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Lifting Shadows off a Dream (Singing + Playing)

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Manolito Mystiq
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Hey there y’all,

It’s been a while. And it shows (as you will hear). I’m currently studying Music Science, and we were asked to perform. I couldn’t say no, but I had hardly any time to work on a song.

So I chose a golden oldie.

There was no monitor and the amplifier was nothing to write home about, so this has quite a raw sound.

The intonation is … well just listen for yourselves.

https://app.box.com/s/m6hmvy9gcfrz5pojx96r

Sincerely,

Mano

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Props for having the balls to sing Dream Theater unprepared in front of a crowd. Some people say question LaBrie's vocal prowess, but songs like this one show you just how good he is.

I think your voice is good. I think you have a decent resonance and range. Still, To me it sounds like you lose some support at the highest notes. It was also pitchy throughout. I'd like to hear a you sing something where you nail the pitch and then judge your overall sound :)

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hi! I like the tone of your voice, very catchy to my ears :D but you are much better in the midle notes than in the high or low notes, I don't know the song well but sometimes I feel like you are travelling a litle bit in the song but after you came back to the right place, specially in the low registers, where I can listen you have more dificulties, but I hope to listen more from you! Keep up the good work! it's not really easy to sing and play at the same time in front of a crowd, so for me it's a very well done! :D

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Niiice!

Well, first I have to say that I am a BIG fan of DT and James.. hahah I don't know if that is good or bad for you in this situation, lol.

Your range is astounding, no doubt about it, I have seen other posts of yourself and you have .. what.. like 5 octaves? lol That is overkill haha!

Range is not an issue. At all.

Pitch...

Well, like 75-80% of the song was on pitch, like the original, BUT, the other percentage is not that it is not on pitch, maybe it harmonizes, but I am used to hear, and to sing too.. James variation of pitches, say ascending or descending, in a very... Veeeery specific timing.

And that's the challenge.

Timing and "feel" is what makes this song's dynamics shine. It is a veeery difficult song, it has a little breathy here, a descending X note to Y note in Z amount of time there... So congrats for singing this in front of a crowd with no preparation.

I don't know if you get what I mean... I'd like to post a recording, but I am done for today. I'm "cold" and can't make more recordings either, hahah ( If I don't let mom listen to te TV I get a heatshot with a shoe or something, lmao )

Please tell me if you understood my point :) I'd like to send you, or show you a recording I did today, where I try to use and "dance" as much as I could with "Wait for Sleep" dynamics.

EDIT: Here it is :D!! https://soundcloud.com/sebabergmann/dream-theater-wait-for-sleep

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Hey there y’all,

It’s been a while. And it shows (as you will hear). I’m currently studying Music Science, and we were asked to perform. I couldn’t say no, but I had hardly any time to work on a song.

So I chose a golden oldie.

There was no monitor and the amplifier was nothing to write home about, so this has quite a raw sound.

The intonation is … well just listen for yourselves.

https://app.box.com/s/m6hmvy9gcfrz5pojx96r

Sincerely,

Mano

Calling this song a golden oldie.... sheesh, that makes me feel really old. :P

Anyway, really good effort and LaBrie introduces some of the most acrobatic vocal lines. So, to get anywhere close is an acheivement, in itself.

Was this done in the dining room?

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Props for having the balls to sing Dream Theater unprepared in front of a crowd. Some people say question LaBrie's vocal prowess, but songs like this one show you just how good he is.

I say that anyone who questions his prowess is jealous because he is a successful musician. That's why I shy away from armchair critiques. Usually the people talking crap are the ones who are too lazy to develop their voices/technique to even compete at all. It makes them feel better to say someone else doesn't have the skill. That way they have a reason to not want to get better themselves. Just saying.

Remember Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon? He once said that the music DT did and more particular, John Petrucci's guitar playing was "stupid". DT continue to flourish, and are still alive for people to complain about.

Now, what was it that happened to Mr. Hoon? Who's stupid now?

...quietly climbs down from high horse....

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@Xamedhi: Well yes, I don’t worry about reaching notes at all. The issue is the delivery and the intonation. Obviously that’s a big part of reaching notes in the first place, though. But when I listen back, I feel my high parts are a lot better than my low ones, intonationwise. Maybe, indeed, I strained a bit with my highs, though (but on pitch).

