DavidLyon

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DavidLyon last won the day on July 31

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  1. Hey everyone!  I just released my newest collaboration video, this time it's Bat Country by Avenged Sevenfold.   All vocals are performed, recorded and mixed by me, including harmonies and backgrounds.   Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) - Bat Country - Full Band Collaboration Cover  >   I have about 45 more songs on my YouTube channel too, so feel free to check them out and let me know what you think.     Rock on my friends, and keep singin'! -- Dave https://www.facebook.com/DavidLyonOfficial
  2. Hey guys, Here's my recent cover of Safe and Sound by Capital Cities. I have about 40 other videos too, so if you have time and interest, check 'em out! Rock on, my friends!
  3. DavidLyon

    Dream Theater Strange Deja Vu Cover

    Hi Keith, great effort man! I listened to the whole thing, and if you're willing, here are a few friendly critique observations: -- You shift into a falsetto mode somewhere around F#4, definitely by A4. Your falsetto tone is mostly accurate to the pitch, but the tone is not as pleasing to the ear as a full head voice would be. Continue working on your head voice register. I think that will improve the audience's reception. For example 0:55-1:02, kinda has a "Kermit the Frog" falsetto tone to it, if you know what I mean. On those higher notes, sing full voice, with more forte and volume, avoid the falsetto. Work on your bridging and connecting. -- You're consistently a little late on the beat, but in some areas it's especially noticeable. For example 2:03-2:10, and similar syncopated phrases in the song. Work on your time accuracy - it's especially important with Progressive Metal and syncopated or odd time signatures. I hope this doesn't offend you in any way, or come across as nit-picking. The name of the forum is "Review & Critique My Singing", so I'm just trying to kindly share some honest observations. All the best to ya! You have a good voice, keep going!!!
  4. DavidLyon

    The "Run To The Hills" (Maiden) thread

    Hey guys, great covers, all! Here's my cover of this song: It's one of my very first YouTube videos, so I apologize in advance for the poor picture and audio mix. My newer videos are much better. ;)
  5. Thanks for the comments guys! Adolph - I think I figured out the video upload thing, hopefully it works.
  6. Hey everyone! It's been a while since I was here, so I wanted to drop by to say "HI"! Here's my most recent cover video. I've got about 40 more on my channel too. Keep singing!!! -- Dave http://www.facebook.com/DavidLyonOfficial http://www.youtube.com/zimfar
  7. Thanks Igor. I'm not the strongest baritone, which is why I selected this song, to work on my lower range. You're possibly also right about the studio/mic differences. My AKG Perception is a condenser microphone, and isn't the best at picking up all of the lower frequencies. One of these days I'll get a Shure SM7B which is a dynamic mic, and which I've found does a better job at the lower frequencies.
  8. Thank you Ron! Glad you liked it. I'm really proud of my kids, they really did a great job. Both were a bit nervous, but they rose to the occasion. :)
  9. Here's a new vocal cover that I made with some help from my wonderful kids. We had fun making this. I hope you enjoy it! -- Dave
  10. DavidLyon

