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Read my mind, Bling, Wuthering Heights

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(Yes, the Killers again :P)

*obligatory " I did it so bad " as usual*

So yes the timing is still sometimes off (but it's improving) and the voice still breaks (but it's improving) and the mic still overloads (and it's not improving :P), and my voice was a little tired so there was definitely a few missed notes here and there. I need to REALLY get my vowels right, I can feel it. Especially EEs (bees) and OOs (Shoes ?) are so impossible I can't believe people use them. Like for real.

Speaking of the mic, I still have no idea where I should put it, so I try to keep an eye on audacity to keep the waves from overloading/fading away too badly. But that's about the extent of what I can do right now, and it's far from perfect. Another thing to figure out.

Actually I was about to only post Read my mind, but, for reasons unknown, I suddenly felt like posting a couple more, and I didn't want to overpower the board by flooding, so...

Read my mind (The Killers) : http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14571174/Sam%27s%20Town%20-%20Read%20my%20mind%20%28cover%29.mp3

Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush, except she sings it an octave higher, lucky she) : http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14571174/Wuthering%20heights.mp3

Bling (The Killers) : http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14571174/Sam%27s%20Town%20-%20Bling%20%28cover%29.mp3

I decided I'd only let myself have one shoot at each, so it's about as raw as it can be. No special audacity treatment either.

Any advice/comment appreciated.

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Hey Ronron,

I've exceeding my download cap so my internet access is too slow to download your music right now, but I will.

Just on the mic thing, without having listened to your files yet.

100mm. Don't touch the top / grate of the mic. Come closer for soft, and further out for loud. Always point the top of the mic into your mouth, not up your nose. Modify your ssss and p sounds so as not to pop too much. Don't worry so much about Audacity's sound waves, just try to notice for yourself when the sound is getting quite intense and move out a bit. It's is better to connect with what if FEELS like in your body rather than Audacity - Audacity isn't on stage with you. Different mics are different, but on a big note, in a full on belt I can be a foot or more away from the mic. But, on a quietly cried out note, full of remorse and tenderness, the mic could be brushing my lips. Generally though, 100mm.

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Screw the mic. I, probably more than anyone here, totally understand the problem of mic limitations.

I love the volume you are singing with. I only listened to the Killers' covers. I think your voice is really suited for their music, even though you have a different basic timbre than their singer. If he ever quits the band, you should be the next singer. For a number of reasons. I totally dig your accent and it would work very well with the european vibe of the music. Second, you have this great crying timbre to your voice that drips emotion. There are people who study hard to get the kind of emotion that just oozes out of you like perfume or a breath.

Were you shaky in some spots? Sure. So what? Like you said, this was raw take, what the pros call a scratch track, mainly so that instrumentalists know where the lyrics are so that they don't solo over verses.

You've got what it takes. Seriously, You're a singer. Know that, believe that, live with it. And I know others will just think of me as a cheerleader with no real criticism to offer. Sorry about their luck. The only think you've been lacking is self-confidence and I hear more of it in these takes, slippery notes and all. When you sing stuff from the Killers, you sing it like you wrote it. And that't the key. And the next challenge.

Write your own stuff, similar to the Killers. Even a capella. If you don't play a musical instrument, find someone who does and sweet talk them into playing your accompaniment. If I could be there, I would play guitar for you. You can come up with the melody. All that's left is finding the key that it's in and determing what chord structure best supports the harmony.

Count me in as a fan.

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Hey, I just wrote out a whole long post and it disappeared.

I liked the Wuthering Heights best. You have great potential, and the few small technical problems that I can spot (but do crop up quite a bit) will be easily fixed by a skilled teacher. So, when you CAN afford it - hot foot it to a good teacher. You also have alot of range potential, and a few places you seemed hesitant of the note, but you don't need to be - you have the range there and with correct support and placement, it will be ok.

So, my tips are: Make sure you can hear yourself really well when you sing. Don't sing along with orignal artists, you can't hear yourself well enough. Turn down the accompaniment, or wear headphones fed by your mic so you can hear yourself really easily over the accompaniment. You really don't want to be battling for volume over the background music. When learning a melody, a piano is a great tool, if you can pick out the melody one note at a time, or even use sheet music - it helps alot with your ear (or singing in tune).

I didn't think your mic should distort where it did. Perhaps you can turn it down at the mixing desk or on the audacity input volume control (mix desk first if you have it).

Lastly, support, phrasing and placement. Work out where you need breaths and mark it on your lyric sheet. Practice it every time with a breath in the same place to get your phrasing consistent. This helps with support. Also, try talking through the words, try shouting them, try singing it in a nasty, witchy sort of sound. You are trying to find a spot where everything gets easier and freer, like it would if you were shouting to a mate across the road. When you find that spot, cultivate it and learn to speak there, practice the song there. When you have learnt where it is you can lose the nasty sound.

Well done and keep trying. Your problems are minor, and there is evidence of good development in your voice, with a nice vibrato appearing at places, and a nice sound all round.

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SH, if I am not mistaken, Ronron has, at best, a cheapie desk mic like I was using before. Trust me, you can't get a good vocal sound out of a 3 cm condenser mic that's on par with a cell phone mic. Just as Mike (Snax) the difference between between my vocal files with the desk mic and the studio condenser mic I now have.

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Ahhh, ronws. Well, then I understand. A good mic is so worth the investment, if you are able to. I have a Rode M1, and Behringer Xenyx 502 little mixer for home recording and rehearsal, though audacity. It is a great little set up and I use the mic for performing too. Tough little bugger - my kids have dropped it a few times.

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My present mic is a little bit better than what I used to use, but it's still very cheap. I'll look into a better one when I have money ;p

SH : I also liked the wuthering heights best. I unfortunately don't own a piano, have a piano in my neighbooring accessible range, or know how to play the piano anyway. I can identify the Cs, and that's the extent of my knowledge of this instrument.

My support is okay, but not great, it's a work in progress really. So much better than what I used to do back in the day, though. I have absolutely had no musical training whatsoever. Unless you want to call high school flute lessons as it. I'm a total noob there, and couldn't read a sheet of music to save my life. I do everything by ear and feel. That's also why I do need to sing along the singer when learning a song, a few times to get the note patterns right.

ronws : I don't think I could ever replace their singer :D

But thanks a lot for the compliment. About your suggestion, I may have some writing skills, but not in the lyrics domain, unfortunately. And I don't know how to play any instrument, neither do I have a friend who can :P

But one day, it'll be allright, I guess.

Thank you both :)

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