Ask a Question and WIN

All you have to do is ask a question & you might WIN.

The students who finally muster the courage to raise their hand and ask a question often speak for more people than they could ever imagine.

Now you have the opportunity to speak up for your fellow vocalists by asking that burning question of our blog team— and you could win the book of your choice designed especially for today’s vocalist.

All you have to do is ask one brief question of someone from our accomplished Blogging Team.

Leontine Hass – on vocal coaching, technique and lifestyle
Bill Gibson – on technology and the singer
Anthony F. Jahn MD – on medical advise
Artists on the Road – on travel/gigging issues

The Prizes:

You could be one of three winners of a book of your choice from the VoiceCouncil Library. These include outstanding volumes on technology, health, singing and creativity by VoiceCouncil authors. Click here to see a list of books by Daniel Bowling, Kim Chandler, Bill Gibson, Gerald Klickstein, Eric Maisel and Susan Raeburn.


Simple. Just leave your question for Leontine, Bill, Anthony or one of our Road Manifesto writers below under ‘Add a New Comment’– at the end of this article.

Contest ends October 31st.

  • ncarasis

    My question is for Leontine Hass:

    I have been singing for a little over a year now, and although I have good tone and decent range, my sound seems to be “flat”. Is there a way I could “brighten” my sound without sounding like most other singers?

  • ajenkins

    My question is for Anthony F. Jahn MD:

    'The morning voice' has always been a big issue for me. After waking up in the morning, it can take hours for my voice to finally wake up and hydrate efficiently. No matter how much water I drink or how long I warm up, my voice often isn't ready to sing until i've been up for a while. A large part of this has to do with allergies; because of severe allergies, I often wake up dehydrated in the mornings and it takes a large amount of water (around 2 liters) to feel hydrated.

    My questions for you are; What kinds of things can a singer do to hydrate more quickly & efficiently in the morning? Are there any ways to wake up your entire body more quickly in the morning (any stretching routines or things to relieve tension accumulated overnight)? Also, what can you drink in addition to water in the morning to speed up the hydration process? It seems like a lot of the water just goes straight through the system very quickly without ever really hydrating the throat area.

  • Paco

    I don´t know whether this question should go to Mrs. Hass or to Mr. Jahn, but here it goes hoping you can help. In the following months I will be loosing my right hearing because of an illness. I have already assumed that this is as it is and I am not particularly feeling down. My questions: Is it possible to sing in tune with one ear hearing only? Will the lack of stereo 3D dinamics trick me when trying to find key and tone? Do you know any pro singer with this problem? If I could sign no more not only half my hearing would have gone, but half my soul too!!!


  • Are there any ways to wake up your entire body more quickly in the morning (any stretching routines or things to relieve tension accumulated overnight)?

    You will find a nice chapter on this in Melissa Cross's “The zen of screaming” DVD.

  • kimbutler

    Hearing question?? My hearing seems to be fine at age 58. Is there a good way to check you own hearing without going to specialist. I do wear earplugs at loud concerts now and use TC Helicon monitors to keep stage volume way down when playing out.


    Kim Butler

  • ujiya

    If you're singing flat…how well can you hear on stage? If this mostly happens live then it's probably because you don't have a proper way to reference your voice against the music. Are your musicians anal about tuning? If not then they may be throwing you for a loop as well. Do you smoke pot or drink while you perform? If so this also causes a flatness in the way one hears…you feel groovy, but won't sing perfectly on key.

    If all you are experiencing is because you're fairly new to singing then just keep working hard at it and practice scales with a piano so you have a defined pitch reference. I'm not sure if you use these tools, but a cheap buy worth the buck would be the Voice Tone Correct pedal, to help get your where you need to be :)



  • ujiya


    I feel for you brother…I've been having a horrible go of it concerning this for a lil' over a month now. It's driving me nutz!!! I experience this when flying. My ears are finally starting to regulate but sometimes it can be a good while before they do.

    As you well know, the show must go on. The answer though to your question is YES, you can sing on key/tune with one ear working. It would be the same as using one ear plug, in-ear monitor, putting your finger in your ear when ya' can't hear so well due to noise…etc!

