When singing Karaoke in Sydney’s pubs and clubs sounding good comes down to microphone technique.
When you sing into a microphone at karaoke do you sound nasally? Too quiet? Or do you sound like a barking dog? The reason is poor microphone technique. Knowing the basics will significantly improve you’re sound. The microphone is probably the easiest instrument to learn. And if you consider the microphone an instrument you have the right perspective.
It’s a nerve racking experience singing karaoke in Sydney for the first time. Probably why it is so addictive. It’s often the first time a person has used a microphone to sing and heard their voice through speakers, as opposed to through their head.
We hear our own voice all the time, but we hear it distorted through the flesh, bone, brain and hair of our head. This voice has more base, and much of the sound is going through the ears in the wrong direction, so there’s an inherent reverb warming and softening the voice. The voice coming out of the speakers is always a surprise to the first time singer. More often it is a rude shock.
I will cover a few simple techniques that will greatly improve your vocal ability with a microphone.
1/ Point The Microphone At Your Mouth
Don’t hold it like an ice cream. Point it at your mouth. More specifically point it at the part of your mouth where the sound is coming from. If you hold it like an ice cream you will sound nasally because the microphone is pointing more at your nose than at your mouth.
Holding the microphone in the correct way allows it to pick up the clearest signal of your voice. Because you can hear your voice you can self modulate according to what sounds best. You have a self correcting loop.
It is common for an uninformed singer to hold the microphone in an unusual way to modulate the sound.
Ssome singers cover the cage (the wire frame) with their hand when they sing. Some do it because they are going for the gangsta look. And some do it to modulate their voice. There are better ways to get this effect. If you are going for the gangsta look, respect, but don’t expect to sound good. You will sound boxy, woofy, and the sound operator will probably turn off the reverb and lower your volume to minimise the feed back cause by holding the cage of the microphone. It does, I agree, look cool though.
2/ Microphone Control
You can lower your volume by drawing the microphone away and increase it by bringing it close. Or you can do both. In fact this technique is also used to maintain the volume singing. For example you can bring the mic close if you are hitting a low quiet note and pull it away when you bellow, there by maintaining the volume. You can sustain a note much longer by singing it more softly and bringing the microphone closer to your mouth.
Aim your voice at the microphone. Think of it like bringing your voice to the microphone. If you don’t pump enough volume down the microphone the sound operator will need to raise the volume and there by increasing the likelihood of feedback.
3/ Maintain The Volume
This takes practice and requires that you employ the technique outlined above. Many singers, even experienced singers at karaoke in Sydney, are all over the place when it comes to volume. And it greatly diminishes their performance. Practise singing at an even volume across different notes and sounds. Most songs require the vocalist to lift the volume and the emotion as the song progresses. This should still be done smoothly and evenly rather than suddenly ratching up the levels.
Karaoke in Sydney