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Addicted to distortion!

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Marcus
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I've always been so impressed by singers who have good control over vocal distortion, and I've always struggled with it myself - in no way did it come natural to me. But lately I've been practicing a lot, and after a session with Jens here on the forum I've gained real control over it.

Now I feel really hooked, and anything I sing without distortion feels bleak and thin in comparisson. It actually feels quite addicting to use distortion... once I've started I don't want to stop. For the first time in my life i really feel like I have something unique in my tone, and something that could sell and album.

At the moment I'm mainly using it in chestvoice, I still struggle quite a bit if I attempt it in the passagio. But it adds so much "meat" to the chestnotes, I feel like I don't have to add any high pitched screams to make it interesting.

Anyone else who's been working with distortion feeling the same thing?

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Alright, here's one of Jorn Lande in the studio (one of the worlds absolutely best singers today...). Funny thing is he's not happy with these takes, in the end he says it's "not good enough".

And Russell Allen is another favourite when it comes to vocal technique:

Steve Lee had a little bit lighter voice than Jorn and Russell, but I really like the tone he had:

It's not only the distortion that makes/made these guys amazing, it's the tone and musicality as well. Will take a lifetime to reach their level.

But what I meant with my first post was that I feel like now when I've found out how to sing with distortion it's gonna be hard not to use it... or easy to over-use it maybe. I feel like I get a totally different tone, and am able to sing with another attitude. Now I can sing with a lot of distortion for 2 hours, and just feel slightly more tired vocally than if I had sung without distortion. It's a big step for me.

Here's an example of me singing with distortion, but the cover is a work in progress. I had a feeling that Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" would work well as a heavy rock song and made a fast arrangement the other night when I couldn't sleep :) Need to rearrange some drums, have to re-record some of the vocal lines and go over the mixing a bit more. But I was particularly happy with the higher belt notes with distortion. It's these things I feel like I'm gonna have a hard time not going back to every time from now on.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lxzwd3o8xivybmm/Bad%20Romance%20cover.mp3

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real nice thing you did with that song, marcus. i like that degree of distortion too.

ken tampln always says though that when you use a lot of distortion on a given day, always remember to go back and clean up the folds afterwards with some gentle warmdowns to restore elasticity.

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Thanks a lot! Fun song to do I think.

I'm also very fond of distortion to a certain degree, as long as it's not pure screaming I can really appreciate it. Some pure screaming can be cool too, but then I think it should be mixed up with some "normal" singing (this is my very personal opinion though).

Thanks for the warmdown tip! Have been doing a lot of Tamplins workouts, I really like them for warmups :)

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Thank you very much geno! This type of distortion is easiest in lower and higher chest voice. It's possible up high in headvoice as well. But I find it real hard to do properly in the passagio area. The fact is - doing this type of distortion in high chest, I easily pull a lot of weight making the transition into the passagio area very hard. It's what I'm working on at the moment. I still have a few notes in the passagio that is harder to keep together, it requires a little more effort to sing there for me even without distortion.

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Marcus - I know what you mean. I've been able to do a false fold distortion up through the passagio to maybe B4. But not higher than that when I'm in a more pure head voice. However I don't practice it because I slip in and out of good / bad distortion. I do it while recording only.

In head I can do a CVT Creaking type of distortion that's like a scream. But CVT says that this should never be un-intentional. It should be controlled. Once in a while I'll get that un-intentional creaking in head - it's cool sounding, but un-intentional. So I've been staying away from that until my head is totally under control. I'm probably read to start experimenting again with that.

I've thought that false fold distortion in head may be more difficult. It seems that people do that Creaking type up there more often than false fold, but I could be wrong. It would be great if you or Jens can shed some light on this.

One other thought - I can easily do the "Ginger Bread Man" (from Shrek) type of distortion by mimicing the voice. He is high in falsetto. I think this may be a false fold distortion but I'm not sure. If you get a chance - listen to him in this clip and tell me what kind of distortion it is? (I watched Shrek because I have two kids!)

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I watched Shrek because it's a cool movie with the voices of Eddie Murphy and Mike Meyers.

Favorite Myers' line "this is the part where you run away."

Favorite Murphy line "Man, you got a warn a guy when you are going to do that. I had my mouth open and everything!"

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Yeah, I like Shrek too! A good movie is a good movie, be it animated or not. I'm having a daughter this month (maybe this weekend!), and when she's a few years older I'll have all the excuses I want to watch animated movies :D I think voicing some of those high budget animated movies would be an awesome job!

I can't really say if the Gingerbread Man is using false fold distortion or not, but if you can mimic that in a healthy way I'm sure you can develop it into something useful up high! Jens is more of a master when it comes to distortion of different types.

I also get a feeling that the creaking type distortion is the one most used in headvoice stuff. Personally, I create distortion up high very much in the same way that I do in high chest, but I can't carry it up to my very top notes. Have to drop the distortion and thin off the voice a lot after F#5 (but I would maybe not attempt singing an A5 live, since I have to have a pretty good day vocally to nail things up there). But as I said I can't really carry the distortion through my passagio area just yet.

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