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Vocal distortion
February 6, 2015
12:22 pm
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Adam Mishan
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Hey guys,
So I really want to tap into proper vocal distortion because it is an element I haven't really explored so much in my voice. My brother sings exclusively with heavy distortion and he told me that he feels no difference in his throat between singing clean and distorted. I, however, at least feel a tickle in my throat that makes me want to cough, this leads me to believe that I am doing something wrong. So I will post clips of us both singing and maybe you guys can help me out to find what I should be doing differently. He can sing like this for literally 3-4 hours no problem, it baffles me at this point.

So I recorded these in quick succession. I still have a clear voice but my throat is tickling right now and I have to clear my throat and we'll see what it does to me for the rest of the day.

Here is my bro- https://app.box.com/s/bif42ub8gvihirl5boqrsry2grr4b0xk
Here is mine- https://app.box.com/s/iyi4nrl1tkh5rpr5pvai0mpxh4lnrfe4

February 6, 2015
6:09 pm
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OwenKorzec
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I'm a complete novice at it too but what I've heard people recommend that seems applicable to you is using less air, and not distorting that hard, just barely tapping it. On your second run through it sounded like you were doing both of those things better. I also feel that a tickle in the throat generally indicates having forced/blasted too much air through the folds

February 6, 2015
9:52 pm
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daniel formica
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hey Adam the second clip is better , in the first clip you are what i like to call chasing the distortion you dont want to go after it but more think down. you will hurt yourself if you chase after it. It shouldnt be really any louder than a good mix.

list=PL851170229CD80783&index=2

list=PLoWcfXjHDXqhdL_N_0yO5o-6HqCFX32on&index=7 5:43

you could also by my download its about the cost of a lesson. im not pushing you to buy it but it gives you ideas.

February 7, 2015
3:02 am
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Phil Moufarrege
Japan
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If you've never done grit before you may feel a tickle the first few times but then it shouldn't happen anymore. If it continues to happen then yeah you want to rethink what you're doing.
I would suggest not going for that level of grit you are doing right now if it is causing scratchiness, instead just think of belting and let a natural level of grit being to come out rather than trying to get "the right amount to mimic the artist". Most people they get a bit of grit and think "this isn't enough to sell the song" and they add more than they are ready for. Take what you can get without it hurting, even if it is just a tiny bit and it will naturally season like a wine over use.

It should naturally start coming out the more you get used to just belting a lot while using high levels of compression. Do a lot of belting and you will start hearing it come out as a layer on top of your voice when you are really warmed up.

@PhilMoufarrege
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Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

February 7, 2015
10:59 pm
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Adam Mishan
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Awesome guys thanks for the tips. @Dan: I had already seen your videos, which are awesome btw, but the refresher was helpful, combined with phil's comment of just pushing a bit past a belt to get the distortion gave me this ----> https://app.box.com/s/ikuuoht4rdk4v62e6ujsio5c7bp690zk

February 9, 2015
2:38 am
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Sexy Beast
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Sounds good for the style but if it's healthy I don't know...

February 9, 2015
5:22 am
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TommyTheHat
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I like to be warmed up well if I'm going to be singing with a lot of grit for numerous songs. Also it depends on the key. Some songs don't bother me while others I can only do a few of and still others maybe just once. Keep in mind I'm not singing Rock anymore so my songs are a different sort of distortion. For me it's more grit or gravel.

Either way. I don't involve my throat. I'm not a "technical" guy so I can't really explain how I am doing it but it is higher more toward my pharyngeal area where the sound is created for me when I add some distortion. Way at the back of the roof of my mouth. The soft palate? Then leading upward toward a more nasal area. For some songs (depending) especially when the sound leans toward a soft scream (I do it on Ray Charles "Drown In My Own Tears") it is really up in the nose....very nasal. So no throat issues. I don't use it.

However, yesterday morning I was out early in the morning and no warmup, and fridged winter weather and Bruce Springstein came on the car radio. "Born In The USA." I started to sing it and it got to me. Yikes. Like I said, the need to warm up for some songs. Actually that was the first time ever singing that song so I'd have to work out where to place the sound. Not to mention I haven't been singing and this was probably the first real attempt at singing anything in months. So, like I mentioned. Prep, practice and warm up for this type of thing. And know your limits.

Placement. That's the key for me for avoiding issues.

