woodie guthrie taught everyone, certainly me, that voice doesn’t matter.
when I first heard Bob Dylan’s voice coming out of my older brother’s room, I opened the door, saw a half dozen brainiac acolytes huddled, and said "You Call that MUCIC!!!!" Closed the door without waiting for a reply.
I’ve seen/heard him live maybe 8 times: both the best and worst live concerts I ever went to.
I don't understand what you're saying.
Its the harmonics of a song and/or singer, its how what we hear resonates with us and draws us to that song.
I had a post about this, what makes a song a favorite of ours? What makes us like it? The music? Singer's voice? Lyrics? The harmonics?
I like; George Harrison, Glen Fry, Todd Rungren, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley.
But I also like; Don Henley, David Bowie, Phil Collins, Tom Petty, Robert Plant, Steve Perry.
What resonates with one person does not with with other people.
I,for one, would love to hear a Tiny Tin/Yoko Ono duet. Pure sonic bliss!!!
Mel Torme could actually do that (make his voice resonate while holding a note).
The voices of those select singers were tuned by kenjit.
Two left - Each singer has to be tuned, each speaker has to be tuned, the singers have to be tuned to the speakers.
It doesn't matter whether the vocalist has a pleasing voice or not,if they can manage to hit you in the "feels".It's all about the ability to convey emotion.
Its gotta be the Shungite that's causing the resonance.
You are applying an “audiophile” sensibility on steroids to the act of listening to music. They are two different, sometimes merging things; and, in the process, causing yourself to get in the way of the simple emotional reaction that is the goal of an artist at its most basic.
If you are being honest with your description of that reaction, you are simply digging the artist. Lighten up.
Kevin Ayers resonates with me better than anyone. Duda from Riverside is pretty awesome too.
Dylan and Janis Joplin are both as painful as chalk on a blackboard to me.
Elvis Costello is fantastic in this regard. And who is he married to?
Jimmy Scott, a Jazz singer, was called a "singers singer" (not Sinatra). He had poor voice, but intelligence of the phrase and understanding of the words made up for more than that. While singing is an art, good voice, always helpful, is only a fraction of the final result.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66O8jn_5XY4
O.k baylinor i had never heard of kevin ayers so i went to youtube and yes you get what i'm talking about because he has that resonating tone i'm talking about in spades.Well done friend.
O.k kijanki3 you also get it because i had never heard of jimmy scott hovever he has that resonating tone in spades well done
And let’s not forget the lovely voices of Rickie Lee Jones, Joan Armatrading, Sara Bareilles, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, Jennifer Warnes, Patty Griffin, Nina Simone, Paula Cole, Vienna Teng, and Eva Cassidy : )
It’s very simple: normaly, at the front, you have the singer, guitar/ piano. Back there: other Instruments:violins,orchestration,.. At the very back: drums, (percussion).. With a good recording, you hear: 3D:You Can hear where the instrument is, more in the foreground , some more behind it. Voice, guitar,piano have approximately the same frequency: between 300 and 800 hz. If they are recorded and mixed at the same volume ,gives that a kind of resonance. It gives the impression that it is mixed up. Gives a bad feeling in the ears. The last one of Sarah Brightman is such a bad recording, as her voice comes all the way from the back. That’s the reason why ,you have good and bad recordings. The better your equipment, the more you will make a choice in your music. Ultimately you will listen to the less good (or bad) recordings much less because it irritates your ears.
kevn you hit a home run with every singer you mentioned.you damn well get it friend.
I get the same vibe from posters who utterly ignore punctuation.
lukaske...I think Sarah Brightman has an incredible voice, but I bought one of her CDs, played it one time and threw it away. You're right, the recordings are terrible and her voice is somewhere in the background. The overblown orchestra completely dominates the singer. I bought the CD to hear Brightman, not the orchestra.
After reading the posts on this thread I get the feeling that two different definitions of "resonate" are being used.
- I was shocked moving from one country to another, the advertisements I read out the front of shops, gas stations etc. often required a double take. I probably need medications, to overcome the vibe as you so put it.
Like this made me look in disbelief > https://i.imgur.com/Q4AGuTV.jpg
In Tune with your ears? No, in tune with your mind. Individual preference.
David Bowie is one of the great vocalists of the last century along with Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Pat Benatar, Janis Joplin, Layne Staley, Ella, Sarah Vaughan, Bryan Ferry, Stevie Wonder and others. These people used their voices as instruments, they sang. Jimi Hendrix hardly ever sang. He spoke, as do many rock artists. My own preference is for voices that are instantly recognizable like Joe Cocker. Two words and you know who it is. You can say that for all the above artists, a rare instrument of one. A gift that will never be repeated, a priceless thing.
