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The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:02 am
by eggplantbren
I thought this post by 'breakin' in another thread was interesting:
"I might be wrong but just a little thing I've been thinking about:

Some years ago the word curbing was the answer to all "what mode is he singing in". Then I think CVT has changed somewhat and I think that curbing as it is described now is not as dominating as it was. The new answers are medium overdrive / medium edge and/or something-something-like-something. And sometimes curbing. I'm not sure if this is in the newest book or if it will be in the next one, but at least I think that is what the new CVT-teachers are being taught these days.

This is somewhat confusing because while CVT gave people a consistent terminology for a little while, there are now different versions of CVT and different people might have read different editions. Also old questions on the CVT-forum might have outdated answers. This leads to uncertainty.

Case in point:

The page ... cal-modes/ is really nice, but is it 100% up-2-date? I don't know!"

Nowadays, CVT people are a lot more reluctant to say something is curbing, because medium overdrive and medium edge now exist. I have a few questions about this. i) Are medium overdrive and edge still 'full metallic'? and ii) Why has this change of classification occurred? Was there some specific evidence that caused CVI to categorise certain sounds as edge or overdrive that used to be curbing?

Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:35 pm
by Dino
This is an interesting topic indeed. I did some reading on this (Catherine's research is fairly easy to come by on the 'net.) Simply put, the modes are the way they are because people have an almost innate ability to distinguish between them. But remember it's only a map. In the terrain you rarely find clear borders between regions. It is also possible to mask modes so they sound just like each other. If you look at all the sounds and all the possible positions for the voice it's really infinite - a vast uncharted territory. So I think the modes is a divide-and-conquer approach. There used to be "falsetto" and "chest", sometimes belting/mix/passagio/pharyngeal, what have you. The four modes is lightyears ahead of that. It seems now that the four modes can be further broken down, but if you break it down to include all the details it gets impossible to learn. It's a bit like when you teach music: You teach harmony, scales, chords and then when the student has that under his fingers you can start to bend the rules here and there. But you don't say "there's twelve notes, put'em together, sometimes it will sound good, sometimes awful". It's the same with the modes. If you start to learn to sing in the center of each mode, you know you won't hurt you voice. Then when you're proficient at that you can go exploring the murky areas between the modes.


Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:43 pm
by breakin
[This reply was really to Dinos post in the other thread, but I'm keeping it here now]

I really like that CVT is evolving and that there is research being done on the singing voice. My only problem is that I no longer trust any other person to have the same definition on terms as I do. For a while the CVT "words" could almost be used to make sure that two people talked about the same thing on a forum. If someone said curbing I could look it up and listen to the samples. These days I have to ask on what revision of the book they are, if they have studied with a coach etc. I don't even have the newest book and I know that the newest book is already outdated so some extent. I'm fine with all of this =) I'm guessing as CVT becomes more detailed it also becomes more complicated.

When I started studying with a CVT coach I basically said that I wanted to do curbing. But they always wanted me to do overdrive. Why? Because they wanted to steer me towards medium overdrive which probably is what I wanted. But I didn't know that and they never said so at first. It took me quite some time to accept this. What really had happened is that CVT had moved on from what I know (from the older book, sound library and what I read on forums). I'm more happy with it now, it just tripped me up for a while :)

Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:57 am
by Dino
In the words of George RR Martin, "Words are wind". :wink: It's important to remember that what we are after are in fact physical sensations and physical actions. As long as you can get a physical reaction when you cued by a word, just about anything goes. For us singers, unlike instrumentalists, all of those physical actions take place inside the body, unseen. So unless we stick cameras down everyone's throat, we can only assess the state of our muscles indirectly. That's some predicament, huh? What if you were playing piano with your elbows and went to teacher after teacher who couldn't tell what you were doing wrong! But what's so remarkable about the voice is how good we are at imitating the sounds we hear, and how well we respond to mental imagery such as "sing from your toes" or "lean into it". I guess that's why the terms will always be a bit fuzzy. I don't think anyone would want to hear "tense your transversus abdomi 10% and then increase the tension 1% per second while keeping the laryngeic (know I misspelled that, can't be bothered to look up the word. :D ) funnel twanged 43%".

The beauty of the modes is that not only are they scientifically definable, they also correspond very well to (what I think is) instinctive behavior. We have whispering, talking, whining, calling out, and screaming, and we're born with that. Newborn babies make a perfect C2 in Edge, occasionally with lots of false vocal folds distorsion. Especially when they're hungry. :D :D

As for your actual question, I know the chapter on curbing says that if neutral is natural to you, then it's easiest if you learn overdrive first, and then try to find a middle ground. Likewise, if you naturally sing in OD, then it's easiest to learn neutral first. I learned it myself and I always found curbing the easiest mode. It comes very naturally to me. I guess I'm a whiner. :P

Also remember that it's pretty rare to keep one mode even throughout an entire phrase, let alone a whole song.


Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:00 pm
by breakin
Hi Dino,

Talking about singing, especially online, is hard. Often leads to more confusion :) Having a good terminology could help.

Another thing that could help was a mechanical magical device that measured stuff. You could record yourself + measurements and send away. Then you could make the implicit nature of singing more explicit. You could send a student home and he would know if he was practicing the right thing :)

Anyway I do sing in curbing a lot (I sing in most modes) but not at all pitches. Since I have a teacher now I don't need to talk so much over internet in forums and thus the need for terminology is lessened :)

Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:42 am
by Kaare
Hi there.
It sounds like you need to update your book.
And by the way, no CVT book has ever been re-published without adding corrections in terms of new research etc.

With ongoing research, things change and Curbing has indeed shrunk and medium full metal (which is still a full metallic mode) or a Like-Neutral has often taken its place.
Sure, there was "more Curbing out there" earlier, but during research session (endoscopy/laryngograph etc) we could see that the wav form + the laryngeal gesture of the cords often indicated medium full metal, where Curbing would have been "diagnosed" earlier.
Furthermore, there is a difference in sound if we know what to listen for.

The ever-changing technique is a result of an academic approach to research and the overall technique.

We often go by sound in our analysis of a sound, we are only human and therefore can be wrong sometimes.
If would be very strange otherwise.
But not to acknowledge this would be even stranger.

So, like so many times before/and times to come, we correct the terminology and tune our ears slightly differently.
At this point the new terms are already well implemented into the technique and its much easier to teach and help singers.

If anything, this makes the terminology clearer as it´s closer to what is actually happening anatomically.

On another note many singers still seem to forget the fact that we most often dont stay in one mode while singing or speaking.
The dynamic singer is changing all the time.
So when a singer states that he/she sings let´s say "only in Curbing", I´m respectfully doubting it.
A sensation doesnt cut it, we cant feel the modes. Even if the singer is a Curbing monster, it´ll be quite tricky to maintain the Curbing position throughout a song - and pretty monotonous too I would imagine.

So...the voice is much more chaotic than what most singers think - we might have 3 modes present in one syllable and the singer says that its all Edge, lets say...
Like Dino writes on top of the centers we have all the grey areas...(transitions for ex.)
That´s why we think in directions instead of absolutes and nothing within the technique is sacred or "off the table" in terms of researching, debating and in some case changing it.

If you are working with an authorized CVT teacher it´ll be quite easy for him/her to explain the update of the modes and thereby enable you to navigate between them.

Hope it makes sense.

Best regards

Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:42 am
by smpzpirate
I thought I owned the latest book?

Where can I find the information on medium overdrive / edge etc please? Examples could be nice too please if there are any in the forum. My book covers things like MLN but I don't recall seeing these other terms. Do they come with new voice examples or just descriptions?



Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:50 am
by eggplantbren
I also have the latest book. If I recall correctly there are sections on medium volume in edge and overdrive, within those two chapters. From discussions here, it seems like these are very commonly used. Thanks Kaare for the response. I agree it's good that things have been updated. It definitely makes sense that once this was discovered everyone was able to practice hearing the difference between these and curbing. I wasn't trying to criticise, just find more information :-)

Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:25 pm
by smpzpirate
Well my book says 2012 inside the cover I believe. Is there a more recent one again?

I see medium volume in there but I'm assuming that this is meant in the low and low mid voice essentially. It looks like these are being treated as entities of their own hence the title of 'magical shrinking curbing'.

I believe mine is 3rd edition issue 1. 2012. English

Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:35 am
by Kaare
There are later editions but in spanish :-)
If you have the 2012 you have the latest book in English.
With more prints of the book you´ll probably get more info on the mediums & likes.

But pretty much its about attempting to "keep the position" from the standard metal and gradually decrease volume into medium and finally the Neutral.

Best regards

Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:45 pm
by funkypou
I'm a bit disapointed because I have a 2010 French edition though I ordered it in 2013. If I could have known that it wasn't up to date, I would have ordered the English edition.

The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:00 pm
by Poireevib
Moved to Kenpo General.

Is this a variation on the Close Kneel or Wide Kneel, or just a difference in terminology?

Re: The magical shrinking curbing

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 6:56 am
by ivanlagru
I need to get my hands on the new sound library and book somehow. I own a 2006 edition, and to be frank, I can see why it needed updates. Been a while since I posted here, used to be a frequent visitor but life got in the way of singing.
Anyway, I'll check if there's an electronic version with said updates, and the new sound library.