vocal effects training
what are vocal effects?
Beginner to Pro
FOR SINGERS, SPEAKERS & ACTORS
top 10 vocal effects every singer should know about
If you’re not sure what you’re hearing, it can be difficult to identify and reproduce the sounds you want to make. Our sound and video library will help you identify extreme vocal techniques – we will then teach you how SAFELY!
The aim of this article is to familiarize you with 10 of the most commonly used vocal effects, how they work, and what they sound like. If you’re a singer, you’ll definitely hear them when listening to your favorite artists.
If you want to learn, there are many teachers out there who talk the talk but rarely demonstrate singing let alone vocal effects. Ensure your teacher can perform these sounds before asking for any lessons!
Want to know more?
1. VOCAL FRY
Vocal Fry adds a ‘rasp’ to the voice. Can often be confused with vocal distortion but can also be combined with many vocal effects to create an epic fusion effect.
Vocal Fry is also the starting point for fry scream.
Fry is the Irregular vibration of the vocal folds, this creates a two-tone vocal ‘fry’ effect. You can hear what fry sounds like in context in our video. Listen out for vocal fry used as an onset, as well constant fry on the note.
A rough, rolling ‘bird-like’ sound used in singing for high screams & more. Actually your arytenoids vibrating in your vocal tract. Used in gospel, rock, metal & pop – can be easily combined as a fusion effect to make a huge rough sound and often used on high notes to give an extra quality to the sound.
You can hear what rattle sounds like in context in our video series.
Growl sounds like an orc going in to battle!
This time your arytenoids make a rounder ‘rolling’ sound. Used in everything from rock to pop, metal, Gospel, jazz, R&B & combined effects.
You can hear what Growl sounds like in our video series – listen out for high growl, low growl, onsets and full on growling combined with other effects.
The distortion effect is the vibration of the false vocal folds
Distortion adds grit, rasp, roughness & ‘crunch’ to the sound and can be used on it’s own or in combination with most vocal effects for a powerful rocky sound.
You can hear what distortion sounds like in our video series
Screams in the ‘pure’ sense are simply a high pitched vocal outburst. Screams can mean different things in rock and metal where screams involve multiple effects and overtones to create a signature sound.
You can hear what basic screams sounds like in context in our video series. We have added a few examples of high pitched notes with effects added (FX Screams)
A low rumble throughout the vocal tract – grunt makes everything vibrate! Used in death growls, grunts & guttural sounds – grunts help form low and mid ‘screams’
You can hear what Grunt sounds like in context in our video. Listen out for a deep dark rumbling sound!
Tuva is an alternating vibrating ‘dance’ between True & false vocal folds. Tuva is not just for tuvan singing though – it is often used in everything from beat boxing to Throat singing, to rock, & low guttural sounds in metal singing
You can hear what tuva sounds like in context in our video. Listen out for a darker regular / constant rolling sound.
Don’t be fooled – air may sound harmless, but it is often a major source of fatigue whilst singing. You need a lot more energy and resistance to sing with air added!
Too much air can result in a weaker sound but just enough air can help make singers sound sweet, innocent, sexy or menacing – depending on what you’re going for!
You can hear what Air sounds like in context in our video. Listen out for a deep dark rumbling sound!
9. fry scream
Fry scream is a high frequency effect using irregular vocal fold vibrations (vocal fry) …more noise than note, fry scream is used In rock , metal & fusion & hybrid effects and requires a lot of practice to perfect.
Fry Scream is mostly high, but can be used to create mid growls and mid screams.
You can hear what fry screams sounds like in context in our video.
Vibrato, as with air, should not be underestimated. We are talking about added vibrato that can be controlled, not the unintentional vibrato that sometimes occurs in singers that do not have enough resistance.
Listen out for the different types of vibrato in our video (yes there is more than one type!)