Hey there,

I finally took the time, to write an overview about the Complete Vocal Technique!This is the secound part to the ‚EVT or CVT or WTF?‘ article earlier… Hope it helps a little (:

The ‘Complete Vocal Technique‘ by Catherine Sadolin is a modern singing technique dealing with the human voice behind its anatomical structures and mechanics of the human voice.
The technique is presented in a 272 paged book, available in many different languages on the free market. There is a internet community and regular possibilities to visit worshops or to find a certified teacher, to deepen the technique. Furthermore it is possible to follow trainings to become a certified teacher.
‘CVT‘ integrates the ‘new‘ and ‘modern‘ singing styles of rock, heavy metal, pop and jazz.
But C. Sadolin is not giving a definiton of how to sound for these styles but hands the technique to enable the singer to make all the sounds he or she wants to do. It follows from this, that there are no esthetic bias, every sound is legitimate, as long as it is not hurting the instrument. Furthermore the ‘Complete Vocal Technique‘ claims that everybody can learn to sing and to make every vocal sound there is. It integrates old classical singing techniques and extends them, so the technique can serve the needs of the production of the ‘modern‘ singing styles. In addition to that C. Sadolin offers the instruction to learn different voice effects like grunting, screaming, growling, etc.
The whole technique is highly based on learning by imitating sound examples. The book comes with a linces key to the ‘CVT Sound Library‘, where one can find sound examples online.It is important to mention that this singing technique points out that the singer itself can judge if something is good for his or her voice or not. The reader is taught to trust in his or herself, when it comes to singing practices and sound production. Furthermore it is said that exercises must be simple and easy to understand and should work immediatly.
One more important thing mentioned is to choose the right vowels for different voice tasks and to pronounce this vowles the right way.
The ‘Complete Vocal Technique‘ is build upon four main topics:

.Three overall principles .Sound colour
. Four vocal – modes .Effects

The three overall principles
This three principles are the fundament for the whole technique and they must be remaind at all times. They enable the singer to manage the whole tone range, sing long phrases, produce a powerfull and clear sound and have a healthy tone production.
1. Support:
The support is working against the natural force of the diaphragm to release the inhalted breath to early. Several muscles of the respiratory system are used to controle the flow of breath while voice production. It is descrbed as tough manual labor and necessary for the production of high notes and at the end of long phrases.
2. Necessary twang
The necessary twang is described as the narrowing of the epilarynx, by bringing the arytenoids closer to the lower part of the epiglottis. The resulting sound is described as clearer and less breathy. Furthermore an increase of sound volume is mentioned while using twang. It is said that twnag is necessary in all tone productions and qualities for a more easy and unhindered use of the voice. Interesting is the statement, that ‘For many this necessary twang does not sound twanged at all.‘
Avoiding protruding the jaw and tightening the lips
‘CVT‘ advises to avoid protuding the jaw and to thighten the lips, because of possible uncontroled constriction arround the vocal cords. The lower part of the jaw should be pulled backwards relative to the upper jaw. This position should be remained while tone production. In addition to that the mouth should be opened wider for high and low notes.
The articulation of the vowels should be done mostly with the tongue. The lip tension which occurs while pronouncing different consonants should be released imediatly.

The four vocal modes
Sadolin claims that the use of the voice can be subdivided into four vocal modes.
They are contrasted by their different amount of metallic character, general sound character and their limitation of the vocal range.
The only not metallic mode is mostly very soft and can be produced with or without breath on the tone. It can be produced on all vowles, with all sound colours and thourghout the whole range.
It is used in pop music, heard in lullabies and choirs, but in his breathy quality very view in classical music. Without breath it can be found in soft parts of classical pieces.
2. Curbing
Crubing is discribed as a plaintive or restrained like sound with a slightly metallic character. It is the only half metallic mode. It occurs when establishing a so called ‘hold‘, where the singer in a way holds back the sound. It can be used throughout the whole range. In very high or low parts of the range it is necessary to use specific vowels to remain curbing mode.
It is heard in popular music like soul and r&b when singing medium volumen. In classical music it is heard in the male voice singing medium volume thoughout the whole range and in female voices in the mid to low range when singing loud.
The limitation is in volume, singing really loud or really soft leads to a mode change.

