How Can You Make A Rock Vocal Sound Better?

Admit it... you were expecting a magic answer to this one. You were going to get advice on what plug-ins and effects can turn an ordinary vocal into that of a true rock god. Or goddess.

The key fact about rock vocals is that they are an established musical form. If someone invents a better way of doing vocals for rock... well they will be some other style of vocal, and not true rock.

So you have to look at the defining parameters of the style. Just as you wouldn't record hip hop without an MPC60 or the like, and you wouldn't record country music without a Fender Telecaster guitar, then you shouldn't record rock vocals without a Shure SM58 microphone.

And that's all you need. You don't need a fancy preamp - just plug it into your mixing console, set the levels and record.

Now if you really want to get better rock vocals, what you need is a great rock singer. You could of course fire your current singer and get a better one. Might as well fix the drummer while you're at it.

Or you could get your singer some voice training. Rock vocals demand great control. They might sound out of control but there is a hell of a lot of precision work going on in that there larynx. The art is to sound loud and aggressive while letting the mic do most of the work, and developing the muscles and tissues of the throat over a considerable period of time. Even the great rock singers took time to develop. (And many over-developed too quickly leading to surgery to correct serious problems).

One technique that is used all the time in rock is the 'fry'. This is where the soft tissues surrounding the throat and larynx are made to vibrate coarsely and roughly. I'm sure you know the sound. I'm sure you know also that you don't have to do this for long before you get a terrible sore throat. Look forward to an infection the next day and possibly a trip to the doctor for antibiotics.

Building up the technique to produce the fry on the regular basis required by rock demands competent instruction. You can do it alone like the ancient greats of rock, but it will be a hit and miss affair - and no-one knows about the rock singers who didn't make it because they shot their voices to pieces before they were ready.

You know, great singing will sound great with any decent microphone and any competent preamplifier. We hear so much about equipment that we forget that the source of so much music is in fact human.

David Mellor, Record-Producer.com

In The News:


The Verge

Exclusive: How Drake and Apple Music broke streaming records with More Life
The Verge
Drake's latest project More Life was streamed 300 million times worldwide in its first week on Apple Music, Republic Records tells The Verge, surpassing the 250 million streams the label said Views, an Apple Music exclusive, did in its first week last ...
Drake's 'More Life' Streamed Over 300 Million Times on Apple Music in First WeekXXLMAG.COM
Drake's 'More Life' Has Already Broken an Epic RecordBET
Drake's 'More Life' Bows at No. 1 on Billboard 200 & Sets Streaming RecordBillboard

all 41 news articles »

Miami.com

Gallery: The heroes of Ultra Music Festival Day 2
Miami.com
Here is a look at the people who truly get how to do Ultra Music Festival, from Saturday. People who are obviously visiting us from the future. Lenny Martinez, 35, from Huston, Texas, wears an astronaut costume to the second day of Ultra Music Festival ...
Ultra Music Festival Announces Australian Expansion at UMF Miami 2017Billboard
A little tired, a little wet on Ultra's last dayMiami Herald
Ultra Music Festival 2017 Day One: Martin Garrix's Baby Face, Zhu's Silhouette, and MoreMiami New Times
EDM Chicago (blog) -Stoney Roads -CBS Miami
all 126 news articles »

KY3

Route 66 Record Show hosts 100's of music collectors as the vintage format makes a come-back
KY3
Some say it's the "resurrection records" that is making it so popular, but others say vinyl music never went out of style. Whatever it is, the vintage music brought hundreds of collectors to the Route 66 Record Show in Springfield Sunday. It's music ...


Fox News

Reynolds and Fisher honored with humor, music and dance
Fox News
Laughter, music and the tapping of dancing shoes reverberated throughout a public memorial to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, which loved ones say is just how the actresses would have wanted it. There were few tears throughout the two-hour ...
Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher celebrated with tears, music and 'Star Wars' tributesLA Daily News

all 304 news articles »

Miami New Times

Ultra Music Festival 2017 Day Two With Dubfire, Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, and the Prodigy
Miami New Times
This time of year is supposed to be Miami's dry season. That definitely wasn't the case on the second day of Ultra Music Festival 2017. Gray clouds hung over Bayfront Park eventually drenching the festival. However, it wasn't exactly like last year's ...