    Still, it's always best when both radars work. Sorry you're going through this. Get to the doctor right away for some relief and let him/her know what you're up against in the way of challenges being a singer and all. The hardest part I find, concerning this, is keeping one's spirits up when half your wits are about you. Stay strong and focused and rest as much as possible. Try to give your ears a break during the day :)



  • ujiya


    There's nothing like an audiologist to answer your question. I'm set up for a hearing test in a couple of weeks. Some things I just let the pros do. Have you tried a search engine like google to see if there's a way to test your own hearing? Here's a couple that I just found:



  • ujiya

    Ok Bill,

    I've got one for you :) Close to two decades ago, I remember skimming one of my favorite rags (Keyboard Magazine). They had a special issue on Odd Tech that never quite made it. One enticing item, was a MIDI Voice Collar. The general premise was that it had 3 nodes, which responded to pitch and vibration, against the voice box. It was worn as a collar. I'm extremely explorative when it comes to voice technology and would actually use something like this to compose if it existed. Could this really even be worked out? I know that voice reconition, auto tuning, and pitch recognition are light years beyond where they were in the early 80s.

  • ujiya


    Bill forever, I've been looking for a great piece of hardware or app that converts vocal lines to MIDI notation. I haven't tried this yet, as my Voice Live 2 in the shop, but I wonder if it's capable of this?

    Seems like all of these harmony/pitch type of processors can send controller data and can receive input from MIDI notation. BUT, I want to sing and watch the GUI interface map my vocal passages off of the audio source. I'm a bit of a geek and this ability would greatly enhance a “unique” edge toward refining my personal interests, when combining voice and technology.

    Currently, I'm using Sonar Producer 8.5 and ProTools 7.4. Both can chart notation for me but its usually driven by something that has MIDI notation tied ot it. My greatest wish, since I'm a better singer than a musician, is to sing all of the parts of the song, convert that data to MIDI, and then reassign those patterns to MIDI soft synths, drum programs, percussion…etc.

  • ujiya


    Question: Please offer some guidance on what I can do, before travel (flight) for ears that do not regulate well? How can I better prepare for something that I know is going to effect me in a negative way? Everytime I fly, I'm unable to release the pressure in my ears, I then get sick, and suffer with a clogged head for weeks on end. I've been asking for remedies post this process…what about preventing this in the first place? Is there a holistic resolve?



  • mkc5301

    I'm using the Harmony-G and understand that it has a mic pre-amp. Any additional suggestions on techniques to keep the vocals punching through the mix? It's so annoying to see a live performance by someone of obvious talent only to have the vocals come out weak, distorted and muddled. I am new to live performance and don't know much about equipment so even basic advice is appreciated. Thanks.

  • jonbinder

    This is question about the voice live 2. If you sing,play guitar and keyboards can you plug the guitar in as usual and plug the keyboard into the midi input, will the voice live let you go between instruments without unplugging one of them? Another question, if you dont play an instrument is there any way to convert a live vocal into midi data and then plug the vocal into the midi input? Thanks, Jon

  • kimbutler


    After taking test, appears my hearing is still good at this point.


  • ujiya

    Unfortunately, some of this is the fault of the sound man/company. You're right, it is a let down when this happens. I've met fewer good engineers than I have singers or musicians. One way to help yourself out is to perhaps control the voice mix that you send him…make sure it's punchy and clean and then give him a feed.

    Here's what I do. I MIDI the Voice Live 2 and 1 together – 2 is Master, 1 is slave. I run all of the singers direct into a Mackie board, which is solid state, and then run the VL1 into Aux Input 1 and the VL2 into Aux input 2, in order to apply the fx boxes to the four, independent vocal channels. I get a good, solid mix of our natural singing voices.

    Then, I apply as much effect as is needed to each singer until we all agree that we've got a good mix. Lastly, I assign the Aux sends to the Backing vox and the Main Outs to the Lead Vocal. On stage, I hand the soundman a stereo pair of XLR Lead Vox, and stereo pair for Backing Vox. They usually say something smart…but remember that you get more bees with honey. Being kewl about it and having food form will open up their Jurrasic Approach!!!