3. Overdrive
In everyday live overdrive can be heard when shouting or calling. It has a direct and loud character and is used when speaking or singing loud in the low and middle part of the range.
It is one of two full – metallic modes and is heard in popular music, especially in hard rock music, when high volume and a great amount of metallic sound is desired.
Throughout the classical music it is found in mens voices in medium loud to very loud sounds and in womens voices in low parts of the range.
Specially for women it has a limitation in pitch. The upper limit is D2/Eb2 and for men C2, there are no limits in the low range. But to remain the overdrive mode in high parts of the range only two vowels are adviced to use, the ‘EH‘ as in ‘stay‘ and the ‘OH‘ as in ‘so‘.
The sound perception of shouting and calling increases with higher notes. In low parts of the range it is possible to decrease the volume a bit without loosing overdrive.

4. Edge
The vocal mode edge is discribed as a full – metallic mode which can be heard when screaming. A loud, sharp, agressive and light sound which is mostly heard in the high part of the vocal range. The twang sound is necessary to produce edge. Therefore it is important to use twangy vowles while singing in edge.
It has no pitch limitations and can be used in all parts of the range. Mostly heard in heavy metal and gospel music, edge is never used by female voices in classical music. Only in mens voices in the highest and loudest part of the voice.
It is not recommended to change the sound colour in high parts. Edge is mostly light and loud in the high part of the range.53

Sound colour
It is said that the shape of the vocal track has an tremendous impact on the sound colour of the voice. Due to the anatomical shape of the individual the sound colour differs.
‘CVT‘ advices to first have mastered the three overall principles and be shure to produce the vocal modes the right way before changing the sound colour.
These structures of the vocal trackt are mentioned to be important in having impact on the colour of the sound:
.shape of the epiglottic funnel
.position of the larynx
.shape of the tongue
.shape of the mouth
.position of the soft palate
.opening or closing of the nasal passages
The factors should be trained individually for perfect mastery, before combining them with the vocal modes.

C. Sadolin integrates sound effects in her technique, which can be added to the voice to underline the sound or the expression of a singer.
It is said that creating sound effects is highly dependend on the character of the singer.
It must be designed individually and with caution for the singers instrument.
Effects presented in ‘CVT‘ are:

.Creak and creaking
.Intentional vocal breaks
.Air added to the voice
.Ornamentation technique (rapid run of notes)

Before starting to use effects it is recommended to master the overall principles, the vocal modes and the sound colour changes.55

Twang in Complete Vocal Technique

The expression twang can be found in different parts of the technique.
Most interesting is that twang is part of the overall principles, the basic requirements to master the rest of the technique. And it is part of the structures which have impact on the sound colour of the voice.

C. Sadolin makes a distinction between the necessary twang and the distinctive twang.
It is recommended to master both, on the one hand to create a light and free sound and on the other hand to influence the sound colour.
The anatomical feature causing the twang sound is described as narrowing of the epilarynx. The epilarynx is described as a horn like funnel which can be moved into different shapes. When the arytenoids move closer to the lowest part of the epiglottis ( Petiolus epiglottis ), the epilaryngeal funnel narrows and creates twang. It is said that the resulting sound can be more light and less breathy. Furthermore the volume can increase about 10 – 15 decibel only by using twang. ‘CVT‘ underlines the importance of necessary twang for voice production and mentiones that the necessary twang doesn‘t even sound twangy to many people.
For distinctive twang the epilaryngeal funnel needs to narrow even more. It is said that the tighter the epilaryngeal funnel ( by means, the more twang ) the sharper the sound.

It seems to be an important part of the technique to enable the singer to understand the anatomical structures and mechanics of the human voice.
To understand twang one can find a short anatomical explanation and figures about how twang is created ( see above and Fig. 11 ). This implies, that the technique assumes that knowledge of the anatomical background helps the singer to learn different vocal skills.

