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Journey - "Who's Crying Now"

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Stiletto
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So, I thought last night I would take a crack at the high point of the song (to me anyways) - the iconic "wail" in the bridge. I would not keep these takes for a final recording as I hear lots of little things that drive me batty and I don't have time to re-sing it plus really get into the deep mixing/timing and mastering issues that would help this sound a lot more polished.

But it was fun to mess around with! I am recording a lot of original music at the moment, but its always a nice break to sing someone elses material.

Steve still continues to amaze me whenever I listen to him........... I'm thinking if I get time I will record the whole song.

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Yea, I might try and do that. I probably should not have posted this though. I listened to it this morning with fresh ears and it doesn't sound to hot. I don't care much for the tonal quality and now the little things that annoyed me at first sound huge.

Oh well.....

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Yea, I might try and do that. I probably should not have posted this though. I listened to it this morning with fresh ears and it doesn't sound to hot. I don't care much for the tonal quality and now the little things that annoyed me at first sound huge.

Oh well.....

I think you are being a little to critical. For what this was it was awesome. If I could get a tone close to that I would be happy. :)

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I think you are being a little to critical. For what this was it was awesome. If I could get a tone close to that I would be happy. :)

Thanks MDEW - I do appreciate the encouragement. It's a difficult thing for me as my ear makes these things stand out like sore thumbs. I ALWAYS find stuff I want to redo, even after a song is finished. With a quick sample like this one, what I hear is some laziness in the airflow which leads to a tone quality that I don't much care for in several but not all spots.

The notes are not difficult in terms of singing but they are such that if laziness creeps in, its super noticeable because of the range they are in and the low level of the music. The voice is really just "out there" almost accapella with nowhere to hide. Now I just want to go home and resing it....... :(

By the way, I am sure you CAN and often do get great tone yourself. :)

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Yea, I might try and do that. I probably should not have posted this though. I listened to it this morning with fresh ears and it doesn't sound to hot. I don't care much for the tonal quality and now the little things that annoyed me at first sound huge.

Oh well.....

Dude, whatever. It sounded good. Bottom line. The "wail" was very nice. I realize how "little" things can bug you and make you think it wasn't good, but you hear them because it's your voice. To the listener it just sounds good.

So suck it up and do the whole song. I think you'll rock it!

And yes, Mr. Perry is DA MAN! I'd give my left nut to be able to do what he does, or did. IMHO, in his prime there has been no better male vocalist. Those are BIG shoes to fill. Not even Arnel, as good as he is (and I admit, he's VERY good), can compare to Perry in his prime.

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Dude, whatever. It sounded good. Bottom line. The "wail" was very nice. I realize how "little" things can bug you and make you think it wasn't good, but you hear them because it's your voice. To the listener it just sounds good.

I recognize that we are always more critical of our own voices. That being said, I would never keep these for final takes simply because I know it can be done better. Thank you for the kind words though!

So suck it up and do the whole song. I think you'll rock it!

Lol! I think I will do that when I can clear some time. It's only been in the last 2-3 months that I radically changed the way I was thinking about vocals. I wouldn't have even attempted a Steve Perry tune before. I still need to make some adjustments before I feel I can record a full song and pull it off. I just needs to be a bit more second nature yet. Getting there though.....

And yes, Mr. Perry is DA MAN! I'd give my left nut to be able to do what he does, or did. IMHO, in his prime there has been no better male vocalist.

You won't find any disagreement with me on this! He's simply incredible.

Interestingly enough, what he's doing is not "difficult" in the way most people use the term.

The difficulty comes in thinking correctly about it which I often times fail to do :( . When I do think right, it comes out with no effort. The wail part I actually re-recorded right before I posted this morning about 30 minutes after I got out of bed. While I don't advocate NOT warming up, I find the need for it drastically diminished singing the way I do now. Before if I was not totally warmed up and if the stars where not aligned perfectly, it wasn't going to happen. Now, not so much.

Those are BIG shoes to fill. Not even Arnel, as good as he is (and I admit, he's VERY good), can compare to Perry in his prime.

Yea, this I know. One of the main reasons I hesitate to do one of his songs in it's entirety until I know I can nail it.

Even singing fantastic will pale in comparison to Perry and the equipment he captured his vocals on. Soon though hopefully I will give it a try.

I like Arnel's voice and love the whole story about how he came to be with Journey. But hes not singing anything like Perry in terms of technique. Arnel is a belter. Steve's notes are being accessed very differently.

I hate using these terms because it creates so much chaos. But I would describe what Steve does as almost falsetto with a ton of air behind it if that makes any sense.

Whenever I sing higher notes now, I sing them all falsetto several times through to get in touch with the sensation I want to feel in my throat, neck face area. Which is to say almost zero.

