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Stay by Rihanna cover

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Matakka
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Hey Matakka,

 

You need to find a stronger sound and sing into your voice more. Do you vocalize? I would suggest focusing on your lower range and finding a solid chest voice there. I think that would solve some of your intonation problems as well.

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I think you sounded fine and what I could hear of your "lower notes" sounded okay, considering you are probably singing into a dinky little computer mic or phone mic. I would imagine that having a real microphone would magically increase the lower overtones in your voice that getting masked out by a cheapie mic that has a diaphragm that's not as wide as my wedding band, which is 5 mm.

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unfortunately the chest voice is not always there

 

Chest voice is not some magical thing you need to find. I would need to hear you speak and sing some more to be sure...

but from that little sample I heard you just need to get more "grounded" in your chest.

 

Most likely you already speak in your chest voice. So that would mean you are changing your natural voice every time you sing and going into "singing mode". Try to speak the lyrics and then sing them. Are you going to a different voice when singing? You shouldn't! Singing is just sustained speech.

 

Vocalize on open/wide vowels and hard consonants in your lower range. That means as low as you can to about an F#4. Use a short scale like CDEFGFEDC. You can try an "ah" vowel, "na na na", "ga ga ga", "go go go" or "no". The important thing is that you use your speaking voice and there is energy behind the sound. So say "no" like you mean it! After that pick a song that doesn't go high (no more than about Ab4) and sing it on an exercise that worked for you. Then you can try add the words but keep the feeling the same.

 

Also, consider taking some lessons. You will progress faster with a good teacher than on your own. Nobody can really help you through text...

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rowns,

you're right, I am singing into a computer mic. And as I heard from other people, my voice on recording sounds very much different from the way it sounds in life, at least when I speak. so that might be part of the problem. Thank you for listening and your comment.

 

Sexy Beast,

yes, I am changing my voice when I go into singing mode. When I try to sing with my speaking voice, i feel too much tension in my throat and can't hit high notes at all. That would be a matter of practice I guess? Actually it feels better to speak with my "singing voice" after some singing practice, rather than with my normal voice. That's quite confusing  :unsure:

I am planning to take some lessons, just posted my singing try hoping it's not hopeless and looking for some motivation :)

Thank you for useful advice!

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I think you and others might be surprised at what a difference a halfway decent mic would make. Another member of the forum would mix a few of my songs for me. First time was with a cheapie desk mic that you can get at Office Depot and the second time was with the studio condenser mic. The difference was night and day.

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I think both Ronws and Sexy Beast have some good points here. Something about this mic is amplifying some really crazy mid rangy frequencies which take a lot of body out from the bottom and top relatively and give an inaccurate picture of your voice one way or another.

 

At the same time with more training, lessons and/or self study you'll likely get more control over your voice. You already sound more in control in this tune, than the prior tune on your sound cloud if this is your most recent. I actually like your current timbre (what I can make out from the distortion) which is really distinct and feel like it's a style worth pursuing, but if if you're having issues with strain it could help to get some lessons or rethink other areas of your voice.

 

Does 'this' tone feel strained? Is it comfortable and can you move it about pretty freely? If so, it's fair game. Each area of your voice you explore, try to find a free place for it. You can still keep this area, while exploring others.

 

Anyway, yeah, I'm not familiar with the tune (don't listen to Rihanna) but there is something interesting here that I'd like to hear more of. I did enjoy listening to it, but I hope you can clear up the mic issues a little at some point, cause it's not really representing you very well.

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Hi KillerKu,

 

thank you for your comment!

yes, this one is my most recent one on soundcloud. I'm glad to know there is some progress.

