Jump to content

Unwanted distortion/rasp/fry

Rate this topic


Freddie
 Share

Recommended Posts

This started just over night last week. My voice has a unpleasant rasp to it which I cant get rid of. This occurs on belted high notes and gets worse as the note is sustained. Some vowels get more of this raspy quality than others. I experienced something like this back june this year. It happened just before I got a major cold that lasted for like 2 weeks. Now it has been there for a week and I begin to loose hope here..I went to an ENT today and my chords actually looked fine.

What the h**l is going on!? Ive heard that the voice can get off centered and create harmonics like this but how could that happen over night like this? Im not familiar with it at all...:(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Sounds like you need to have a laryngeal videostroboscopy. I'm assuming that this was not done, but if it was you may want to get a second opinion. Subtle vocal fold changes can be easily missed without proper focus of the stroboscopic exam, and definitely on laryngoscopy without stroboscopy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Update:

Some days are still really messed up, and some days are still great...the sad thing is that I no longer trust my voice like I have done before...for years.

Like last week I did one amazing day in the studio(no pain. no strain and no weight) And now its back to the old strainy sounds that disappear into a hoarse, creaky or raspy sound.

Ive noticed that adding grit or distortion does not work at days when my voice is f**ked up. Simply because it requires a great deal of muscle control and twang. Bad days also make me push much more than I would normally need for the desired tone. So it is pretty much like straining although I know I do not strain normally.

I have a few more clips I would like to share:

Bad day (Hear how it worsens) - http://www.box.net/shared/3oh1v9gq9s

Good day - http://www.box.net/shared/n84acbu6dy

Reply to StevenMFeinbergMD

I am going to look for another apointment with a ENT to get the videostroboscopy done. They checked through my nostrils last time.

However...if someone has experienced something similiar to this and also could or can not figure it out please share your experiences! And others as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recorded a few clips

Slides(falsetto, twanged)

Transcending from falsetto to full voice

"Lalalas" in varous softness and "mamama"

Doesnt really shine through here. But it may give a hint why I often fall off center or fall into that bad muscle memory. The thing is that it usually only kicks in while singing songs and after a short while I notice that I need more support and air pressure begin to increase.

Anyway...here are the recordings.

http://www.box.net/shared/43r3t2kijv

http://www.box.net/shared/yf69ktx5nd

http://www.box.net/shared/21scjgef7z

http://www.box.net/shared/segtbs9cpq

http://www.box.net/shared/ps9678tyti

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Freddie,

Thank you, it's 99% clear that your vocal folds are just fine. And therefore it's a question about technique. Your unwanted distortion happens when you sing in Curbing, this shows that you are not in center. Try sing something in pure Overdrive and see if the same thing happens. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ill try that.

Ive been in contact with a number of other people who have experienced or are experiencing the same difficulties.

I recieved this interesting reply on another board:

Freddie,

I run into the EXACT same thing with my voice. It's crazy hearing your samples. Seriously. I have days where I can sing anything in any mode(or even in-between modes) in all parts of my range. And then........wham! Simple phrases require 100% MORE SUPPORT and I can't find the damn center to save my life. My voice gets unintentional distortion too.

The only conclusion I've come to is that I am singing OUT OF CENTER too much on those days and it creates bad muscle memory or something. I am taking lessons through CVT right now to make sure that I can FIND the center of the mode on a DAILY basis. That way if I get "off course" I can practice healthy center to get balanced.

I have to say, It do seem to be a question of being in center or not. And the statement about muscle memory on certain days in the quote seem reasonable.

The big questionmark is: Why did it suddenly appear and how can some days still be magnificent. Guess that has to do with the muscle memory, that I somehow fall into a bad setting from the start and then simply cant get out of it. Opinions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is exactly the case. You have to know how to stay centered. We are humans and sometimes we forget things..So you need to get back to the center again (which I'm pretty sure is curbing). And analog's respons is right on (I've seen your post on the CVT-forum by the way).

So can it happen overnight...yes. So my advice is to dig into curbing from scratch unless of course the other modes are creating the same unwanted distortion...which is why I want to hear you sing in another mode..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its hard to tell which modes really causes the trouble. I believe it happens while curbing BUT when I practice scales purely in any mode, it does not occur and I can sing free in my entire range. It also affects the higher parts of my range where pure overdrive cant be applied. So I think it happens while curbing and when mixing it with the other modes... And it really has to do with STAYING centered in these cases because it often occurs after a few songs or on a bad day in the middle of the first song...depending on the song ofcourse.

What I have also noticed is that days that will go wrong has a certain feel to it...I can feel it for example if I add distortion it will feel less supported and very thin/unbalanced. I know my voice works fine when I can add distortion and it floats kind of under the note in a comfortable, stable sensation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does your "bad day" relate at all to voice fatigue? Have you tried taking a few days rest and see what happens when your muscles are completely recouperated? I know if your are using the right technique this shouldn't be an issue. But you may be overdoing it with practicing or pushing or something and muscle memory gets screwed up with fatigue. Sometimes when I feel great I overdo it that day, and I pay the price the next day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No it really is not related to vocal fatigue at all as I see it. During the time Ive had these issues I have not really overdone my voice. The feeling that kicks in when it happens is not the same as what I refer to as vocal fatigue. Ive got an answer on another board that succesfully captures the sensation:

it feels like a light switch in the voice where certain vocal tract positions/vowels just "go out." It's so damn frustrating.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

It really feels like I loose the twang and that is what creates the constrictions. I do not know why I do this on certain days. Ive tried singing twanged vowels around my bridging area and it sounds horrible....I think this may be the root cause! I have not been able to sing for two months now and I feel that my problems have just got worse...ive probably developed more bad muscle memory. I need to put my old muscle memory back but I do not know how!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

Freddie, can you put these links up again ? I'm really interested in hearing what it is you're referring to.

