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Music of The Night - So Lets tune some formants then....

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Felipe Carvalho

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I was recording this song for a very special person, and since the subject of formant tunning came along:

"where you long to BE". In "be", the peak should be easy to see on the spectrum, thats "F2 being tunned". Now, are you guys doing this? Not all pop songs accept this well. You need much, much less just to allow comfort. If it serves anything, until very recently I didnt even know I was tunning anything, and would sing just the same if I didnt know. Curious information, but useless in practical aplication.

I insist, this information IS NOT technique, this is curious data that has no information whatsoever on how to do it.

By the way geran, also because that huge thread on sounding like girls, on the end, the last "night", I did a crescendo in pitch sustaining a low dynamic level without changing one bit from your "metallicness", hope its usefull.

Cool song that accepts these things, but its way too much for most pop songs out there.



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This was fantastic. The best I've heard you do. Wow! And such a departure from those growls last week :D

Me and my wife saw the original play on Broadway many years ago and I had her listen to this. She loved it. Really really good man. Bravo!!


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mdew, sincerely hope it helps, that peak is where its more apparent, the whole song uses one or another kind of "tunning", vowel placements.

Tommy tnx man :), a fantastic piece. I saw the version in portuguese they did around here.

Owen, of course the information on how to do it exists. And I dont doubt even for a sec that Steven knows this inside and out.

Still Ive read "screw vowels", "find a ringing", "there is nothing important on vowels" and so on. So, what was that? Formant tunning practical application consists exactly ajusting each vowel through the tessitura, to an optimal spot, reducing effort, allowing legatto and eliminating tonal shifts that matter even on pop.

It IS vowel modification and mdew question was perfectly reasonable.

In fact if we dont consider the peaks where its obvious, all the song is "tunned" in one way or another here. Resonant tracking, while retainning vowel definition will result in it.

Its not an optional feat, and it is ajustment of vowels. The main problem is, you only have your vowels to modify, so do you understand them completely? Can you perceive the qualities you desire and the ones you dont?

The answer for 99% of the population is no, the rest are the naturals, and even those would benefit from trainning support and better ajustments removing useless tensions.

And just to make this clear, I am not saying that what Steven wrote is wrong, nor any methods around. I am being direct towards what was writen on the vowels thread.

soma ;)

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Thank you Felipe.

Although I do not know how to put it in my own words I do understand what you have been saying. I was thinking that changing the shape of resonators would change pitch. But I have found that it changes characteristics within the pitch. An adjustment in the lower throat area can amplify or hinder one set of frequencies.

An adjustment in the mouth chamber can amplify another and so on.

Tuning formants would be more like using an equaliser to add or adjust Low, medium and high frequencies.

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Mdew yes, but you have a few vectors to do this, you have the resonant quality, which adds beauty and projection/loudness, and you have the vowel quality, which is what define the vowels from each other.

If you go too much into the direction of resonance, you lose clarity, if you go too much into vowel definiton, you break the legatto.

Moreso, you have more than one kind of resonance ajustment to control that will help define more one or the other vowel. But all vowels must be kept consitent.

And there is the issue of what you are trainning for. For classical singing, the placement is done towards resonance and power, for pop, vowel quality. It does not mean that you can do a song with humming on classical nor that you can speak it on pop.

Follow so far?

And all these ajustments should only be done after support and emission are working properly. So that you can do it based on comfort.

You can do it through tension, but is not a healthy practice and on the long run will be detrimental to your health.

All in all this means you need to get at least one reference vowel properly placed and work from there, which you already figured I assume. And to do so, orientation is the only way.

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I don't know if it's the english as a second language thingy but I could not understand what you are trying to state, Felipe. Fortunately, I could hear you sing. And that was a thing of beauty. You've got the right voice to be cast in just about any hero role on Broadway, let alone, off-Broadway. You should really pursue that.

I would pay to see you on the dramatic stage. Just look for me in the audience. The tall, ugly looking guy whistling between his fingers in a venue that prefers just clapping. Don't make me whip out my cigarette lighter? :D

Sometimes, I prefer a simpler explanation. "Make a beautiful sound." And you did. Your sound is more testament to what you mean than your words. At least, in my limited understanding.

Bravo, Felipe.

