Need help/advice for a vocal audition

KevinGremKevinGrem Pro Posts: 217
There's a power metal band from Sweden that is looking for a new singer. Their current guitarist/vocalist has developed nodes and can no longer sing. They are called The Rocka Rollas. Here is their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rockarollasmetal/?fref=ts

I volunteered to audition for them and they gave me a piece to record. Here is the song by The Rocka Rollas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcW_vR4wXKs

Here is the Rocka Rolla vocals as an isolated track: https://clyp.it/5hbv53ob

Here is my vocal audition for the track: https://clyp.it/1y2rvzk1

My audition was rejected for being not up to requirements. I'm kind of disappointed. I want to know how I could have done a better job, and I also want some second opinions about it. I was told 3 criticisms:

1. My vocals came off sounding strained
2. Some improvement on timing and pitch is needed
3. My vibrato is too fast

What do you think? How can I train to do a better job? Is he correct in his criticisms? I really want to know, it's totally OK if that's the case. I'm just kind of disappointed in myself and I want to improve. So yeah, any help, advice, and constructive criticism is welcomed. Thanks.


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    If you want to sound more like the previous singer (before the nodes took him out) you will need to shed a lot more weight as you go up the scale. You are carrying a lot of chest up into the range where he is singing very high and nasal, using a mix of head and very little chest. He is singing more lightly than you, but also pulsing into a distortion that is unhealthy, and probably contributed to his nodes.

    You are using a faster vibrato than he did, and a lot of listeners prefer a more relaxed speed for the vibrato. Check out the ghosting exercises that Ken shows in his Vibrato lessons. Those can help you to relax and slow down the rate of your vibrato.

    In some parts of your demo you sound fine. There were a few parts that may be where they were saying that your voice was strained. You recorded your voice at a much hotter level than his voice is on the tracks, so there is a tendency for your voice to also go into distortion on the recording. Look at the amplitude of the waveforms on your demo vs his recording. Also, there is a ton of reverb on his track, and it is heavily overdubbed. I hear a lot of editing in the track. That's OK, most recording artists do that, but I don't know if you took that much time comping a track together.

    His voice sounds smoother overall, and I think that is due mostly to what I said initially, using a heady mix, singing at a lower volume level, and not carrying much weight up high.

    Just keep training and do whatever you can to avoid using poor distortion techniques that are unsafe. Always go back and clean up the voice after singing with distortion.

  • KevinGremKevinGrem Pro Posts: 217

    The other singer says that he sings totally in head voice and not in falsetto. Is that true? It sounds like falsetto to me. How can you sing that high in head voice?
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    Head voice and falsetto are both above the secondo passaggio, and are two different forms of head voice. Falsetto is head voice without good cord closure. Normal head voice has cord closure and does not have all the air in it that falsetto does.
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