Journal Times

RUSD handbook changes could affect elementary art, music, PE classes
Journal Times
The handbook previously stated, "The District will employ sufficient art, music and physical education specialists to enable the District to assign at least one full-time specialist to each elementary school. .. The assignment of said specialists will ...


The Tennessean

Anastasia Brown has career-defining role picking music for 'The Shack'
The Tennessean
As Nashville's preeminent music supervisor, Anastasia Brown has the kind of dream job that almost doesn't seem like it could be real. She picks the songs for movies and television shows. Brown has served as the music supervisor for the popular ...


9 to 5 Mac

Apple Music execs say Beats 1 is 'the biggest radio station in the ...
9 to 5 Mac
Last week, it was reported that Drake's latest project was streamed 89.9 million times in its first 24 hours of availability on Apple Music, a number that bested ...

and more »

Savannah Morning News

Flannery O'Connor celebrated with parade, costumes, live music
Savannah Morning News
The Sweet Thunder Strolling Band leads a parade of revelers through Lafayette Square on Sunday for the Flannery O'Connor Parade and Street Fair, which celebrates the Savannah-born author's legacy. (Will Peebles/Savannah Morning News).

and more »

Fox News

Harry Potter movie to play at Radio City Music Hall with orchestra
Fox News
This coming weekend Harry Potter fans will be able to experience the first film of the beloved series in an entirely new way. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” will be shown at Radio City Music Hall accompanied by a symphony orchestra who will ...

and more »
Google News

Common Thoughts That Kill Inspiration

Do you sit down at the piano and feel anxiety... Read More

New Age Piano Tricks

One of the things that makes New Age piano so... Read More

Guitar Players...Get a Balanced Guitar Practice Diet

Do you have a wide variety of things that you... Read More

Guitar Tuning Tips

Most new guitar players and even some experienced ones have... Read More

These MIDI Tools Are Music To My Ears

Curious about MIDI? Want to find out what tools are... Read More

How to Become a Filthy Rich Record Label Mogul

Let me guess, you love music and would do anything... Read More

How I Compose a Piece of Music

A number of people have asked about my own methodology... Read More

Surf Waves With Jack Johnson

Lately I've been listening to some pretty cool music by... Read More

How To Write A Song

Did you ever wish that it was your song playing... Read More

The Open Position Piano Chord

Chords. They're amazing. There's no doubt about it. Especially when... Read More

How Many Guitar Chords Do I Need To Know?

Guitar chords, (chords played specifically on a guitar,) differ only... Read More

Be An Organized Church Pianist

Playing in front of a congregation each Sunday is no... Read More

Micheal Jackson

I bet your wondering all about the Micheal Jackson Trail.... Read More

The British Invasion

The Kasabian concert at the Kool Haus seemed like a... Read More

Alternative Sales Sources for Your Music

Following, is a list of alternative sources that may be... Read More

Piano Playing For Adults: More Fun Than Sex And Not Nearly As Dangerous!

OK, so I lied about the fun part.Maybe piano playing... Read More

Why Play Guitar?

As a full-time guitar instructor, I am constantly faced with... Read More

How to Create Interesting Textures

A lot of new age piano music consists of repeating... Read More

How to Buy an Electric Guitar Online

With the increased proliferation of online guitar and musical equipment... Read More

Improvisation and Musical Form

Do you ramble on endlessly with your improvisations? If so,... Read More

Learning the Piano and Playing the Piano

Many piano students spend much time learning how to play... Read More

Piano Lessons For Adults: More Fun, Easier, & Faster Than Piano Lessons For Kids

Piano lessons for adults is generally LOTS more fun than... Read More

Prepare for the Master (CD Mastering)

Many artists are still confused as to what goes on... Read More

The Various Countries - A Rant About Country Music

It is no secret that over the past couple decades... Read More

What Works Best in New Age Piano Improvisation

Many students want to know how to improvise. What they... Read More