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Owen Korzec - "Glow" (original song) vocal progress
September 5, 2014
2:33 pm
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OwenKorzec
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This was supposed to be a nice long and detailed post but since the forum tricked me and deleted the entire thing after it was done, I will just cut to the chase. Feel free to ask any amount of questions and that will help make up for it!

Here's a demo of my original song from probably two years ago. As you can hear the vocals are incredibly weak but I was able to figure out the pitches and arrangement of them (I have since changed the vocal arrangement a bit). Great example of mediocre vocal coaching tearing down the power I could have been working on.

https://app.box.com/s/j1pp0gj5yowfa5ns9r92

Fast forward a year or two, I finished recording, arranging, and mixing the song instrumentally, but the vocals were still a struggle. Now through my training with Phil (AWESOME) the vocals are finally starting to sound the way I want them to and I'm focusing entirely on the quality of my singing.

Here is a demo dated June 2, 2014
https://app.box.com/s/aue37lz7gpoeowckbjks

Here is a newer one from July 14, 2014 of just the tough chorus with backing vocals added
https://app.box.com/s/qp3ndz5ixi9wd0eocvs5

These are heavily edited and done on a great vocal day and such, the point is just to get the GOOD stuff RECORDED so I can memorize and hear my best singing and have a listen to what is STILL lacking, which is then what I really need to improve on most.

August I was busy working on some other stuff but I plan to make a new demo this month. Started chipping at it recently but there are still some things to fix before I go for a full new demo of the whole song (my goal)

Each newer demo I find I am singing with both more power and more ease. I'm also noticing as I keep doing this I don't need as much editing or picking the right day or intense warm up to sing as well - those crutches just naturally remove themselves gradually over time. And lastly I'm getting more comfortable with translating this new intensity of singing into a studio environment, using headphones, singing into a stationary mic, etc.

I think this recording periodic demos approach is a great way to chart your progress as you practice (it is both a reality check and a confidence booster) and a reason why having a recording setup available is so beneficial for training.

September 5, 2014
9:16 pm
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wabba_treads420
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I love these kind of "progress posts". It is really cool to see an artist come into their own in just a few linksLaugh Thanks for sharing your material Owen, you're a really talented guy!

September 6, 2014
1:59 am
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Phil Moufarrege
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Great to see all the iterations. Owen has improved since the last recording there also ( as of our last lesson working on that chorus section.)
The main thing we are working on is getting Owen to slow down a lot more and really ensure he has total control of those phrases by :

1. singing them more then 50% slower with the emphasis on legato
2. keeping the tension down low and...
3. shifting resonance.

Owen has the habit of forgetting to push down as he goes up (what I call opening the umbrella) but when he does it properly he totally controls the notes perfectly. It won't be long till you own that song!

Great compositon, production and layering by the way.

@PhilMoufarrege
Online Vocal Coach, Singer/Songwriter
Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

September 18, 2014
6:44 am
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quentin
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Owen,

After having a real internet connection, i could finally have a listen to your song.
You have really good songwriting abilities man. When your voice will match the lines the way you want it is going to sound great!

September 18, 2014
2:31 pm
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TommyTheHat
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That was cool to hear the progress. Clip one was the awkward first steps and we watch (so to speak) you learn to walk and start running. Nice job, big difference. Smile

"It's not how many notes you know. It's what you do with them."

September 18, 2014
7:54 pm
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OwenKorzec
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quentin said

Owen,

After having a real internet connection, i could finally have a listen to your song.
You have really good songwriting abilities man.

Thanks for the compliment. I'm so grateful I already have a head start on the one thing I want to do most in life, write great quality songs. I quickly unlocked a natural talent for it with a small investment in some lessons with a local songwriter and also studying interviews of my favorite songwriters. It just really clicked quickly and I wrote a full album in about a year, while my singing has taken much longer to catch up so I have to work a good five times as long and hard at it. But I understand I am never done with becoming a better songwriter too so starting this spring I've been studying songwriting in many of my classes at a contemporary music university which adds a whole extra more technical level to mastering the craft. Then the real magic happens whenever I make breakthroughs in combining the technical and creative sides of it. When I finish a new round of songs in a year or so I do believe they will be even better as I will have that more multi-dimensional understanding of songwriting.

In the meantime feel free to check out my soundcloud in my signature to hear more of my songs!

September 19, 2014
11:24 pm
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OwenKorzec
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Just redid the chorus in about 15 minutes in the middle of a busy week and not having practiced it much, but I gotta keep chipping at this!

https://app.box.com/s/45pmxqpq2b56oualsz4r

I think it's definitely improved on a technical level. I didn't warm up in the traditional manner, I was just experimenting with a more soul singing vibe today, doing some improv and stuff, which put my voice in a different kind of sensation, very centered on low support and feeling complete relaxation above that.

I don't actually like this version as much as the last one artistically, mainly because I sang it with no emotion and it ended up a bit too dark sounding for my taste, but I did notice huge improvements in these aspects:

1. For the second time (first time happened in my lesson with Phil last week) I was able to sing the whole chorus in one take. Yes it's double tracked but the track mixed louder, that's the track I got in one full take
2. I felt "an unprecedented level" (lol sorry Phil I couldn't resist Laugh) of relaxation.

