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What Do The Classical Peeps Think Of The Enormous Roar

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Matt
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Lord knows how he does it.

He must have a perfect balance of tiny sweet tone, adduction and total growl on a perfect stream of air, full chest and full head all going at the same time.

Hes not even trained and he does it night after night, decade after decade

What do the classical people think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yta-tpD2VmQ&feature=related

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I think its great... some of the best DIO I have ever heard. This was a great album... I thnk Classical experts would chime in on both sides... those that are understanding of other genre's and lean toward embracing contemporary vocal styles would think its good... unfortunately, there are those that would criticize it regardless of how great the vocals and passion is... they would put it down just because its not Classical and because they are angry that rockers have too much fun.

That was cool... I have to give you a rep. point for that.

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For the non-believers, there are much cleverer and prettier recordings around by him...

Its not by any means one of his cleverest vocal recordings, he's quite careless with a couple of runs and stuff here and he hasnt got any pretty notes going which he usually contrasts with and he even loses chord closure a couple of times which is unusual for him, in fact he goes 4 semi-notes higher on the official live recording of this song, but I picked this one because hes got such a great lions roar going for most of the song and because its so very. very live. Theres so much bite in his "Over! Over! Over! Over! at 5:32, I'm surprised the sound system didn't just give up.

Thanks for my first point, btw lol

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I'll just add him doing the very, very opposite ballad with the sweet spot very evident, for the non-believers. Voclas start at around 2:30

I'd be very interested to hear a classical response because I think he's quite operatic, even bel canto? By that I mean you can almost hear his abdominal muscle walls being sucked together like a plunger in a toilet, but any technical comments by any teachers would be very interesting.

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I'll just add him doing the very, very opposite ballad with the sweet spot very evident, for the non-believers. Vocals start at around 2:30

<clip snip>

I'd be very interested to hear a classical response because I think he's quite operatic, even bel canto? By that I mean you can almost hear his abdominal muscle walls being sucked together like a plunger in a toilet, but any technical comments by any teachers would be very interesting.

I've listened to these two pieces, and while I think he and the band have a sense of the dramatic, I don't hear his voice as operatic, at least, not in the Classical sense.

There are some elements of his singing in the latter piece that I would call 'lyric', and I will address those for a bit. He does sing with some vibrato, and with legato phrasing in some places, almost as one might sing some German Lieder or French Melodien. He incorporates some phrase shaping with dynamics. His syllabification is understandable, and logical. I liked, and appreciated the way he did those things, and I could sense his connection with the audience. All good things, IMO, for a singer to have in their gig bag.

Where his technique and that of a classical singer diverge is in the area of tone quality, and especially in vowel formation. His choices of vowel colors are not the same as would be used by a US-trained opera or Lieder singer when performing in English. He occasionally uses a bit of singer's formant or 'ring' in his tone quality, but not all the time, and not when singing softly.

I think that some of this is the piece of music itself. Apart from the two 'homages' to J.S. Bach (quotes from Prelude #1 of the Well Tempered Clavier and Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring), and the guitar improvisation above the chaconne in the latter section, (which I enjoyed very much... serious guitar chops has he,) I didn't get the feeling that this was a classical piece. I did not get it as a show of vocal beauty and transcendent, arched phrasing. Rather, I felt (and this is entirely subjective and interpretive on my part) that this was almost a vocal 'pastorale'... something of less volume intensity, but with higher audience intimacy, which challenged the listener to a different level of engagement with the band. It felt more like a mood piece. That's just how it came across for me.

As to the techniques involved... not as much abdominal action as you might think. Even the longest phrases were only 4 or 5 seconds.

I'll look around and find some more examples to think about. I'd really like to hear something of his where he gets in his top voice and lets it wail. Got any suggestions?

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Very interesting.

I'm beginning to wish I hadn't said operatic now that I'm listening to it after reading your words. I was thinking at the time that maybe lyrical would be a better term.

I absolutely agree that this is more a mood piece than a serious, straight attempt at the perfect vocal piece, its supposed to contain elements of bluesy sadness, but I do think I hear a very shiny round and easy for him to accomplish tone at the core a lot of the time.

I'm having a hard time finding the studio recordings I'd recommend with him doing the pretty thing though lots of live stuff which is never as pretty, but it seems you were more interested in hearing him full into the head, so we'll try this.

The note at 1:03 seems to be perfect to my ears, as well as the bridge at 1:26, which is way, way up there (D), but still comfortable to him.

And a little of what I probably should be calling lyrical/rock:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk72wcieBB4

From what I hear, he's nearly always into mixing head and chest for the full blown roar and doesnt do all that much pure head although he seems to have quite a lot of resonance going on in his head, and never goes anywhere near falsetto.

Mainly though, apart from the fact that I very much like his tone, what impresses me from a "how is that possible" pov, is the massive roar he does for hours without blinking.

p.s.

About the guitarist you liked, these videos are from two different bands, that guitarist is great, the guitarist in the other band is not at all great imo, nor is that band...

This is from the not so great band, sad to say, but we're only, or I'm only listening to the vocals d.s.