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Owen ok man... We have talked about similar things before and in the end we were basicly saying the same. But keep in mind, that when you tune a formant to match a harmonic, it becomes huge, so there is a difference between the normal "tunning" we (an you are included in we :P) do on the postures, and to have this happening 100% of the time on any kind of voice, not even on opera this is used all the time, it would defeat its purpose (a fortissimo note, a point of resolution).

Bob, yes... Still there are many solutions to the same problem. Why not attack the weaker link on the chain? Someone too strong that fights resonance, let go of the fighting, resonate more. Someone that resonates but is weak, has no resistance, train for strenght first.

Still, I find that Owen solution fits best the real cases most of the times. Finesse first.

Then again, finesse itself results in conditioning... Its not really possible to train one without the other. Its ballance... The stronger you want to be, the better you have to be able to control resonance and have agility on the vocal tract, to eliminate strain, or else you will destroy yourself. The more agile you want to become, the stronger you have to be to sustain the demands that quick ajustments and refined movements requires or you will get tired and not be able to finish the song.

Always think on the whole, the human voice is one instrument, not 2 or 3 things that you can control appart of each other, you cant forget about any part, or it will unballance the whole mechanism.

ronws Thank you a lot man :o. haha I would surely love such thing, not happening so soon unfortunately :(... Oh what I was saying can be resumed to: you have to resonate, but you have to be understood.

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Tnx Dan :).

Jens, I dunno man, I usually study the song, doing like 10.000 of takes of each part, changing this, that, this vowel more, this one less, and so on, until I have one final structure, and then I go for one final take. Not for "virtuose" but because it ends up sounding more consistent. Even if I skip over larger instrumental sections. If I cant do it in one take, it usually sux even if I try dividing it in pieces.

Im 31 y.o. man. haha this song really do not admit high screams, would´ve sound very weird :P.

Rach humm no I dont believe in you, Ive found your postings not only disrespectfull but with your usuall posture of talking in circles and around the bushes to try to diminish others without compromising yourself with really stating something. As a tip, in further oportunities where "you may be wrong" just remain silent. I also mean no disrespect to you, but truth is you dont have my respect anymore. :)

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Tnx Dan :).

<snip>...I have one final structure, and then I go for one final take. Not for "virtuose" but because it ends up sounding more consistent.

I would think this was best. I find that when I'm recording, and I get the flow and feeling of a song just right, but suddenly make a mistake causing me to have to do another take I am upset. I am upset because that is a moment in time and that feeling and/or emotion is now gone from it's natural automatic state. The next take will be a new emotion in a new moment. It could be better, sure. But it could also be worse. Point being, it will be different. I can't see piecing a song together. Different moments, different feelings. Too produced.

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Felipe Your so WRONG! hIGH sCREAMS RAISE THE BAR FOR ALL SONGS... I can just imagine you soaring on a soprano high C in the end ;)

Being serious.

31 is a good age, i feel like we have quite a similar voice but you being a more classical singer going metal and im being the other way around.

The funny part i actualy tried the finale in nessun dorma after i read yor thoughts about classical techinique and your defenition of headvoice. To my suprise i actualy did it alot better than i thought i would

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Oh jens, Im not really a classical singer. I just use the classical approach into pop. Cool thing that you did so. Covering is very handy to have under control, even if you like more open and higher larynx vocal production, you can still use a small bit and save your voice from stress, it makes it easier and more comfortable. Adds body also so its nice for interpretative purposes.

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31? That's a good age. It's been a while for me. I was trying to remember what I was doing when I was 31. We were camping with friends and someone had a guitar and was playing "Over the Hills and Far Away" better than I can play it, so I was singing along with his playing. Word got to me later that other friends walking by had heard what we were doing and really liked it.

Delayed applause, I guess.

Enough maudlin memories ....

I'm a one-take guy. Time and again, I have had by my butt kicked trying to iron out a problem. First take, a problem in one spot. Start over again and because the stress of that first mistake is looming ahead of me, I lock myself up and mess up again in a different place, or mis-time something or forget the lyrics I just sang on the last take, even on a song I have sung for some time.

So, like Felipe had said in a good thread, get the performance nailed down. Recording is just clicking buttons. So, the most important thing for me is to be so comfortable in the performance that I just go through in one take. My first instincts are usally my best. Second-guessing just tears it up.

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