Then I push a ton of air behind that "falsetto" when I want to record it and it becomes something else.

That probably makes no sense at all but its working for me.

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So, I thought last night I would take a crack at the high point of the song (to me anyways) - the iconic "wail" in the bridge. I would not keep these takes for a final recording as I hear lots of little things that drive me batty and I don't have time to re-sing it plus really get into the deep mixing/timing and mastering issues that would help this sound a lot more polished.

But it was fun to mess around with! I am recording a lot of original music at the moment, but its always a nice break to sing someone elses material.

Steve still continues to amaze me whenever I listen to him........... I'm thinking if I get time I will record the whole song.

Dude are you fishing for compliments or just that self-critical?>

You slid right up there, something I believe even Perry took operatic training to achieve. There was no strain, no wavering of pitch (as far as I can tell), and your voice is incredibly like his (though maybe a more forward timbre).

IDGI?

Some of us try really hard just to get notes like that to even occur once a day :mad:

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Dude are you fishing for compliments or just that self-critical?>

You slid right up there, something I believe even Perry took operatic training to achieve. There was no strain, no wavering of pitch (as far as I can tell), and your voice is incredibly like his (though maybe a more forward timbre).

IDGI?

Some of us try really hard just to get notes like that to even occur once a day :mad:

What does IDGI mean?

Oh. No not fishing. :( It's just what my ears tell me.

I break these things down into minute detail. Its a bit of a curse in some regards, but in other ways its a blessing if one is trying to record music on a regular basis.

I spend a lot of time in the studio and have been around quite a bit of mixing/recording/mastering. So I just hear stuff that perhaps others don't or are not trained to hear. I hope that does not sound condescending, its not meant to be. So I am speaking in terms of recording not how I might feel about singing this live had I done so.

And what my ears tell me is this particular vocal is about 70% of what it should be if I was looking to record this song for real. Any decent vocal producer would most likely say the same.

Now, keep in mind when I say that, I am speaking about a WHOLE host of things. Not just whether I hit the high note without strain. I am always looking for the following in every vocal that I would consider a "keeper":

1. Massive air

2. In time

3. Tone/texture

4. In tune

5. Stress free

6. Passion

All of those things combined make a great vocal. If I was grading on a scale of 1-10 each one of those categories would get different marks on the sample I posted. Some higher than others of course.

The part that is closest to being a "10" in all those categories and sits "right" to my ears is the one highlighted.

"Only so many tears you can cry, till the heartache is over, now you can say, YOUR LOVE WILL NEVER DIE..whoa whoa whoa."

My two cents.....

Thanks for the kind words by the way!

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What does IDGI mean?

Oh. No not fishing. :( It's just what my ears tell me.

I break these things down into minute detail. Its a bit of a curse in some regards, but in other ways its a blessing if one is trying to record music on a regular basis.

I spend a lot of time in the studio and have been around quite a bit of mixing/recording/mastering. So I just hear stuff that perhaps others don't or are not trained to hear. I hope that does not sound condescending, its not meant to be. So I am speaking in terms of recording not how I might feel about singing this live had I done so.

And what my ears tell me is this particular vocal is about 70% of what it should be if I was looking to record this song for real. Any decent vocal producer would most likely say the same.

Now, keep in mind when I say that, I am speaking about a WHOLE host of things. Not just whether I hit the high note without strain. I am always looking for the following in every vocal that I would consider a "keeper":

1. Massive air

2. In time

3. Tone/texture

4. In tune

5. Stress free

6. Passion

All of those things combined make a great vocal. If I was grading on a scale of 1-10 each one of those categories would get different marks on the sample I posted. Some higher than others of course.

The part that is closest to being a "10" in all those categories and sits "right" to my ears is the one highlighted.

"Only so many tears you can cry, till the heartache is over, now you can say, YOUR LOVE WILL NEVER DIE..whoa whoa whoa."

My two cents.....

Thanks for the kind words by the way!

Oh you sound like me. Are you a scientist of some sort?

I have a habit of doing this, too. Getting so technical that it isn't fun and probably risks sounding less and less real.

1. Massive air

2. In time

3. Tone/texture

4. In tune

5. Stress free

6. Passion

How can you do all that while thinking this much?

A producer would hate this? Producers spend hours in autotune, even for classical musicians.

You sound like me in my head--it's so analytical that it's too much.

Just my 2 cents. Also I'd have to hear the whole thing?

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Oh you sound like me. Are you a scientist of some sort?

Nope. Not nearly that smart!

I have a habit of doing this, too. Getting so technical that it isn't fun and probably risks sounding less and less real.

