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Very slight rasp

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jonpall
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Can anyone teach us to produce a very SLIGHT rasp, f.ex. like what Bono often did in the original studio version of "I still haven't found what I'm looking for"? Here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSv-lKwOQvE

Some words are raspier than others and some of them don't really have rasp at all, but quite often you can hear a very slight noise in his voice. I think it sounds awesome. It doesn't sound strained or overly done. Bono is just one of many, many singers who could/can sing with this effect.

I can sometimes do an ok version of this sound, but it's harder in the tenor range and I tend to have a more "heavy metal" rasp, which I'm trying to minimize.

So if anyone knows how to produce this rasp and explain to other how they do it (the best they can), shout it out! :)

Cheers.

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Here I am, trying to get a similar sound, i.e. very slight, smokey rasp. I'm not sure if I'm succeeding, though, so I want to ask you guys if you think if I'm doing the same effect as Bono, f.ex. or not:

https://www.box.net/shared/25lxzkhfoofigt0m57p0

What I'm doing here is trying to put them only on the very highest notes, i.e. those B4s. I use siren on a yay helper word up to the B4 so get my configuration going and play around with intensifying the sound more and more until I get a very slight rasp, as slight as I can make it, yet able to hear it. Then I sing the melody on a "yay" helper word and put rasp ONLY on the B4s (I first tried having rasp on every single word, but I thought that was overdoing it - perhaps that's an indicator that I'm not doing the same rasp as Bono, I don't know). After doing that a couple of times, I try to replace the yays with the actual words and try to use the same effort and throat configuration as with the yays.

You have to excuse the poor sound quality, but do you guys think I'm doing a similar rasp effect as Bono and those guys with the "smokey" rasp, or do you think I'm doing something else?

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Interestingly, one of my MSN buddies who's very knowledgable of singing techniques and vocal effects, said that my vocal effect was the same as Bono's but that Bono was using the Oh vowel more and I was using a very twanged UH/AH vowel. Listening back to those clips, I think he was correct. I'll try to re-record soon and post here.

... Update: After getting more help from my buddy I think I've figured out what Bono and those smokey high rasp guys are doing and how to produce it! I'll try to record what I did soon. Unfortunately, I'm going on a 5 months vacation without access to the Internet but I hope you have enough patience to wait for the explanation and recording. Cheers, guys!

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i always say, listen to a live version of any singer you want to emulate...i don't think bono ever sang that song in that key live.

jonpall, you have the ability to do this and so much more.

you can think your way into sounding like that. i know you go for the methdological approach, but if you really put intense concentration on it, you can will yourself to sound that way.

assuming all the other prerequisites are in place, support, relaxed throat and jaw, and all the rest.

with all due respect jonpall and i say this because you are a good guy and try so hard...you might just be your own worst enemy.

that's not in any way to hurt feelings, just want to get that across to you. b.t.w., it takes one to know one.

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Bob, I understand what you mean, but the problem is that I "willed" my way to try to sound like that for a few years and I got NOWHERE. That's why I started researching vocal technique in the first place.

And yeah, I've seen live recordings of that song from the same year as the song was released and they lowered the key at least a whole step. But I DO know that there are some singers who can/could do it. Lou Gramm being one.

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...also, I listened to that song over and over and yet I didn't realize that Bono was singing the Oh vowel on many of the B4s. That was a very small detail but it seems to make a LOT of difference in the sound. I wasn't using the Oh vowel and there was always something about how I sounded that bugged me. And also how I was creating the rasp effect. Do you see what I mean?

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Interestingly, one of my MSN buddies who's very knowledgable of singing techniques and vocal effects, said that my vocal effect was the same as Bono's but that Bono was using the Oh vowel more and I was using a very twanged UH/AH vowel. Listening back to those clips, I think he was correct. I'll try to re-record soon and post here.

... Update: After getting more help from my buddy I think I've figured out what Bono and those smokey high rasp guys are doing and how to produce it! I'll try to record what I did soon. Unfortunately, I'm going on a 5 months vacation without access to the Internet but I hope you have enough patience to wait for the explanation and recording. Cheers, guys!

