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Perception or change technique

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  • Perception or change technique

    OK I'm not interested in lead singing. I have a very good backup voice, but to change pace, the band wants me to sing a couple of tunes. I can, but whenever I've heard my voice from practice (all tracks go direct and are mixed) as a lead, it sounds crying and whining and dynamically is all over the map. Several questions. Do many of you feel this way simply when you hear your voice? When singing into a live vocal mic (not the LDC's in the studio) do you stay firm in one position (close to mic and same distance) or are you varying it?

    Thoughts?
    HCBF Mesa Brigade Member #2

  • #2
    You'd be amazed at how many singers, including top professionals, do not like the sound of their voices. Several things are happening to cause this. First, we hear most of the sound of our voices from the inside, where it is being resonated through the bones of the head and the sinuses, etc. It's kind of like hearing the guitar while standing inside of it. We get an extremely false impression of what is actually being heard by the outside listeners, even as we hear ourselves through monitors. This is why so often we hear a good singer say "I thought I was terrible, but then I heard the recording and it was good." Most of us just get used to our voices as we hear them, and eventually begin to like them.

    You say your voice is dynamically all over the map. That does sound like you're not holding the mic at a consistent distance from your mouth. Unless you are singing very loudly or softly, or hitting very high or low notes, the mic should remain steady as far as distance. Also, remember to face the mic directly toward your mouth. Don't sing across the top or to the side of it. (Watch the pros)

    Studio compression helps a lot when it comes to loud or high notes, but on stage we usually have to do the job ourselves by moving the mic in and out according to what we are singing. Again, watch videos of the pros to learn this.

    I recommend you begin recording yourself a lot, away from band practice. Try lots of different songs. Listen and make corrections and try again. You don't have to have a pro studio to do this.

    Al K

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    • #3

      I recommend you begin recording yourself a lot, away from band practice. Try lots of different songs. Listen and make corrections and try again. You don't have to have a pro studio to do this.

      Al K
      Thanks for your response, Al. I think what you've said will be very helpful. This is from actual recordings of band practices. I really don't mind my voice in the studio, but I have very strong control over where I'm standing, etc. What you have described to me is that I need to practice standing still (I'm playing bass while I'm doing this) or at least not moving my head when I'm lead singing and concentrate on keeping the same distance. That's really hard when I'm grooving to the beat!!!! As you've made me think about it, I do believe I'm inconsistent with addressing the dynamic mic from the side or the front, as well as distance.
      HCBF Mesa Brigade Member #2

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      • #4
        I do a lot more stage-work than studio (more a player in the studio and a player/singer on stage), so I have little experience in mic dynamics in the studio but, on stage, I find myself using the mic more like an instrument in itself than I used to. I slide in for a quiet phrase and pull back for either a louder section, a section with a lot of hard sibilance or the occasional scream (controlled these days, not like in my yout'...).

        Harmony singing is an art, and it sounds like you nail it, but harmonies are usually constant volume without too many dynamics necessary. Singing lead is a whole different animal and really requires a different learning curve. Working on it (and your vocals in general) can only improve your harmony singing (and harmonic theory as well). It's a 'no-lose' situation.
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Originally Posted by MattACaster : *Runs 2 blocks down the street to Guitar Center, grabs detuned Schecter off the wall, plugs into Line6 Spider and proceeds to bring teh brootalz*

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        • #5
          Thud,
          As a lead singer who, no matter how warm I am and how much I've practiced, I still get fatigued over the course of a 3~4 hour gig, especially in smokey bars. I trust your singer/singers feel the same thing and will greatly appreciate you stepping up to the plate. I'd definitely echo what Al said about making peace with your voice. This does take time. Finding songs that not only suit your range, but also suit the tone of your voice is important, too. As I've eluded to over in the bass forum, for a long time I tried to push higher and higher with my range. That's landed me a lead vocals slot singing songs that are exhausting. Meanwhile, my closest friends and former/future bandmates are saying, dude, you sound so much better singing mid/low range. Granted, I get lots of compliments for the high stuff. Alas, I think at times singing something that is out there, be it in range or in style, one often turns away just as many folks that it brings in. My point: just cause you can, doesn't necessarily mean you should.

          Try lots of songs, lots of styles and work with what suits you. Meanwhile, when folks tell you it sounds good and they are people that you trust, believe them!
          <div class="signaturecontainer">Looking to buy a tube preamp - maybe a Marshall JMP-1, maybe a Triaxis, etc. PMs me.</div>

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