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How to make airy agressive distortion (like Chester Bennington and few others)

Hey guys! First thing that i want to say is that my english is not that good, so please don't judge me xd.

So, i've been practicing singing for a while now and i still have much to learn and i have at least little bit of clue what i should do and i believe i will get there if i practice hard and long enough, but there is one thing that budges me.

One thing that i'm impressed by is Chester's and few others airy-like agressive distortion/sound. I'll send a few links of songs, if it isn't against rules.

(skip to 50 seconds of the song)

(skip to 47 seconds of the song)

(skip to 57 seconds of the song)
https://youtu.be/1nlSKYxmttc?t=57 (this isn't Chester, but he got it quite right)

(skip to 1:50 seconds of the song)

I think that is enough of examples.

so, my questions are :
How do they do that ?
Is it healthy ?
And how to learn something like that?

Thank you and sorry for this lengthy post and my bad grammar. I hope you forgive me !

Much love, guys !


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    Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,410
    edited May 2020
    hi Thomas, pretty cool, i didn't know this band. it's a good question whether it is safe, it depends on correct technique, I personally can't say whether his personal technique is safe, maybe some other students can tell you whether these recordings sound safe for the singers. but i can tell you that if you follow what Ken teaches, you can learn to do this safely. For example, Ken taught Kati Cheri, you can find out more here:


    she used to sing aggressively without the proper technique and struggled.

    she has a pretty powerful &healthy voice now:


    or check out other videos of Ken's students.

    the secret is in controlling your breath so that you are not blowing your vocal cords dry with a blast of air, and keeping an open throat. the concepts are hard to describe because they are internal feelings and mechanisms that work together. Ken tries to give you analogies and exercises to find this "support" (the correct breath), and you have to work on it. it is not that the secrets are kept secret because they don't want to tell you, but more because they cannot easily described.

    i do the course since November 2018 and I can sing much better, i cannot do such heavy distortion safely yet, but I notice i have much more control and am better in other aspects (pitch for example).

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    Thomas_Thomas_ Member Posts: 2
    Hey Klaus, thanks for your answer. I must say that Kati's cover of Janis Joplin - Piece Of My Heart sounds amazing.

    I kinda know how distort voice without going hoarse or feeling pain, but i just don't like it. It sounds... plain ? I don't know how to describe it, but i would like to learn that juicy,full agressive distortion like these guys do.
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    Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,410
    be careful with distortion, even if you can't feel any damage now, chances are that if you oversing for longer periods of time, using bad technique, you could still have issues later. i guess the "plain" sound might come from not having an open throat. the way we learn it here, first develop a strong solid clean voice, then lean into the distortion, so it is a color that you can add to your normal singing voice, rather than it being a separate entity altogether. this way, you have full control over the distortion, and the good habits are already second nature by the time we start adding the rasp
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    WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,042
    I guess you have already seen Kens videos on distortion, both recent and old? The best way to develop it is to get a really clean and powerful resonant chest voice first. Then there is a technique called glottal compression which turns to hyper glottal compression, when you use this technique with rock solid support, you can safely achieve this kind of sound. Also the act of just singing consistently with good technique over years will help to develop a slightly husky tone all by it self.
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