    A special note: The engineer will want your hottest signal. Leave yourself some headroom though and just tell him that's all you've got…this way, if it gets tough to hear, you can always raise the overall vocal volume a bit. EQ shelving is paramount and I also use a TC Electronic C300, Compressor, gate, limiter on the backing vox, since the Voice Live 2 already comes with these features pretty much in check.



  • ujiya

    I'll hafta' double check that one cuz the manual and option tabs propose that you assign how you're going to use it, which means it'll be dedicated to either or. However, I recommend just hooking up both and seeing what happens. It surely won't hurt the unit. I imagine trying to do both at once would turn out poorly but switching between them – hey, that's cool!!! Give it a whirl and lem'me know how it turns out for ya?

    The second portion of your question poses aninquisition I made earlier about converting audio to MIDI. Since posting the question, I've learned that there are some wares, most popular right now is Melodyne that supposedly will do this. Let's see what Bill has to say???

    I don't think those who design these interfaces expect singers to try so many new angles, when in fact many of us will. Adding these explorative features to devices could open a whole new way of creating music from the very first instrument ever designed – THE VOICE!!!



  • I do appreciate your simpathy. And I find some relief in your answer. I've already gone to the doctor and I will be taking cobalt in a few weeks. I'll have to treat my remaining ear with a lot of care.

    Regarding your trouble, I once asked Jaime Vendera for a solution for pressurized ears, which I have also suffered, and what he strongly recommended was lots of lip bubbles. This is a kind of barotrauma. Sometimes I can open my ears imitating a wide open yawning. But others, it stays for days. Never for such a long period as yours, though. Take care.

  • DReed

    Here is a question I pose to L, B, and A. Could you get the T C Helicon company to provide a free gig bag to those of us who ventured first, and supported first, the new Helicon Voicelive 2? It seems that those who wait until it has been out a while gain the availablity of the the bag as a perk. So it would be nice to be given the perk as the first round of purchasers! What do you think?

  • mkc5301

    If you have a COSTCO membership, some of their stores have audiology centers next to their eye care. You can get an in-depth battery of tests (about 30 minutes of testing) done by professionals and they are free. You need an appointment.

  • kimbutler

    Thanks for the information.

  • trekjock

    I have searched and searched but I can't find any local stockists of the Voicelive2. I use a Bose L1 mkII and Tonematch system with backing tracks on a laptop for my solo performances and I'd like to try the pedal out with my equipment before I shell out that kind of money. Does anyone know of a good stockist where this could be done in the Liverpool/Wirral area? So far the nearest place is Leeds and the london and I don't fancy a 4-600 mile round trip incase it's not all that I want!

  • cwhitney

    Hi…not really sure whether this question would be for Leontine or Bill but here goes. My question has to do with singing/performing outdoors especially outdoors at night. For me, the night air (especially the damp, night air) affects my vocals. There are just some notes that do not resonate as well…and not necessarily the notes at the top of my range…they become wobbly or my voice cracks. The best way I can describe it is that as much as I seem to support my notes, it takes a lot more effort…it's almost like trying to blow up a bicycle tire with a pinhole in it. It does not affect my performance dramatically but I've always wondered why?

  • Naturegirrrl

    This question is for Leontine Hass.

    Hi Leontine,
    I am in the studio doing demo's on a musician's a tune that lives in another state.
    He had the original key for males (first note e below middle c–for me the only sound I can get out on that pitch is fog horn) I am trying to figure out what keys to put the tune in.
    The problem is they have three modulations and are very rangey.
    The producer wants me to sing them strong. I am just having the toughest time figuring out which key to place them in because if it is too high after the modulations they start to sound operatic.
    In some keys its belt and mix/head but right at the break. I really don't know where to place this tune in my voice.
    What is the criteria that you use when picking keys for a particular tune?

  • Leontine, Gerald told me perhaps you could help with this. Could you recommend any vocal coach in Madrid who is expertise in hard rock singing and in the Alexander technique? I am seeking but can't find any. I would appreciate your recommendation.

