View Full Version : What did MM do to his voice in EMDM?

10-07-2012, 07:37 PM
Sorry for so many topics but does anyone else dislike the heavy voice effects in EMDM? I wouldn't say it ruins the album totally but imo it would sound loads better without his voice sounding so scratchy and deep. What are your thoughts on that?

The Overman
10-07-2012, 07:46 PM
I don't know that I can answer this, except to say that I don't think his voice has that scratchy quality throughout the album. He sounds more like he did on Holy Wood in "If I Was Your Vampire" to my ears, and his singing voice on the title track sounds basically like it did in "Spade" to me. I tend to think it was a deliberate stylistic change. I know he talked about singing while laying down in parts of the record.

10-07-2012, 07:48 PM
I think the best example is You and Me and the Devil Makes 3. I tried listening to it in my truck the other day and had to turn it off. His voice is really scratchy and raspy. So I went to audacity and sorta removed the effect and imo it sounds loads better.

10-07-2012, 08:00 PM
Courtesy of Cringeon, I've had the chance to listen to the multi-layered vocal tracks from albums like Antichrist Superstar, and whilst fans assume that to be one of Manson's most aggressive vocal deliveries, it did in fact require more digital trickery than later records to achieve said effect, simply because Manson was younger, and his voice hadn't developed that rougher quality we take for granted. I think he's always aimed for a coarse, dark Jim Morrison or Al Jourgensen vocal delivery, but it's taken a little longer for that to be natural rather than perfected in-studio, and EAT ME, DRINK ME's simply an example of it coming more naturally.

Incidentally, I recall a short televised interview with Manson in the UK, backstage prior to Reading Festival 2001. In it, he mentioned that at a show that same week, he'd accidentally "inhaled some fire" during a pyrotechnic incident. The interviewer asked if he was okay, and Manson's response was simply that "It's alright, it just made my voice rougher", so that's clearly a benefit.

10-07-2012, 11:13 PM
I thought the scratchy quality on You me and the devil makes 3 is one of the things that made the song.

The Wax Gentleman
10-08-2012, 12:04 AM
In some songs that voice sounds silky, and in some it sounds rough. There are obvious effects done to his voice, but I think it works perfectly for EMDM. I think the vocals for that entire album were some of his best.

10-08-2012, 12:17 AM
The vocals on born villain sound so un-filtered I'm surprised they were pitch corrected at all

The Wax Gentleman
10-08-2012, 09:09 AM
The vocals on born villain sound so un-filtered I'm surprised they were pitch corrected at all

They were pitch corrected?

10-08-2012, 12:39 PM
There's not pitch correction, but they used a vocoder in Goddamn Arms before the outro for a desired effect.

MM typically would have one or two main vocal takes in verses, and then might double them up in the chorus for added thickness. With earlier albums, I think MM probably just went back and did take after take after take until he had some performances that made the result we hear. The recording on EMDM and also THEOL, I think was pretty much the same of doing multiple takes layered together, but he didn't spend time going back to do retakes if they didn't mesh perfectly. There's really not a lot of effects on his voice during EMDM, but you do hear a lot of pitch roughness from where multiple takes are not perfectly in tune with one another. I'm sure it would be just as easy for him to have Skold or Vrenna or Sean run it all through pitch correction to even it out - but I think it's natural flawed vibe is really what he wanted.

10-09-2012, 04:36 AM
I think the best example is You and Me and the Devil Makes 3. I tried listening to it in my truck the other day and had to turn it off. His voice is really scratchy and raspy. So I went to audacity and sorta removed the effect and imo it sounds loads better.


A Better Messiah
10-10-2012, 05:25 AM
They were distorted, as he recorded them in the past for the future. The time travel just screwed his vocals up a bit is all.


Nemoris Inferioris
07-23-2014, 12:30 PM
He did mention that he would sit on the floor of the studio and 'cup' the microphone to give his voice a "Very distinctive sound to it". I really love the sound of his voice on EMDM. It sounds more.... seducing.. which is what he was aiming for. You And Me And The Devil Makes 3, sound a lot heavier with his vocals like that. He definatly did a different style of recording. On The High End Of Low, his voice might sound a little more "Natural", of you may, but Eat Me, Drink Me was a One-Take Record. The vocals were all one take. His vocals were a lot more RAW. I love it.

Shock Hazard
07-23-2014, 01:34 PM
I can never tell if the pitch is intentional or not, always thought it was part of his style since it shows on other albums.

Whisky And Speed
07-23-2014, 01:40 PM
He said that he held a ribbon mic between his hands laying on the floor singing and the ribbon mic isn't supposed to be held that way. This setup resulted in the tone of voice you heard. Moreover, the sound was raw without too much production or layering except for some songs. It was a raw, honest album recorded in an amateurish,experimental spirit like BV and even more raw. That's all.