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Nice job! One of my fav DT songs. Great tone especially on some of the high notes. Well, of course you know about some of the pitch issues, but so what? It wasn't like you were giving a concert. You delivered a lot of great high "money notes" which overshadow any of the pitch issues.

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Manolito, in fact the high notes are the ones that sound better and seems that you control them more.. You are able to slide better in the note transitions and stuff.

I think your lower and lower-medium register is where you have more "problems" ( I say problems, because it is not a problem by itself, it's just that how LaBrie sings the song is difficult to pull off, because of aaall the dynamics he is so used to play with ), where others have more control and able to apply a lot more stylistic resources than in the higher part of the range ( Like me hahah.. well, but I'm just discovering my headvoice so I'm not frustrated... yet, lol ).

You seem to be a weird fish in this sea, man. Kind of like a Shiny Pokémon :) hahah

EDIT: Also.. you don't sound straining at all. Well, you can't actually hear strain... but your high notes sound very nice, only thinner. Not strained or "closed-throat-ed" haha ... Sounds very good to me, man :)

I'd suggest you to.. just play more with dynamics and style... try to imitate LaBrie.. Tate, dunno... Whatever singer strikes your fancy and just experiment with different effects... like... wider slow vibrato for the "power" feel.. a quick vibrato to "mark" the tempo of the particular part of the song ( Like Michael Kiske does a lot in the Helloween recordings ). OOH! Listen a lot to Jørn Lande! He has some incredible control of distortion, dynamics, pitch and rythm...

I know your voice is not as deep, big or dark as his haha... But it is excellent for studying and just learning more stuff.

I know you have studied a lot of things, and man, in fact I admire you, for your determination of making music your life, so take my opinion just as a grain of salt, haha.

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Excellent point, Bro. Shannon had one hit song and sang harmony on a GnR song. And then died, and of course everyone has sympathy of the loss of his talent.

I think what people interpret as a weakness on Manny's lower notes is because Manny is actually a high tenor and LaBrie never has been a high tenor. So, LaBrie has a bottom end to his voice that Manny just doesn't have. So, while people perceive Manny as pitchy, what they are really missing is the tonality at the low notes and calling it pitchy.

Did I say that out loud? My dog just looked at me ....

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But even though he may not have the tone James has, and have a slightly higher range base, the song is not low, at all.. God my lower bottom is like a C3, maybe B2, and I have no problem with the first part of the song.

In my opinion it is not a tonality issue.. it is more about the musicality, dynamics... rythm and "feel". The ethereal and delicate, though solid, quality of the song is most important.

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But even though he may not have the tone James has, and have a slightly higher range base, the song is not low, at all.. God my lower bottom is like a C3, maybe B2, and I have no problem with the first part of the song.

In my opinion it is not a tonality issue.. it is more about the musicality, dynamics... rythm and "feel". The ethereal and delicate, though solid, quality of the song is most important.

Go ahead and start another thread for your own cover of this song. It will probably be good. Better than I could do, though I don't really cover DT stuff.

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I started to write this earlier. I believe the pitchiness was do to lack of a monitor and trying to follow the broken chord structure of the music.

It is hard enough to stay in pitch acapella but to also have to follow music that does not have a solid chord structure to match your pitch against in a small hall or such where everyone is also talking and being louder than you and the music.

In such a situation with no time to practice, basically on the fly. The tone was awesome, the highs solid, no sound of strain.

Good job in my book.

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I would be up for that. I am currently working on a DT song. Rather time consuming as I record everything myself and I'm only 1 person. I still haven't had time to finish my entry for the Dio cover thread, lol. Soon, though.

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What do you say LaBrie is then? I would most definitely call him a high lyric tenor. Indeed, his creamy sound is partly due to his technique, his very strong vowel modification toward rounded sounds, but his main sound definitely sounds like a high tenor, to me.

His lowest notes, though controlled, never sounded strong, but always breathy. This could also be a style issue of his. I would even go so far as to say my voice is similar to LaBrie’s, only I don’t do such crazy vowel modifications and I have more of a musical theater approach (legit singing).

