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Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Surf Solar, Jan 8, 2010.
I play alto saxophone.
I used to play classical piano when I was around 10-14, but I quit after my russian teacher (who had played since she was 5, or something, and who was very strict) became too much. It's too bad I forgot most of it, I can pretty much only improvise short melodies now and nothing else
I can do the Bubble Bobble tune, though
Nowadays I mostly sing and play guitar (mainly electric, but some acoustic, too), bass guitar and drums. I'd like to sing/play in a band (playing alone ain't half as fun), but sadly there aren't too many people I know of who want to play things like melodic 80's hard rock and such stuff. Trying things like Joe Lynn Turner songs with a band would have been cool, maybe someday.
I do a bit of sound engineering, too, if it's relevant; pretty much nothing studio-wise, just live stuff like for funerals, smaller concerts, a few children's choir musicals and the likes.
What do you mean by "became too much"?
Actually I said "improve". I can't really sing but practicing does a lot, I'm certainly better now than a few years ago.
We had a local music school so I learned reading music, playing the soprano recorder and the piano.
Heh. I had a russian piano teacher, too. She was kinda cool, though. Then she left the school and I had another russian teacher, he sucked. I kinda lost interest (if there ever was any) and bought an electric guitar. I couldn't really teach myself to play it so I went back to music school and found a great guitar teacher. Now I'm playing small gigs with my band earning nothing while my brother gets more money playing the violin than I do at my job. And he only has a half-time job with the orchestra. Well, he is a great violin player and worked hard to get there. And I have fun making music, who cares about money?
The only thing that really sucks about singing is the maintaining and arduous task of keeping your voice in tact(I.e not eating any gassy foods, even changing the pitch of your voice when you talk on the day of a show etc.) There's this 30-45 minute practice i have to do that's pretty much just like retarded seal noises, but it works.
But i see singers smoking and drinking everyday. But again they do mostly rock...
And they suck on stage...
exactly. you can tell which singers actually maintain their voice, and these singers are rarely heavy drinker and/or drug users.
that said, some of my favorite singers are (or were, as some are now dead) heavy drinker and/or drug users
but yeah, I know you can practice and all, and to be honest I've never actually tried singing "for real", but I have a hard time holding a tune while singing along to music I listen to. and I know that I have a very limited range as my voice is very dark and easily cracks when I try to reach a higher pitch. plus, even though I'm a musician, I don't really have a good ear for pitch (hence the drumming).
but even though I'm pretty certain I'm never gonna be able to sing, I'm considering starting up a doom/metal band just to try out some growling/screaming. I always wanted to try that too.
I always wanted to be a singer, because through singing my own lyrics I can tell people more about me. Usually I close myself bofore others.
Still, I'm not sure about my voice, but I practice and want to undertake a course/lessons. Frankly, those cost some money.
Tried only 2 times to record my voice, where one was for assigment at college and the second one was when I was drunk, in my studio.
The second one was funny Recorded my voice using an effect in my software for electric guitar (high distortion). It was when I worked on one NIN's remix and it wasn't very good, so I thought, while being already drunk "fuck it, let's put some vocal in it!".
The mic was all fucked, probably somewhere between connection, so there were lots of sound errors and shit. And all my "singing" (if you can call that singing) was based on whispering to the mic in this kind of screamy way. Dunno how it's called.
Ah whatever, here's the track
Most of the words where probably made up and mixed with "Fuck" and "shit"
I play the guitar for some years now, and i occasionally like to sing.
If you assure yourself like that, then you are probably right.
But honestly man, recreational singing is not that difficult.
I am not a very good singer, but i might be able to give you some guidelines in case you are interested?
Proffesional singing is a much more serious business tho, involving far more technique practice.
Nice work on the FO soundtracks, the sound quality is not bad at all! Btw, i really liked the track "Muerto".
Actually, recently i got very curious about basics of sound recording/engineering so i was wondering if you would be willing to share some of the knowledge in that field? ^^
Not bad at all? It's fucking great.
I whish I had that much experience and the equipment to make my sound more polished etc. :/
As for me, I had a couple of bands in the pasts, but nothing really felt right/ fitted. That's why I mostly record my own stuff over the years, tried ambient (most of the time), some electro stuff, some kraftwerk-ish stuff, pop, post-metal, folk
It's really great when having an opportunirty to record what you want, without having a band. But with my last project I really whish there were people to play it live with me. :/
well, if you can give me some advice on how to get started maybe? I'd appreciate that.
Alright. But first, a few notes..
