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EW Voices of Opera...Opinions?

MartinH.

Senior Member
Heck, I work in game music, the AAA's are investing in deep learning systems that reliably reproduce spoken lines, so they don't have to pay a voice actor.
I have trouble imagining that to actually be cheaper on the bottom line, considering the voice actors don't get paid a lot and don't get any royalties. I would imagine this has more to do with "risk mitigation", considering the voice actors went on strike once iirc and tried to get a royalties deal going or something like that. Also some voice actors have in the past leaked names of titles being worked on so they stopped telling some of the VA's what they're actually recording lines for, leading to even worse performances because they aren't properly briefed. Iirc Fallout 4 had a voice actor in it in a not minor role, who was a fan of the series and knew a lot about it, but wasn't told he's recording for Fallout 4, so he somewhat missed the tone that he'd given it otherwise. A sad situation all around. I strongly doubt AI is gonna lead to a better product in the end. If you can point me to any articles or similar about the AI voiceover work, I'd be interested in learning some about the technical details though.
 

Morodiene

Senior Moment
And they are lower on the food chain. Ab above that C (min 6th) is about the top of
standard Opera repetoire. Thomas Ades, has an A (maj 6 above high C) in his Opera, but only 2-3 people can pull that off.

Offenbach's “Les Contes d'Hoffmann", which still gets performed regularly has the Ab in the doll song.
I've seen it a few times at the Met.
But that's not written in the score for Tales. That's just what some sopranos sing. Even if I had the A above high C, I would never sing a piece that required it. There's a reason that great composers didn't write that for the voice - and it's not that they didn't have the people who could do it back then. Just because you *can* do something, doesn't mean you should LOL
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
That was falsetto, not true voice. And that goes for a lot of those supersonic rock singers (Plant, Gillan, King Diamond, etc.)...besides guys like Ronnie Dio and Graham Bonnet, who were more chest-pull oriented in technique and rarely took the easy fake-out.

Actually, Dio and Bonnet were supernaturally high for male singers of any stripe (pretty sure Dio hit Eb over C a number of times full voice, while Bonnet hit a few yoweling As)...so they're the exception to the falsettic rule lol.
Nope. Listen to the song.
 
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Parsifal666

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Nope. Listen to the song.
I feel kind of embarrassed saying this, but the singer himself said it was falsetto (he's done instructional videos). Or perhaps you're having me on, my friend.

You can hear where his actual tenor leaves and the falsetto comes in, the producer did what most do at the falsetto stage: double or triple the part to make up for the decrease in volume.

Anyone whose produced more than one recording in the Rock genre can tell this....I'll just go on thinking you're having me on, because this shows a radical ignorance of Rock vocal techniques. The difference is obvious, try slowing the recording down maybe. Or take a nap before you listen.
 
OP
Parsifal666

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
"I'll never let you go, so I must go falsetto...
you're the only I want, so I huff some helium,
or else I'll never squeak this high again...."
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
I feel kind of embarrassed saying this, but the singer himself said it was falsetto (he's done instructional videos). Or perhaps you're having me on, my friend.

You can hear where his actual tenor leaves and the falsetto comes in, the producer did what most do at the falsetto stage: double or triple the part to make up for the decrease in volume.

Anyone whose produced more than one recording in the Rock genre can tell this....I'll just go on thinking you're having me on, because this shows a radical ignorance of Rock vocal techniques. The difference is obvious, try slowing the recording down maybe. Or take a nap before you listen.
Still it's pretty impressive to hit that in falsetto. Where does he say it's falsetto?
 

Morodiene

Senior Moment
Still it's pretty impressive to hit that in falsetto. Where does he say it's falsetto?
Men should be able to sing in falsetto at least an octave above the highest note they sing in full voice. I wasn't sure where in the song it was, and the highest note I heard was a g-flat - was that it? It wasn't falsetto on the pure sense, if that was the note in question, but @Parsifal666 may be using the term a bit more loosely than I do.
 