 

No, this tone didn't feel strained. This would be actually the most comfortable tone for me, but if i go on higher and louder notes, i would definitely feel some tension. It shouldn't be there, right? That's the way i'm practicing now - trying to catch that feeling when my voice goes distinct and smooth and at the same time produces no strain. Not sure if that would be the right way tho, am considering to find a teacher who would tell me  :)

 

I wonder if some settings on recording software might help to produce a better sound (I'm using live performance mode on Garageband on mac), because i'm not really so deep into my singing hobby as to buy a new mic yet :unsure: maybe after i find a good music studio and take some lessons, i'll make a studio recording.

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Hi KillerKu,

 

thank you for your comment!

yes, this one is my most recent one on soundcloud. I'm glad to know there is some progress.

 

No, this tone didn't feel strained. This would be actually the most comfortable tone for me, but if i go on higher and louder notes, i would definitely feel some tension. It shouldn't be there, right? That's the way i'm practicing now - trying to catch that feeling when my voice goes distinct and smooth and at the same time produces no strain. Not sure if that would be the right way tho, am considering to find a teacher who would tell me  :)

 

I wonder if some settings on recording software might help to produce a better sound (I'm using live performance mode on Garageband on mac), because i'm not really so deep into my singing hobby as to buy a new mic yet :unsure: maybe after i find a good music studio and take some lessons, i'll make a studio recording.

 

When training voice, everyone will stumble across tension here and there. The goal will be doing your best while keeping it to a minimum, while still exploring your voice. Some styles would have more muscular activation than others, but the keys are to try to never go hoarse or feel pain, if it feels really sore or wrong, you want to change your approach. Sounds like you're already trying some of this.

 

You've got a really good point on the software settings over the mic. Can you download the Mac version of this program:

 

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/

 

And simply record yourself speaking or singing a little into the mic? Nothing fancy, no reverb, none of that stuff. I don't use Garageband so I can't help with settings there, but there is pretty much a 'record' button in Audacity if it knows which mic you're using. That would give the clearest picture of what is the mic and what is the recording program settings. It could be that live performance mode turns on some serious cheesy karaoke effects. :D

 

You'd sound best with a little reverb, a little touch up but the super effects sound like a 10 dollar karaoke machine. If it ends up being the mic, we can look into cheap, but good possibilities at a later date. 

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When training voice, everyone will stumble across tension here and there. The goal will be doing your best while keeping it to a minimum, while still exploring your voice. Some styles would have more muscular activation than others, but the keys are to try to never go hoarse or feel pain, if it feels really sore or wrong, you want to change your approach. Sounds like you're already trying some of this.

 

You've got a really good point on the software settings over the mic. Can you download the Mac version of this program:

 

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/

 

And simply record yourself speaking or singing a little into the mic? Nothing fancy, no reverb, none of that stuff. I don't use Garageband so I can't help with settings there, but there is pretty much a 'record' button in Audacity if it knows which mic you're using. That would give the clearest picture of what is the mic and what is the recording program settings. It could be that live performance mode turns on some serious cheesy karaoke effects. :D

 

You'd sound best with a little reverb, a little touch up but the super effects sound like a 10 dollar karaoke machine. If it ends up being the mic, we can look into cheap, but good possibilities at a later date. 

 

Now I'm really nervous posting this, because the audacity version of my voice doesn't sound good to me  :blink: Anyway, here it goes:

 

 

I hear i'm out of tune in some places, but the good thing i guess it would mostly be the chest voice (except the highest notes).

Anyway, it should be a more objective picture (sound) of my voice, so thank you for great advice, KillerKu!

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Now I'm really nervous posting this, because the audacity version of my voice doesn't sound good to me  :blink: Anyway, here it goes:

 

 

I hear i'm out of tune in some places, but the good thing i guess it would mostly be the chest voice (except the highest notes).

Anyway, it should be a more objective picture (sound) of my voice, so thank you for great advice, KillerKu!

 

Well there is good news. I really like your timbre. Is English your first language english, or 2nd? (or 3rd, etc) I say this as your accent is actually quite good, but there is still something really intriguing or ear catching about the timbre. It might have bit to do with cultural stuff. It's really cool, makes your voice stand out. 