Practicing at a slower tempo really helped me get better at getting through the whole chorus without running into major issues and also getting me deeper into the vulnerable area of those glissandos in the melody, which makes them sound a bit more strange at the moment but I can feel that it is a necessary step of the process to gain complete control over them. My plan is to eventually get pretty exact on the timing of them - holding the A4 for one beat, glissando for one beat, landing on the F#4 on the third beat.

Anyways any critique is welcome.

September 20, 2014
3:05 pm
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Martin H
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Hi Owen,

I love the composition.

However, to be blunt, I can't understand your lyrics when listening. I know you have been working with Robert and maybe that's why?

I don't want you to get this the wrong way, but I simply can't understand it.....

IMO, you are using waaay to wide vowels (as Robert). I have always joked that Roberts interpretation of James Brown's: "I feel good" would be: "I FAIL god", simply because of the too wide vowels....or for instance: "The heat is on" becomes: "The HATE is on"....Wink

September 20, 2014
5:20 pm
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quentin
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I was also wondering, as you want to approach these A4 in mixed voice, if it won't be easier for you to narrow just a little bit the most opened wovels. I have always found mixed voice easier on half closed wovels like "é" or "e". What you are doing here is quite hard and requires a lot of support.

That said, i found that it sounds better than your previous recording. You got more compressiona and your mixed voice is filling more space. What Martin suggested could also help you spending less energy on being obliged to use loads of support to sustain mixed voice on too opened wovels.

September 20, 2014
5:25 pm
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OwenKorzec
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Thanks for the comment Martin I will take a closer listen. I hear what you mean in the second link but I thought I fixed it sufficiently but I guess not enough. I am no longer studying with Rob but I did work with him on this song in the past so it drilled in that habit and I've been patiently working to fix it.. I have been working on fixing that on some key phrases like getting "just breathe" more pure not "just breth" lol but I think some other phrases like need to be more pure as well. The last phrase especially.

September 20, 2014
5:40 pm
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TommyTheHat
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This isn't a reflection or a comment pertaining to your song in particular but more so on the comment made by Martin. This is something I've noticed from many of the singers who frequent the TVS forum. Vowel modification is like a buzz word there and it seems, at least to me, that some (many) of the members have taken this way too far and out of context.

I'm not really a "technical" guy when it comes to singing and don't know all the science and buzz words but I do understand principles. And imo, you shouldn't see good technique you should only realize it. In other words, if I were watching a boxer or a baseball batter or a golfer, I would realize his good technique or appreciate it but I wouldn't necessarily "see" it. It should be internalized.

So in the case of singing I shouldn't actually hear the technique. I shouldn't hear you modifying vowels. They modification is a secret tool for "you." Not for the listener. To me, a vowel modification is an aid to help navigate tough spots but not something to be a constant thought and an application on every vowel just because you are going higher in range. Otherwise it becomes like walking with perfect technique. You look awkward. Lift leg, move lower leg 18 inches, desend lower leg, place heel on ground, curl toes back slightly.....

learn technique, internalize it, then forget it!

"It's not how many notes you know. It's what you do with them."

September 20, 2014
6:36 pm
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OwenKorzec
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Quentin I find narrower vowels harder at the moment actually. Obviously I'm working on making them easier. currently i tend to either push too much or lose the support so the balance is difficult

September 29, 2014
2:23 pm
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quentin
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Hey Owen, i had some time to listen to your stuff a bit more. I really like your track "Find our way home". Good beat and you got a million dollar chorus here!
I Wonder if you plan to re record the vocal parts with a big voice on the chorus or if you want to let it as it is, light and dreamy, which is legit too. In my opinion though, some clean, edgy, belted vocals on the chorus would make it top of the charts :-)

September 29, 2014
9:21 pm
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OwenKorzec
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I always envisioned it as being lighter and R&Bish like that. I think me belting that part with my big voice would be overbearing, I don't think of it as a high energy chorus like Glow is. However maybe when I perform Find Our Way Home live I'll have a female backup singer in the band and let her take the lead for that part, for a nice medium intensity sound (being more toward the middle of the female range), and I can just stay on the octave below which is part of the arrangement anyways.

I am indeed not very proud of my vocals on that song, it was a real bitch to do honestly lol but I seriously thought it was one of my less good songs so I didn't put 110% effort into making the vocals perfect. But it was never the intensity that bugged me, just my instability in executing it. But I managed to kind of cover it up with the production (which was win-win, I wanted the double tracking, octave down and reverb for artistry anyways) and I'm okay with how it is now.

With every song I get it to a point I'm personally satisfied with and then just accept it and move on. Later on if some label picks me up and says "you should rerecord x and y songs" I would be totally down, but I just don't want to waste my own time trying to chase perfection or constantly re-work songs to my new standards of quality as I grow as a musician, when my main goal is just make great songs that sound reasonably pro enough and then share what I've got ASAP. Not show off expert instrumental or vocal skill if the song doesn't really need it.

The quality of my vocals does makes me cringe a little from a singer's perspective but I'm able to look past that and just enjoy the song and if I can, I trust that my listeners can too. And it's not just the vocals, I also think the drumming was very much NOT in the pocket for that song, but I just don't feel it's currently worth my time to go back and fix these little imperfections. As long as the song is portrayed how I want it to sound and I can personally enjoy listening to it and not feel ashamed to share it with others, I'm cool with that.

It's funny, that "million dollar chorus" was so easy to come up with, at least instrumentally. I basically just rearranged the chord order of the verse and added some layers to the production. And the melody just kind of came to me naturally.

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