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What do you say LaBrie is then? I would most definitely call him a high lyric tenor. Indeed, his creamy sound is partly due to his technique, his very strong vowel modification toward rounded sounds, but his main sound definitely sounds like a high tenor, to me.

His lowest notes, though controlled, never sounded strong, but always breathy. This could also be a style issue of his. I would even go so far as to say my voice is similar to LaBrie’s, only I don’t do such crazy vowel modifications and I have more of a musical theater approach (legit singing).

Well, you've been to school for singing and music and I never have. You have way more cred than I do. So, you instruct me.

Seriously, it would not be the first time I have learned from someone young enough to be my son.

It's just that when I hear James singing, it sounds, to me, like he has a lower center of voice, for lack of a better description, than you do. Though I could be wrong and often am. Then, again, I have no rep to protect and I don't have to win every debate.

So, knock yourself out and tell me what you know. I might end up agreeing with you and learning something.

Seriously, I am not being snotty or sarcastic. What is it that you know that I don't know?

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No, LaBrie’s lows always have been very weak. Again, that could also be due to style. This very reverby production in especially Awake, also helps him a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s a bad singer or anything, even though in his prime I was never satisfied about his live performance.

He does have a very warm tone, but his power lies in his highs. Indeed, much more acrobatic and smooth than say a darker tenor that is Bruce Dickinson.

I can sing much warmer in my lows, but I tend to be ‘afraid’ of it sounding too classical. I tend to want to have this samey blendy sound. I was often told that I tend to be my own equalizer instead of trusting the sound mixer.

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He does have a very warm tone, but his power lies in his highs. Indeed, much more acrobatic and smooth than say a darker tenor that is Bruce Dickinson.

I have to disagree with this analogy. Back in his prime, Bruce had a nickname in the business was 'The Siren'.

And it wasn't due to the singing technique of sirens, it was because he vocally all over the place and his highs were belted so powerfully, that he was a human siren(like an ambulance or police car).

I actually call a lot of what he did back in the 80's precision singing.

I believe Labrie and Dickinson, though very different in tonality, are equally skilled in many areas. One can learn a lot trying to sing like them, ala singing along with the cd and trying to learn the techniques they use. Most of my skills, I developed most of my technique by singing along to Maiden, Yngwie, Stryper, Helloween, Queensryche, Dream Theater, etc. All of whom, in my humble opinion, have some of the best vocal chops in the business.

So there you have it. My list of teachers.

Bruce Dickinson

Jeff Scott Soto, Mark Boals, Mats Leven, etc..

Michael Sweet

Michael Kiske,

Geoff Tate

James Labrie.....and the list goes on...

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No, LaBrie’s lows always have been very weak. Again, that could also be due to style. This very reverby production in especially Awake, also helps him a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s a bad singer or anything, even though in his prime I was never satisfied about his live performance.

He does have a very warm tone, but his power lies in his highs. Indeed, much more acrobatic and smooth than say a darker tenor that is Bruce Dickinson.

I can sing much warmer in my lows, but I tend to be ‘afraid’ of it sounding too classical. I tend to want to have this samey blendy sound. I was often told that I tend to be my own equalizer instead of trusting the sound mixer.

So, then, it is your fault that your low notes falter just a smidge, causing others to think you are pitchy when you are not. So, it is something you can fix. What you need is 10,000 reps of "I can do these low notes" repeated in your mind. There, now, I have instructed you.

And I have already grown tired of the conversation because I was basically saying that you sang with this with more ease than LaBrie, maybe, though I expect you will argue about that, too. So, in the future, rather than giving my opinion, I just let you state opinions you wanted to hear.

Saves time. What do I know? I am just in the audience.

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I wasn’t implying that Bruce isn’t or wasn’t a great technical singer. It’s probably due to the (sometimes really over the top) writing by the Portnoy and Petrucci that makes LaBrie make this crazy lines. Dickinson indeed can be all over the place, and for sure he is very precise, but I wouldn’t call his lines ‘acrobatic’/coloratura-like. He’s clearly a lot heavier and you can ‘feel’ that ‘weight’.