Anyone has a take on Louis Armstrong?
Perfect example of what I THINK Sam is referring to. Voice as rough and un”refined” as it gets. Coarse, not fine, gravel. No range to speak of. Yet, incredibly good sense of time and swing; like with his trumpet playing. Personality in spades. If his singing doesn’t put a smile on your face, then...........
Hey @frogman perfect example yes, he is one of a kind, he (like someone else mentioned above) doesn't sing, he speaks (most of the time), yet with an incredible sense of timing, I have tried to sing his songs and I'm always out of sync with him but HE is right on the timing.He has an incredible raspy (as we all know) voice which, looking for a word here (English not my 1st) "perdures" over the notes, when he stops singing you can still "hear" the notes. The trumpet, well, we don't have to say it is incredible. Such a talented artist ... incredible.
**** when he stops singing you can still "hear" the notes. ****
Great observation! He was an artist in the deepest sense of the word.
Louis started singing because he was having a hard time playing the horn like he did in the old days. You have to go way back to get an idea what this guy did with a trumpet. His singing was unique to say the least. He managed to pull it off. Being stoned all the time probably helped in this regard. Not kidding. He was loved by everyone. Pops.
mijosttn, where did you read or hear that? By many accounts he actually started singing as a child, before picking up the trumpet.
"She blinded me with Science...."
Ricky Lee Jones....love her on LP, in concert in Berkeley, she started hitting a bottle of JD half-way through....
At the end, she was starting to sound like your date from Hell on karioke night and nearly as f'd up....
The voice was still there, but the nuance....*pfht*
After rehab, she just wasn't....'there', anymore....*sigh*
Neil Young fared better, and sung about it...
...and great axe whacks....;)
We sold a LOT of Magnepan/Audio Research systems with Mara Muldaur singing "Midnight at the Oasis" back in the day.
If you read Linda Ronstadt’s book, she will tell you that she can identify the popular singer a newer singer is imitating in about 30 seconds. Her point is that singers typically start out mimicking recorded singers and then eventually find their own voices (most of the time). Its technical.
The book explains her personal evolution from singing with her family (professional Latino musicians who owned a hardware store in Tucson) to her pop days (says she did not really like the music but I do!) to her Pirates days where she says she learned to actually sing. Frankly, as much as I truly do LOVE and revere Buddy, her versions of his stuff is KILLER!
For my money, she is among the best, along with Emmy Lou and for me, Ronnie Spector, but that’s another story for another day (there are those who think that "Be My Baby" is the quintessential song of its type).
She actually rates Bonnie Raitt as one she thinks has a great voice over hers. For me, I like the song and then the singer. Today, I find that there are very few top-selling singers who can actually sing. In the ’30’s-50’s we had great vocalists who could actually "sing."
Today, the scene in "Pitch Perfect" where Anna Kendrick is singing the pool shows either that she has a hell of a voice or good post-production and vocal sweetening. Kinda wish she would make a blues album...
Finally, find me another Patsy Cline, please. Not sure if she is a great "technical" vocalist, but she sure can perform Willie’s great song better than anyone else, IMO.
Let's define "resonate" because I am not sure what meaning you are using.
Is it: "Hmmm that idea resonates with me." ?
Or is it: "That sound causes a resonation in my ears.: ?
I guess Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, David Ruffin, Martha Reeves, Diana Ross, etc. don’t have voices that "resonate." Interesting, how "voices that resonate" from your list are confined to one ethnic group - how strange...
i'm talking about a certain indescribable tone or inflection in the voice that resonates with your ears. john lennon is the perfect example,no matter how good paul mccartney is john will always be the most popular because his voice resonates with your ears in a way that pauls could never do.
This is an example of the "Neil Young Syndrome".Soul and passion are major components of how much we "believe" a singer.Case in point. Nina Simone does not have a great voice and Celine Dion does.
And Celine, talent she is for sure leaves me cold as a Vegas casino neon sign...
Now Cortez the Killer.....
I agree 100%. Linda Ronstadt's voice seems to be linked to my soul.
Listening to "Heart Like a Wheel" or "Prisoner in Disguise" is cathartic and can bring me to tears.A modern day Patsy Cline.
Btw, the same can be said about instrumentalists; some have less than “beautiful” tones and still communicate like crazy.
buckhorn_cortez and tony1954:
Buckhorn--AWESOME list. Smokey is totally amazing. I saw him many times back in the day. FYI, I attended college in North Carolina '64-'72 and in those days we saw so many acts for no charge or a nominal (even then) charge that students could afford to see them). I kept all my ticket stubs from Ray Charles and The Rolling Stones in VA Beach in the early 1960's and James Brown, Smokey and the Miracles, etc. from back then.