I have a LOT of fun. There is some risk in what you say but I guess that all depends on the person. I can guarantee you that the best singers in the world are quite anal when it comes to such things. Not that I am putting myself in that category mind you, just saying its not a bad trait to have when it comes to recording.

1. Massive air

2. In time

3. Tone/texture

4. In tune

5. Stress free

6. Passion

How can you do all that while thinking this much?

You raise a very valid point here. The answer is that most of those categories resolve themselves by focusing primarily on the 1st one. Almost all of the areas in which I consider this vocal lacking are directly related to a deficiency in that first category. So the things I listed are NOT all things I "think" about when I actually sing, only things I notice lacking in the vocal as a whole.

A producer would hate this? Producers spend hours in autotune, even for classical musicians.

I never used the word hate? And isn't it amazing that in years past vocals like Perry's were accomplished without the aid of things like Autotune? The more someone works at their craft, the less they have to rely on such things. I am trying to work towards that end. :P

You sound like me in my head--it's so analytical that it's too much.

Just my 2 cents. Also I'd have to hear the whole thing?

The goal would be to get to the point that singing this way is second nature. Alas, old habit die hard and I am no Perry! Indeed, my goal is to get to the point where I can open my mouth and it just falls out naturally.

Thankfully I can report that I have to "think" about it less and less every day now.

I have not recorded the entire song. I was just taking a pass at that one line to see how it would turn out as it's my first attempt at Journey stuff.

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Nope. Not nearly that smart!

I have a LOT of fun. There is some risk in what you say but I guess that all depends on the person. I can guarantee you that the best singers in the world are quite anal when it comes to such things. Not that I am putting myself in that category mind you, just saying its not a bad trait to have when it comes to recording.

You raise a very valid point here. The answer is that most of those categories resolve themselves by focusing primarily on the 1st one. Almost all of the areas in which I consider this vocal lacking are directly related to a deficiency in that first category. So the things I listed are NOT all things I "think" about when I actually sing, only things I notice lacking in the vocal as a whole.

I never used the word hate? And isn't it amazing that in years past vocals like Perry's were accomplished without the aid of things like Autotune? The more someone works at their craft, the less they have to rely on such things. I am trying to work towards that end. :P

The goal would be to get to the point that singing this way is second nature. Alas, old habit die hard and I am no Perry! Indeed, my goal is to get to the point where I can open my mouth and it just falls out naturally.

Thankfully I can report that I have to "think" about it less and less every day now.

I have not recorded the entire song. I was just taking a pass at that one line to see how it would turn out as it's my first attempt at Journey stuff.

Nope. Not nearly that smart!

Don't say that about yourself! You seem analytical enough :P. Musicologist :D

Oh, sorry. By all means then. I thought you sounded good. I don't have perfect pitch, and I have no vocal training, so some of those things get a free pass from me I guess.

I thought you had a light timbre compared to Perry's. I'm not sure if that's what you meant by "massive airflow".

I'm a big fan of Perry's voice, and given how perfect he sounds, I bet he is exactly like this. I've even heard of Maria Callas practicing for hours until others wanted to just go home <<

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I thought you had a light timbre compared to Perry's. I'm not sure if that's what you meant by "massive airflow".

Yes that's exactly what I meant. Good ear! There are certain notes that are a bit more "pinched" so to speak.

That's a result of that lack of airflow I was speaking about and results in a bit less of a warm/big sound than his.

The trick is to allow as much air to flow past the chords without sounding "falsetto" and weak. Its a balancing act.

But one I am getting more comfortable with all the time.

Perry was the absolute master at this.....

The usual advice is not to emulate a singer. But in my mind that's because there are a TON of bad singers out there that one would never want to learn from.

Every voice is going to be unique for sure and there is no point in that regard in trying to "sound" like someone else's voice. That being said, there are some singers past and present that simply had incredible technique. Those are the ones to listen to and emulate technique wise.

In my mind, that's Steve Perry for men and Celine Dion for women. These people are worth studying in great detail and both do an incredible job of locating those higher notes in the nose and moving a lot of air when they sing.

I also make a distinction between who I like to listen to or a song I love and a singer I want to learn from. Some of my favorite songs were sung by guys who were very mediocre in terms of vocal ability. But they wrote incredible music.

The opposite is true as well. There might be songs I don't care for that much but the vocal technique is ridiculous.

Anyways, I am rambling now. Time to get ready for the game!

Go HAWKS!!!!

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Man, you guys overthink things WAY too much. Just sing. If it sounds good, that's all that matters. It sounded good man, just sing it.

Umm no. Its because I gave it a lot of thought that it sounds good at all. I was one of those guys that in the past "Just sang" and used a lot of bad technique doing so.

I produced some good results doing that and most people said it sounded great. But they were not aware of the problems I was having or my diminishing abilities.