As i wrote previously, i am not a very good singer and my knowledge of singing theory and technique is close to none. It would be a good idea if someone who is better than me, filled in, or if you would take some time and google tips and lessons from pro's (there are a lot on you tube, i think).
However, i definatly sing better than i did perhaps a year ago, so hopefully i can help you out.
1. Warming up:
Basically, its a must. Don't judge your voice color and singing skill if you are not warmed up.
When i get out of bed in the morning, for the next few hours my voice sounds dull, my vocal range is very low, and if id try to sing i probably couldnt hit half of the notes, or i would be out of tune quite often.
As the day passes, i talk more, spend some time singing (for warmup- the more, the better) and hopefully if my throat gets warm and opens up, later on my singing gets quite decent.
Btw, for warmup pick any song that doesnt make you strain yourself to the limit with your eyes popping out.
Choose something comfortable.
2. Holding back:
This can be a major problem. If you are holding back because you think your neighbours will hear you falsch, or if you lack the confidence, it will greatly affect your singing.
It will be either low in volume or unconvincing, making you sound dull and probably much worse than you're capable of.
So wether you are warming up, singing along with winamp or singing solo, close your eyes if it helps, get into the song and really let your voice out loud and clear!
Ofcourse you might falsch often if you are just starting out, but it gets better and better with time, trust me.
3. Staying in tune:
Hmmm.. not sure what to say about this. I guess it falls under "general hearing and practice". If you are thinking of singing an entire song without even the slightest miss of tone, forget about it.
That's a pro's thing and even a significant number of them only manages it when recording in studio.
On the other hand, you dont want to make ear-piercing mistakes.
Pick a song you like, get it into your ear and have the melody and the basic chords in your head.
Also make sure that you arent trying to sing something out of your vocal range.
Say you picked a verse from some song.
You think you can do it, but still keep getting the wrong notes...
Stop the song and try one line at a time, but in a slower tempo.
Repeat a few times till you nail it, then try again at normal tempo.
4. Your voice:
Few people have an "angel-like" voice, and from those that do, the ones who perfect their singing posess such a brilliant instrument that it is enjoyable enough to listen even without music.
Most of us dont share that trait.
However, harmony simply makes sense! If you manage to sing a song while staying in tune, with a guitar or a band backing you up, its gonna sound more comfortable.
Sure, if you sing solo or try recording just yourself, you might not get the "wow" reaction, but when you combine your voice with other instrument or a simple "play along with winamp", harmony helps out.
Eventually, i guess from there its just a matter of working on your technique so you can the most out of your voice as possible.
An important thing i read once is that your natural singing voice should be very much like your natural speaking voice.
Problem is, a lot of us (me included), often or sometimes dont speak properly.
Some exhale way too much air when talking, some "place" their voice up in the nasal area, some dont move their mouth enough.
Again, go for what should come naturally... loud, clear, not too much air. For me, its mostly the tone of my voice when i get a bit drunk so im more loose and loud.
Also, avoid imitating the voice or singing style of your favourite singers etc.. especially if they are extreme like really agressive or squeaky or something third.
Rather, focus on your own voice and sing those songs in your own way and the way that feels natural to you. It will make it easier and it will sound better, believe me (unless by some chance your voice actually resembles the one you are trying to imitate).
Keep in mind, some songs are simply hard to sing, or sound bad in your interpretation.. even if they dont seem complicated and are withing your vocal range.
Move on to an easier one, dont kill yourself trying.
Anything a bit high is out of my range, btw.. i dont know what music you listen to, but if you're interested i could reccommend you some songs that i like to sing along with...
You might want to google this out lol.
What i do know is there are many lessons regarding technique and some of them will advise different stuff.
Truth is, they are all probably right, but it depends on the music style you want to sing, your vocal range, and maybe some other factors.
In each one, you will probably hear about breathing.
Long story short...
If you breathe with the upper part of your chest (an exhagerated example would look like slightly leaning back and raising your shoulders) you will hold less air, hyperventilate much quicker, and have a much worse breath control which would lead to too much air getting out while you sing and a poor tone.
The correct way is to breath with the lower part of your body (your stomach and/or ribs expand).
Good singers do it without thinking.. i never practiced it so i dont have much control over it.. sometimes i do it, sometimes i dont.
Some good tips are: stand or sit up straight when singing, lean your head back slightly when attempting higher tones, lean the head down forward when attempting low tones.
Next, some lessons involve using nasal singing for those extra high tones and similar.. never really bothered with that..
