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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 3:48 pm 
 

So...I recently started up a new black metal project with a friend of mine. The band is called Acedia, and we're going for a raw, fast, but refined sound if that makes any sense. lol

I'm going to be doing the guitar and vocals for the project. The guitar is never really an issue, and I feel comfortable in that area, but I feel like my vocals could be a little higher register, if you know what I mean. I feel like I'm already at the top end of my range though, and that if I go any higher it with hurt my throat. Any technique tips or anything? I can also provide an example of the music/vocals later when I get home...
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: In the Open Sea
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:46 pm 
 

There's always going to be a ceiling to your range. If you're not able to do things falsetto, you're kind of SOL, I think. Just work with what you can do. That said, WARM UP!! you shouldn't just launch into regular vocals without warming up. You may find more flexibility in your range once that happens. Apart from that, the main thing is protecting your voice with support and variation. Doing the same thing over and over will strain your voice, even if it's singing two long clean tones in the middle of your comfortable range.

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:52 pm 
 

I think that warming up might actually make a big difference. I did about 45 minutes of screaming vocals, took a 15 minute break, and then started vocals again. The second time around, I actually had better range even though my voice was getting tired.

What kind of warm-ups do you do for black metal vocals, though? Just normal clean vocal scales?
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awheio
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 260
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:56 pm 
 

Yep. At some point, it's not about just pushing the note up higher, but rather shifting to a different register altogether. I mean, I'm no expert about this at all, but when I want to I want to do stereotypical black metal high vocals, I have to change how I'm pushing the air out. It seems perfectly analogous to falsetto singing, and it is probably the exact same thing.

In general, when I want really low notes, the air comes right out of my throat and skates over/under my tongue; when I want really high notes, the air goes right up to the roof of my mouth. This is exactly how it works for doing clean vocals too.

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:00 pm 
 

Cool...It's nice to get these tips because I haven't taken the time to develop my black metal style until now. I already have a good death metal vocal style, but this is a little more challenging to me. The BM style seems to be less about projection than the DM style.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: In the Open Sea
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:34 pm 
 

Regular breath warm ups and mouth stretches, yeah. 10-15 minutes should be enough. Regular vocal warmups at first, like any singer.
No "black metal" warmups that I know of other than huffing camp fire smoke and getting shit hammered on wine.

yet, there's always this:

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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
Posts: 75
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:52 pm 
 

The only advice I can give is to avoid aiming for "black metal style vocals." Of course, if you think it's what's best for your music, go ahead, but while I may not be able to say for certain, I can't help but suspect that this sort of mimicry is only going to be negative. I'm not bashing your music, as I haven't heard it, but speaking generally, this type of attitude is the reason there are so many utterly generic bands that just fall through the cracks. I'm not speaking strictly about vocals, either. The entire process is often severely lacking in creativity or originality.

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:56 pm 
 

Filosofuck wrote:
The only advice I can give is to avoid aiming for "black metal style vocals." Of course, if you think it's what's best for your music, go ahead, but while I may not be able to say for certain, I can't help but suspect that this sort of mimicry is only going to be negative. I'm not bashing your music, as I haven't heard it, but speaking generally, this type of attitude is the reason there are so many utterly generic bands that just fall through the cracks. I'm not speaking strictly about vocals, either. The entire process is often severely lacking in creativity or originality.


I get what you're coming from on that, totally. I'm not trying to mimic any style or person really, I just think a higher pitch would sound better with the music that I recorded. My current take that I have recorded is a little on the "low" side. While I do think that it's acceptable, it's just not to the point that I want it.

Here's a rough version of the song that I have. Let me know if the link doesn't work.

https://soundcloud.com/psychobliss/song-in-progress/s-7PIll
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Last edited by xpsychoblissx on Sat May 18, 2013 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:09 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:

yet, there's always this:


That video was fucking hilarious, by the way! That guy has some skillz though.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 7297
Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:42 am 
 

Filosofuck wrote:
The only advice I can give is to avoid aiming for "black metal style vocals." Of course, if you think it's what's best for your music, go ahead, but while I may not be able to say for certain, I can't help but suspect that this sort of mimicry is only going to be negative. I'm not bashing your music, as I haven't heard it, but speaking generally, this type of attitude is the reason there are so many utterly generic bands that just fall through the cracks. I'm not speaking strictly about vocals, either. The entire process is often severely lacking in creativity or originality.


And yet there are countless bands releasing 90's-styled black metal albums that are extremely good all the time, and plenty of bands releasing stuff that's doing its damnedest to Innovate and make Progress that's utterly boring, terrible crap.

This type of advice is entirely unhelpful.
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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
Posts: 75
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:08 am 
 

xpsychoblissx wrote:
I get what you're coming from on that, totally. I'm not trying to mimic any style or person really, I just think a higher pitch would sound better with the music that I recorded. My current take that I have recorded is a little on the "low" side. While I do think that it's acceptable, it's just not to the point that I want it.

Here's a rough version of the song that I have. Let me know if the link doesn't work.

https://soundcloud.com/psychobliss/song-in-progress

The link doesn't seem to be working. Anyway, I can relate to that. My voice is really low, so there's pretty much no way I could do high-pitched vocals of any kind.

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:36 am 
 

Try this: https://soundcloud.com/psychobliss/song ... ss/s-7PIll

That should do the trick.
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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:35 am 
 

Well, I think the tip about the black metal style being like a "falsetto" actually helped quite a bit. I was messing with different techniques when I think I struck gold... Unfortunately my voice was shot from doing what I can best explain as high-pitched death metal vocals (lots of projection).

Gonna let my voice rest throughout the day and then come back to it tonight.
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Syntek
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 603
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:10 pm 
 

xpsychoblissx wrote:


Reverb, reverb, and more reverb. It sounds far too dry.

Also, I'd try and do 'em louder if you can, though (not as in raising it in volume digitally, but when recording), as it gives them more oomph, seeing that they don't sound as powerful as they could - as long as you don't strain yourself, that is.
Otherwise, pretty good. Not much else I can really say.

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:59 pm 
 

Yea, forgot to mention that I didn't tweak the vocal tracks at all. The vocals are 100 percent dry. I didn't even add compression yet.
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awheio
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 260
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:47 pm 
 

I don't really know what you have in mind concerning death metal vocals having more projection than black metal vocals. In either case, by and large, projection should be possible and desirable (barring other intentions -- e.g. to go extremely low, to have a whispered effect...). I don't know. I can get pretty loud DM vox, but my mid-range BM vox are louder -- and my high shrieks are loud as fuck. Healthy projection should almost always be a goal, unless you just don't want it for some reason.

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 10:35 pm 
 

Alright, I did some new vocals, and to me they are much more enjoyable. I did some quick, half-assed equalization on the vocals and very slight delay/reverb, but that's about it. No compression and barely any kind of leveling. Let me know what you think!

http://soundcloud.com/psychobliss/new-song-in-the-works/s-UMOLQ

*EDIT* I thought I uploaded the newest version, but this is the new vocals with absolutely nothing done to them. lol Oh, and still keep in mind that the guitars haven't been polished at all, no bass has been recorded, and the drums are basically just a boring placeholder. This is still pretty raw.
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awheio
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 260
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 8:16 am 
 

I find it difficult to understand what you're doing vocally. It sounds almost like inward vocals. In any case, the vocals are still really lacking in power, and they're very unconvincing. And they sound quite "weird" to me, but unfortunately I can't diagnose what needs to be done. If I had to guess, though, I would say that you're just using altogether the wrong techniques for "standard black metal vocals". *shrug*

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