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High Baritone covering "Creep"--need advice

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RockNSoulLover
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Hi guys; I'm a high baritone (one person deemed me a baritenor). I'm pretty much self-taught and have been working on my tone placement and high note technique. My comfort range is about F2-G4, with further extensions E2-C5, although I can't sing that low or that high as a tessitura--for example, I cannot cover a Bruno Mars song because he stays in the A4-C5 range.

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1oCDg5lemYC

Some have said my high notes sound a bit forced; this may be the case, but I hit this note about 20 times without any real degradation of sound, and I can play with the vibrato. I'm not sure how high it is (G4?). I try to raise my soft palette a bit and push from my stomach. I kind of wanted the almost yelled sound here, but is it healthy?

Any advice? Oh, this was one take. I used dynamic range compression in audacity because I have shit equip and didn't want my highs to clip or lows to be drowned out (this is in my bathroom with my laptop-built in mic). If anyone knows a better system for Ubuntu, I'd be open :rolleyes: but linux isn't very multimedia friendly.

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Sounds fine to me. I'm pretty sure your big high notes are healthy. It wavered on the pitch a tad which means it could use a little more tweaking to make the technique even more efficient and stable, but on the whole I think you're on the right track, for that particularly yelly sound.

Great job on the rest of the song too. This is ready for performance. If you haven't already been performing it yet, definitely put it in your set.

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Sounds fine to me. I'm pretty sure your big high notes are healthy. It wavered on the pitch a tad which means it could use a little more tweaking to make the technique even more efficient and stable, but on the whole I think you're on the right track, for that particularly yelly sound.

Great job on the rest of the song too. This is ready for performance. If you haven't already been performing it yet, definitely put it in your set.

Ty; I'm actually just a hobbyist that does this as an emotional release for myself :-)

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I liked it, too. You might adjust the knee in your compressor settings. That's what causes the pump and switch of volume. I don't think your high notes sounded particularly forced or strained. Just really loud.

I think you sang it better than the original, that guy is way too nasal, to me. This was more clean and open.

Don't worry about the voice type classifications. I used to but it is no longer necessary. It took me some time to see the wisdom of Felipe and Jens and a few others. You stick on a label and you put limits in place. You may or may not have limits of range and dynamics but if you use a voice label, you will definitely have limits.

Something I have learned the hard way over and over is that a voice type really is about the material being sung. So, a role for a helden tenor, for example, should be with a voice that is comfortable and big from about C3 to C5, whether the singer can singer higher or lower than that, or not. A leggiero tenor should be bright and ringy in the 4th and 5th octave. And it also depends on the casting director and what they are trying to achieve with the production they are doing. 3 wonderful tenors may audition but only one gets the role because they like the particular tonality he had. So, I don't need those labels anymore. Not that I sing opera or want to sing opera.

So, you are not a baritone, high baritone, or baritenor. You are a singer who can do a wide range of notes, dynamics depending on where you are in the range. Some parts may be easier for you to adjust dynamics than others.

Now, I condemn you to the freedom of finding out what your voice can do.

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I liked it, too. You might adjust the knee in your compressor settings. That's what causes the pump and switch of volume. I don't think your high notes sounded particularly forced or strained. Just really loud.

I think you sang it better than the original, that guy is way too nasal, to me. This was more clean and open.

Don't worry about the voice type classifications. I used to but it is no longer necessary. It took me some time to see the wisdom of Felipe and Jens and a few others. You stick on a label and you put limits in place. You may or may not have limits of range and dynamics but if you use a voice label, you will definitely have limits.

Something I have learned the hard way over and over is that a voice type really is about the material being sung. So, a role for a helden tenor, for example, should be with a voice that is comfortable and big from about C3 to C5, whether the singer can singer higher or lower than that, or not. A leggiero tenor should be bright and ringy in the 4th and 5th octave. And it also depends on the casting director and what they are trying to achieve with the production they are doing. 3 wonderful tenors may audition but only one gets the role because they like the particular tonality he had. So, I don't need those labels anymore. Not that I sing opera or want to sing opera.

So, you are not a baritone, high baritone, or baritenor. You are a singer who can do a wide range of notes, dynamics depending on where you are in the range. Some parts may be easier for you to adjust dynamics than others.

Now, I condemn you to the freedom of finding out what your voice can do.

Oh wow, thank you. I think it's different, but I think Yorke's version is incomparable. His whiny sound (which he hates) made the song even 'creepier'. You genuinely believe he's indeed a "Creep." Also, his live acoustic versions have bigger climaxes. I wanted to sound lost then absolutely mad/angry, instead (which is how I felt at the time)

I agree with the rest of what you said with one exception: I do believe in tessitura in any voice, which has been taken into account in Opera for years. I like to think of it as a car in high gear; yes, it can operate that way and just fine for awhile, but you will wear the gears more if you keep it in a gear that is too high for the natural terrain.

