keep the vocal quality consistent in this area, and also keeping it from becoming unstable. In other words, to connect the secure, powerful lower and upper voices in a manner that makes the voice as consistent as is possible.
    Passaggio resonance strategies
    A) Principal among these is the use of epilaryngeal resonance, in either the form of twang orsingers formant, which we might describe as twang with classical vowels. This has several desirable effects.
    1) The use of this resonance boosts vocal power by ~20dB (that is, greater than 8 times as loud to a listener,) particularly by increasing the volume of harmonics in the 2500 to 3500 Hz region, the most sensitive range of human hearing. With this resonance, the singer gets much more sound, and much more audible sound, from the same amount of effort, and can thereby be heard effectively without having to push vocally. More sound, more apparent volume, less work. Sounds like a winner to me.
    2) Epilaryngeal resonance, which occurs in the small space immediately above the larynx, before it continues on to the upper parts of the pharyx, provides a cushioning acoustic feed-back to the vocal bands, so they do not take so much stress as they go through their motions. For the techies out there, it can be thought of an impedance-matching layer between the vocal bands and the pharynx.
    In common parlance, 'riding the vocal ring' across the weak area. For the classical singer, its often the region where vowel darkening (via modification, discussed later) is done to counteract the brightness of the rising-voice tone quality, a technique which to some extent increases the intertive character of the vocal tract, providing some helpful cushioning.
    An epilaryngeal resonance strategy is not only helpful in the passaggio, it has these effects in the lower and upper voices as well. However, in the passaggio, it provides much-needed tone quality consistency while the vowel resonances are 'between gears' so to speak.
    Vowel Modification can be used to advantage. There are two approaches here to be mentioned.
    1) Because the passaggio starts and ends at different notes for different vowels, the singer can benefit from shading a vowel which has become unresonant toward a related vowel that is not.
    For example, the first vowel resonance for /i/ (ee) is lower than it is for /I/ (ih). The passaggio for /i/ starts lower than it does for /I/ in a given voice. If done gradually, the singer can shade the /i/ progressively toward /I/, which the listener will not notice because it sounds so well.
    Acoustically, the effect of this maneuver is to raise the first vowel resonance, and lower the 2nd vowel resonance, bringing them closer together. This technique can be used by singers who use low, medium or high-larynx approaches. The vocal tract retains most of its inertive quality because vowel resonance is being maintained with these alternate vowels.
    2) Vowels can also be modified by changing them to more 'closed' or 'darker' forms on the ascending scale, so that both the vowel resonances are lowered. In some circles,this technique is called 'covering', and if done well, is not noticable to the listener. If it is noticed, it was overdone :-)
    In this approach, vowels such as /a/ (ah) are modified to aw, and /o/ (oh) toward /u/ (oo) through the passaggio. Other vowels have their own series of similar modifications. The technique is generally usable with classical vowels, and with lower-larynx technique, without objection by a listener. If done by a mid-or high-larynx singer, the tone quality variation would likely be more obvious if not done very subtly.
    The effect of this type of vowel modification is twofold:
    ---to create a lower position for the first vowel resonance, and to bring the second vowel resonance downward so that it will align with harmonics 4 or 3 sooner than it would otherwise, and
    ---to increase the inertia the air in the vocal tract, making it more cushioning for the vocal bands
    Either, or both of these vowel modification techniques can be used by the singer to create the tone quality effects that suits their artistic expression.
    Passaggio Width and location
    As a practical matter, the passaggio region for any vowel is about a perfect fourth wide. The starting point will vary by voice type and vowel. /i/ (ee) and /u/ have the lowest passaggio entry points. /e/ (ay), /I/ (ih), /o/ (oh) and /E/ (eh) have the next lowest, and /a/ (ah) has the highest. Other vowels are spaced between these.
    Passaggio locations are a general indicator of voice type. Bass has the lowest passaggio point, baritone somewhat higher, and tenor highest.
    Conclusion, or the Benefits of Passaggio technique
    Why bother with all of this? It makes singing more consistent, powerful, enjoyable to do and pleasant to hear. It reduces vocal strain, and increases tone quality stability in a region of notes that can be fraught with problems for the male voice. There are several approaches from which to choose, and the singer can combine them in whatever way makes sense for their vocal endeavors.

  15. Like
    Robert Lunte reacted to VocalScience for a article, Vocal Injury   
    Vocal Injury: The pain could be inevitable, but the suffering should be optional.
    Like many of my other clients, Karen lived with her voice disorder for almost two decades. She had seen many medical professionals, alternative doctors, and nevertheless, speech therapists. To all of them, she had been complaining about the pain in her throat, her neck and her shoulder, evidently associated with that. Practically all of them told her that it is all in her head. Only one of the specialists was able to diagnose her with muscle tension dysphonia (MTD), but like everybody else, he was not able to administrate any kind of treatment which would help Karen to get rid of her nagging pain while speaking. Needless to say, she was devastated and practically was ready to give up on life. She is a very vibrant and boisterous person who loves to talk a lot. Some of the so-called medical professionals ordered her to keep silent for six months!!
    Needless to say, I had quite a few cases like Karen's in the past. In brings out the memory of my former client, George L., a real estate agent from Los Angeles, California, who went through the similar ordeal. Nobody could tell him also what was wrong with him and every treatment George took around the world would make his sufferings with his voice worse than before. And he needed to speak for a living! Twenty minutes into my first session, George had tears in his eyes and said to me, I'm honored to be in the same room with such a specialist like you.Four days later, George left very happy with his voice completely recovered.
    The fact is, that from the medical doctor and the alternative practitioners point of view, there is nothing wrong with such patients like my two clients described above.
    Why, you, my reader, may ask? Because the problem, one more time again, is mechanical.
    None of the doctors know how to fix the mechanics of voice, i.e. recover it from the neck and chest muscles; structure it and place it in the sinus (facial) cavities; and how to create the support of the sound from the lower and upper abdominal muscles; and how to integrate and synchronize those muscles to work simultaneously with each other. The description of the Vocal Science Method is such that it requires the synchronicity and synergy between mental, physical, emotional and vocal components.
    If that doesn't happen, the voice repair will never be accomplished. If that wholesome mechanism which allows the voice to work in its fullest capacity possible with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy is not established, the voice, speaking or singing, will never have a healthy sound and always will be prone to some kind of injury. With that mechanism in place, the speaker or singer will also be able to comply with standards of professional speaking or singing, and nevertheless, preserve their recovered voices for their lifetime.

×
×
  • Create New...