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I can't sing - effects to the rescue?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Lefty Geek, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Lefty Geek

    Lefty Geek

    Feb 13, 2006
    I am resigned to the fact that I can't sing. But I still would like to sing something to give one band I play with more depth to our music. We play '90s indie rock style (Superchunk, Replacements, Dino Jr).

    Of course, the best answer would be something like an autotune, but those cost too much, so perhaps something to disguise my voice under tons of effects. Reverb, flanger, echo?

    The Digitech 300 looks pretty cheap used. Any other sub $150 alternatives?
  2. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    Bad singing = bad singing.

    Bad singing + effects = bad singing + effects.

    Get lessons or get one of the other guys in the band to spend some time teaching you how to control your voice. Spending money on special effects can't cover up a lack of musical skills. We're not talking guitar here... ;)
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    You can't effectively apply a technical solution to a musical problem. Bad singing processed through an effect...is still bad singing.

    Put your money into vocal lessons. Or just content yourself with becoming the very best instrumentalist you can be... :meh:

  4. you can - don't be a quitter'
  5. Lefty Geek

    Lefty Geek

    Feb 13, 2006
    I barely have time to play bass, so taking time off to take vocal lessons is not going happen.

    Oh well, I guess it's not in the cards.
  6. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    EHX voice box.

    It can pick up the harmony of an instrument and then pitch shift vocals into that key in vocoder mode. It can also add harmonies to your singing.

    What I would do for maximum efficiency is to get an A/B splitter. Put your rhythm guitarists or keyboardists signal into it, with one end going to the voice box, and one to their amp or whatever. Then have your microphone into the voice box. the effect will pick up the full harmonic range from these instruments better than it will with bass.
  7. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    This really interests me a lot. I've been unable to higher notes for a long while now.

    Don't smoke kids!
  8. RunBeerRun

    RunBeerRun Banned

    Mar 10, 2003
    You need monitors. Reverb's purpose is to water down material, don't do that.
  9. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    Rap. AFAIK speech is a little different than actually singing?

    Someone PLEASE correct me if im wrong LOL
  10. Harmonica. Megaphone. Or just start singing punk rock.

    If not - warm your voice up a LOT before a gig. Go outside and heckle some chaps walking past, informing them they're gonna miss a hell of a show if they don't join you at TOP VOLUME.
    It'll help a bit, but without a monitor or some kinda vocal volume directed at you, it won't be easy.
  11. SteveD


    Feb 20, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    The best helper for a weak singing voice is a nice doubler. It will give you confidence and fill out a thin voice. I use the "loose doubles" setting on a Digitech Vocal Harmonizer 4, with a little reverb and 10% pitch control. My gui**** runs a cord over from his pedal board to trigger it for pitch. You can overdo doubling, be gentle. The nice thing is I can hit the footswitch and turn it off for talking over the mike with a clear sound. You can get the same thing with a DVH 2 for $300.

    The other trick is to find songs that don't require a lot of range, and then put them in the right key for your voice. Bob Dylan songs are always a good bet, anybody can sing better than Bob.;)
  12. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Keep trying. it will make you much more valuable in any situation. you dont need to be great. look at springsteen and jagger. Only a handful of singers in rock n roll can actually sing anyway. It takes a few years to actually get a handle on how to sing, so dont be frustrated.
  13. 99.9% of bands out now, the singers can't sing! your born with your voice... just blast it out! Put your all into it... people will love it!
  14. Silver Hammer

    Silver Hammer

    Aug 17, 2006
    Start a T-Pain cover band.
  15. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    Im on a BOAT!!!!!!!
  16. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    Keep on trying.

    Record your voice.Even on a dumb old cassette deck.Learn to work with your limitations.If you can practice bass & hear differences in pitch & tuning you can sing.Practice it.Practice playing & singing at the same time.

    Don't try & sound like anyone else.Don't choose a block buster tune that some super vocalist did.Choose something you enjoy.Make the tune work for you.Sing something you really can feel & isn't too difficult.

    People are funny about singing.Even musicians.You can find a way to put it across.Listen to people like Leonard Cohen,Bob Dylan,Ozzy Osbourne,Lou Reed,my list could be endless. Not great singers at all but they sang a lot of tunes I enjoyed.

    It may not be your genre but lend an ear to the late actor Rex Harrison. He did the movie version of My Fair Lady & Dr Doolittle. Couldn't sing at all but no one could talk a song so musically.You would swear he was singing.This guy got work in musicals.
    You can do this! You don't need a magic box.
  17. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    What is it about singing that you have trouble with? Is it finding pitches, or is it just the sound of your voice that you don't like?
  18. I have the Digitech Vocal 300. It's awesome.

    A bit of delay/reverb and tube/distortion will really crank your voice. I hate trying to sing without it now.

    I use it live all the time and it can be a bit of a feedback magnet if you have flanger and delay on too heavy. I made a couple of voices that I use for recording and live. It also helps not to switch between voices when you play live if your sound engineer is the sort that mixes everything to max volume and the vox are on the verge of feeding back.
    I also have the effect blend on the expression pedal so I can really crank the delay on big screams (sounds like marilyn manson) and also pull it back if I start to hear feedback.

    When we made our CD I made the mistake of relying on the sound engineer to add the effect later and found that she had no idea how to get the same awesome effect that the VX300 gives me so I had to redo all my vox through the VX 300. Came out great.

    Also it's a very hot signal to a desk. When you power it up for live use make sure the engineer has you turned right down, I have to then adjust the master level down from the default 50 to 7 or else it's too much for the desk (apparently).

    The other great thing about it is that you can patch your iPod through it and use it to send that signal to the desk too. My old band had intro and outro music and I just ran it through the pedal. Worked ace.

    All the bands we play with live, not many have good singers. I think I'm ok but with the VX300 I'm awesome! :) I do a bit of backing vocals for another band I play bass in and the lead singer always complains to the engineer because my vocals sound so much stronger than his.

    It's a big mutha though....

    here's a great site where people share "voices" they have made. There is also the newer VX 400 which has USB and all sorts of stuff.
  19. Just practice a lot. Sing along with music everywhere you go. Car, grocery store(maybe just hum instead), elevator, office, home, everywhere. It helps a lot, surprisingly quickly. Then add some verb to your vocals live, but NOT in your monitor; you need to hear when you're sucking.
  20. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    figure out your vocal range and stick to it.

    Mine is pretty much limited to Mike Ness or Lemmy.

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