  • kimbutler

    Dr Jahn

    Out of college in 1973 I played many bars. Lots of smoke in those days. Thank goodness smoking is banned in many cities now. How much do you think smoke affects singers health even if they donot smoke.


    Kim Butler Wheeling WV
    I teach exercise physiology at Ohio University so ask if you ever have any fitness questions I could help with.

  • Bill, how do you feel about wireless in the ear monitors? I sing with an oldies group and would like to get a set for myself.

  • brett Lee

    Firstly great site
    I am a singer/ guitarist and am starting to lose the timbre of my lower range
    my throat is constantly going dry. spending lots of time in a/c and more prone to throat infections than ever before
    any suggestions

  • brett Lee

    I use in ears
    took a while to get used too, Now I love them
    Used them in conjunction with a wedge for about 2 months to become accustomed to the sound, also got a basic eq in the rig to make what i was hearing more pleasing to my ears
    They work quite well, but be prepared for the odd pitching problem during the transition

  • brett Lee

    As a vocalist i often found this was the case and searched for why
    So i spoke to alot of sound guys and discovered nobody was giving them ant idea of what the mix should be
    I always supply them with an mp3 prior to the gig of what i want my sound to be
    They are greatfull and 99.9% of the time i get great sound with clear and punchy vocals
    It comes down to giving them a sample of what you want, they can then build the mix around it, Also plenty of praise and appreciation when they get it right provides these guys with the boost to really practise thier art and make your live performance even better

  • I often perform in smoky places such as bars. I was wondering, what steps I can take to protect my voice, and to help me perform my best in such smoky situations?

  • Bill Gibson> I would like to know your opinion on singers using pitch correction devices such as the Antares Vocal Producer? Do they really do the job, or just add strange sounding modulations to the voice? Which, if any, do you think offer the most “natural” sounding pitch-correction?

  • jodalow

    Bill, I am a singing guitarist, tap dancer(lol). I am considering using a wireless headset mic for performing, to make my job easier. Could you please give me some pros and cons and mabey a good recomendation for a good mic. I've read a lot of reviews on such mics but, wouldn't you know, everyone claims theirs is the best.

  • bettyjane

    Hello Mr. Jahn….
    I have been a professional vocalist for 37 years….
    Recently I was diagnosed with LPRD…a reflux disorder….
    My voice had become increasingly hoarse for the last 5 or 6
    years, and it got so bad that I could only sing 1 or 2 songs
    before I would have to shout to get any sound out….
    I am now on medication, testing revealed that I have no
    esophageal cancer, but my vocal cords, along with voice box
    & throat are still raw and irritated….
    I don't have nodes, and aside from the L.P.R.D. everything is still
    in order….
    My question: Could you suggest a gentle exercise program for
    my voice, that won't put a strain on it?
    I don't want to lose all my “chops”, but I am very scared of damaging
    my vocal cords, voice box etc….and don't want to push myself too hard….
    Could you suggest a specific diet for this condition ?
    Thank you!

  • Hi Leontine,
    I'm probably a guy going tru a midlife crisis thing but I love to sing. The problem is though, that I lacked the focus and the courage to do any more than sing songs around the campfire with a restaurant gig every now and then. Now at the age of 50 I find all sorts of convenient ways that I can record my music and publish it (I don't have to wait to get discovered). I've found a passion that I did not have before and I want to use my vocals to sing more than Puff the Magic Dragon. I won't be quitting my day job… but is it too late for me to tweak, expand, and enhance beyond what I already have? Must I resign myself to the old classics such as… She'll Be Comin Round the Mountain?

  • Bridget

    Are there any vocal techniques you would recommend to combat nerves during a singing performance (apart from practice, practice, practice!!).

  • ujiya

    Hi Bridget,

    You definitely hit the nail on the head concerning practice. How long have you been performing? There's an old saying that once you're no longer nervous it's time to quit. So, I imagine all of us get a bit nervous going into a performance…even Paco – hahaha and he's a rigorous frontman, I'm sure.

