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Distotion and singing

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MDEW
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It sounds to me as if different types of distortion can either increase higher frequencies or lower frequencies.

Does the use of different types of distortion have an effect on the way you produce a pitch.

If you understand what I am asking and can state it in a better way please do. I know my questions are confusing.

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You mean add higher or lower frequencies?

I think most distortion adds both., just overall noise, many frequencies.

But sometimes the lower frequencies are most apparent because they are not disguised within the harmonics of the note. A good distorted note may add a tone an octave or an octave and a fifth below the fundamental, produced by the ventricular folds or an irregular vibration of the true folds. And those lower harmonics are very apparent in a lone distorted note. They typically become less apparent and blend in better within the context of music.

Distortion is a lot about adding frequencies not present in the clean tone. They may be harmonics of it, or a dissonant clashing resonance, but if I'm not mistaken, distortion affects the entire spectrum of frequencies. Not like all the way from 20 hz to 20khz but you know what I mean...most of the frequency spectrum produced by singing.

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Does the type of distortion just mask the underlying tone/pitch or does it effect the tone/pitch.

I know A is 440. If singing an A can the distortion effect the vibration enough to change the perceived sound to E or C# ?

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Does the type of distortion just mask the underlying tone/pitch or does it effect the tone/pitch.

I know A is 440. If singing an A can the distortion effect the vibration enough to change the perceived sound to E or C# ?

Well controlled overlay distortion will not affect the pitch or perceived pitch whatsoever.

Overly saturated distortion, on the other hand, where there's more scream than pitch...that may make the perceived pitch hazy.

It depends on the noise to pitch ratio, if that makes sense. If it's mostly noise the listener will hear it as a noisy scream. If it's mostly pitch the listener will hear it as a pitched scream.

But I don't think it's likely that if you distort a note, the listener will hear a different note because you distorted it. They will either hear the pitch of the clean part as the main pitch or just a jumble of noise. I don't think the pitch of the distortion can dominate the fundamental pitch.

Unless it's a very well tuned distortion ala kyragaa or however the heck you spell it, tuned an octave below the pitch. In that case the perceived pitch will drop an octave. It's unlikely you'll get to that point of precision by accident. You may get some distortion an octave below the note your singing but to make it dominate I think you need to be on a low pitch and possibly make some other tweaks to strengthen that low overtone.

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For example the vocal fry: The fry pulse itself is louder sound wise than the main vocal vibration. When you match the fry pulse to Half the vibration of the vocal fold vibration the fundamental changes to the lower octave. We have seen examples of this on this forum.

We have seen and heard examples of people sing two distinct pitches. Yes it is harmonics of the vibrations of the vocal folds being amplified. Wouldn't it be possible to amplify the harmonic and suppress the volume of the fundamental creating a perceived fundamental?

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yeah, it is interesting, im not an expert but..

what i have noticed is that rattle is VERY bright, and at the same time, growl and grunt are very dark, also, i have noticed that when i do false folds distortion and i add it to let's say E4, without changing nothing, just adding the false folds, and i check it on a software called 'sing and see', the pitch that it was showing (E4) changes to E3, and it detects everything as it were 1 octave below. also, when i do creaking distortion (true folds distortion) in a more regular way, the software marks it like im doing 1 octave below, just like with false folds distortion, but when i increase the distortion on creaking, the software gets kinda confused, and it shows lower, and really high notes, changing very fast, when on sensation, im just sustaining 1 pitch.

also, i dont know why, but when i do, or listen other people do full distortion, in which there is 'no note' i tend to feel confused and think it like it is a very high note -the sound is clearly super bright- but i cant tell or imitate the note xD it just sounds like something very bright and high! but it is an ilusion, there is no pitch.

I think that what I am trying to get around to is if that is how some singers sound like they are singing a lower pitch, but when I try to sing the same song it sounds like my pitch is an octave higher than what it should be even when I sing the lower parts the same as the other singer.

I cannot control distortion in my higher voice.

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Wouldn't it be possible to amplify the harmonic and suppress the volume of the fundamental creating a perceived fundamental?

No. Even if the harmonics are louder the listener will still correctly identify the fundamental

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I think that what I am trying to get around to is if that is how some singers sound like they are singing a lower pitch, but when I try to sing the same song it sounds like my pitch is an octave higher than what it should be even when I sing the lower parts the same as the other singer.