I'm not sure if you're serious. haha if you're kidding you are a funny guy. If not then that is pretty hardcore man! haha as a teenager 5 months seems like a freakin' lifetime, and I too really want a slight rasp. I can do a far too intense distortion that only works well for James Brown haha ("GET UP OFFA THAT THING! Dance and you'll feel betta!). Interestingly, my voice sounds lower and deeper when I do it

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...also, I listened to that song over and over and yet I didn't realize that Bono was singing the Oh vowel on many of the B4s. That was a very small detail but it seems to make a LOT of difference in the sound. I wasn't using the Oh vowel and there was always something about how I sounded that bugged me. And also how I was creating the rasp effect. Do you see what I mean?

i do. i started really listening to the these singers that sound like "oh" "uh" and "ohm" (the french vowel) predominates their singing. i have a post on that called "uh" singers. it seems like there is more to these vowels than meets the eye.

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" the french vowel " Which one ? Cause ohm doesn't ring any bell x)

Is it a nasal vowel ? I suspect you're talking about " on "

hymm, i believe so. from 1:27 to 1:35

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sbHp927_io&list=FL1DuIp4hjb2A4b5k5sebgPw&index=2

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I try and do a similar rasp in this http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=11147725&q=hi&newref=1

Except, I am not really trying to rasp as such - its more like I am trying to be dramatic and it just happens. I could not tell you how I do it. Is this the kind of rasp you are refering to?

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Overdrive, sorry, I tend to kid around when I'm happy. I'm not going anywhere :) . The trick is partly to sing a mixture of Oh and Uh at the same time, have a "hold/cord compression" and the volume somewhere between medium and maximum. And I'm using a particular exercise to be able to do it that high up in pitch, which is a bit hard to explain in written words but I could possibly post an audio example when I can get some privacy to sing fairly loud.

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I just did a re-take and this time I used more of an Oh vowel like I talked about, going for a Bon/Lou Gramm type of sound:

https://www.box.net/shared/x8c4thzx3q6vz2u97344

(For those who are interested, this rasp is created by the true folds and is called creaking between overdrive and curbing in cvt terms, whereas a more heavy metal, aggressive type of rasp is created by the false folds (this is called distortion in cvt terms).)

When I went from clean to raspy, I

a) gradually modified from an overdrive vowel towards a curbing vowel, in this case from Oh towards Uh, ending up with a vowel that's somewhere between those two modes, AND

B) gradually lowered the volume so that the volume was between overdrive volume and curbing volume, i.e. between medium and loud, AND

c) gradually put a slight hold/cord compression on the sound, AND

d) increased the support slightly.

During all of this I made sure to have all the fundamentals in order, open throat, no breathiness, tongue against the bottom teeth, jaw not pushed forwards, etc. In this clip I was using raised cheeks and a raised soft palate, btw.

I think that quite often in the past, I was trying to sing with that Bono/Lou Gramm tone and did NOT do one of the things in the list above. For example, I might have forgotten to lower the volume slightly or sung a very pure Oh vowel. When I didn't lower my volume a bit, I tended to strain and you could often hear it in my sound. When I used a very pure Oh vowel and tried to put rasp on it, I needed to squeeze my throat too much or actually increase the volume, because the Oh vowel really opens the throat too much to create rasp in a healthy way. And the Uh vowel makes it so that your throat isn't open enough to easily create rasp.

So if I'd lowered the volume so that it was slightly above medium AND did that slight vowel modification, I wouldn't have strained as much as I did.

Bob (and you guys), I suggest that you try this technique out and see what happens. Do ALL of the things I listed. I'm pretty sure this is a technique that Lou Gramm did all the time, and many, many other singers that had/have very powerful voices with slight rasp. You might want to start on a lower note and work your way up.

I'd like to make a disclaimer that I haven't experimented much with this stuff, i.e. all those things COMBINED, but this feels very promising.

Cheers!

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I'm also experimenting with another method to get this smokey rasp on my high notes, a method that I've sometimes used before, but it also very promising:

I either sing a song I know, in the high part of the voice, or improvise in that register. I sing the song WITHOUT RASP and with medium volume (you could call it curbing/mixed voice). On occasional words in the song, I'll sustain the word, look to RELEASE as many muscles in my throat as I can (if they're not released already) and then gradually THINK more "intense" until a rasp happens for a few seconds. Then I'll just continue to sing/play with that song (or improv). Often the reason I'm having trouble rasping my high notes is because of underlying throat tensions. Lots of fun. I like that one.

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