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Recording A Wobbly Singer.

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Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby dylantermos » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:10 pm

This week I tried and succeeded to record a singer that was new to the studio environment.
He was an old guy and a friend of my brother. He was a great guy and he played guitar at a party I was at a few weeks ago.
However I heard him singing in the party and thought he was OK. When he arrived at the studio he sang the first verse and I stopped the recording and asked him if he could stop the continual vibrato on his voice?
He replied that this was the way he always sung,now I ask myself, how didn't I hear this at the party?
I made a joke about it and we continued and eventually completed the vocal for the track we were doing.
The last person with this type of voice was Fergul Sharkey as far as I can remember, well to me it was.
When I mentioned this to my son who is in the music industry in America he said that there were no end of singers with this type of voice. I was amazed to say the least.
So, if you get a singer in your studio and his voice sounds different to anyones you ever heard do not despair, all is not lost, the recording came out OK and they left happy with said CD to play in the car on the way home.
I was not paid for this recording but know that I did a good deed and for other reasons I am very happy..........
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Zukan » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:37 pm

Good stuff Dylan.

Next time, if you get a wobbly singer, get them to sit in a chair. That usually works specially if they are Hugh's age....
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:12 pm

Oi!

And where's my cut of the Rosary business profits?

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Zukan » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:43 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Oi!

And where's my cut of the Rosary business profits?

hugh

Image

Oh, it's in the post.....

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby smash4686 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:45 pm

I have a female singer who has a lot of vibrato on notes. Sounds like a goat or Stevie Nicks. Anyway I asked her to stop doing it but she came back with the same answer. "That's how I sing." I guess you have to ignore it and record it anyway. A lot of British singers seem to also insist in singing in an American accent. Quivver.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Guy Johnson » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:05 pm

Frances Black. Some nice stuff, except when she wobbles ... Which is most of the time. Does me 'ead in!
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Bossman » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:45 pm

smash4686 wrote:A lot of British singers seem to also insist in singing in an American accent. Quivver.

yeah, that always makes me chuckle.. most of them don't even realise they're doing it.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby inderface » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:28 pm

But the singers with natural vibrato on thier voice is what makes them unique no?
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Red Mastering » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:18 pm

I don't mind until they stay in tune:)
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:13 am

This is moot to the discussion about "pro v am".

A pro violinist adds vibrato as called for in the music, one would assume a "pro" singer would have similar control?

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby onesecondglance » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:28 am

Bossman wrote:
smash4686 wrote:A lot of British singers seem to also insist in singing in an American accent. Quivver.

yeah, that always makes me chuckle.. most of them don't even realise they're doing it.

this is one of my pet hates! it's up there with people affecting over the top regional accents when they sing.

ffs - your pronounciation when you sing should not be massively different from your pronounciation when you speak. whatever happened to it being "your" voice?!!
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:00 am

onesecondglance wrote:
Bossman wrote:
smash4686 wrote:A lot of British singers seem to also insist in singing in an American accent. Quivver.

yeah, that always makes me chuckle.. most of them don't even realise they're doing it.

this is one of my pet hates! it's up there with people affecting over the top regional accents when they sing.

ffs - your pronounciation when you sing should not be massively different from your pronounciation when you speak. whatever happened to it being "your" voice?!!

Hmm? Well I am old enough to remember Workers Playtime on the radio. I remember singers with heavy cockney, northern or welsh accents when speaking but when they sang "songs from the shows" nary a trace! What about Doddy? No scouse there much when warbling.

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Guy Johnson » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:06 am

ef37a wrote:

<snip> I remember singers with heavy cockney, northern or welsh accents when speaking but when they sang "songs from the shows" nary a trace! <snip>

Dave.


That's not unusual.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:22 am

"That's not unusual"

Ah! Well HE always DID sound Welsh boyo!

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby dylantermos » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:30 pm

Loved the "It's not unusual " pun.Funny thing is most Americans thought Tom Jones was an American African when they heard him first, a sort of Otis Redding Boyo isn't it. I can do this because I am Welsh and I'm therefore allowed to take the p**s.
My plan was to double track his voice and use a subtle chorus effect, no need he had it built in already.
Still it was my good deed for the week and I had a lot of pleasure from that session.....cheers to anyone who contributed...........dylan
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby uphillbothways » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Two words: Peter Bellamy.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:10 pm

uphillbothways wrote:Two words: Peter Bellamy.

My hero! Very strange guy (he stayed with us once after a gig at the folk club we ran) but a hell of a performer and a truly great singer, even if we did nickname him Bleater Bellamy.

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:15 pm

smash4686 wrote:A lot of British singers seem to also insist in singing in an American accent. Quivver.

Cuts both ways. We did a few tours of New England in the 90s doing our English folk stuff and there was (and still is, I believe) quite a scene for it over there, but it was disconcerting to hear American singers putting on the cockney to sing English songs!