I've had rasp appearing as you described after a doc's error while probing my stomach through my mouth which was

followed by a major 2 week cold where I'd lost my singing voice completely last august. I am grateful I regained my head voice -

or most of it - but the rasp goes on and off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might try some prevacid for a week and see if it helps... sounds like it could be a little reflux. If it helps I would start keeping a journal of your diet and water intake. If no help from that take a week off and ease back into things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It IS acid reflux. If anyone has got these symptoms be sure to check for this at your ENT because it can really be a bitch. I went for over half a year thinking it was technical-problem that had just kicked in over night one day. Because of this I wasted money on a lot of bullshit teachers until I got in contact with an ENT that really knew the problem. It takes just a tiny bit of acid to irritate your chords just slightly - and thats enough to ruin it all.

Ive been able to control it since early June by taking PPI medication and avoiding food a few hours before going to bed.

It is also important to avoid "trigger" foods like coffee, chocolate etc.

http://heartburn.about.com/cs/dietfood/a/heartburnfoods3.htm

One can also try to elevate the bed so that the acid dont get the chance to come in touch with the larynx. Check out "Wedge Pillows"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I had the same problem for a long time. In fact, I still have it. Nothing can make it go away. I tried drinking nothing but water, I used Apple Cider Vinegar, I used baking soda, still this crazy rasp comes out of my voice on high/intense notes. It's like God hates me or something and wants me to fail. Nothing can make it go away! AAARRGH!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had rasp appearing as you described after a doc's error while probing my stomach through my mouth which was

followed by a major 2 week cold where I'd lost my singing voice completely last august. I am grateful I regained my head voice -

or most of it - but the rasp goes on and off.

This could be something besides (or in addition to) reflux irritation. If your voice has been off since an esophageal scoping & you think it was not done right, did the GI probe possibly bang into the vocal mechanism? everything is crowded together into tiny space back there, and your "cold" might have been a mechanically-caused problem in vocal fold closure or vibration.

It sounds like things are resolving, but I would STRONGLY recommend seeing a good ENT with the equipment to do a good close-up exam of how your cords are functioning (aka videostrobe). If there is not a good voice clinic near you (with ENT and speech therapist who both understand singers), it is worth traveling a bit to get this properly diagnosed.

contact me off-list if I can be further help.

Joanna

(voice therapist, Los Angeles)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

From being totally sure this was a case of Acid reflux I am no longer so sure. My voice is in really bad shape at the moment, I was good all summer.

From my latest stroboscopy exam my ENT could not find much of the irritation on the vocal fold level that I previously had. What he did find was that my vocal tract seemed a little dry and lacked a smooth surface.

To recap a bit here. My problem is totally twang vowel oriented. When I use twang my voice starts to crack and skip. The only modes I can do when having this problem is overdrive and neutral, to a certain degree.

Since my problem is twanged-vowel oriented I feel like the problem area really could be the vocal tract and not on the vocal fold level. What do you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

could definitely be environmental dryness --- thats sometimes a factor when my clients report drop-outs especially in mid-range.

steam, vaporizer, etc. are the things to try if you suspect this.

& review any recent changes in your regular food, vitamins, other medications (did you start taking anything for some other condition, that might have a dry-mouth side effect? Don't stop taking things, but do talk to MDs about the situation.)

best of luck-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dryness can be factor. I wear myself out singing in the car if I have the heater going. It is extremely efficient at drying out the air to prevent fogging the window. So, I try not to sing with the heater going on. And/or, drink plenty of fluids and take it easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This could be something besides (or in addition to) reflux irritation. If your voice has been off since an esophageal scoping & you think it was not done right, did the GI probe possibly bang into the vocal mechanism? everything is crowded together into tiny space back there, and your "cold" might have been a mechanically-caused problem in vocal fold closure or vibration.

It sounds like things are resolving, but I would STRONGLY recommend seeing a good ENT with the equipment to do a good close-up exam of how your cords are functioning (aka videostrobe). If there is not a good voice clinic near you (with ENT and speech therapist who both understand singers), it is worth traveling a bit to get this properly diagnosed.

contact me off-list if I can be further help.

Joanna

(voice therapist, Los Angeles)

Joanna,

Thanks for taking the time to answer my post and my apologies for not answering earlier - I got no notification, although I'm subscribed to the topic.

I did see and ENT and they did use a videostrob and recorded my vocal cords in action. The doctor said my vocal folds are in good condition, no polyps or scars.

I've lost 18kilos, went through a 2 month therapy for my stomach and follow very sensible diet to avoid reflux. It seems there is measurable progress in the disappearance of

unwanted raspiness. I will report back or contact you should it persist.

Thanks again,

Thanos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does this sound reasonable:

If a problem with unwanted distortion/rasp/fry whatever you want to call it origins from the vocal folds being attacked by reflux. Wouldnt this affect all vocal modes(CVT), including neutral(falsetto)? I find that my voice works just fine in falsetto but not in edge(belting) or curbing(mix) on "bad days".

Im thinking much towards my vocal tract being dry as the main reason for my specific problems since mechanisms in the tract is what engages twang.

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...