 

Yeah that tone is closer to the real tone, but still not a great mic sound. It's still a bit telephonish. I can hear some mic overload or 'cracking up' when you make a breathy loud high note, if you could reduce mic sensitvitiy a bit in some setting somewhere it might work. 

 

I'm gonna put some research into audacity for you folks. I use Cakewalk, but if I can find you a good reverb plugin it would do everyone here without pro equipment a great service. What you like is the reverb and maybe a tiny bit of compression on the other version but it would really help to have more 'control' so you aren't stuck in karaoke night and get more of an authentic sound.

 

I'm kind of in another project at the moment, but for now, there are plugins for audacity that can get cool effects. I'm gonna research it for the less technical folks, to try help in a bit but this would be a good starting point:

 

http://wiki.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=GVerb

 

Don't worry about being nervous. You sing from the heart. You sound emotional to me. It touches my ears.  It's just gonna take some time to train. You'll gain the mastery. Missing notes is part the journey. A lot of the singers I listen to still miss note now and then. But you'll improve. If someone gets on your case, I'll whack them with a newspaper. That's a longer term goal. You got to time to grow. You're gonna get there.

 

People crawl, the walk, they fall down, eventually yeah, they run. Some people start the journey when they are like 3 years old. Some are starting a bit later. Pitch is a good goal. Do your best, but isn't going to help you sing better if you're afraid or feeling bad. It really wasn't too bad, anyway. Rihanna is auto tuned all the time. She can sing well without it, but no one is a robot. So you can't compare yourself to Rihanna on record either. She'd have to be in the room with you singing. You can look into the oldies before auto tune was invented to get a better idea.

 

I loved hearing it, and we'll work on stuff. If worst comes to we'll auto tune you, but I love your natural voice. :D

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This is a better recording. I like the sound of your voice. A little bit of natural rasp that others have spent thousands of dollars and hours to get and still don't have. Probably the cheapest alternative for you is to get a usb mic. It will be better, even a little bit, than the computer mic. Trust me, I have been there. The equivalent of singing through a soupcan with a string. The first recorder I had was in 1972 or 73 and it was a portable Panasonic reel-to-reel (used) with 5" reels that you had to thread by hand and a mic that is surpassed by even the cheapest cellphone mic today.

 

Also, how do you monitor the music when you sing? If through headphones, pan the music hard left or right to one ear, make it slightly treble, and pull the other headphone can off. Here is why. You need to hear the room reflection of your voice. Also, headphones have what's called a "near-field" monitor effect and are more bassy, which will pull you down because your mind is excellent at hearing something for you to match. So if what you are hearing is a bit flat in the mix, you will be a bit flat.

 

But I think your pitch is good. In the first part, you wobbled on "now," which has a dipthong (changing vowel sound from ah to oo.) Stick with the ah sound, like you did in the second half when you did "round" and "now" in succession and those sounded spot-on.

 

Killer is right, you have the right sound and feel for this song and it was made for you. Keep this in your list of songs you could do anywhere.

 

I use Audacity, so, pick my brain whenever you want to.

 

Edited to add: you are probably wondering how I could have a recorder in 1973. I am older than I look but the preservatives in Diet Coke make me look younger.

m/

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Hey, KillerKu, Ron

 

wow, thank you, it’s really cool to read these opinions, especially of  professionals. And yes, you caught me, english is not my native language :) (took me a while to figure out what reverb is )

 

I’ll think of buying a mic (or getting it on my birthday) when i get some decent progress in my practice. I’m glad to tell you that looks like these 2 comments have become the last drop in the ocean of my hesitation and fears and i’m having a first lesson at music school on monday  :D  So anxious!

 

I’m really glad i’m on this forum, because there are so nice people with warm attitude and willing to give professional advice!

 

 

 

Don't worry about being nervous. 

