When I play guitar and sing, it isn’t very loud because I mix my head voice with falsetto. It’s impossible for me to know what this sounds like without recording my voice- but the only way to record is with a microphone, and it sounds exactly like I want it to. However, I’m nervous to sing around people because I don’t feel like the recording is a true representation of what someone would actually hear.
For example, usually in a pop or rock chorus the singer will sound like they’re yelling or shouting, and when I record with my mouth closer to the mic and the guitar farther away, I can replicate that sound and it’s as powerful as the original. But I know that I’m manipulating my falsetto and pretending that I’m yelling, when it’s actually no louder than speech level singing.
I did find this article about microphones, but I’ve never heard this information from any YouTube videos or singing websites. It says:
When you listen to the vocal in a sound recording, you don’t actually hear the singer. Usually what you hear is a loudspeaker illusion of the vocal, one so compelling that you think you know the voice of your favorite singers. But it’s likely that they would sound very different singing to you in your living room or in your car. In fact, they might sound wrong. The discipline of pop music production includes the creation of sounds that are better than those in real life— exaggerated, unmistakable, and often unforgettable. And although that’s true for all the members of a band, the vocalists get special attention.
I understand that pop and rock singers must use microphones to be heard, and that effects are added to live shows. I also understand that a microphone automatically makes our voices much louder and fuller. What I’m having trouble understanding is what a few friends in a singer’s living room would hear if they sing without a microphone- using the same techniques they use to practice and record.
Would it sound weak and would their “shouts” sound artificial?
Would their voices project towards their audience better than in their own ears, so that the audience hears the same sounds that a recording in a smartphone would provide?
Or should singers sacrifice range and “emotion” for volume if they don’t have access to a microphone.
Or maybe I have it all wrong and don’t make any sense lol.
Here is an example of Bruno Mars singing Count on Me in front of an audience without a microphone. He doesn’t sing the bridge, and I think the reason why is because he traded range for volume. Not that he couldn’t hit that C5 (you’ll always have my shoulder when you cryyyyy) with volume, but that it would come out like a heavy metal scream instead of a controlled, soft rasp. Hopefully that makes sense.
By microphone, I basically mean a recording device that would be used for practice. Does the conversion of natural(?) sound to electronical allow for unconventional singing techniques that would sound “wrong” if sung in a completely acoustic setting?