I cannot control distortion in my higher voice.

This could be a tone thing. You could be overtwanging with a high larynx on high notes so you are hearing too much upper harmonics. You could be singing shouty and over amplifying the 2nd harmonic.

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Some singers have imperfect folds or oddities in adduction. So, when they sing, they already have distortion or rasp and it might be more noticable in one part of the range than the other. Not something you can really train, just a difference in structure, like the difference between a trumpet and an oboe. Others may naturally have lighter, looser tissue in the vocal tract that is easily set to vibrating, adding a rattle on top of, or overlaying the true tone coming from the true folds.

Others may, indeed, have finer control over adduction than others, either through genetics, training, or both.

I could be wrong on all of that and I am waiting for the scandinavian king of distortion to chime in, if the duties of the throne permit it. :)

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I have heard that distortion can be created by; False folds, True folds with inconsistant vibration, Soft palate vibration, mucus buildup in the back of throat, vibration of the uvula, And I can halfway close my nostrals and have the sound become distorted.

I am not even sure how to ask my question but I can give an example. I was working on GooGoo Dolls "IRIS".

The verses were easy for me and sounded sonically correct. On singing the Chorus "Don't want the world" It sounded like I was singing an octave too high. When I dropped an octave, it sounded and felt too low.

After just picking up my guitar and singing the chorus without thinking about it. I sounded "to myself" and felt sonically correct. But on checking with the song He is singing an A4. What sounded "to me" and felt correct was actually a D4.

Is the distortion that the original singer is using the reason for the tone to sound lower than it actually is?

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Is the distortion that the original singer is using the reason for the tone to sound lower than it actually is?

Probably an auditory illusion, I think what Owen was talking about.

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Probably an auditory illusion, I think what Owen was talking about.

I agree that it is an illusion but is it the type of distortion that is causing the illusion? And if that illusion can be and is used purposely. Like singing an A3 and the distortion giving the illusion that you are singing A4. Then a poor sap like me will try to sing an A4 when I should be singing A3 with proper distotion.

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Its an A4. And the deal in there is not the note itself. Listen to his version and notice how the low and high parts are consistent and sound like the same voice. Also notice the dynamics.

Is your A4 consistent eith the rest of the so g? Do you understand that the chorus is stronger, and that it meas that you have to pace yourself on the verses to not have to scream?

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I believe it is in the way I am singing the A4. In the last few days I have been experimenting with this song and the way I transition int to the A4. As Owen suggested I have a habit of a high larynx postion.

Allowing myself to have a sharper tone for now is getting me comfortable with the singing the song. After I get more comfortable singing the song itself I will work on the tweeking.

I am not screaming on the higher notes and I am not using falsetto. I still need to work on a deeper tone though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I feel that we are in an era where vocal distortion hasn't been fully explored so you'll probably hear different answers from different people. I would guess that in this case it's false fold distortion.

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I have heard that distortion can be created by; False folds, True folds with inconsistant vibration, Soft palate vibration, mucus buildup in the back of throat, vibration of the uvula, And I can halfway close my nostrals and have the sound become distorted.

I am not even sure how to ask my question but I can give an example. I was working on GooGoo Dolls "IRIS".

The verses were easy for me and sounded sonically correct. On singing the Chorus "Don't want the world" It sounded like I was singing an octave too high. When I dropped an octave, it sounded and felt too low.

After just picking up my guitar and singing the chorus without thinking about it. I sounded "to myself" and felt sonically correct. But on checking with the song He is singing an A4. What sounded "to me" and felt correct was actually a D4.

Is the distortion that the original singer is using the reason for the tone to sound lower than it actually is?

I had the same revelation on The Beatles version of Twist and Shout. I had no idea Lennon was singing up to A4 on the first line 'Well shake it up baby now'. I think that some distortion causes the sound to be darker than it would if it were clean.

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I just found this last night. In here he mentions a type of distortion that I had not really heard of before.

I had alluded to it in an earlier post but could never make it work to full effect.

On a side note the first time that I saw Tony O'hora he had short hair and looked kind of nerdy. I had no Idea that he could sing as well as he does. Search Tony O'hora on youtube and watch him sing live.

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