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Hey Matt Smith!!

Discussion in 'Theocracy' started by Cellador, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Cellador

    Cellador Member

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    Whats up dude. I've been a Theocracy fan for a few months now. I saw the review for your album on metalreviews.com, listened to clips, and then bought it from Sentinel Steel, and of course its fantastic! I do have a question for ya. :)

    Your a great singer. My question, and I'm sure you've been asked this, is wether or not you've had vocal training, and/or opera or choir training? Your backing vocals sound fantastic, rivaled only by Edguy and/or Avantasia IMO. Whats your technique for the big backing vocals? I ask because I have a project going (http://www.cellador.com) and am preparing to record my vocalist.

    Also, how close are you to playing live(or are you already)? How far do you initially plan to travel? I would most definitely want to check you guys out, maybe even play a show with you!!

    Thanks Theocracy!
    Chris
     
  2. Matt Smith

    Matt Smith THEOCRACY

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    Hey Chris—
    Thanks for the compliments.
    No, I haven’t had any voice lessons, though I probably will take some lessons or something to learn about better breath control and endurance. My technique still needs a lot of work.
    Anyway, I just learned different things from listening to different singers. I think the important thing is to use your own voice! I hate when I hear people who are obviously trying to sound just like Geoff Tate or Bruce Dickinson or whoever. I mean, none of us are that good, so we may as well just be ourselves! :) That’s the only way you can develop a signature sound.

    As for the choir vocals, the performance is the absolute most important thing. Make sure your performance is very tight. You can’t just duplicate tracks digitally; you have to actually sing every voice if you want it to sound big. Try to get each voice as perfect as you can. Make sure all your words end at the same time, etc. so it doesn’t sound sloppy. It really doesn’t take a whole lot of layers to make it sound huge if the performance is tight and you know what you’re doing with harmonies. Start with the melody, and layer it several times. Then sing it an octave higher and do the same. Then an octave lower and do the same.
    Follow this same process for the first harmony, then the next, then the next. Make subgroups as you go so you don’t have a bunch of individual tracks to sort through at mixdown. Pan them to different places in the stereo field. When you do your submixes, ALWAYS listen to a rough mix of the music along with it. A choir mix that sounds great a capella will probably not hold up in a dense Metal mix; you’ll probably find you need to turn the lower voices up, etc., so make sure you listen to it in the context of the big picture.
    Give it a smack with a good compressor, and try to EQ it so it sits in its own space apart from the lead vocal. A lot of big background vocal sounds are actually EQd to have a lot of air, so you can really put a high pass filter on it and filter out more than you would a lead vocal, just make sure you don’t kill all the low voices. It’s OK to thin it out a bit; what we’re going for is a sound that works well in a mix. Maybe use a different mic for choir vocals than you do for the lead vocal; I’m thinking of maybe doing that next time. If you have keyboard parts going on at the same time, watch them because they tend to eat up all kinds of frequencies if you’re not careful.
    Put a big hall reverb on it, and that should get you in the ballpark. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    About live performances, we've played at our church and stuff, but nothing big yet. We still need a couple more members before we could think about a big tour. I'm in writing mode right now, so I'm concentrating on that at the moment.

    Thanks,
     
  3. Cellador

    Cellador Member

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    I will try some of those. Thanks for the reply Matt!
     

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