Singing without amplification

Riffing off some things J.D. Puente posted in S1 Pro Reviews

Hi J.D.

J.D. Puente posted:

Great info ST.Sometimes,just getting above a crowded bars ' noise level makes singing a lot more comfortable,not having to strain my voice on low key songs to get above crowds noise level. I play bars' from time to time acoustically,no amplification,

If I sing without some amplification and decent monitoring, I push my voice too hard. I had to work with a speech pathologist awhile back.  She said that to be intelligible, I had to be 20 dB louder than the noise floor and for most people, this is nearly impossible in a public setting. The 20 dB figure seemed high to me, but the principle seemed sound.

Here are some notes:

For every doubling of the distance from the noise source the sound pressure level decrease with 6 decibels:

DistanceVoice Level (dB)
(ft)(m)NormalRaisedVery LoudShouting
10.370768288
30.960667278
61.854606672
123.748546066
247.342485460

In social settings people often talk with normal voice levels at distances ranging 1 to 4 meters. In such cases background noise levels should not exceed 55 to 60 dB(A).
Source

She said that for spoken word and singing, I should ALWAYS use some form of amplification. This is to avoid hurting myself.

and the S1 Pro will help in these venues

Now we have no excuse not to have a little amplification on hand.

Setting the battery powered S1 on a table will be perfect. Now,I need to figure out how to clamp a boom microphone stand onto to the table I set the S1 on,it will keep the setting in these environments more natural.

At first I thought you were talking about something like this.

I have one on my desk for conference calls.  I wouldn't use it at a gig though. It's too fragile.

You could start with a table clamp

Neewer C-shaped Microphone Table Mounting Clamp with Solid-steel Construction and Nylon Tipped Screw, Fits up to 1.57 inches/4 centimeters Table Thickness for Most Standard Mic Boom Arm Stand(Black)

and add a boom stand,  I'd just use a regular microphone stand though.

ST

@J.D. Puente

Original Post

Just want to share some thoughts on singing without amplification.

There are many bands / singers working today that got their start on the streets. It is my opinion that the sound of stressed vocals, strained harmonies, and sometimes plain old shouting is the result of trying to be heard over the sound of the cities. I am often disappointed when I see / hear singers with blood vessels bulging in their neck and red, flushed faces while singing with good sound equipment. Sometimes, these are people that have come from the busking world to the stage, but other times it is performers who are mimicking those artists who have made the jump from street to stage.

It is frustrating (for me) to see a style develop and become popularized that is quite possibly harming the performers and in some cases is a step down from their true talent and capability.

Just one man's opinion.

O..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lwzn5nLRPw 

Hi again Oldghm,

Decades ago I played every week with a fellow who started off singing in the Montreal Metro*

http://jcabelloa.tumblr.com/

Click image to see more by JCA photography

Our house gig was a restaurant that seated over a hundred people, and we'd also play warm-up sets for comics at the local comedy club (capacity about 400).

He had a huge voice that he developed in the subway system. There were no easy options for portable sound reinforcement back then.

He believed that to find his tone, he had to bring himself to the breaking point.  That's a mindset familiar to electric guitarists.  Oldghm, you have described my old friend perfectly.

Oldghm posted:

✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄

There are many bands / singers working today that got their start on the streets. It is my opinion that the sound of stressed vocals, strained harmonies, and sometimes plain old shouting is the result of trying to be heard over the sound of the cities. I am often disappointed when I see / hear singers with blood vessels bulging in their neck and red, flushed faces while singing with good sound equipment. Sometimes, these are people that have come from the busking world to the stage, but other times it is performers who are mimicking those artists who have made the jump from street to stage.✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄
At least once or twice per show, he would step away from the microphone belt out something a capella. Often it was 
Even as he returned to the microphone, he brought his enormous voice and the energy to his singing.  It was as though the microphone was a visual prop for the audience more than a tool to help him to be heard. I his heart, he was still in the Metro.
ST

*Busking in Montreal: A How to Guide

Tyler is from eastern Ky. He currently makes his home the next county over from where I live. We've watched the last 5 or 6 years as he has come into prominence. A popular, interesting artist, very good songwriter.

Sturgill Simpson, another Ky artist has helped Tyler break through into the big time.

Tyler has made this style work for him, but his impact on lesser artist is what I was speaking about. It is amazing to watch the locals, and others on YouTube cover him and replicate his edgy, strained sound. 

O..

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