    Does your nervousness persist throughout the performance or do you eventually take on the show once it's started? This is a lil' yucky, but I've been performing for 20+ years and I still feel like I'm gonna' poo my pants a few minutes before taking the stage…hahaha. Fortunately I never have :)

    Something you may want to add to your practice regime is to rehearse your parts in front of a mirror. Get dressed up in your show garb, don the make up, set up your vocal rig and watch yourself perform.

    You could also video yourself practicing. If you can engage 50,000 fans in your mind, while practicing, this may help in live performance, when you're actually in front of people. Throw down your best show when practicing, watch the results on video, and analyze your frontman/womanship.

    Sometimes knowing (not from an ego standpoint) that you've got IT, helps when the time comes to deliver the IT factor on stage. Also, rest before a show, warm up but don't over tax your voice before performing. Memorize your lyrics and use your rehearsal time to excite your live performance.

    IOW if there's something you've been wanting to add to the show, practice it before pulling it off live. The fans won't know you practiced…they'll just know it sounds good and you're a great showman/woman.



  • This is a nice oportunity. I think that this one should go to Mr. Bill Gibson:

    I really like the voice “in your ears” of Zappa/Beefheart's “Bongo Fury”, Madonna's “Beautiful Stranger” and some of the solo recordings of Daniel Lanois.

    Besides using super close miking (I use a SM58) do you have any tips to focus the sound of the voice in that style? How to EQ the recording to exploit the proximity effect? And since the voice sounds already saturated how to balance volume, with a compressor, a limiter or with volume fades?


  • Nervous??? Me??? Not at all. ABSOUTELY HISTERIC!!! I have been singing live since 1989 (I am 42), and I have never been able to tame this emotion.

    The previous moments are terrific. Specialy if you are in a small venue with no place to hide. I feel ridiculous standing in a corner waiting for the time to go on stage. In bigger places you always have a room for you and you will probably find some whiskey in your catering HAHAHAHAHA

    In any case, after the first two or three seconds I start feeling well and really feel happy. This doesn´t mean that I don´t worry. But for me it is a matter of loving being there.

    Regarding your performance, I took some time trying to find tips about how to be a good frontman. The only answer that I liked is that you have to be yourself. Always natural and confortable with what you are doing instead of forcing things. Music, no matter the style you perform, triggers feelings, and these will provoke your unique reaction.

    Set yourself free and find pleasure in it. That nervous feeling is part of this pleasure. But, and this is important, never let that nervousness make you push harder than you should. Make sure to control your breath always, and don´t start running like mad around your mates, which I used to do and let me torn down in the first song.

  • ujiya

    You're awesome Paco – always fun and insightful! Rawk on w/ yer' bad self!!!



  • Michael

    This question is for Leontine Hass:
    Performing often demands difficult vocals at extreme hours of the day, i.e. late night and early morning, and the voice often seems reluctant to give it's best at these times. For myself, I know my lighter/head sound just doesn't like being awake most days before noon or after 10:30 PM. It takes a great deal of effort to wake him up and if he gets half a chance he'll go right back to sleep. On the other hand, some singers seem to have larynges of steel and are 'ready to go' at any time. Do you have any advice regarding lifestyle and practice that might help the rest of us to sing a little easier at the more difficult hours of the day? Many thanks.

  • steveholland

    My question is for Bill. I'm a singer in a rock and roll band. We play out at bars and it's always difficult to get the soundman to dial in my vocals. Either they are too dry, too low, or the eq is off. I bought a tube pre-amp and eq, which sounds great through our studio PA, but seems to overdrive the house PA, even after adjusting the trim.

    What is the most reliable way to set up good clean vocals with effective reverb? Should I bring my own equipment and deal with the overload/hum issues or leave it up to the soundman and take my changes?

  • kennethbjerum

    To Leontine Hass
    How many oktaves can a “normal” person (on avrage) train up to reach?
    Everybody is different, but what is your experiance? What is the mean range for singers, before and after your advice and training ?

  • kennethbjerum

    To Anthony F. Jahn
    In what way can/will the pig flu effect a persons vocal performance?