07-23-2014, 07:30 PM
Cupping the mic also eliminates the mic's polarity pattern (the directions from which the mic pickups sound) because the voice is being funneled through the hands, so it's easier to push the mic harder for more breakup, and also let's you get a more close/intimate sound. Some bands use it as a trick to compensate for their lack of power live (especially screamers live) but MM hasn't ever seen like a cupper in that aspect so I imagine it was just more for that "close up" sound.

Shock Hazard
07-23-2014, 08:11 PM
He's been cupping the mic on and off at some of his recent shows. That close-up effect tends to drown out the rest of the band and doesn't sound too good when everything is being half screamed. The only loss the band may have to compensate for is the loss of Manson's voice. The intimacy will still be there with a good balance of dynamics.

07-23-2014, 11:49 PM
Talking studio / not live.

07-28-2015, 09:16 PM
Manson just wanted to sing like some psychotic goth crooner, and it happened.

Definitely there is a magic to EMDM no one appreciated it back in the day.

07-28-2015, 11:02 PM
The vocals sound kinda whiny to me. There are some weird vocal effects as well. Never really liked them. With Holywood-styled vocals this would be one of my favorite records tbh, because the rest is really stellar, besides a few cheesy lyrics.

07-29-2015, 10:47 AM
"What did MM do to his voice in EMDM?" He made it sound like shit. FIN.

Nemoris Inferioris
07-29-2015, 11:36 AM
The vocals annoy me as i get more halfway through the record. It sounds rough and filtered. Notice how "This Is Halloween" sounds with his vocals and compare it to EMDM.

07-29-2015, 02:49 PM
The vocals can come off as ridiculous here and there but luckily it doesn't bother me too much. But sometimes it is indeed laughable.

07-30-2015, 12:16 PM
I think his vocal delivery has been notably different - for different reasons - on every record. Portrait Of An American Family was a sort-of Iggy Pop/Jim Morrison American drawl, Antichrist Superstar was a psychological croak with razorblade screeches. Mechanical Animals had that low-breathing, baritone croon to it. Holy Wood was world-weary, probably the closest to channelling Portrait... again. The Golden Age Of Grotesque was a sort of animated, bouncing wail - which carried on through the next two covers; Personal Jesus and This Is Halloween.

Which leads nicely into...

Notice how "This Is Halloween" sounds with his vocals and compare it to EMDM.
I think that although This Is Halloween is a song that features about fifteen different characters (note the film version), Manson's recording managed to sound exactly how you'd expect a Marilyn Manson song to sound despite being a cover. It's a great track, but I feel like EAT ME, DRINK ME was him trying something new, slightly similar to Mechanical Animals, but not as knowingly emphasised. Singing as he would normally sing, basically, without projecting any weird androgyne, mythical persona into it. There are points on the record where that reveals a slight vulnerability as a singer, but I think it helps emphasise the atmosphere of the album.
On The High End Of Low, he took this a step further, making it sound like Marilyn Manson playing the character of Marilyn Manson, everything I just observed in reverse, basically. The last two albums have been more similar to each other in that they've got this... New-Manson feel to them. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but it's like they're not influenced by anything, they're not supposed to be anything, it's him singing in his own voice, but unlike EAT ME, DRINK ME, they're from a perspective of confidence, personal pride and not postured grandeur, like Antichrist (for example).

Also as he's gotten older, a lot of the rasping, deeper effects that used to be created with studio trickery, are now just things his voice naturally does, so it requires less layering and multi-tracking in the studio, which goes hand-in-hand with the more 'raw', or honest sound he's tried to capture since EAT ME, DRINK ME.

02-22-2016, 03:12 PM
The vocal effects on this record don't particularly bother me, except for on one song. And that would be the title track. It's just way too over the top. I still enjoy the hell out of the song though.

Nemoris Inferioris
02-22-2016, 04:14 PM
I respect what he did with his vocals on EMDM, which he tried to capture a raw sound, and using one takes, much like what he has done ever since then. I don't know what they did to give the vocals that certain sound, but I think it works with the instrumentals well. Had he just used his vocals without any effects of some sort, and having a much more clearer sound, it would have sounded better. It just sounds like you're listening to a 128 kbps mp3 track.

