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Go big or go home!

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So I've been lurking for a couple months and finally have something I'd like to share with the community. I've posted my cover of Faithfully on my TMV page http://www.themodernvocalist.com/profile/ChristopherCastleman . . . What a way to make my introductions eh?

Now its not the greatest recording, I'm using some of my dads old equipment, and I've just started to learn how to use Reaper, but I think you can still get enough from my vocals to provide feedback. I'm pretty happy with the piece, it's not my absolute best ever performance, but I think it does a good job of showing where I'm at in my development.

So I hope you enjoy, and I hope to receive plenty of critiques because I want to get better :D

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Hi... The mic sounds a bit brittle and funky... but wont hold that against you... try to get a warmer sound in the vocal tracks.

The higher notes are a bit constricted/belted... you are right at the edge of your physical ability to sing this song in your chest voice... to really get the Steve Perry sound... you will want to be able to sing the higher notes in a mixed or headier placement... it will open up your voice.. help the sound from sounding less "chokey" and certainly make singing this song easier for you...

Having said that, this is a VERY difficult song to sing... really hard stuff here my friend... and you should be recognized for getting after it. Overall, it sounds ok-good... would be great if you could get better placement.

"... Im still yours..." at the end... the "Yours" was an example of some good placement... try putting more of your high notes in that "place"... its head voice vs a chokey high chesty belt.

Hope this helps... Great to have you here at TMV.

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Hi Chris,

First, congrats for having the courage to post a recording on here! I understand how difficult it is just to do that.

I agree with Robert...you are on the edge in a few places. Also watch for timing and I would like to see you add some feeling. Think of someone you care about and be in the situation that you are far away from them and miss them (ie: I get the joy of rediscovering you - when Steve P sings this line you can feel that he will enjoy every moment of that). More mixed voice and head placement will help with alot of the sound you are looking for. I'm sure Robert would be happy to help you with achieving that! :)

Try again with warmer sound on mic and feeling.....and see what improves.

Good luck!

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Thanks guys for your feedback!

The mic is a PVM38, it's gotta be almost 30 years old as well as the other stuff I'm using. I'm eyeballing some new stuff, but that will just have to wait until the budget allows. I'm also just learning to use Reaper, so the fx could be messing with the vocal tracks as well. Would it be better for you guys to hear dry vocals for the time being?

Robert, I think you've put into words what I've been struggling with mentally. Sometimes everything just feels right and smooth and my head just "rings". Other times, like in this clip, I've got to fight to find the notes and sound. My problem is that I'm very inconsistent on when I get into the right "place". Truth be told I think I only figured out what the right placement was a few weeks ago. I was experimenting and my wife went, *whoa*, you haven't sounded like that before! I'm still unlearning bad habits I guess. I'm also unsure as to the proper amount of head vs. chest voice. To often I feel I sound very thin with little body.

Just out of curiosity, what is it about the song on a technical level that makes it a difficult song? Its a high song, but I know I have the range for it. Is it getting the mix of head and chest correct to produce that "big" "epic" sound?

Chele1000, thank you for pointing out the lack of feeling. I agree. I'm focusing too much on just making the recording turn out and getting my voice to work the way I want it. Hopefully once I can get this placement thing down, I can be more emotive! I'll definitely be more aware as I practice going forward.

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Hi again,

What I do, when I'm learning a new tune to cover or a new song for a teacher and it's in my higher range, is find the notes in my head voice only and then build from there. If I need more volume to get the 'feeling' across I build that. If I need more mix, I build that. You get the idea. Find the placement first with the proper pitch and then add what it needs for the right effect you are looking for. To build a house you first have to build the foundation. Can't build the whole house all at the same time. :)

It may sound thin, or whimpy when you first find the placement but that's ok! Bit by bit you make it stronger/better/fuller/raspier/wider...etc.

Something else....let's not forget that when we hear the recorded version of any band, there is alot going on that we don't know about in the production. Try and find live versions of stuff on You Tube so you can get the 'real' sound of the individuals voice. Steve Perry for example always tilts his head to his right when hitting the high notes. Don't know how that helps him but it obviously does.

Cheers and keep on singing! You're a talented guy.

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