Figure 11. Narrowing of the epilarynx60
Manual for necessary Twang
To find the necessary twang it is teached to first make a most distinctive twang sound.
If this is mastered the singer should practice to reduce the amount of twang, to create the necessary twang.
For orientation a sound example is given.
This encourages the singer to learn via immitation.

Manual for distinctive Twang
The distinctive twang described as more sharp and penetraitng, is compared to the cackling or quackling of a duck, etc. This shows that the methodology of ‘CVT‘ is also build upon pictures and metaphors to teach twang to the singer.
To teach the singer how to twang C. Sadolin gives a lot of sound examples ( all presented in the ‘CVT Sound Library‘ ) and motivates the singer to imitate them.

.the cry of a baby
.the quackling of a duck
.loughing like a whitch
.speaking like somebody with a cunning, evil plan
.the sound of a diving plane
.the sound of a toy car
.the sound of a loud ambulance siren
.the russian ‘nijet‘ or the ‘miau‘ of a cat without the ‘u‘

‘CVT‘ teaches that the distincitve twang is best to produce on certain vowels, which are also presented in the ‘CVT Sound Library‘.

.‘I‘ ( like in the german word ‘Liebe‘ )
.‘EE‘ ( like in the german word ‘Edel‘ )
.‘AE‘ ( like in the german word ‘Echt‘ )
.‘Ö‘ ( like in the german word ‘Öhr‘ )
.‘Ä‘ ( like in the german word ‘lässig‘ )

These vowels are presented because they stimulating a high tongue position, where the sides of the tongue blade touching the upper back teeth. This contributes the narrowing process of the epilaryngs.

The vowels ‘OH‘ ( like in the english word ‘go‘ ), ‘OO‘ ( like in the german word ‘oder‘ ), ‘U‘ (like in the german word ‘Uhu‘ ) and ‘A‘ ( like in the german word ‘aber‘ ), are described as problematic because of the lowering movement of the tongue root, which stimulates that the twang ( epilaryngeal narrowing ) gets lost. So it is tought that the ‘OH‘, ‘OO‘ and ‘U‘ should be coloured in the direction of an ‘Ö‘ sound. ‘Oh‘ should be changed to ‘OHÖ‘, ‘OO‘ to ‘OOÖ‘, ‘U‘ to ‘UÖ‘ and ‘A‘ to ‘Ä‘.

Finally the singers is toughed to practice necessary twang first on single notes and then on different scales throughout the range. The same should be practiced with distinctive twang.
Following this the singer should work on a whole piece of music in both. It is said that sound colour mechanics like twang , the position of the larynx, etc, the vocal modes and the overall principles must be mastered before mixing them.

Variations of twang / combination of twang with other epilaryngeal structures
The first combiation mentioned is the positioning of the velum, also called soft palat.
It is mentioned to point out, that the sound twang is not necessarily nasal.
There are no special practices in the technique combining the movement of the velum and twang.

The secound variation is a lowered larynx. Combining a lowered larynx and twang is described in resulting in a draker and more runded sound. It is said that this combination is often found in classical music, where twang is used to emplify the voice, when singing without a microphone.
To find twang with a lowered larynx a sound example is given and several metaphors and instructions are given:
.lift the velum and imagine to inhale a lot of breath
.imagine the epilarynx as a thin tube that you squeeze into a longish, thin form
.imagine that this longish, thin tube is surrounded by air
.imagine that in this longish and thin tube a tone rises without touching the walls
.place a thumb behind the top front teeth, feel the sensation in the throat – it is as if the palate is building up a re – stand against the movement of the thumb.

Summary methodology
The following methods can be found in the Complete Vocal Technique to teach twang:

.knowledge of the anatomical background
.pictures and metaphors
.imitating sound examples
.the usage of certain vowles leading to anatomical settings contributing twang
.note, scale and musical practice with on seperated part of the technique

It is possible to visit workshops and buy the book.
Check out the wesite for further informations: www.cvt.com

Peace out(::!