  • kennethbjerum

    To you all,
    I am afraid of using ear monitors I want to, but belive it can lead to or increase tinnitus (sounds in the ear). What do you say?

  • Tinnitus is something very serious. If you suffer it in a permanent way you need to go to an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) inmediately. Tinnitus is not a decease in itself, but rather a symptom of different disorders, some of them really serious (as mine, for instance). You will need to be diagnosed correctly. But if you suffer it from time to time, for example a ringing after rehearsing or after a show, you must start taking care of it and low down your volume or protect your ears with ear plugs. In ear monitors can be a solution but you must be sure to adjust your volume at a healthy level.

    I have permanent tinnitus in my right ear and it is not a confortable thing to have. Do not let it be. Preventing is a MUST, but if you already have it don´t think it will dissapear by itself with no treatment. Please take care and make sure you have that tinnitus examined.

  • Kenneth

    Tanks :-)

  • leeentertainments

    to leontine Hass
    Hi I am a vocalist/Guitarist working in brisbane australia for the last 25 years
    I Have picked up both good and bad vocal technique over the years and through carefull research and practise have been able to correct most problems
    Recently I have found my throat drying out about half way through a perforance
    and don't seem to be able to rectify the situation, I tried sipping water with little success, then i read about Water, lemon and Honey with varios amounts of success, But alas I am back to my old problem. Air conditioning seems to have a major affect on it, But the rooms I play are airconditioned

    Can you offer some advise as to what is going on and how to rectify it,
    Because of this I have cut my gigs back to 1 per week (not enough to pay the bills)
    I would appreciate any assistance you can offer
    Regards Brett

  • altheamb

    This Question is to Bill Gibson. Is is possible to use a harmonizer or any other device on a keyboard so that if a person hits one note on the keyboard it will play back the chord for that note.
    Thanks for considering this question. Althea MB

  • I realize that after I sing for even a short period, my voice gets tired and cracks easily. A lot of phlegm is also produced. Am I using the wrong part of my throat to sing? Where should I feel the sound projecting from?


  • brettjlee

    To Bill Gibson
    I perform and mix from on stage (Solo/Duo)
    Solon no problems
    Duo partner great with Harmonies but doesn't project well
    If I turn his channel up I often get feedback through my channel
    Eq only 7 band on yamaha brick
    all gains preset
    does have some compression available on brick

    any suggestions
    Regards Brett lee

  • jason

    i sing in a metal band and just got the voicelive 2, but i dont know what settings are good to use. What would be the one setting that would be most popular.

  • Hi Jason,

    Please don't think I'm poking fun, but that's a lot of money to spend before ever knowing much about programming. I’m guessing this is your first processor. Hey ya’ did good…ya’ bought the corvette vs. the Yugo, but there’s a bit under the hood that you’ll hafta’ wrap your head around to ultimately get what you want and also to cultivate an original sound.

    So, is it old metal or new metal? There are over 200 presets in that baby, and a good bit to chew on to get comfy with the box. In a way your question is kind of like asking someone what YOUR own favorite color is. What is it you hope to accomplish, who are your favorite singers, is there some style you wish to mimic, and what do you generally like about vocals? I suggest that you start off simple. Keep the inputs and outputs balanced if ya can. One really great feature of the VL2 is the Headphone Out and Aux In. For starters, to keep things relatively easy, Plug in some headphones and a microphone. Will you be using a dynamic or phantom powered mic…important coz’ you’ll need to set this up in the setup parameters.

    Once this is done, you'll want to set your gain staging. Press and hold in the Reverb button until the “blue window” tells you to sing your loudest. Do just that – sing with a loud, full voice, one long note, and it will automatically set your gain staging up for you. To accept the setting press the verb button again. Ok, now activate the Tone and Eq buttons by pushing them in so they are lit up with a lil' red light.