    "Pull Me Under", by Dream Theater - TVS Student

    Hi Geno! Thanks for checking out this video. I've always had a pretty broad range. No, I have not really worked with any coaches to expand my range. In the past, I have performed in choral and musical/opera as anywhere from baritone to countertenor (alto). In contemporary rock bands, I have always been a high melodic vocalist. My most comfortable "vocal center" singing position though is first tenor or countertenor. For as long as I can remember though, I have intentionally and routinely done vocal exercises to work on different vocal ranges (low, mid, high). Singing is an athletic activity, and as such, the different vocal ranges require regular practice to develop them and to keep them in shape. I've found that "expanding the range" and keeping the vocal extremes in shape (either low or high) requires more routine practice than keeping the normal "vocal center" range in shape. I dedicated my life long ago to performing vocally at an "Olympic Athlete" level (at least, that's my goal!). As such, just like an Olympic athlete, I have routine practice, work out, have dietary regimens that I employ as part of my daily life to help develop the desired musculature and skill to deliver the last ounce of results that I can derive from my body. An example of me working on "low" range: Johnny Cash - Hurt ( ) Some examples of me working on mid/low range: System of a Down - Toxicity ( ) Alice In Chains - Check My Brain ( ) Metallica - Until It Sleeps ( ) Some examples of me working on high range: Dio - Rainbow In The Dark ( ) Judas Priest - Painkiller ( ) I hope that's helpful!
  11. Some extra info: HOW TO AVOID CLIPPING:   1) Use a DAW to do your recording and monitoring. Reaper is a perfect one to start with because it's free, and it's probably perfect to stick with forever because it is as good (or maybe better) than almost any other DAW on the market (including ProTools, Studio One, Audacity, etc.). 2) Basically all decent USB Direct Interface ("DI") boxes have at least a Gain knob for the microphone, a master (headphone) volume knob, a Direct Monitoring switch, and a Phantom Power switch. Don't buy a DI for vocals that doesn't have at least these minimum requirements. 3) Plug your microphone and earphones into the DI. Turn ON the Direct Monitoring switch (this way the DI will send your microphone back to the earphones, so you can hear what you're singing, with zero delay). If you have a Dynamic mic, leave the phantom power OFF. If you have a Condenser mic, turn phantom power ON. 4) Launch your DAW, and create a test track to set your volume levels. Set the vocal recording test track to MUTE - you are already monitoring your voice via the DI's direct monitoring, so turn off feedback from the DAW because it will be slightly delayed. Sing into the microphone and watch the recording level indicator in the DAW. Adjust the gain knob on the DI until the recording level tops out at about 60-70% in the DAW (just barely above the "green" and into the "yellow", absolutely NO "red"!). IMPORTANT!! ONCE YOU HAVE BEGUN RECORDING, DON'T TOUCH THE GAIN KNOB AGAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR RECORDING SESSION, EXCEPT IF YOU FIND YOU ARE CLIPPING!!! 5) Import your instrumental music track (the song that you'll be singing/recording along with) into the DAW. It is critical to import the track into the recording session. Don't try to play it in one program while you record in a different program, or you will end up with lots of sync problems when you try to mix. Now, here's the magic, how you hear yourself while recording, without the microphone clipping. Remember, DO NOT TOUCH THE MICROPHONE GAIN KNOB!! 6) Start playing back the song from the DAW, and start singing along to it. Listen to your earphones. If your voice is too quiet, turn UP the master (headphone) volume knob (but *NOT* the microphone gain knob!!) on the DI box. If that makes the music too loud, turn DOWN either the master volume or the instrument track's volume in the DAW! Keep tweaking these two settings until you are able to hear yourself and the music at the same time at a reasonable volume. If you have done all of this correctly, you should now be able to hear both your own voice, and the music track in the earphones at adequate levels; and you should be able to sing as loud (or quiet) as you need to for the song, with the maximum volume in your vocal recording track maxing out at about 70% (nowhere near clip, just barely into the "yellow" area of the level meter, a little bit above "green"). There is (of course) more to it than just that, but that is the basic starting point from which to begin.
  12. HOME RECORDING BASICS - A FOUNDATION FROM WHICH TO START!   THE DAVID LYON SET-UP.     When it comes to recording any instrument, people always get way too caught up in gadgets. This is especially true of recording vocals, especially for do-it-yourself recording studios. People tend to think that a better gadget will always translate into a better recording, which occasionally is true, but rarely. Yes, the better tools and equipment do have certain advantages, but you shouldn't bother proceeding to buy (and potentially wasting your money on) the more expensive recording stuff until *AFTER* you have first mastered the basics of recording, because otherwise it won't really make much (if any) improvement in your recordings. My current vocal recording & mixing setup:   -- Dell Latitude E6420 laptop (almost 3 years old, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, Intel Core i5-2520M 2.5 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM - In other words, nothing fancy or special) -- M-Audio FastTrack USB 2 (the cheapest DI that I could find at the time, less than $99) -- AKG Perception 120 condenser mic (a good quality mic, but also inexpensive at $99) -- Livewire Advantage 5' XLR microphone cable ($15) -- A cheap pop screen ($10?) -- A cheap tripod microphone boom stand ($20?) -- Reaper 32-bit DAW (Free if you want, I chose to support them, cost $60. I stuck with 32-bit Reaper even though I have 64 bit Windows, because more plugins are available for 32 than 64 bit) -- Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones (About $150. Don't buy the curly cord, get the straight cord!) -- A folding card table to set my laptop and M-Audio interface on. -- My basement family room (completely untreated - basic carpet, some couches, a TV on the wall, a cat weaving between my feet, etc.) That's it! What DOESN'T really matter:   1) Mac vs PC is mostly irrelevant. Digital is digital, so mixing and recording on a Mac vs PC is merely a matter of user interface preference, not results. I've personally found that Mac is the most "popular" platform recommended by musicians, but that Windows is the most "functional" platform that has the most plugins and recording/mixing software available for it. So I use Windows because I get more software options (plus it's much cheaper than Mac). 