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a unique voice devin townsend

revolver9revolver9 Enrolled Posts: 36

Hello! Ive been plugging away on volume one for over a year and really enjoying the journey! For quite awhile it was about reaching higher notes, lately however I've been interested in the quality of my notes, instead of how high they are. One artist that I enjoy hearing is Devin Townsend. here's a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTyp6fHcYKY

He can blast notes but on this recording he has a very mellow tone which seems to have a lot of depth to it. It sounds like a lot of head voice... but yet it sounds really full?

the singing starts at :30 seconds. its soft but it just doesn't sound WEAK at all... Is he mixing?


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    Yes.  This is a very interesting tone.  A lot of breath for effect. Low larynx.  Light cord closure until he leans into it at 2:14.  He really has to add support there all of a sudden. Around 2:40, nothing but breath.  Lots of whispering... till he leans into it again!

    The head voice with low larynx and breath makes a kind of mix that would be called a heady mix, with just the slightest hint, almost none, of chest.  In this case it's almost like he's using just the low larynx for the "chest" part of his mix.

    He seems to be able to take his head voice down to as low as G3 and F3, but it may just be a very soft "neutral" chest voice.  The incredibly long guitar reverb decay times on this recording are dramatic.  they're also using tons of compression on the guitar so that it can be played softly and still it's right there in your brain.

    You have to have very good breath control to support singing at this pianissimo level.  It's so light, cord registration needs a form of support that keeps it going without gaps.  You have to practice at this very low level for tons of time to get this consistent at this volume.  The passagio has entirely different dynamics at this level than at higher levels.

    I can see why you might like this.  He's so quiet at times, you find yourself leaning forward to hear him better.

    Very interesting...  Quite a long piece, I might add.

    ; ^ )






  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    I smiled when he went into Radar Love...  at a whisper.
  • revolver9revolver9 Enrolled Posts: 36

    Wow man, to be able to post this and someone with so much experience not only listens to it but comments on it so thoughtfully... it's really valueable!  

    - thanks Highmtn

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
  • revolver9revolver9 Enrolled Posts: 36
    edited June 2014

    oh yes thanks for this...the early Vai years! -  Here's another more recent clip - what an amazing voice! 


  • sam.ksam.k Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 41
    Devin Townsend is one of my vocal idols and an absolute freaking legend!  He is one of the most versatile singers ever from brutal metal to operatic to intimate whispers. Incredibly, voice is not even his "main" instrument he's even more of a legendary guitarist.
    Would you consider devin Townsend a low dramatic tenor?
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