Breaker

Member
That was falsetto, not true voice. And that goes for a lot of those supersonic rock singers (Plant, Gillan, King Diamond, etc.)...besides guys like Ronnie Dio and Graham Bonnet, who were more chest-pull oriented in technique and rarely took the easy fake-out.

Actually, Dio and Bonnet were supernaturally high for male singers of any stripe (pretty sure Dio hit Eb over C a number of times full voice, while Bonnet hit a few yoweling As)...so they're the exception to the falsettic rule lol.
It's not really that simple. The line between falsetto and head voice is quite blurred with male rock singers who have perfected this technique and that's why people are using terms like "super head voice" and "reinforced falsetto". Plant was the pioneer in this (well, until he ruined his voice somewhere between III and IV) and Steelheart's Miljenko Matijevic uses similar technique to hit the high notes (he goes to B5 in "Love Ain't Easy").

Quite off-topic, but definitely more interesting than EW's Voices of the Opera :P
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
Back in the 90's there is this band called Steelheart and the dude pulls of a G above tenor high C in a song known as Angel Eyes or Never Let You Go.
Ah yes, that's Miljenko Matijevic (also sang for Malmsteen at one point). He also did the vocals for Steel Dragon...the fictional band in the movie Rock Star. He is an amazing singer!
 

Morodiene

Senior Moment
Have listen to Audrey Luna:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/07/arts/music/metropolitan-opera-high-note-exterminating-angel.html

I agree with what you are saying BTW. 9 out of 10 times when I hear a composer say they don't get why Mozart is so highly revered, I can tell they don't listen to Opera.

Barbara Hannigan once gave me a three page document on how best to write for Soprano's
https://www.barbarahannigan.com/

I should see if I still have it.

Back to this thread........ I wonder how long it would take me, and if even possible to mock-up some of my works for soprano.

Ya, that's just crazy, and not sure it's a good thing to ask of a soprano to do. You can see this soprano has to constrict to reach the note. You can see her sternomastoid muscles in front (which attach to the sternum) contract. This is not healthy and over time will get worse and cause issues in the rest of her voice.

Whether this is the result of singing a high A, or a faulty technique on her part, it's hard to say. I have a dramatic coloratura student who vocalises up to a high B-flat without this constriction. But knowing that composers like Mozart who had access to singers of this voice type that could most likely sings these pitches did not take advantage of them tells me there is at least very little reason musically to use it in a song.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Men should be able to sing in falsetto at least an octave above the highest note they sing in full voice. I wasn't sure where in the song it was, and the highest note I heard was a g-flat - was that it? It wasn't falsetto on the pure sense, if that was the note in question, but @Parsifal666 may be using the term a bit more loosely than I do.
Back in the day when I could sing a high C I doubt I could do an octave above in falsetto. I do not think tenors do not have a good falsetto as baritones.

Yeah that so called falsetto sounds really good from that singer.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Ah yes, that's Miljenko Matijevic (also sang for Malmsteen at one point). He also did the vocals for Steel Dragon...the fictional band in the movie Rock Star. He is an amazing singer!
Ya think! There are some live videos where he's still up there.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
It's not really that simple. The line between falsetto and head voice is quite blurred with male rock singers who have perfected this technique and that's why people are using terms like "super head voice" and "reinforced falsetto". Plant was the pioneer in this (well, until he ruined his voice somewhere between III and IV) and Steelheart's Miljenko Matijevic uses similar technique to hit the high notes (he goes to B5 in "Love Ain't Easy").