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Man, you guys overthink things WAY too much. Just sing. If it sounds good, that's all that matters. It sounded good man, just sing it.

He does, but he has a point. In actuality, a lot of these singers are like this; we hear the finished product, which by the time they finish--IS easy to them, in much the same fashion that a body builder can lift things I'd get herniated over. It does take work.

Hmm,

Stiletto, I'm not a vocal coach, but a lot of what they do is "mixing," where they bridge the falsetto/headvoice with chest. From doing it myself (I could be doing it wrong not sure), it seems like once you get there, you have to remember to project.

Another thing is that when you do it, the sound will resonate more in your head. I find this is sort of a bad thing because you then hear yourself a lot louder than you think you are.

I've hit mixed notes, where I focused on hearing it myself, only to play it back and have it sound much less powerful than I thought.

Conversely, I've done them and projected (thinking OUT instead of UP) where they sound very strong on record but, at the time, they didn't sound as strong to me, possibly because the "heady" part of the mix is being more evenly distributed and projected.

Perry was a master of this. He could hit high notes with any intensity he wanted. "Wheel In the Sky" is one where it's one constant soft fluttery high note.

It sounds to me like you're mixing correctly--but possibly not projecting because you think it's as you hear it resonating in your head when you do it?

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I understand what you're saying. I guess because of my lack of any kind of vocal training a lot of these concepts fly over my head. I just don't spend too much time thinking about what I'm doing. I just do what feels like it will work. I honestly can't tell when I'm using my head or my chest voice. My ear tells me what sounds good (or at least what my brain thinks sounds good) and I go with it.

I have a request, then, of you and RockNSoulLover if you two would be so kind to indulge me. With your ear and understanding of what's going on within a vocalist's performance could I ask of your critique of one of my Journey covers?

The first would be my very first actual recording of myself doing a full cover of "Faithfully"

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Hmm, that was good I think. I don't know if anyone will find much wrong with it. From the sound of it, you are using your mix/head voice. You probably just don't know you're doing it, but it's pretty much throughout the whole song.

A lot of talented people do this without ever being trained and don't know they're doing it, just do.

Think of mmm, Patti LaBelle. She sings all the way up to extremes that most trained singers would find unbearably difficult.

For me, for example, I had to learn to really work on high notes because my voice kept getting deeper on me for a bit (I'm 27 now, and it kept changing until just recently--:mad:) and I had a tendency to just yell them ( I still do to some extent).

Is that you in your pic? You look like an operatic tenor :P. large ribcage and prob tall? You probably just breathe properly and have the anatomy that grants you this without much work.

I would say, at most, I didn't hear as much resonance (that ringing quality)? It's kind of like a natural reverb of the voice.

Overall, I'd not say there's much issue. Count yourself lucky as someone who doesn't have to try much to get it :cool:

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this guy seems to be doing that "natural reverb" thing I was talking about. See how when he goes up there, it sounds like there's a lot going on even tho it's just one voice?

His voice is resonating more (basically some overtone frequencies come in that are far higher the the pitch he's singing). This is also what gives opera singers their ability to carry over orchestras.

I think it's called "squillo" in opera, and tends to occur around the 2500Hz-5000Hz range (hence a part of it sounds like there's a lot "covering" his voice) there.

He even lowers his jaw a lot more for the big notes, something you'll see operatic tenors doing.

He probably, like you, doesn't think about it either. You can probably do the same.

I can't; I just know what it is :rolleyes:

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berniemcpeak,

For what it's worth, me being a newbie and all and not

having any formalized training either, but just being a lover of music, it sounded awesome to my ears. Seriously. Well done. There were a few times when the music drowned you out a little, but you sound really good. My 2 cents. :cool:

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berniemcpeak,

For what it's worth, me being a newbie and all and not

having any formalized training either, but just being a lover of music, it sounded awesome to my ears. Seriously. Well done. There were a few times when the music drowned you out a little, but you sound really good. My 2 cents. :cool:

yeah that's what I mean. That "carry over the music" ability with large instrumentation is largely resonance based. It's what allows a tiny woman to fill up an opera hall with her voice over a large orchestra w/o a microphone.

It's no big deal at all, as he sounds amazing, but he asked us to nitpick :cool:

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Thanks Rock. Yes, that is me in that pic and yes I am a big guy @ 6'6", 400 lbs (but losing! I'm down 25 lbs since Jan 1st). I've been told that I'm everything from a tenor to a high alto. I don't really know what I am.

And thanks Cat. I think I mixed the backing track too high and the mic i had at the time wasn't very compatible with my iPad. It was hard to get much gain on it. Also, I was moving away from the mic when the power notes came up because I was afraid of drowning everything out. I've learned not to do that since then, at least when recording.

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