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It’s probably due to the (sometimes really over the top) writing by the Portnoy and Petrucci that makes LaBrie make this crazy lines. Dickinson indeed can be all over the place, and for sure he is very precise, but I wouldn’t call his lines ‘acrobatic’/coloratura-like. He’s clearly a lot heavier and you can ‘feel’ that ‘weight’.

This, I agree with and more likely to be the case.

In an interview, Bruce mentioned the frustration of others in the band writing lyrics that bordered on shakespearean and then expected him to sing it in the 4th and 5th octave. Because they are not singers. It's one thing to write poetry, or prose in a meter. It is another thing to sing it.

I can imagine the same thing happening with LaBrie.

And, in some cases, the song is not as identifiable as is the singer. In Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx is the band leader and chief song-writer. And for a while, Vince Neil was not with the band and it just didn't sound the same until he came back.

That being said, I am not expecting or waiting for you, Manny, to sound like LaBrie, good day or bad day.

And others are saying, maybe, that sounding like LaBrie is not a valid pursuit or a worthy role model. If that is the case and we are going to follow Bertrand Russell's advice ("If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him"), then it doesn't really matter if you did it like LaBrie.

Again, to manage to do the original vocal line is an achievement and it's okay for you to realize that.

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Go ahead and start another thread for your own cover of this song. It will probably be good. Better than I could do, though I don't really cover DT stuff.

What I am talking about has nothing to do with MY, or YOUR ability to cover anything. We are talking about cold and objective fold, shaping, breath and timing usage, and what do we HEAR in James interpretation of the song.

And why I put a lot of emphasis on "HEAR"? Because everyone has a tendency to hear different things in music. Maybe he doesn't hear the same things as me, or you, or slstone.

If I shared something was just to try to point with a finger ( because physically here I can't ) what I was referring to.

I'm only trying to help Manolito, because I like his voice a lot, and he has an incredible range, so what he is lacking is just the solidness and confidence to just do whatever the hell he wants to do and sound with his voice.

Also Manolito, I quite agree with you about LaBrie's lows. I have heard him in Winter Rose, his solo work, Ayreon, Dream Theater... and there is always a constant: his lows always tend to be breathy and kind of power-lacking, compaerd to his highs.

Why that breathy thing going on? I have no idea, haha. It could be a stylistic thing he does on purpose, almost always, or it could be a technical issue of his ( which I don't think it is), but certainly he has a lot of control over his M1 anyways. I used to to it a lot too, becuase it just felt more LaBrie-ish, lol. But now I don't like it because it doesn't feel right on my folds anymore.

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What I am talking about has nothing to do with MY, or YOUR ability to cover anything. We are talking about cold and objective fold, shaping, breath and timing usage, and what do we HEAR in James interpretation of the song.

And why I put a lot of emphasis on "HEAR"? Because everyone has a tendency to hear different things in music. Maybe he doesn't hear the same things as me, or you, or slstone.

If I shared something was just to try to point with a finger ( because physically here I can't ) what I was referring to.

I'm only trying to help Manolito, because I like his voice a lot, and he has an incredible range, so what he is lacking is just the solidness and confidence to just do whatever the hell he wants to do and sound with his voice.

Also Manolito, I quite agree with you about LaBrie's lows. I have heard him in Winter Rose, his solo work, Ayreon, Dream Theater... and there is always a constant: his lows always tend to be breathy and kind of power-lacking, compaerd to his highs.

Why, that breathy thing going on? I have no idea, haha. It could be a stylistic thing he does on purpose, almost always, or it could be a technical issue of his ( which I don't think it is), but certainly he has a lot of control over his M1 anyways

I think I understand better, now, your point.

Who ultimately will care? I think we all sing in our own voice, regardless of what tell ourselves. :lol: :cool:

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Indeed, ronws, and I think you kind of misunderstood my point. But anyway, hehe

Also, yes... we should always sing with our voice, becuase we are us and not others... and that is the line we have to find, that divides what we can do and what we can't. Which is simply, what feels right with your voice. Even if it is difficult, there are muscles that maybe haven't developed and in time you will adapt. Other things might require a bigger resonating space, for example, and as much as you train your shaping and manipulation... you cannot change the shape or size of your skull, your neck, etc.. And trying to do something that requires that may be harmful. Was I clear ? hahah I don't wanna be misunderstood again, lol.

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