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Blues rock vocal - have at it

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Scotty D
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Okay, my band (a part-time hobby for all of us) recorded a six-song EP. It's simple, straightforward blues rock and the link below is to the first track. Interested in hearing your thoughts on my vocals and how they might be improved. Thanks in advance for any input.

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Impatient, aren't we? You posted when most people are either asleep or at work.

I likes me some southern-fried rock. I hear influences of Lynrd Skynrd with some vocal sensibilities like Molly Hatchet.

But I did have one question. Let me get in my stance, feet apart, one in front of the other and I can take a deep breath so I can take the full force of the reply:

Did whoever mixed and edited this recording absolutely, positively hate singers?

The vocals are muddy and it was hard to hear your diction, articulation of words. It sounded like you had good pitch, I just couldn't really hear what the song was about.

Is "Hair of the Dog" the name of the band? I ask because Nazareth has a song called "Hair of the Dog" that is quite popular and was covered by many, including Guns n Roses.

Good stuff, just mix the vocal a little more prominent than that. Or fire the guy that edited the final recording.

There, that's my tough love for the day.

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I have to agree with Ron about the mixing. Maybe it was live. Anyway as far as the singing and the music I like it.

This is my style of music. I could not actually understand the words but the melody sounds good and the style of singing seems to match the music.

If this song is about the love of alchohol. I cannot say that I would like the song if I heard the words.(just my own views)

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Impatient, aren't we? You posted when most people are either asleep or at work.

Alas, patience has never been a virtue of mine.

I likes me some southern-fried rock. I hear influences of Lynrd Skynrd with some vocal sensibilities like Molly Hatchet.

But I did have one question. Let me get in my stance, feet apart, one in front of the other and I can take a deep breath so I can take the full force of the reply:

Did whoever mixed and edited this recording absolutely, positively hate singers?

LOL. You have a way with words!

The vocals are muddy and it was hard to hear your diction, articulation of words. It sounded like you had good pitch, I just couldn't really hear what the song was about.

Thank you for the feedback, and your comments are definitely a concern for me. I recorded the vocal, but was not a participant in the mix. That was handled by a couple guitar players. Perhaps I should have insisted that I was there for the mix. Still, I wonder if the blame lies with me with respect to diction and articulation. I certainly don't want to unnaturally over-articulate, but if the listener can't understand the words, that's a problem. Do you think there are things I could do to improve the vocal in this regard, or do you really think the problem lies simply in the mix?

I think my vocals were mixed a little more prominently in the other songs we recorded in that session. If you don't mind, can you take a listen to another tune and let me know if you think the issue you identified is improved? That will go a long way to putting our finger on what can be done next time around. I really appreciate your time in listening and commenting.

The best example for comparison (a similarly-styled upbeat blues tune) is probably "A Shot of Whiskey (and a Bottle of Beer)" which can be found here: http://www.reverbnation.com/southernslangtexas/song/14927438-shot-whiskey-and-bottle-beer (click play on the last of the six songs in the list)

Is "Hair of the Dog" the name of the band? I ask because Nazareth has a song called "Hair of the Dog" that is quite popular and was covered by many, including Guns n Roses.

Good stuff, just mix the vocal a little more prominent than that. Or fire the guy that edited the final recording.

There, that's my tough love for the day.

Your tough love is welcomed and appreciated! Hair of the Dog is the name of the song, and it's about dealing with a hangover after a hard night of drinking (though the alcohol is really just a symbol for getting over a woman). I definitely know about the Nazareth tune, though its odd that the title never actually makes an appearance in the tune (as far as I recall).

Anyway, thanks again, and I'll be interested in your thoughts on the other track if you have the time and inclination to give it a listen.

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I have to agree with Ron about the mixing. Maybe it was live. Anyway as far as the singing and the music I like it.

This is my style of music. I could not actually understand the words but the melody sounds good and the style of singing seems to match the music.

If this song is about the love of alchohol. I cannot say that I would like the song if I heard the words.(just my own views)

Thanks for the kind words and constructive feedback. Disappointed that you weren't able to understand the words. That issue needs attention! As for the song, yes it's about the aftermath of a hard night of drinking, but is really about getting over a bad relationship. But yes, we're a southern rock band, and alcohol references are fairly prominent, e.g., "A Shot of Whiskey (and a Bottle of Beer)," which is about mustering up the courage to ask out the prettiest girl in the bar. If you follow the link above, perhaps you might like "Goin' Home," which is the second song on the page. It's a take on the prodigal son story, written from the perspective of the prodigal son, rather than his father and brother.

Thanks again!

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Actually, I am familiar with the term "hair of the dog." That's why, New Year Day, you start off with Mimosas (champange and orange juice.)

Letting the guitar players mix it explains a lot. I love good guitar playing. I play guitar, also. Though there are others better than I am, including my younger brother and fellow member, slstone. But jeez, let the vocals breathe. What did you do to tick them off?

:D

Shot of Whiskey, that's the perfect mix and way better mixed. And, I think, an even better song. If you guys are sending out demos. make this track #1. Serisously. You have 20 seconds to grab the ear of a record company guy. Make him drunk and feverish on the first line. I hope you don't mind, I was actually having scotch with a soda chaser.

And I think you guys have a market. Of course, there will always be Lynrd Skynrd. Molly Hatchet doesn't even have the original members anymore and they are still playing. Time for some young bloods, like you. Go for it. Like, now.