If I sang "Locked out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars, while the notes are in my range, he sings in a much higher tesitura, so it's almost impossible for me--though I can HIT and HOLD the same notes he does from time to time because my range is wide.

Look at Maria Callas, one of the few "soprano sfgato(sp?)." Wide range, but they kept her in a tessitura that people now think was too high for her natural mezzo voice. I believe it; listen to Joan Sutherland, even as a hefty dramatic coloratura, Callas' voice was much, much darker and heavier.

Thank you so much; I'm a hobbyist. I intend on doing some more covers--but be warned I'm self-taught :P. My high notes are quite loud, however--which is a big divergence from my deep, timid talking voice (people ask me to speak up so often..:rolleyes:)

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I really liked it. Would love to hear you sing through proper recording equipment! Imo, your high notes sound really good when you belt them. Sure, you have to use force to get that sound but it sounds really good. I'd say our vocal comfort zones are similar. Most Bruno Mars songs are just out of reach for me too... As Ron said, your voice sounds clean and full. It's really good mate. Keep going!

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You raise a good point, Rock. The original is indeed, creepy, partially because of the nasal quality in that track. And I think you misunderstood, just a little, what I was saying about tessitura. Nominally, I have been described, even by a classical coach, as a light tenor, which means I would be capable of carrying a light tenor role with endurance. Outside of that, I am not any particular voice type. But in pop music, I can get away with some stuff because it is no longer about maintaining a tessitura, it's about making a sound that others will appreciate and "believe."

I still think voices have natural centers of operation. Mine happens to be high and light. Others are low and heavy, even though they can sing any note I can sing. However, not having heard or seen them do it for 20 years, I don't know how endurable it is. Just the same, in recording here, it is expected to be studio perfect, which is a stumbling block for me. I usually record "live" and whatever I do is something I could for a few hours, any given night.

Again, don't worry about tessitura unless it guides you to freedom in what you want to do. I used to say that baritones shouldn't aspire to be tenors. They should be happy being baritones that can do some tenor stuff. And the point of that was to accept what it is that your voice does. Find out how your voice does this or that note, not how you THINK the original singer is doing it. Even if you are correct in juding how the original singer did it, who cares? Make it work in your voice, like you did here.

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You raise a good point, Rock. The original is indeed, creepy, partially because of the nasal quality in that track. And I think you misunderstood, just a little, what I was saying about tessitura. Nominally, I have been described, even by a classical coach, as a light tenor, which means I would be capable of carrying a light tenor role with endurance. Outside of that, I am not any particular voice type. But in pop music, I can get away with some stuff because it is no longer about maintaining a tessitura, it's about making a sound that others will appreciate and "believe."

I still think voices have natural centers of operation. Mine happens to be high and light. Others are low and heavy, even though they can sing any note I can sing. However, not having heard or seen them do it for 20 years, I don't know how endurable it is. Just the same, in recording here, it is expected to be studio perfect, which is a stumbling block for me. I usually record "live" and whatever I do is something I could for a few hours, any given night.

Again, don't worry about tessitura unless it guides you to freedom in what you want to do. I used to say that baritones shouldn't aspire to be tenors. They should be happy being baritones that can do some tenor stuff. And the point of that was to accept what it is that your voice does. Find out how your voice does this or that note, not how you THINK the original singer is doing it. Even if you are correct in juding how the original singer did it, who cares? Make it work in your voice, like you did here.

Yeah, this was my problem; I kind of aspired to be a high tenor because most of my influences are (e.g. Robert Plant). I'd try to lighten my sound, and as a result I would switch to a kind of unpleasant center. I now just accept that I'm a lower centred voice that's capable of big highs (I can safely get up to a C--or at least it doesn't hurt and I can do it multiple times).

I remember my first vocal lesson (I only took 1); I went up and down the scale, and he said "Wow, what a lower--I bet you never use that" which was true. I didn't know he was already in the middle second octave as I kept going.

I was kind of puzzled when he asked, "Hmm, so tenor or baritone?" but I can kind of see what he was getting at. I guess if I were to try classical repertoire, I could probably entertain the idea of a dramatic-ish tenor. :lol: I'm really trying to learn my own voice; it's hard for a lower-centered guy because pop/rock is all about light, agile tenor lines, which don't come easy. I'm just staying with my Earthy/Dark voice and weighty highs and lows for a bit.

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Its not bad man, but it can be much better. I liked the falsettos most of all. Really nice, and in my opinion the part that makes this song difficult.

On the lower voice, try to not round so much, you are comming too "yawned" makes sense? That caps your range and gives the high notes the "shouted character", even though you are doing it just fine. The higher note will sound proper just like that, or even more shouted if you want to, if your chest voice is defined more open and forward.