    Now, you've set it up to basically respond well to an input signal with several important auto features engaged. With the headphones on, start at preset 01 and work your way up through ALL of them. The first thing I did was audition every single sound, when I got mine, and then wrote down my favorite preset numbers on my white board as I found them. You can also use the wizard feature to find similar sounds of a certain tone, shape or color. Bottom line is…you're not going to get away from this without putting in some time and doing your homework. The VL2 is a beast but not for the weak at heart. I HIGHLY recommend, after auditioning all the kewl sounds, that you install the voice live application onto your computer, download and install the available updates before going any further. Also, learn how to back up the presets while you’re there, it'll save ya' hassles in the future, especially when you’ve taken the time to create one of your own…you’ll be sad if ya’ lose it 

    Once you've done all this. I would suggest taking one of your songs and importing it into your mp3 player. Inserter the 1/8″ cable from the mp3 player to the Aux in on the Voice Live 2, press play and sing along. Now a few things you'll need to do…go into the Setup button look at your global parameters and turn most of them off, especially those having anything to do with pitch or key for harmonies. You'll want to pick a few sounds you like and then alter the harmony structures to match your song. There are also plenty of killer distortions and transducer effects for that over the top metal vibe. If ya' need extra help, check out the forums on the TC-Helicon Site or you can email me directly and I'll do what I can to help you along :) Tell me what kind of bands your into and maybe I can forward a few preset numbers designed for those styles. In a nutshell, your best bet is to be proactive…start at page one of the manual and follow along all the way to the end. If you go through the whole manual, page by page, you'll have a firm understanding + the added pride of having it done it for yourself -= happy tweaking!!!



  • I'm guessing you sing from your throat and maybe upper chest. Its ok for certain sounds but not good as a mainstay for your voice. Ya' sing best from your belly and your bum. I know it sounds a lil' yucky but it's almost the same sensation as when using the bathroom. Sing as you naturally breathe. Lie down on the floor, relax and breathe…your belly will fill with air…we often cut our breath off at the chest…those big robust sounds come from your lower extremities!



  • Paco's right. He's a pro and has been doing this for a long time. Your ears are your friends…be nice to them! I've only recently engaged using in-ear monitors and I absolutely LOVE it. I will say, don't purchase a cheapy pair. Since it's your ears you're going to want to buy a rig that already has OPLs built in. And like Paco said, watch the volume regardless of what you get. I think you'll find that you sing better when you can hear better…I know I do!



  • Hi Steve,

    Is it the front of house that's feeding back or your monitors? This is a very basic process for any “good” soundman to overcome, as one would think they do it on a regular basis. I know that often stage monitor mixers get a set and forget approach to the way they sound and probably has a different EQ setting that front of house does.

    How vocal are you with your engineers? Do ya' let them know what ya' need? If the soundmen in these bars can't get a handle on vocal feedback then something's up with their skill set, which I kind of doubt is the case in every club that you perform at.

    If this happens every time you jack your gear into the equation then you'll need to reset your equipment per the venue. Understand that every room is different. A setting in a smaller controlled studio environment is much different than a booming concert hall. I'd start with gain staging. You’re probably overdriving that tube preamp, which is overdriving everything else in the chain. I imagine you're also clipping the soundman's rig, causing him to shave off half of your sound to get your voice heard.

    I think you need to describe your equipment chain so that we can decipher how you have things set up, in order to better assess what’s really going on here.