If you ever get booked at the Choctaw Casino or the Winstar Casino (in Oklahoma,) let me know. I mean, on the drive to Sherman, Texas, I see billboard ads for Choctaw (in Durant.) Anyway, it would be way cool to see you guys, live.

I'll be the tall, wild-eyed southern boy with a t-shirt referencing some kind of motorcycle.

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Good job bud..

The mix issue, is just that.. I understood every word you sang, and your diction is good..

The mix - as someone pointed out is extremely MUDDY... You need to be riding the wave on top of the sonic, not in the tube.

What mic was used, doesn't sound like a wide mouth condenser, as your mid's are missing... -- more like a sm58..

This will cause issues as well...

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Actually, I am familiar with the term "hair of the dog." That's why, New Year Day, you start off with Mimosas (champange and orange juice.)

Letting the guitar players mix it explains a lot. I love good guitar playing. I play guitar, also. Though there are others better than I am, including my younger brother and fellow member, slstone. But jeez, let the vocals breathe. What did you do to tick them off?

:D

Shot of Whiskey, that's the perfect mix and way better mixed. And, I think, an even better song. If you guys are sending out demos. make this track #1. Serisously. You have 20 seconds to grab the ear of a record company guy. Make him drunk and feverish on the first line. I hope you don't mind, I was actually having scotch with a soda chaser.

And I think you guys have a market. Of course, there will always be Lynrd Skynrd. Molly Hatchet doesn't even have the original members anymore and they are still playing. Time for some young bloods, like you. Go for it. Like, now.

If you ever get booked at the Choctaw Casino or the Winstar Casino (in Oklahoma,) let me know. I mean, on the drive to Sherman, Texas, I see billboard ads for Choctaw (in Durant.) Anyway, it would be way cool to see you guys, live.

I'll be the tall, wild-eyed southern boy with a t-shirt referencing some kind of motorcycle.

Wow, thanks for the positive review! Alas, at 42, I'm anything but a young blood. We're guys with day jobs and families who do this just for fun. I used to sing in a band back in high school and my very early 20s, and then hung it up. Now I'm singing again after a couple decades on the bench, and so much has changed, particularly with respect to recording. Still trying to catch up. I'd be interested to hear some of your stuff as well if you have anything recorded. Oklahoma and Texas may have a healthy rivalry, but we all like us some good southern rock.

Cheers,

Scotty

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Good job bud..

The mix issue, is just that.. I understood every word you sang, and your diction is good..

The mix - as someone pointed out is extremely MUDDY... You need to be riding the wave on top of the sonic, not in the tube.

What mic was used, doesn't sound like a wide mouth condenser, as your mid's are missing... -- more like a sm58..

This will cause issues as well...

You know, I'm ashamed to say I don't even know what kind of microphone was used for the recording. I showed up at the studio (a converted garage) and laid all my tracks down in one session. I did snap a picture - perhaps you can identify the mic (the photo is unfortunately a bit dark). I'll definitely take your input into consideration the next time we record (whenever that may be). Like I said, I'm very green when it comes to modern recording technology and process. I hope to be more educated next go around. One thing I did hear from the guy that did work on the mixing process was that you never let a singer produce the album because they'll spend forever tweaking the vocal mix, never be satisfied, and the recording will never see the light of day. I can definitely see some truth in that. Anyway, thanks for the feedback.

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Well, Scotty, you are younger than I am. I have a day job and a mountain of debt. So, even if someone wanted a middle-aged guy who sings Led Zep stuff, it would still have to be on the weekends. My day job requires that I get up at 4 am. This allows an hour for a breakfast of ibuprofen, coffee, and some toast. So that I can be at work by 6 am. And I rarely get out of work before 4 (salary, no overtime.)

So, yeah, my time is limited. So are my choices. I don't have the voice for the likes of Metallica, Slayer, and the like. But Robert Plant and Glenn Hughes? I'm all over that. And that's why I mainly get to sing at parties and karaoke events.

But who knows, I could write and record the next "Macarena" and make everyone mad, except for my accountant.

:D

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I like the underlying grit that accompanies certain words like "Drown" and "Down". I dig the vocals a lot. Very bluesy rock. This is the kind of music I love. Smooth and on pitch very nice. You are a better singer than I am for this type of music in my opinion.

I was really waiting for snarl or growl Billy Idol Style! But you never gave it :(. I think a breakdown at then end with the drums and nice OW! would be a nice touch. But that's just me and I have no idea what the hell I'm doing with music. I want to hear more from you guys rock on!

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I like the underlying grit that accompanies certain words like "Drown" and "Down". I dig the vocals a lot. Very bluesy rock. This is the kind of music I love. Smooth and on pitch very nice. You are a better singer than I am for this type of music in my opinion.

I was really waiting for snarl or growl Billy Idol Style! But you never gave it :(. I think a breakdown at then end with the drums and nice OW! would be a nice touch. But that's just me and I have no idea what the hell I'm doing with music. I want to hear more from you guys rock on!

That's a cool idea. Perhaps we'll do something like that when we perform live. It's too bad that Billy Idol ended up being more about image and marketing than the music. He really was one hell of a rock vocalist.

Oh, and I linked to our reverbnation page up above. It has six of the tunes we recorded if you're interested in hearing more. Thanks for the response and input!

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Ron: I'd kill to be able to pull off Plant's vocals. Sounds like you can do something few can. That's awesome!

Thanks. I should send you some links and let you judge for yourself. I am most comfortable doing Led Zep stuff and Plant is my favorite singer, though I do nothing to sound like him. Some people have told me I sound like Glenn Highes, though I do nothing to sound like him, either.

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