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With a little help from my friends and Separate ways - a capella

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jonpall
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Hi guys,

I just recorded myself singing random stuff without any backing track. In other words, "a capella". First is "With a little help from my friends", or a part of it, and then "Separate ways", again part of it - sung fairly slowly in order to get all the vowels and consonants as best sounding as I can.

As of this date, I know that I haven't mastered singing in the tenor range, but my goal here was to get as pleasing sound as possible, with a hopefully well set up mic in terms of proximity and gain, etc. and then just the right amount of low and high overtones, chord compression, vibrato, emotion, etc. You'll have to excuse a telephone ringing in the background in the beginning.

If anyone of you can point out something that I may be doing wrong in my quest for a pretty "full" tone, please let me know. Here is is, hope you like it:

http://www.box.net/shared/qrtknj528s

Regards,

jonpall.

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By the way, this was recorded with my usual Sennheiser 835 dynamic stage mic, like before, but this time I didn't "eat" the mic but was at 6 inch distance or so and increased the gain of my M-audio interface. I think I'm liking this sound better than the one I was using before.

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jonpall - I think the quality of recording is better. It seems I can hear more detail in your voice - in fact it really does sound different now. Not that it sounded worse before when you were using proximity effect, you were getting some natural compression out of the mic - but now we're hearing more of your true voice.

I listened through a couple times, and it seems like you are hitting the vowels just right. The only thing I picked up is on Separate ways, when stopping the high notes you "scoop down". Like "mind" at 1:17 - the "nd" is sung an octave or so below after you scooped down. Of course that's a stylistic choice - and it can be distracting if overdone. It would be interesting to hear you end more of the words up at the pitch you were singing the vowels. Other than that minor thing I think it sounds great.

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Thanks Geno, for the taking the time to write that. And thanks for pointing out the scooping thing. It's one of those minor details singers might not be aware of about their own voices. I do think that I may be doing it more because I'm singing slow and I'm not doing it every time. My main concern this time was getting that high/low overtone balance. But it's good to get that detail from you.

Recording like this is a great learning process for many things.

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First of all, it is a joy to hear your natural voice, that is, you are not trying to sing like another singer, per se. And it's interesting to note that as relaxed as you are in this, you achieve the best tone. No fancy eq mix, echo, reverb, whatever. This is a forum for singing, not recording engineers.

Second, I did a little research on your country. Like a few other countries, you learn English in school, along with learning your own language. And your own language is held so dear that you speak English a lot to keep from letting modern words affect the mother tongue. Anyway, this exposes you more than most europeans to the sounds of english and the american sound. You sound american. A little bit of west coast and if I didn't know you, I would think you were from the Pacific Northwest, by how you sing. So, stellar job on pronunciation, even in this slow practice.

And if you are not a tenor, I will eat my socks. Maybe it's a struggle for you but you make it sound effortless.

I can have an explosive "b" so when I sing the song "Brandy" and the lyric starts with the name, I actually start it with an m sound. So, it becomes mmbrandy. It softens the pop of the labial consonant.

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