Recording Rap: How to make a boy-ish voice sound more mature?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Mark Geek, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Mark Geek

    Mark Geek Guest

    I'm trying to find a good combination of microphone and processing (via plugin, w/e) that can make my voice could less boy-ish. I sound fine in person but whenever I hear myself in Skype, the phone, or even recorded on a decent condenser mic (tried RODE and BLUE mics) I sound too boy-ish. I need to bring up my low end a bit - maybe there's a mic known for this? Also any plugins I could use (other than obvious EQ)? anything I could run live would be a bonus. I don't want to cheat and just auto-tune - I just want a mic that has lends itself to the job well and some light processing.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    So you sound like a tenor and you want to sound like a bass. That's like asking Pavarotti to sing bass. He can't do that (now more than ever since he's dead). No microphone & no equalization is going to make you sound any different from you. If you're talking about vocal technique and not microphones, that's a whole different thing. There is no magic microphone. No magic EQ. You could use some software or another hardware box that can give you a nice electronic quality to your voice so you can sound like a robot. Personally, I don't think robots are very ***y they're just, robots. There's no way I'm interested in listening to robots sing.

    Now I beg to ask the question, how far past puberty are you? That's a big factor in how your voice sounds. Then there's the factor in how you utilize it. So you need some voice coaching more than you need the magic microphone pill. So it kind of vocal experience have you had? Public speaking? Singing in the church? In the shower? You're talking about voice lessons not microphone lessons here.

    Practice presenting a sermon at your church
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. Mark Geek

    Mark Geek Guest

    Woah. OK. Sorry I asked.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Don't be sorry you asked. You got a decent response. Take some vocal lessons whether they be oration or singing or both. A microphone can only reproduce what it picks up. Some you can use proximity effect to assists but it won't change a tenor to a bass.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    So it's Alvin from the Chipmunks doing rap? So what's wrong with that? I think it would be cool. Okay, maybe not Alvin? How about Bugs Bunny? No? Wait! Elmer Fudd rapping! Really I think that's what people want to hear? Not the same sounding kind of guys going F this & F that. Where's the musical value in that? Now Elmer Fudd would change all of that.

    I'm hunting wabbit.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  6. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    Birkenhead, UK
    Remy's right..

    IMO the best shot you got is compression and a heap load of mid boost with a dynamic mic to "distort" your sound a bit.......

    But he's right.. Its not one of those things you can change really.
  7. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    Standing right behind you!
    Vocal technique:

    1. When you sing you should be relaxed in your throat. There should be no soreness afterward - if there is then you are abusing your voice and will eventually lose it completely.

    2. Practice singing like an opera star - even though you don't do that in modern music. Practice it and the round full man-sound will carry over into your rap.

    3. By depressing the back of the tongue you can open your throat more and that will give you a bigger sound. But you can only do that a little bit. Too much tongue depression is abuse (see #1).

    4. The Good Lord(TM) gave you the pipes you gots. You can only change so much. Success comes by being good at what you can do. If you can't sing rap for crap, then sing something else you can actually achieve. You can sing what you want for practice - but to make a living at it you have to be able to please the audience.
  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Since the dawn of recording technology people have had a hard time dealing with what the recorder captures - which is, what your voice sounds like to everyone else - as the vibrations of your voice move through air. When you hear your own voice, you're not only hearing the vibrations in the air, but you're getting a good dose of bass boost from the vibrations in your own chest, throat, mouth, head, ear canal.

    I've often wondered about putting some sort of transducer on a person's chest to mix in with a real mic, to get more of their 'chest voice', to see if it was more what they thought they sound like - or one of those microphones you put in your ear canal, like the secret service uses for two-way comm.

    Vocal exercises and training would be highly recommended regardless of the path you want to take. But before you try too hard to alter your God-given voice, stop to think about how much more successful guys with higher voices are in commercial music. Most of use would love to have two more notes at the top of our range. But if I want to sound more like Barry White on tape, I set up everything for recording in the evening and come in and record the track the next morning as soon as I wake up - before I say a word to anybody. The vocal chords are very relaxed and well rested. Oooooh Baby. But that isn't going to help you for live performance. Maybe you need to start thinking in terms of teaming up with someone with a deeper voice to tag-team the lower parts. - Look at you with your rap posse. Or transposing the tracks up a little to your vocal strengths.

    Anyway, without getting into artificial tuning, there is no magic EQ or mic to make Barry Gibb sound like Barry White.

    Best of luck.
  9. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    New York City
    Wait 10 years.


    Short of that, you might get acceptable results using the gender-shifting technology in a DigiTech Vocalist. Emphasis on the word "might"
  10. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Okanagan, Canada
    If you can't sing in tune, get a program like Celemony Melodyne or Auto Tunes. You can fix the pitch problems and change the timbre of your voice to naturally sound deeper.


    Try a pitch shifter. It might be a dumb idea, but I was goofing around with my 5yr old son recording his voice and then adding pitch shifters to it. Aside from making him laugh so hard he got hick-ups, when we shifted his voice down -5, it sounded like me. Freaked me out a bit. I think I know what his voice will sound like when he's a man.

Share This Page