Jump to content

Cobain distortion

Rate this topic


NCdan
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been trying to challenge myself by singing some not so easy songs while playing guitar so I can sing while playing with more freedom and independence. I can do distortion that is not hurting my throat at all, and I can get whines and what not using what feels like proper technique, but I know I sound a lot milder than Kurt did. I read something from the guy who recorded "Nevermind" and he said that he was really lucky to get four takes from Kurt before he blew his voice out.

My question is, can anyone really get the screaming, ragged sound Kurt Cobain had using ONLY proper technique? Or do some rules have to be broken at some point, in other words, do you have to do some stuff that isn't healthy for your vocal cords? I'm sort of guessing yes, but maybe I'm wrong. Any CVT guys have any input on this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes you can get the distortion/rattle that kurt had using proper technique. You should not be doing anything that hurts your voice and 99% of the time, if you can achieve the sound without correct technique, you can achieve it healthily and safely with technique, and keep your voice for a lot longer. The reason why your sound might not sound as harsh as Kurts is that you haven't mastered the technique fully. Even though correct technique may seem weak at first (and this is true for many areas of vocalisation), with time and practice, you will be able to create your desired sound and surpass it, without blowing your voice out every 4 songs or causing permanent damage. You also should note the fact that other factors will play a part in his overall sound such as his tone, and his "vocal setup" if you will i.e. the anatomy of his throat, mouth etc. as this is what gives everyone their own unique sound. Even if you are doing these techniques correctly, you may not sound exactly like kurt because physically, you are not the same.

I don't really know what types of distortion he is doing (sounds like a few effects going on, creaking, intentional breaks and such) But the way he seems to be creating it is through constriction in his throat. My suggestion from a CVT point of view, bearing in mind i've only just started the program myself and have limited knowledge at the moment, would be to use the curbing mode to create that restrained sound and then try adding distortion through heavy use of twang whilst raising the larynx and keeping your tongue in an "up and back" position. Try experimenting with this, however, if you are achieving distorted tones and it feels comfortable then go with it. The important thing is that it should feel right, no matter how you "should" achieve it.

I hope some of that might have been useful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright, that sounds good enough. How about this: does anyone know of any videos they can link to with someone using proper technique who sounds like Kurt Cobain on songs like "Smells like Teen Spirit?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

THINK of the sound you want while keeping your throat as relaxed as possible. Put only in the MINIMUM amount of effort it takes to create that sound. Any more is just a waste. If you can, try not to be TOO loud. Finally, DON'T be breathy. You have to do ALL of these for a sound similar to Kurt's. Here's an example from me: http://www.box.net/shared/eknsc0vvh8

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SingingRob - I played with Jamie Vendera's full voice sirens enough times so I got really comfortable with them and started to fool around with sound colours on top of them until I realized that when I did the sirens - I was much "closer" to rasp than I thought - it only took just a BIT more intensity to bring it out.

That high up in range I make sure I have that twang or 3K ring in my soft palate and then I "think more intense" until a rasp happens, try not to get louder than I already am (because those high notes of mine are already pretty loud), use almost no air at all - and, at ALL points try to be as relaxed in my throat as I can - but still create that sound. Vendera basically says that if you just feel the scream in your soft palate, you shouldn't hurt yourself from doing high screams. I think it's very close to the truth - it's one of the most important things for high screams. A not-too clenched throat and not being breathy are the other important things. But I still haven't mastered this FULLY, IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a singing noob, but I agree with jonpall that keeping distortion low in volume is essential if you want to avoid grating your vocal cords together. Sometimes I still slip into at least partial incorrect distortion (grating my vocals cords) by trying to sing "too freely" or with too much volume, but after about half a song of this my throat starts feelings itchy and irritated and I need to stop and figure out how to distort correctly. Rasp is something totally different, though, and I don't really have a handle on that one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to add something to the volume thing. What I meant was, that in order to go from a clean tone to a raspy one, try to do it without simply increasing the volume more and more until the sound distorts. Think of it more as "intensifying" the sound. And on notes in the E4-E5 range, I think it's hard to sing raspy without being a bit loud - somewhere between medium volume and very loud. But it can be done healthy (or healthier) if the focus is on clenching/squeezing the throat as little as you can get away with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...