Try going for a more spoken quality (but keep it strong) on the verses and allow the more round posture to kick in as you go higher. You can let the falsettos guide you back to the posture in there.

OH and btw, if you are looking to sing Robert Plant stuff, that falsetto is an awesome basis to go for it, its what he did most of the time also.

GL! Hope it helps!

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Its not bad man, but it can be much better. I liked the falsettos most of all. Really nice, and in my opinion the part that makes this song difficult.

On the lower voice, try to not round so much, you are comming too "yawned" makes sense? That caps your range and gives the high notes the "shouted character", even though you are doing it just fine. The higher note will sound proper just like that, or even more shouted if you want to, if your chest voice is defined more open and forward.

Try going for a more spoken quality (but keep it strong) on the verses and allow the more round posture to kick in as you go higher. You can let the falsettos guide you back to the posture in there.

OH and btw, if you are looking to sing Robert Plant stuff, that falsetto is an awesome basis to go for it, its what he did most of the time also.

GL! Hope it helps!

Hey thankx. I kind of like the big high note sound; I was told by a music major? that you're supposed to round a lot so you have an open sound (raise the soft pallett)? I think it's giving me a classical sound where I don't really want it. @tito has said this. So should I not try to open my mouth so much? How do I do this from a physical standpoint? This made sense but I don't know how to employ it?

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Yeah, this was my problem; I kind of aspired to be a high tenor because most of my influences are (e.g. Robert Plant). I'd try to lighten my sound, and as a result I would switch to a kind of unpleasant center. I now just accept that I'm a lower centred voice that's capable of big highs (I can safely get up to a C--or at least it doesn't hurt and I can do it multiple times).

That's what I'm talking about. As long as it does not limit you, for the sky is the limit. In both directions. For, I always thought I couldn't do anything in the second octave that would be believable. But I found a way to make some pitches below C3 sound usable, at least for a pop song in a recording. Could I carry second octave notes as a tessitura believable in, for example, opera? Probably not but it is an academic question, really. I don't have the desire to do that, even though I admire voices that have way more ring or ping in those low notes than I have ever had.

And as we can see, it doesn't matter where your voice is centered, you can make a wide range by using dynamic sounds and learning how your own voice gets there.

For a large number of guys here, sailing around the 4th octave and some lower 5th octave is the quest.

For me, it was the other direction. Some low-keyed songs that I really liked and felt in my being but I did not think I could do it and have it sound adequate, at least to me, to share. So, I quit thinking about how I think the singer sings it and, instead, concentrated on how I can make the note.

People might as well call me a punk when it comes to sound ideal. :lol:

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Hey thankx. I kind of like the big high note sound; I was told by a music major? that you're supposed to round a lot so you have an open sound (raise the soft pallett)? I think it's giving me a classical sound where I don't really want it. @tito has said this. So should I not try to open my mouth so much? How do I do this from a physical standpoint? This made sense but I don't know how to employ it?

Well via text I cant tell you, because I dont know what you do to round and what you do when you do not round.

But, you are in a good position to know. Experiment with you spoken voice: produce the vowel AH spoken like, maybe even a bit shout like (pretend that you are calling someone far away). Then produce it in the round way you are using to sing. Map how it feels on each case and try to walk from the roundness to the "spokenness". You will probably find a sweet spot on the lower notes where it sounds open but with all vowels more defined.

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I thought your voice sounded great but I would suggest downloading Audacity to record. It's free and the quality would be better so it would be easier to critique but I really like your voice from what I could hear :-)

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I thought your voice sounded great but I would suggest downloading Audacity to record. It's free and the quality would be better so it would be easier to critique but I really like your voice from what I could hear :-)

In the original post, he mentioned that he recorded in Audacity for the use of the compressor. Hence, my comment to soften the "knee" in the compressor, as it's causing quite a lot of "pumping."

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In the original post, he mentioned that he recorded in Audacity for the use of the compressor. Hence, my comment to soften the "knee" in the compressor, as it's causing quite a lot of "pumping."

I appreciate this, but what exactly do you mean by knee? :lol:

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The "knee" is the threshhold. kind of like a cut-of frequency. You can choose how gradual this threshold his when the heavy compression sets in. When I have had Keith edit recordings for me, I get so freaking loud about, say, A4, that he has had to use 4:1 compressor. Which means, about, say A4, he has had to increase the ratio to 4:1. However, what differs is the levels of below and above that threshhold point.

To put it more simply, in spite of my description, you have to mix by "ear." The end product should sound relatively even. For example, it took me longer to edit "Silent Lcudity" than it did to sing it. Recording took the length of the actual song. Editing and mixing took about 2 hours and I am still not happy with it.

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