In college, my first show was summer of '64:
Dick Clark's Cavalcade of Stars
July 22, 1964 Dorton Arena, Raleigh, NC
Gene Pitney, Donna Loren, Dixie Cups, Dean & Jean, Mike Clifford, Rip Chords, Crystals, Major Lance, Reflections, Round Robin, Shirelles, Supremes among others. I think Fabian was there too, but it was a LONG time ago...
Beatles for $5.00 at DC Stadium in '66...great show! They forgot to tear one of my ticket, so have one half and one whole that I am leaving for my daughter to enjoy along with a ton of other stubs from many, many shows. James Brown played around almost every month...we kind of got tired of seeing him if you can believe that!! (KIDS!)
And Tony, you will get no argument from me. After reading her book, I became even a bigger fan if you can believe that. All my lady friends were jealous of my devotion to her back then. Funny! Finally saw her at the Hollywood Sportatorium (THAT place is another story for another day...) for the Living in the USA tour. Girlfriend at the time (THANK-YOU, Elaine, wherever you are today) bought us 7th row aisle tickets.
There is a phenomenon, experienced with vocalists and with instrumentalists as well, that is very difficult to hear and equally difficult to explain. That is, the possibility of playing ONE note but producing TWO different pitches on that same note. In the case of some operatic voices, they can produce not just TWO, but several pitches at the same time. I don't think that this is ever done on purpose, but is a characteristic of their "instrument" over which they seemingly have little control. The ultimate manifestation of this technique is called "overtone singing", which is a purposeful effort to actually sing two pitches at the same time. There are some pretty convincing demonstrations available online. What I am trying to say is that there are singers who inadvertently encompass some degree of "overtone singing" in their normal singing voice. That might explain one posters dissatisfactions with certain singers who do not "resonate" with his ears ?? In every musical sound, it can be considered that there are TWO characteristics existing in that sound : 1 - The "Core" of the sound 2 - The resonance of the sound. When they are not in tune with each other, a cacophony results. When in tune, a complimentary reinforcing results. A simple example might be to consider the "pluck" of a guitar as the "core" and the resonance of the guitar body as the "resonance". Luthiers will make tiny adjustments to the location of the "sound post" inside a violin to achieve this very subtle result. It is similar to having the front wheels on your car properly aligned so that they roll down the highway in "harmony". I used to demonstrate to students how easy it was to hum a pitch and then while still humming the same pitch, open my mouth and produce a different pitch that conflicted with the humming pitch. A lot of singers --- and instrumentalists --- do the same thing unconsciously. One of the best examples I've ever heard of the perfect "alignment" of pitch and resonance is Leonard Warren, late of The Metropolitan Opera. I used to play his recording of "Colorado Trail" as a demonstration of that perfect alignment. His HUGE voice had a central clarity that was astonishing ! A remarkable bit of trivia about the great bass-baritone was that he never learned to read music !
I hope that my bringing this phenomenon to the discussion might shed light on what exactly it is that we find so attractive in some performers and so distressing in others. Conversely, I may have added further confusion, and for that possibility I apologize.
Very interesting comments, thank you. As an instrumentalist, I am well aware of what you describe. One of the most effective practice exercises that advanced saxophone players use is the perfection of the tuning of overtones; simple (?) long tones at first, but ultimately the ability to arpeggiate and play scales using only the overtones (harmonics) of note fundamentals...in tune. Very difficult to do, but a great way to find and be comfortable with the true center of pitches.
However, while I suppose it is possible that there is a relationship to how a given listener responds to a particular singers ability to find the core of sung notes or not, shouldn’t all listeners then react positively or negatively to the same singer? Moreover, some of the singers that are on the OP’s “doesn’t do it for me” list have, in fact, some of the most technically developed voices (for Pop singers); Paul McCartney for example. Conversely, some of the singers on the “does it for me” list have voices that IMO are far from well developed.
I think that what the OP experiences (or not) with certain singers is an emotional reaction which may induce a physical reaction. A musician friend and colleague swears, and I believe him, that digitally recorded sound induces in him an uncomfortable feeling of tightness and tingling in the forehead/temple area.
In response to "Frogman's" comment : "However, while I suppose it is possible that there is a relationship to how a given listener responds to a particular singers ability to find the core of sung notes or not, shouldn’t all listeners then react positively or negatively to the same singer?"
My answer is that, in truth, you have to be a bit "anal" about the elements that make up the signature sound of a specific vocalist in order to evaluate each element. In other words, some of us care and some of us don't ---- and I believe that many cannot discern those elements in the first place. In a curious way, I almost envy those who are simply able to enjoy the music and are blissfully unaware of what we've been discussing. Lots more listening and lots less fussing ! Cheers !!