On Alice in Chains' 1992 track God Smack, Layne Staley's vocal tremolos seem pretty far-fetched to me. I'm guessing the effect was applied in the studio during the recording process. Nonetheless, I'm curious to know if it's possible to replicate such vocals live, and if so, how?

Here is one live performance, at which Layne certainly doesn't seem to be able to do so. Perhaps it would be easier for someone trained in a different style? If so, what techniques would be involved?

Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


That's a bad performance. He's not really trying to hard to change between segments. Might be a little high for this show. Look up the 92 in Oakland video and he tries harder and sounds better. I don't think he can fully replicate it but he can do it to some degree.


It's believed that he was hidden in a special vocal booth when he recorded those vocals, so that he wasn't visible to anyone, and there were no actual effects used. But he didn't want anyone to see how he was doing it, hence the special walls built for him.

My guess, is that he's using his finger on his adam's apple pretty rapidly. You can google what I said to verify. Supposedly this story came from the engineer himself.

  • You could improve this answer by googling what you said to verify and adding what you find to your answer. I did not immediately find anything.
    – Edward
    Feb 23, 2023 at 18:07

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