Quite off-topic, but definitely more interesting than EW's Voices of the Opera :P
True and that's not really knocking their product. Range is overrated. Charlie Pride is a country legend and there's nothing rangy about his performances. The lead singer for the Cult is another guy who just makes a song work.
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
If the untrained person can't sing along, then you're writing in a way that relies on someone else's virtuosity to bring life and intensity to your music. I hate to be THAT guy, but I feel like singers are a dime a dozen? It doesn't cost a whole lot to drive to the nearest college/conservatory and offer pizza and some starbucks gift cards to 2-3 singers to sight read your work and nail it in 2-3 takes.

hiring a choir? pssshhh not in this life time, but a single person for an hour or so that doesn't even require equipment to perform the music should be an easy task. Infact plenty of elderly in my area sing for fun, you could visit a church or two on sunday and find a few who might be pushing the life expectancy up, but have a long and rich history of singing under their belt, and are more than interested in working with someone of a different generation. Even better, you might end up getting some really wild tales out of them too for free.

again, if it's in a typically singable range for an untrained person, anyone with any experience should be able to crush it with no real hitch, with the added bonus of being more memorable.


this goes up to like an F? a whole 5th below the infamous C. Still hits like a choo choo train. Infact, I would wager a random person off of the street would only struggle to hit the E and F, and most would be able to hover around the A and D without a hitch.
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
That was my point earlier in the thread too. Depending on which conservatory you live by, some of them absolutely are amazing. Gives them both experience, and a few meals, and something they can use for their own demos. It would produce a better result.



G is considered the standard top of the "safe" range. Maybe not a random person off the street, but someone who has some training.....G should be fine.

Careful about "hovering around the D". That can be the Passaggio area.
It's sort of like the "break" in the clarinet. It's not something you have to be overly concerned about, but the "hovering" can be annoying as singers train to hide this spot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passaggio

The other thing about high notes is singers are not piano players. To approach it like they can just pick notes out of thin air ...... often great composers prepare the ears and singer to hit the upper notes. (ie. octave jumps etc.)
if you're writing effective melodies, there should be no issue for a singer(even untrained). I'm simply saying that most of that melody was between two gears, one centered around that D, and the other centered around that A. You'll be mentally prepared for that A on the opening A-F-G-A, and you'll spend a lot of time in that register, but when it goes to the A-C-D you're prepared more for that D region, with the F towards the top end of that.

as far as octave leaps, or really any leaps - none of those are particularly hard, as long as the note they are leaping to was atleast in the key(although the chord built around it can be whatever you want, as long as the leaping interval isn't something completely out of left field) And this ofcourse assumes you're giving them time to leap, and not trying to make them sing an arpeggio(this isn't yodeling)

some very famous melodies that people sing/hum all the time contain leaps like major 6th(NBC jingle) octave (some where over the rainbow).

people absolutely have no problem with the star wars main title, which has the following heaps in it:

4th, 5th, and a minor 7th. But it has a very structured and predictable melody, hence effective melody writing is more effective than trying to write for "safe leaps". The most akward part I can remember singing was the F in battle of Jericho by moses Hogan. It's just not easy to prepare yourself, weird spot in the register, loud, and fast. Trying to keep multiple vowel shapes in tune at machine gun speed with power, while still being ready to hit that Ab was rough even if an Ab isn't particularly rough, and an F isn't particularly rough.
 

NYC Composer

Senior Member
That was falsetto, not true voice. And that goes for a lot of those supersonic rock singers (Plant, Gillan, King Diamond, etc.)...besides guys like Ronnie Dio and Graham Bonnet, who were more chest-pull oriented in technique and rarely took the easy fake-out.

Actually, Dio and Bonnet were supernaturally high for male singers of any stripe (pretty sure Dio hit Eb over C a number of times full voice, while Bonnet hit a few yoweling As)...so they're the exception to the falsettic rule lol.
My brother worked for a record company that had King Diamond signed years ago. The singer often sang in falsetto. Plant sang in full voice (though he lost his range VERY quickly) as did Brad Delp of Boston, Geddy Lee of Rush and other unusually high rock tenors.

A better example of that super head voice/falsetto would be Steve Tyler of Aerosmith singing the high section of “Dream On.”
 
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