For the moment, I can’t help being nervous. The way i sing at home (while nobody is listening), can hardly be possible if i sing in front of someone. This is a really tough psychological thing, i hope my vocal teacher can help me get rid of it. It would be useful for life, not just for singing.

 

 

 

I loved hearing it, and we'll work on stuff. If worst comes to we'll auto tune you, but I love your natural voice. :D

 

Hey, i don’t want to be auto-tuned, never respected that :P  because that’s cheating

 

 

 

Also, how do you monitor the music when you sing? If through headphones, pan the music hard left or right to one ear, make it slightly treble, and pull the other headphone can off. Here is why. You need to hear the room reflection of your voice. Also, headphones have what's called a "near-field" monitor effect and are more bassy, which will pull you down because your mind is excellent at hearing something for you to match. So if what you are hearing is a bit flat in the mix, you will be a bit flat.

 

Well, I don’t monitor. I’m actually a complete dilettante in anything concerning music, including the technical side. I just turn on karaoke or instrumental on youtube, turn on the recording and sing. And I don’t use headphones. Sorry for the stupid question, but how do I record the music if i use the headphones and all the sound goes in there? )) And what should i really monitor? Maybe i should read some theory or other topics here, before asking this, sorry  :wacko: 

 

 

Edited to add: you are probably wondering how I could have a recorder in 1973. I am older than I look but the preservatives in Diet Coke make me look younger.

m/

 

lol, i've also thought that preservatives can be used as anti-aging remedy, must be true  ^_^

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See, you have the opposite problem as me. I have no problems singing in front of others, My mother said I was shameless. Although that might have to do with me resembling Shreck. People just wait patiently for me to get tired and go away, of my own accord. However, I make mistakes when recording and I have been learning how to fix those and that it is okay to take the time to fix those.

 

With Audacity, you can import a sound file such as a karaoke track into it and then record a separate track of your voice into it. There are programs out there that will rip the music from a video. Or you can buy karaoke tracks at itunes for like a couple of cents USD. Or, if you play a musical instrument or have a friend that does, they can record the music as a separate track.

 

Monitoring is how you are hearing the music while you sing against it. What you are doing now is acoustic monitoring, where the music is playing on a loudspeaker and you are singing with it. If it was a track in audacity, you could monitor or hear the music in headphones while recording a new track with your voice on it. Audacity can have some horrible latency (lag between playback and recorded material) so do NOT choose the playthrough option. You can adjust latency but the problem is that you can make it so short that there is not enough time for the full signal of playback, causing skips and clips. Better to get a usb interface with its own live monitor function.

 

My M-audio M-track has that. Adjustable input and output. Live monitor through my headphones. Panning button lets me vary how much live mic versus how much playback from audacity, so that I can adjust how much of my voice I hear in relation to the music, more or less. Or I can sing with one can off, either way. I am so used to hearing whatever room I am in that I sometimes feel more comfortable doing that.

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I consider being shameless an advantage rather than a problem. Sometimes I wish I could be shameless in good way. Being shy puts lots of unnecessary restrictions on your life.  :ph34r:

 

The idea of searching karaoke tracks on iTunes  just didn't come to my mind, so thank you for another great idea! (although i didn't find there the one I have been searching for on youtube either, maybe  just no one did it - Your embrace by Shakira)

 

And thanks for great explanation! I will certainly explore and try to play with settings in audacity when I record something new. 

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I consider being shameless an advantage rather than a problem. Sometimes I wish I could be shameless in good way. Being shy puts lots of unnecessary restrictions on your life.  :ph34r:

 

The idea of searching karaoke tracks on iTunes  just didn't come to my mind, so thank you for another great idea! (although i didn't find there the one I have been searching for on youtube either, maybe  just no one did it - Your embrace by Shakira)

 

And thanks for great explanation! I will certainly explore and try to play with settings in audacity when I record something new. 

 

Also, in audacity, look for the mic icon and adjust that scale to about .67 or 67 percent. Lowering the input into Audacity helps.

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