    1) Is it the Mains or the Monitors that are feeding back?
    2) Describe how your gear is connected…where does the signal chain begin and where does it end?
    3) Set up your EQ so that it only enhances vocal frequencies = anything above or below that is moot and just ads garbage to the signal chain.
    4) Are you singing with a soft voice…often softer singers need more gain, which also introduces higher end feedback. Thus, the engineer will dry up the mix and reign back the higher eq settings to keep you loud n proud without the feedback.
    5) There also has to be something you’re doing wrong…take the common denominator, which is Steve. You say it happens in a lot of bars and it's always difficult. Sorry, but it's gotta have something to do with what you're giving them to work with if it happens frequently at different venues.
    6) I could be wrong but I'm guessing much of your issue here has to do with gain staging. Try this:
    a) Plug Mic into Tube Preamp
    b) Leave preamp volume down
    c) Sing loud until the clipping light stays orange. Red is bad.
    d) Make sure the mixer is muted and pots are all the way off for your mic channel. With volume still down, run a cable from the preamp to a channel in the board. If the EQ is part of the preamp leave it all flat lined.
    e) Now, Bring the volume knob of your preamp up to center detent and the mains on the mixer to center detent. Once this is done, gradually bring up the volume knob for your channel, while vocalizing. You should have a crisp, controlled sound if your gain staging is right. For your EQ, pull down everything under 80 and give a lil' boost around 2400. See if that gives ya' enough?
    f) If you're having troubles live hearing yourself over the guitars and tend to overcompensate by boosting your highs on the eq…there's a different problem…your guitarist may need to turn down. I know it feels cool to turn them all the way up and all but it always makes for a shoddy mix out front cause the band's competing with the soundman’s PA instead of both complementing each other. Guitars and Voices ride similar frequencies…My axe man and I actually sit together and shelve our frequencies so that both are audible and stay out of the other's way. Hope this helps my friend – happy rawking!



  • Brett Lee

    To Leontine Hass
    I have read your posts and find them extremely helpful
    Are there any recommended vocal warm up procedures you would particularly recommend. Thanks to following your advice I have my throat back to normal but want to keep it in good condition
    What can you suggest

    Many thanks
    Regards Brett

  • Check out the TC-Electronics C300 Compressor, Gate, Limiter…works great for beefing up the vox, while gating the feedback…used it all the time when I sang metal. It'a great unit and really cheap but not cheaply built – plus, it has presets to boot, which makes dialing it in really easy :)



  • Hi Jorge,

    Try a more intimate microphone…the 58 is an old (by-standard) workhorse, Omni-directional, and somewhat boomy…everyone boasts about it coz' you can throw it at a wall, cave in the grill, and still get something out of it in a live setting. However, it's not the most saccharine creature for recording.

    Experiment with condensers if you want that breathy, whispering in your ear, approach. Also inject a tube preamp for some rich, warm, and robust tones without over coloring the initial print of the voice. Bill may say otherwise…not sure…I tend to record any singer (as they are) through a tube and a condenser that's pre-shelved close to their vocal register. I like to capture the butter first then mess with EQs later if it needs to nestle into the mix better among the other instruments.



  • Lose the lemon my friend…it's a common misconseption about lubricating the voice…lemon is meant to dry up the goo in the back of your throat when you're sick. Otherwise, lemon will just make you even more dry throated.

    Honey is great lube – I just drink room temp water when I perform and suck the honey right out of the lil' bear container…don't really need to mix 'em unless ya' like to. Honey is also one of the very few foods on Earth that bacteria can't grow in.

    You could also try royal jelly, although it can be expensive. You live in an arid part of the world + the A/C and possibly mold in these old bars could be getting at ya,' especially if they're smoke filled. You might want to stay out of the club, on breaks, don a dust mask and hang out until your next set.

    Keep some alcohol wipes handy for your mic and maybe go see a doctor…it could be that you have some allergies you're unaware of…or, if you are aware and take meds for that…most anti-allergy meds totally dry up the throat and nasal passages…terrible for singers.



  • leeentertainments

    Many thanks
    I'll give it a try

    Your tips are greatly appreciated

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Henrik Bladh

    I’m not sure if this is the correct forum but I’m curious to why the automatic feedback destroyer is only in “Voicetone Correct” and not in any of the other products?
    I have some problems with feedback from time to time using my Voicelive Play GTX and I have been thinking about getting a “Voicetone correct” as well, just to fix the feedback problem.
    But it seems a waste since I would only use the feedback destroyer.
    The other features are really the same as in the Voicelive play…
    AND – I’m afraid of chaining to many digital units one after the other because of the accumulated latency that may eventually be heard (or felt).
    (We’re also using a digital mixer.)
    Is there any chance of you guys adding this function as a firmware upgrade for the Voicelive Play GTX (and/or other products?

  • Daniel Garcia Prados

    oh yeah!!

  • could be one of three winners of a book of course to speak up for your fellow vocalists I think