If im right, rock singers use a technique called throat singing, but the sound is pretty self explanatory..
And lastly, vibrato.
Some do it slow, some do it fast.. thing is, trained singers do it correctly by shuffling the note they are at, with the next lower note to it. Fits great when holding one note with the vocal like eeee, or aaaah.. well you get the picture.
Incorrect ways of doing it are swinging your jaw, stopping the note instead of shuffling it, there was something else but i forgot..
Try to imitate vibrato for start, when singing along.
You can find lessons to practice it on youtube probably. (I havent, so i sometimes use it incorrectly)
It really adds that certain feel that really makes it singing instead of "talking through notes".
And thats about it!
Remember, VERY few (if any) people are actually so tone deaf that they cant improve at all.
If you work on it, i guarantee you will improve, if not your technique than at least your hearing and staying in tune for start.
And if you set up some deadlines for training and improving, it will probably become a drag... but if you sing for the joy of it and have fun along the way, over time you will improve without even noticing.
Damn, I'm still a newb myself!
What do you need?
Not that great
Experience- not that much
Equipment- credit card brother, credit card.
Yeah, that's what I'm aiming at now, to work with others, not alone most of the time...
You mentioned some software programs that you use, earlier in the thread.
Could you write something about them, and what each one of them is used for?
Maybe a few comments about the order of which you use them when making your own stuff.
When you hear a Marc Morgan soundtrack, there's percussions, all kinds of instruments from wind to keyboard, some vocals, "strange sounds", but also all kinds of noises and effects.
I read that he uses Ableton Live, Reason, and Logic Pro, do you know anything about those?
If there is anything else you want to mention, i am eager to hear.
wow man, thanks for writing all that up. it's definitely some good advice and I'll give it a try. thanks again!
I don't have such a wide knowledge in use of softwares, yet. At the moment, Logic Pro is my main soft, and Audacity for sampling.
Logic Pro- easy to learn, good for live recordings and composing/programming without live instruments. It works only for Macs though, and preferably G-series (big boxes), not iMacs. With G-series you can always put more cards in, like a sound card that allows you to connect a mixing desk, so you will be able to record live instruments (guitars, vocals, synthesizers- if the synth is not USB based). But I'm still not good with recording few instruments at once. I still haven't figured that one out properly, mainly because I didn't need the use of that yet.
Audacity- probably I don't have to talk much about this one. Very popular, easy in use and handy- that's all.
I use it when I want to cut a sample permanently and save it in my library.
Sometimes might use it to normalize or gain the track a little bit. It's easier and quicker that way.
Mr Morgan borrows a lot of samples and loops from different libraries, which he definately has rights to, but the same is with many other movie and game composers.
But he's still a very good composer. One of my main inspirations.
Now, to answer your question.
I heard good things about Ableton and Reason. I think Morgan uses Reason for loops and percussion, Ableton for synths and keys and Logic Pro is the main software where he puts them all together and records live instruments.
Before I fell in love with Logic, I didn't know Mark was using it actually
Many studios and composers on the world are using it.
Keep on swimin'
I've been playing guitar on my own since the summer, kind of obsessively to be honest. I don't have time for lessons right now so I'm teaching myself.
I guess I mainly play Iron and Wine covers. I get bored easily and fingerpicking is fun.
I played piano for a few years so I know basic music theory, but I was wondering if you guys knew any sites to help with some more advanced theory. All the sites I've visited are either way too simple (yes I know what a scale is) or way too hard.
I'd like to start writing music, and I can come up with chord progressions that sound nice, but I'd like to know why they sound nice.
Thanks for the reply.
I dont have a Mac, so Logic Pro is not an option for me.
However, I did a little bit of live recording in Audacity, when i was checking out how does the tone from my guitar amp sound when recorded.
Don't have a mixing desk so i just used my headset microphone.. didnt sound nice, but its understandable.
The tracks and the sorting seems easy to figure out.
Since i cant use Logic Pro, could you reccomend some software used for composing without live instruments. I believe that means samples in libraries, which give the real tone and acoustics of the instrument or percussion, not the emulated one like midi and similar.
Now I'm feeling poor just using Cubase.
I have a demo version of Ableton though. it's very intuitive, but I'm used to work around with Cubase (Sampling, VSTI, MIDI editing, Slicing etc). And yeah, I'm searching everywhere for good organic sounding sampling libraries, most of them sound too cold, to "perfect" etc. I wonder which Samples Mr. MM uses...
Also, this Synthesizer in the Modoc Track, do you know which synth that could be, Public?