M Tragedy666
02-22-2016, 04:21 PM
First of all, I was one of the few that loved EMDM from day 1. I just fucking loved it. But even though I loved it, I noticed his voice sounded a little weird or different on it. Like he used a "bad" distortion. But I hate using words like "bad" because again, it's one of my favorite albums. It's quite a conundrum. I think I was just used to how he sounded on HW or MA and wasn't expecting such a raw with mild distortion sound. Oh well. It's a great album. But funnily enough that you guys brought up This Is Halloween, I felt like that didn't really "sound" like him either. I fully understand what you said, S.D., about all the voices and characters in the song...it sounds like what you'd expect a Marilyn Manson song to sound like and if you didn't know any better, you'd think he wrote it. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about his vocal quality in the song itself. Seems like he's using another weird little distortion on his voice in it (aside/nothing to do with the different characters he represents in the song). When I first heard This Is Halloween, I didn't think it sounded like Manson....like something was wrong with his voice. I felt the same way on EMDM and subsequent records, but have since gotten used to it and accept it....but it still just doesn't sound like anything like his first four albums. Maybe he really did fuck up his voice. I think I first noticed an obvious difference on Golden Age. I loved how he sounded live during the tours, but something about his voice sounded a little weaker on that album and it's just gotten worse and worse. Again, I hate using the word "worse" because that implies bad. It's not necessarily bad, just very different. I wish he could make another album with how his voice sounded on Holy Wood. It was raspy and heavy but yet somehow polished. I've gotten used to it as I've said, but especially on Pale Emperor, it's so obvious how his voice has changed (downgraded?) over the years. It's gotten naturally a lot deeper and worn. I wonder if he were to go and re-record all of HW or MA if he'd even be able to mimic exactly how it sounded these days if he wanted to. I'd like to hope that he could still pull it off. I hope the next album he sounds more like that and less like Pale Emperor, and I hope he remembers how to write better catchy anthems with rebellious angsty lyrics again too.

Penance Sentence
02-22-2016, 07:57 PM
The deeper his voice, the better. When his ex dumped him around 2009, even in interviews, he came across as so effeminate and broken.

He's putting the Manson back in Marilyn fucking Manson, and he's happier for it. He even was able to write a better record because of it.

Challenge this view if you want, or not, but he's a lot fucking happier now that he's more masculine. The deepness of his voice would make a less produced, and raw, album sound incredible.

MM should make a full Noise album. Won't ever happen, but it'd be fucking incredible.

SLC was a Noise album, pretty much, but too many remixes and not enough SYMPATHY FOR THE MOTHERFUCKING PARENTS!

EDIT: On another note, I truly believe MM helped popularize transgendered, and gender crisises; he inspired Lady Gaga who REALLY did it. Overall, I think it's a great thing. Although more social changes MUST and WILL occur, it's a fucking start. Mind control at its finest, and I can thank, a lot of it to MM. But, the whole 'Rockstar' life, yeah even with the Glam, is a very Masculine thing. Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll, and Red Meat. Not really feminine shit.

This is why I really believe MM influenced culture greatly. A great deal of his fan base, are of the effeminate type, and kind of trans-y. Am I wrong? Just an observation. I think it's a great thing too, but MM, as a person, is a very Masculine presence. Even Rose McGowan said this of him.

I firmly believe he tricked a lot of people into adopting effeminate habits. Ironically, he likes a great deal of Glam stuff, but as a person, very Masculine, and he experiments a lot, not necessarily with himself, but with people. There are several different kinds of MM fan, obviously.

It's hard to imagine I belong to the same fan base as a guy whose favorite album is EMDM, but somehow, I do. And MM is brilliant, and this is the real reason I like MM.

SLC&ACSS til I die.

M Tragedy666
02-22-2016, 10:29 PM
If you're referring to me, I didn't say EMDM was my favorite album, though I do have a strong affinity toward it probably because I was going through pretty much the same damn thing he was (literally, to the extent that my ex stole one of my fucking cats! But I got her back!). I like this new masculine Manson. Really, aside from Mechanical Animals and the Long Hard Road video, I never thought he was effeminate. Though I do appreciate what he's done for that community. He's always struck me as masculine and strong. And when he portrayed androgynous and effeminate characters, it was obviously just characters. Can't wait till the next album. I hope it's the best yet.

Penance Sentence
02-22-2016, 11:54 PM
I didn't mean to imply you said it.
I also meant effeminate MM as, basically, only HEOL MM.

He was an unfortunate wreck back then.

02-23-2016, 02:43 PM
Skold tried to make a blues album, and over did the effect. Manson singing into a mic doesn't really change from album to album.

Penance Sentence
02-24-2016, 01:07 AM
Nah, meant in interviews of around that time.

Although, think his voice can morph the more he sings grovelly. & for the most part, I'd agree with that.

Nemoris Inferioris
02-24-2016, 07:07 AM
His voice on THEOL sounds very similar to EMDM, but without the "Effect". More raw, and natural. Blues album? I think not. More of a tragic/ love album.

Nemoris Inferioris
02-24-2016, 07:23 AM
More of a tragic/ love album.

Oh wait, that is a blues album.
He/ they wanted a Real Rock album that was complemented by guitars and raw vocals.