Saturday, March 01, 2008

Stellar Roth Isolated Vocal

For anyone who has spent time in a recording studio, you know how jarring it is to isolate one track of a full band recording - to hear just the lead guitar for example. Or just the drums. But isolating the vocals is always the most dodgy.

No one wants to hear themselves singing full voice without any other instrument. It would be like popping your drunken karaoke vocal from last Friday night onto a CD so you could hear yourself singing full bore without the backing music. Talk about warts and all.

Even a great vocal performance needs the context of the music to be fully appreciated. Part of the magic of a recorded song is how the instruments lay together and how the vocals fit within the context of the mix. Add a bit of delay or reverb to a vocal and it sounds even better.

Which brings us to this post. Thanks to Guitarman5150 for this one. It's the isolated vocal track of David Lee Roth singing Running With the Devil from Van Halen's first album. No idea how someone got their mitts on this but it's pretty stunning to hear.

But contrary to everything I said above, it's stunning in a good way. My opinion of Roth's vocal abilities just shot up about 200 percent. There are some funny moments, like hearing him scream and howl without the backing music, but overall he delivers the hell out of this song. Not like we didn't know it already but hearing his voice isolated gives me a new appreciation for how talented of a vocalist he is.

Check it out here.


Guitarman5150 said...

The thing I love about this is the little things you can hear the band at a certian point in his headphones, the whistle. I had a whistle like that as a kid. All the little things. Not to mention a great prefomance at that point and time in his career.

I know I wouldn't want any of my vocal tracks done this way. SHEESH! With Dave it sounds great! Really great from this time.

VoxMoose said...

Quite a treat there. Really a fantastic vocal performance on the melody/chorus. His timbre and pitch are quite good. As you said, the hoots and hollers sound pretty funny out of context, but they give some insight into his vocal technique as he expertly hops from chest voice to falsetto and back again.

Dr. John said...

Too frickin' much! DLR is quite a singer but somehow his personality has always seemed to get him in trouble... Listening to this reminds me of that post you did a while back with only the drum part to "The Main Monkey Business". Sounds weird when you hear the part without the context of the other instrumentation.

Makes me wonder whether or not there would ever be the ability (on the recording industry's part) or desire (on the music consumer side of things) to actually have recordings and equipement to listen to them that would allow you to isolate a part or parts at will. Kinda like the post I did recently about the play along CD's I got for Christmas that have music but no drums. It's one thing to (try to) play along to Moving Pictures with Neil Peart, quite another (I would think) to play along when it's just you and Alex and Geddy. Thoughts?

Barbara said...

I can't wait to go listen to this! I already know I will love it. I remember hearing DLR before VH was "big" and thinking - this dude can sing!

VoxMoose said...

For contrast, someone should try and dig up an isolated dry vocal track for Gene Simmons singing on Love Gun. If something like that went viral, I'm pretty sure he'd wish for the good ol' sex-tape-scandal days.

Don Capone said...

Thanks for posting this link. Very cool to hear Diamond Dave's isolated vocals. I hope they record some new stuff after this tour. I saw them at MSG in October, and they were really great. The crowd was into every song.