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Does vocal loss mean, per definition losing your high notes?

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colin040
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Hi there! This is my first post! I'll introduce myself better in another thread (if there is one for it) but since I'm a singer myself I thought of joining this site.

Anyway, there's this band named Virgin Steele and their singer David DeFeis sings quite different like the way he used to. The guy is in his early 50's and while he can still sing very high notes, scream and even sing whistle (hell, his highest note, a C7 is from his latest album released in 2010!) he can't/doesn't belt notes anymore which is...odd to me. Does anyone know a reason why?

Here are some examples so you can compare his vocal performences:

Notice the difference here - this one gives me the idea he's definitely losing some of his vocal power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LQ3xWUDNFI

Here, however, I get the idea he's just trying out every technique he has while singing. It doesn't work either, but it definitely makes me wonder.

Your thoughts?

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Haven't listened to the videos, yet. Vocal loss can sometimes be a matter of loss of tone. But, again, if a singer has maintained range and changed or cleaned up their tone, it might be a matter of training, to help conserve the voice. Decades of grit and distortion can have an adverse effect. Decades, sometimes, just a few years of wrong technique can ruin a voice. Think of Evan Seinfeld from Biohazard.

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Okay, so now, I have listened to the links.

Studio version, You can do a lot in a studio. It's been said that Axl Rose, for example, will record a vocal track one line at a time, in some cases.

Live versions, that's where it's at in my opinion. The second link sounds pretty good but I hear some clean notes and it's not near as rattly as the album.

The last two look and sound as if they were recorded on a cell phone and it would be unfair to make judgements based on the absolutely deplorable sound quality.

Lastly, I am probably the wrong one to even comment on this for I have not drunk the koolaid and think that rattley notes are the only sign of "power" in a voice.

I am an old stick in the mud. But we do have a few afficianados of the rasp and rattle and maybe they will happen along and provide better comments than I can give.

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And usually vocal loss is mentioned in loss of range, though it can also be loss of beautiful tone, along with loss of range, usually through repeated use of incorrect technique. Often a case of following a certain "sound" or copying other singers, rather than working on what one's own voice should be doing.

But don't worry, others will come along and try to rip me to shreds. But that's okay, I have a hugeomongous ego and no feelings.

:lol:

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Thanks for your reply. I thought his vocal performences on ''The Burning of Rome'' had to do with light/thick vocal chords...e.g singing without any pressure getting a very feminine sound or belting more, getting a heavier sound while singing high notes.

Well I forgot to mention that on his latest album his vocal lines are really...odd. He often whispers, then goes for a scream/whistle note and hit some feminine notes for the sake it. It might be a stylistic choice, but it's really strange.

There is still some belting here and I wouldn't say it sounds really uneasy/strained compared to ''The Burning of Rome'' clip I posted. Notice how crazy he goes with his vocals...almost like he's showing off.

Or compare the following clips. One is a song from 1993 and the other a live version of that one that's from 2013. Does the belting in the latter sounds more forced?

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Let me ask you this, then. If you are hearing a loss of "vocal power" and/or range, why do you think this is happening? Is it age? Incorrect technique? Creating a sound that is unsustainable for more than a few years?

When you are young, you can heal quickly. As you get older, not so much.

As you said, you are a singer, Surely, you have some thoughts on this.

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Let me ask you this, then. If you are hearing a loss of "vocal power" and/or range, why do you think this is happening? Is it age? Incorrect technique? Creating a sound that is unsustainable for more than a few years?

When you are young, you can heal quickly. As you get older, not so much.

As you said, you are a singer, Surely, you have some thoughts on this.

I really have no idea...a part of me thinks a part of his voice has definitely weakened over the years...but the again he's still doing alot of other crazy stuff which is the argument I have against it. Most vocalists I'm aware of that lost power, lost their highs while singing souding audible nontheless. It doesn't help that there's not much live footage of the band online. If there was, it might have been easier comparing live versions of songs.

Not all Virgin Steele songs rely on belting though. Some sound very clean, yet audible (something he just doesn't do nowadays, he either goes totally bersek with his voice or restrains a lot) or a bit softer, while still singing with intonation and stuff. As I said, the problem on the latest album isn't the lack of belts, it's the vocal lines themself as far as I'm concerned.

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I was watching an interview with a singer from a scandinavian band (can't remember who) and he said that live, he will not do the highest notes with rasp, like you would hear on the album. it just can't be sustained to carry that distorted sound that high, while on the road.

Well, my work ethic would be, don't record what you cannot sing live. The audience expects to hear what they have heard on the album.

We have a discussion in another thread about a singer who seems to have lost range and beauty of tone over the years and still disagree over whether or not it is due to age or incorrect technique that created a sound or timbre that could not be sustained.

In my opinion, and I may be alone in this, or at least in a very small group of like-minded people, the only valid technique is that which can sustain the voice for as long as the whole body can hold up. That is, as long as you are not dying of cancer or whatever, you should be able to sing. If a singer finds himself in a situation where his range or his tone is going away, perhaps he had wrong technique, or tried the wrong range. The latter is surely going to bring me some heat, as it has before.

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