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ive always felt that DIO´s vocal abilities are part intuative technical know how and a whole lot of good vocal genectical make up!

one thing that has always intrigued me about DIO, and Bruce Dickenson is the same is the amount of vocal weight they can produce on high notes. sure DIO doesnt sing ridiculously high (i think he top notes are around tenor high C) but because of the sheer weight he can put on them it often sounds lower in pitch. both Dio and Dickenson have very ´´dramatic`` voices. if you were to compare a DIO high C with say Geoff Tate the difference is very noticable!

i think that these type of rock/metal singers are quite operatic in a way (they are often refferd to as sounding operatic in rock mags etc) especially in the way some can produce that vocal weight and also the use of strong vibrato, connected head tones etc . i think the main thing though is often the power and the passion that can be heard in the vocal. i dont think there is any other contemporary singing apart from some thearter stuff that comes as close to some of the passion and power that can heard in opera.

i have wondered in the past if DIO can sing those high notes clean, without the gruff roar added?

also it should be noted that the guy is tiny, but still has a massive voice!!!

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(i think he top notes are around tenor high C)

Full onslaught, and I mean full onslaught on E around 5:10:

Robert may ban me for this, but I think Tate sounds like a girlyman next to this guy ;)

That E is what Tate would sound like around A4

Ronnie sounds like he's so grounded in his pelvis compared to Tate, imo.

Thats live too while jumping around, no second take in the studio. Ive heard him knock him notes out of the ballpark into the sky perfectly cleanly, in fact I would imagine just going into full clean head would be easier than the roar.

Yeah, its bringing that weight up that Im impressed with and what in part made me use the term operatic. Bruce dickinson has always seemed more strained to me and a little thinner, a little more like a young Gillan, Ronnie just smiles no matter what he's doing. In fact, I could even show vids of him actually smiling relaxedly all through a whole song of roaring.

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Thanks for posting the tremendous examples. Dio certainly has a very easy, and powerfully-connected headvoice. I see why he is admired.

In classical singing, there is a term 'voce piena in testa' - Italian, which means 'full voice in the head'. I think Dio provides some very good examples of what this sounds like when applied to this genre.

What I find very remarkable is his vowel shaping. Though he does not go as far as a classical singer would in making the vowels 'tall' in the mouth, he does go quite farther than other rock singers I have heard. The resulting tone, while still having 'cut' to it, makes a fuller quality which I liked.

I also had some comments about the 'roar'. It sounds warmly shredded, which is an unusual sound to my ear. It has me wondering what his audio setup was onstage. I am thinking it might be partly him, and partly some ingenious audio patching, for example, running his mic through a couple tube pre-amps so that one of them gets overdriven and causes warm tube clipping, and then running the output of that preamp into the PA power amplifier input. With that sort of signal chain, he could control how much of the effect he gets just by eating the mic a bit, or boosting his volume.

Anyway, that is speculative on my part.

I can see why you are inspired to call his performances 'operatic'. His vowel choices, ease of production, dramatic sense and powerful full headvoice go much farther than other singers of this genre. He has that middle ground, the head voice, which other's skip over when going from chest to scream.

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Hey Guys, I'm back somewhat lol- First off Dio is Dio! nough said in and off itself. Metal would not be metal without the man. I do not consider him operatic- he has a full, rich voice and manages to get his grit out while maintaining the overtone and keeping the voice nicely focused so there is a bit of the same delivery in characteristic.

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Great thread!

Martin, thanks for that link....that was a great read/lesson!

I would LOVE to see what Steven thinks of some of the guys I listen to, but I won't put the man through any of that!

Dio is the man and has influenced an really helped the roots of metal grow into what it is today.

All Hail The Metal Elf!

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Great thread!

Martin, thanks for that link....that was a great read/lesson!

I would LOVE to see what Steven thinks of some of the guys I listen to, but I won't put the man through any of that!

Dio is the man and has influenced an really helped the roots of metal grow into what it is today.

All Hail The Metal Elf!

I'm cool. :cool: Bring 'em on.

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Given that he's not trained, but obviously has an awareness of the sensations of his instrument, I suppose its possible to just stumble over trying to sound in the head instead of the throat as a young kid and just go with that.

Wow those D's at 1:26 of that 3rd movie...

Man, his whole head is ringing like a big bell.

I work harder speaking.

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He says he never took lessons, but he played the trumpet as a kid and copied songs by some operette dude who was big back in black and white tv. Cant remember his name unfortunately, mario something I think. He never mentions technique in any interviews. He began as a bass player, and like so many others began singing because noone else in the band wanted to.

He wasnt much of a trumpet player as you can hear below either.

You can trace his whole career back to the 50's at youtube. Even then he had a hearty good voice, getting the note out into the room, its interesting to note that though hes not as polished or professional, he still whacks out a good strong note and his progression to today seems quite natural.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg6GKffU9MI

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Guys don't get confused...Ronnie Dio quite never used his head voice..he's one of the best examples of ROCK BELTS....don't get confuse on a more pharyngeal configuration of certain belted notes...that isn't head voice..but belted chest voice...that E5 in children of the sea is more belted note than a tilted one...by the way..Ronnie is one of my fav singers ever...he's the reason why I listen to a certian kind of heavy metal...I was 10...my father gave me a video tape of black sabbath with Dio...first song: CHILDREN OF THE SEA....that changed my life..

ehehe

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I did a fstival in Italy where I was the stage engineer for Ronnie...he was 64 something like that...no halfstep down music, no tricks...and he did 2 hrs set list with all classics..I was destroyed...and he's a gentle guy too...so kind...

He even told us about his famous horns...he took it from his italian grandmother...in south of italy they do this for keepin evil-eyes away...he just took this for a stage scene with black sabbath..ahaha...and this changed the history of heavy metal...HORNS UP!!!!!! \m/

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