2) Condenser vs. Dynamic / Cardoid vs. Super-Cardoid / etc... is also mostly irrelevant. Actually these do matter a little bit, but not really for a beginner recording engineer. Different microphones will definitely have different "warmth" and "character", and also different sweet spots, but usually the difference is quite minor and very subjective. Just start out with a good quality mic and use it A LOT until you really know its quirks, strengths and weaknesses. Getting to know a mic is like making a good friend - it takes a lot of time together to really know it. Over time, you can begin to work your way into other mics as you begin to learn the subtle nuances of each different mic. What DOES matter when studio recording:   1) Nothing replaces a good performance. Bad vocals recorded in a world-class professional studio are still bad vocals. Relax, have fun, and let your experience and training take the lead. 2) NO CLIPPING! If your microphone is clipping, you either have the gain turned up too high, or you are using the microphone incorrectly, or it's a sh*t/broken microphone that needs to be replaced. Every microphone has a "sweet spot", which will differ depending on the microphone and how loud you sing. Do some experimentation to find your microphone's sweet spot. Keep experimenting until you can record your vocals cleanly at about 60-70% max. In a modern digital recording and mixing environment, there is ABSOLUTELY NO advantage to recording at or near clip! That's an old paradigm from the analog recording days when the tape imparted some "hiss" moving over the heads, which no longer applies when recording and mixing digitally. So, record your tracks normalized to about 60-70% (leave lots of head room), and then adjust volumes to blend properly during the mixing phase, and worry about normalizing only for your master track after it's all said and done with mixing. 3) Use a microphone stand. Using a mic stand helps you keep your mouth in the microphone's sweet spot, and also creates a more consistent recording volume floor. It also eliminates extra noise created by bumping or holding the microphone, plus you can't really use a pop screen without a mic stand. When recording, to control volume for vocal dynamics (like when you're going to shift from a quieter to a significantly louder vocal projection, or vice versa), move your mouth, not the microphone (you can see me doing this on many of my videos, like SOAD - Toxicity). 4) Use a pop screen. This will help reduce the harshness and wind-blow noise from "plosives" - like "B", "F", "P", "T", etc. It can also serve as a convenient visual cue for where to place your mouth to stay in the microphone's sweet spot. Pop screens don't help much as a de-esser, but that's pretty easy to fix in mixing with some fairly simple EQ-ing or plugins. 5) Shut down any unnecessary applications or services on your laptop/workstation when recording. Maybe also temporarily disable Anti-Virus scanners if yours is processor heavy (many are). Definitely shut off email and browsers - you don't want those distractions anyway while recording. 6) Do multiple takes. I'm typically better on my 3-6th take than I am on the earlier takes (warmer, more relaxed, more familiar with what I'm going to do vocally, etc.). Tracks are free in your DAW, so don't be cheap! Make a new track for each new take, and save your work often. 7) Take your time. You are recording at home. It's not like you have to pay per hour for the studio or a recording engineer. If your voice just isn't cooperating with you today, come back and try again later today or tomorrow. 8) Avoid wireless microphones for recording. The conversion and transmission of a wireless signal, even on a really expensive high-quality wireless system, still results in lost fidelity. Use a good quality microphone cable (shorter is better) plugged directly into the mic and the DI. 9) Record tracks DRY with no effects! You can add all the crazy effects your heart could ever desire after the fact during the mixing process. By recording dry, raw tracks, you have unlimited flexibility to mix and add effects to it any way you want in the future. 10) Really, REALLY study and learn how to mix! This is a lifetime achievement goal, one you will definitely not master overnight, if ever... But the more you study, the more tutorials you watch on YouTube, the more real mixing you do, the better you will get at it. Learn what kinds (and what settings) of reverb or compression plugins sound best for your voice in different scenarios. Learn when and how to use a delay or a chorus plugin. Learn how to do doubling and layering of multiple takes. It all takes time, but the more you do it, the better you'll get at it. Those are the basics! Good luck!   Check out my videos on YouTube and Facebook, especially the more recent ones. I hope you'll see that a good quality recording can be made using very basic equipment. In fact, maybe check out some of my older recordings too, because the difference of recording and mixing experience becomes very clear when compared to my newer ones (my recording setup has stayed exactly the same, but my mixing experience continues to develop). I hope this is helpful! -- Dave     Some extra info: HOW TO AVOID CLIPPING:   1) Use a DAW to do your recording and monitoring. Reaper is a perfect one to start with because it's free, and it's probably perfect to stick with forever because it is as good (or maybe better) than almost any other DAW on the market (including ProTools, Studio One, Audacity, etc.). 2) Basically all decent USB Direct Interface ("DI") boxes have at least a Gain knob for the microphone, a master (headphone) volume knob, a Direct Monitoring switch, and a Phantom Power switch. Don't buy a DI for vocals that doesn't have at least these minimum requirements. 3) Plug your microphone and earphones into the DI. Turn ON the Direct Monitoring switch (this way the DI will send your microphone back to the earphones, so you can hear what you're singing, with zero delay). If you have a Dynamic mic, leave the phantom power OFF. If you have a Condenser mic, turn phantom power ON. 4) Launch your DAW, and create a test track to set your volume levels. Set the vocal recording test track to MUTE - you are already monitoring your voice via the DI's direct monitoring, so turn off feedback from the DAW because it will be slightly delayed. Sing into the microphone and watch the recording level indicator in the DAW. Adjust the gain knob on the DI until the recording level tops out at about 60-70% in the DAW (just barely above the "green" and into the "yellow", absolutely NO "red"!). IMPORTANT!! ONCE YOU HAVE BEGUN RECORDING, DON'T TOUCH THE GAIN KNOB AGAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR RECORDING SESSION, EXCEPT IF YOU FIND YOU ARE CLIPPING!!! 5) Import your instrumental music track (the song that you'll be singing/recording along with) into the DAW. It is critical to import the track into the recording session. Don't try to play it in one program while you record in a different program, or you will end up with lots of sync problems when you try to mix. Now, here's the magic, how you hear yourself while recording, without the microphone clipping. Remember, DO NOT TOUCH THE MICROPHONE GAIN KNOB!! 6) Start playing back the song from the DAW, and start singing along to it. Listen to your earphones. If your voice is too quiet, turn UP the master (headphone) volume knob (but *NOT* the microphone gain knob!!) on the DI box. If that makes the music too loud, turn DOWN either the master volume or the instrument track's volume in the DAW! Keep tweaking these two settings until you are able to hear yourself and the music at the same time at a reasonable volume. If you have done all of this correctly, you should now be able to hear both your own voice, and the music track in the earphones at adequate levels; and you should be able to sing as loud (or quiet) as you need to for the song, with the maximum volume in your vocal recording track maxing out at about 70% (nowhere near clip, just barely into the "yellow" area of the level meter, a little bit above "green"). There is (of course) more to it than just that, but that is the basic starting point from which to begin.
  13. DavidLyon