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:22 pm

When quite small I was taken to a production of 'Iolanthe' where the lead Soprano, had the most severe vibrato I think I've ever heard - to the point that she was unintelligible.
"Why doesn't she sing it in English?"
I innocently asked.
"It is English."
Came a frighteningly hissed reply from behind.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby alexis » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:01 pm

Re: Bleating ... weren't the BGs renowned for their exuberant bleating? "Billy Goats"?

Re: Sung vs spoken accents being different: Mick Jagger comes to mind as the poster child of that craft. Sounds like a black dude from the Mississippi Delta!

And I, , after years of not only listening to Beatles songs but also watching countless Beatles videos and interviews, have to prune out Liverpudlian accents that surreptitiously creep into my singing voice. I'm a New Yorker who has lived in Texas for more than a decade, so there's really no excuse for that! Never in my spoken voice, though ...
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby dylantermos » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:49 am

Well I have to admit my singing voice sounds very American. It's just the way I started way back when.
One American guy thought I was from Austin, Texas. Sad, I know but I will consciously try to sing like a true Welshman one day and it might be soon.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby thefruitfarmer » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:36 pm

Well, if someone has a natural vibrato then they will always sing like that. Most singers can force the vibrato and there some singers who force a vibrato without being really aware of it.

I did once compliment an ex-gf's mother on her natural vibrato, which she was not really aware of and she then exagerated it, which TBH sounded pretty awful.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby phil123 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:11 pm

worst offenders for vibrato are classical/opera singers and most of them will have had singing lessons so they should know better. Makes me want to say "show me in the music where it says wobble the note". Don't get me wrong, I think vibrato has its place and can be effective when used along with "straight" notes - it's just that many singers can't do a "straight" note.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:54 pm

I think the reasoning is that the vibrato helps the singer be heard above the sound of the orchestra. My partner is a music student with voice as her main instrument and that's the way she was taught. We don't care for it either, but that's the way it is.

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby dylantermos » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:57 am

Well this week I tried to record my vocal on a new song using my own voice and accent. I was pleased with the outcome and thought that it sounded very different.
I sent my ditty to my usual listeners (mostly family and a few musician friends) to see what they thought.
So far two people have said that they didn't like the way I had pronounced the word "casual" and that the synth sound wasn't to their liking.
I have to say I bit the bullet and re-recorded the vocal and changed the actual word "casual" to "anxious".
I changed the synth sounds completely.
I still feel that the original vocal was better and the accent thing was the highlight of the song.
What do I know I'm only the writer?
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Alfie Noakes » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:36 am

Bossman wrote:
smash4686 wrote:A lot of British singers seem to also insist in singing in an American accent. Quivver.


yeah, that always makes me chuckle.. most of them don't even realise they're doing it.


I've always found this attitude to be rather narrow minded. Should rock guitarists therefore only play acoustic? Or only use a clean channel on thier amp? Should opera singers ignore the language the opera is written for and simply stick to thier native tongue?
If the voice is treated as another instrument in the band, then why should it be limited to just one sound? Should the singer limit themselves to one key regardless of wether he/she is able to sing in several?

If you are singing American influenced music (let's face it, that's a huge % of pop and rock) should you not use the appropriate pronounciation? it doesn't add up that a singer who has listened to American music for thier whole life and plays in an American sounding band should begin singing like Lilly Allen just because they happen to live in Croydon or whatever. Singers who project emotion and draw on thier own musical influences are likely to subconsciously use an accent which fits the music they like, when they attempt to sing in thier speaking voice it can often sound contrived. Anyone who has sung for any amount of time will understand that pronounciation can have a mind of its own during particularly difficult parts, long notes or at an extreme end of range. Some chose to control it, others allow it to become part of the performance.

A few notable vocalists have sung blues and country with thier own particularly British accents, and it provides a very, very different aspect to the music. Original maybe, but certainly not mandatory.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby ef37a » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:43 am

I tend to agree Alfie, it is just how we hear things that matters.

Same goes for lyrics, "I left my heart in Tunbridge Wells" just does not seem to cut it somehow!

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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Folderol » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:38 pm

ef37a wrote:I tend to agree Alfie, it is just how we hear things that matters.

Same goes for lyrics, "I left my heart in Tunbridge Wells" just does not seem to cut it somehow!

Dave.
That's because it doesn't scan, silly

Now if it was, "I left my heart in Snodhurst Bottom"

Oh, erm, I'll get my coat
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby Tony Raven » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:23 am

I must side with you on this one. Apparently I've a better ear for accents than most, & when I hear a clearly Eton or BBC tone mimiced for some folksy blue-collar tune, I break out laughing. This confuses the people around me who just hear "an English accent" (which is a silly enough concept).

When covering a tune, it's NOT incumbent to fake every detail. I cannot imagine a credible singer forcing an Italian or French or German "accent" just to get some sort of faux authenticity -- speaking as someone who's learned a few Finnish songs phoneme-by-phoneme.
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Re: Recording A Wobbly Singer.

Postby IvanSC » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:43 pm

Roger Chapman of Family.

The Bleater's Bleater
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