But we are each different. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for the next. Wink

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

February 9, 2015
8:43 am
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Phil Moufarrege
Japan
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Adam Mishan said

Awesome guys thanks for the tips. @Dan: I had already seen your videos, which are awesome btw, but the refresher was helpful, combined with phil's comment of just pushing a bit past a belt to get the distortion gave me this ----> https://app.box.com/s/ikuuoht4rdk4v62e6ujsio5c7bp690zk

Sounded awesome. How did it feel? Any tickling or pain?

@PhilMoufarrege
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Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

February 9, 2015
1:54 pm
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quentin
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Hey Adam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN8B-3DM9pw&feature=youtu.be

Here is what i found the best to train distorsion. I am normally a technique oriented singer, but with distorsion, i always had better results leaning more on the emotional way to find it and sustain it healthily. I often do "yoghurt singing" as we say in French. I will try to impersonate random singers while singing nonsensical lyrics with the intent to get the distorsion. For me it really helps thinking "singing agressive", even putting the agressive or emotional face instead of thinking "engage the false chords, compress more, support more etc". I usually don't proceed like that but i found out it was the best way for me to get distorsion.

Also, what worked for me is to train the area where distorsion is the less tasking or fatiguing and extend it gradually. For me, it is the E4-G4 area. You then can add it to your higher belts and finally to your mixed voice. The latter is quite hard but the sound is quite funny. Adding grit on mixed voice requires quite a good load of support, and also not chasing the grit too much, otherwise it will go out constricted.

Hope it helps!

February 9, 2015
3:14 pm
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Sexy Beast
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Haha j'aime bien le petit troubadour avec sa guitare qui nous explique comment mettre de la disto Wink

Ca se dit comment "yoghurt singing" en Français?

As for me I can only make a distorted sound in my higher range: Bb4 and above. My approach is kind of like Quentin's: I just pretend I'm a witch. I might post a clip later...

February 9, 2015
6:30 pm
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Adam Mishan
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Thanks guys.
@sexybeast: thanks yeah I can also get that really high almost Axl Rose distortion in my upper ranges but that's the only place where that type of grit can really exist.

@phil: thank you. That one didn't hurt for tickle in my throat which I'm pretty proud of.

@quentin: was that you in the video? Yeah getting into the emotion for all technique with singing can fix many issues that come up.

@tommythehat: yeah I am at the stage right now where I don't do much vocalizing anymore. I use songs to warm up my voice

February 9, 2015
7:03 pm
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quentin
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@ Sexy Beast : je voulais parler du fait de "faire du yaourt", ce qui m'est arrivé pas mal de fois quand j'ai rejoint des groupes déjà constitués avec des setlists et qu'il fallait improviser des paroles... Quitte à rester dans ce registre, le troubadour serai curieux de savoir ce que donne la sorcière Kiss. Je l'immite pour renforcer mon falsetto, mais je n'ai jamais réussit à faire de la disto en falsetto donc si tu as des idées je suis preneur.

@ Adam : yup. I am thinking about at least sending an audio each time i point out something because it can be easier to figure out this way instead of trying to describe what is going on. The hardest part for me is to add it on mixed voice, but as you are more Advanced than i am, you will be able to nail that grit more effctively than i do.

One last thing i have noticed is that i tend to lose distorsion when i have not practised it for a long time. I have to exercice my voice for a couple of days before i can do it again effectively and throughout my whole range.

February 10, 2015
12:58 am
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Adam Mishan
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@quentin: that is very flattering, but I am not so sure that I am any more advanced than you are. You were singing a high C in that clip on the very difficult EE vowel.

My question is what are defining as a mix. Because in my book there must be a mix happening to hit a high C like that.

February 10, 2015
6:30 am
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Sexy Beast
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Here's my distortion. I never sing with this kind of sound so I don't practice it... Also I have no f*^%* clue how I'm doing it...

This is a little something from "Cold Sweat" by James Brown. I was reading the words and messed up haha

https://app.box.com/s/dvoav9dpo498achbzz0p1yd2xiikua03

February 10, 2015
1:22 pm
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quentin
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@ Sexy Beast. I have no clue about how you do that, but it reminds me a bit Ray Charles way of screaming. Is it on falsetto or on light mix?

@ Adam : yes, the high Cs are in mixed voice, but singing consistantly with grit on high mixed voice notes is still a work in progress

February 11, 2015
2:06 am
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Sexy Beast
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Quentin, I believe this is my hard mix. I'm singing balls to the wall here!

Btw: I've thought a little about it feels like the distortion is coming from the soft palate area. Notice I'm not singing "I don't care" but something like "rrri don't care". This is how I access it I think... apart from pretending that I'm totally...
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