    "Pull Me Under", by Dream Theater - TVS Student

    I've been singing and performing my entire life. Formally trained in vocals since birth, and performing since childhood. I started out as a classical and opera vocalist, but switched to rock in my teen years because that's what excited me most. I've been in and out of many bands, and have participated in many projects and collaborations over the years. I've been working with Robert for about 9 months to help tweak and extra polish. He's a great coach. I'm a strong proponent that nobody is ever "done" or "good enough", there's always room for improvement and new learning - forever continue improving.
  14. DavidLyon

    "Pull Me Under", by Dream Theater - TVS Student

    Hi guys, This is my first post on the forums. Thanks for checking out my cover of Pull Me Under. I have a ton of other fun stuff up on Facebook and YouTube as well, so feel free to check them out too if you have time. Answers to a few questions: Thank you ronws! Much appreciated, and I'm honored that you found my singing to be helpful and inspiring! That means a lot to me. And Sam, my cat, says "hi", but he won't admit it... Hi Olem! Thank you for the kind compliments and the helpful critique! I am singing "One less to my last", but am modifying the vowels pretty heavily there. (w-UH-n l-EH-ss t-UH-oo m-AH l-AH-st) In a few places I cut off "t-UH-oo" a little bit too early and basically end up with just a "t-UH". So I can see how it would sound like "time I" instead of "to my". I couldn't agree more! I think there needs to be a fine balance between tonal resonance and vowel modification. If someone sings perfectly on pitch, but sounds like they have a mouth full of marbles, I don't think that adds to the performance. Thanks guys!