mermaid and prince, simultaneously
December 2, 2007 6:25 PM   Subscribe

Part of your world, the Little Mermaid's song, sung amazingly by a man.

goonieman86 sings both boy and girl parts as well in his version of A Whole New World from Disney's Aladdin. The boy's part up till 1 minute and then shifting into falsetto and doing the girl's part. Nick Pitera's blog. Seems he's a talented cartoonist as well.
posted by nickyskye (73 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Click here, in case you want to vote for him in the contest ending tomorrow; the prize.
posted by nickyskye at 6:31 PM on December 2, 2007


pro tools?
posted by rbs at 6:33 PM on December 2, 2007


Protools? I could do it in cooledit.
posted by pompomtom at 6:34 PM on December 2, 2007


No workstation tools needed. After all, it's just a straight recording.
posted by bz at 6:39 PM on December 2, 2007


pro tools?

Do you have a point to make?
posted by itchylick at 6:41 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Damn. Just damn. Wow. Your post title references Prince, who of course has a killing falsetto, but what strikes me about this fellow is not simply the falsetto but the very feminine quality his voice has. He really does sound like a woman. Uncanny. It's a bit hard to believe, actually, and my first impression was that this is a lip-sync, but there are those men out there with a truly "womanly" voice, and this guy appears to be one of them.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:42 PM on December 2, 2007


If this is lip sync it is the best, most perfect lip sync I've ever seen. Period.
posted by bz at 6:44 PM on December 2, 2007


Just clicked on his blog page that you linked to, though, which features "in progress Lip Sync stills", so... hmmm...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:46 PM on December 2, 2007


I'm with you on that, bz. That would, for me as well, constitute the BEST LIP-SYNC EVARRRR, if it's in fact a lip-sync.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:47 PM on December 2, 2007


I love countertenors.
posted by Pants! at 6:47 PM on December 2, 2007


countertenor. This one was better (previously).
posted by cogneuro at 6:47 PM on December 2, 2007


er... related.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:51 PM on December 2, 2007


His "manly" singing voice is just as good. He sings the male and female parts of another song here.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:53 PM on December 2, 2007


pff, this guy and Nomi aren't even in the same universe.

But yeah, I think his overdone delivery is pretty annoying.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:53 PM on December 2, 2007


But yeah, I think his overdone delivery is pretty annoying.

But AV, that's what the American Idol generation needs!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:56 PM on December 2, 2007


flapjax, I don't think it is a lip sync for a few reasons: He's posted his Youtube video to a BroadwayWorld.com contest, "Give Us Your Voice" There's the additional video of him singing A Whole New World on his Youtube page (my second link) and another video of him with just sound, singing harmony with himself, Someday. His animations would need lip syncing but that doesn't mean his singing is lip syncing. And lastly, he names himself before he sings, Nick Pitera. Doesn't seem like something a hoaxer would do. But who knows? I think it's legit.
posted by nickyskye at 6:59 PM on December 2, 2007


I think it's legit.
posted by dobbs at 7:01 PM on December 2, 2007


I'll give it to the guy that he certainly can sing, but I was thrown off by his random transitions between soft, whispery falsetto voice and the belting it on broadway voice. That is a nice transition on the ears when it makes sense emotionally or musically in the piece. With this guy, more often than not it seems like he just can't hold one voice, and so slips into the other, sometimes halfway through a word.
posted by i less than three nsima at 7:05 PM on December 2, 2007


He's a human lyre bird.
posted by pokermonk at 7:10 PM on December 2, 2007


Nice. He should try out This Woman's Work a la Maxwell, via Kate Bush.
posted by empyrean at 7:11 PM on December 2, 2007


In the A Whole New World song his female voice seems to crack a little, adding to the veracity of his abilities.
posted by Memo at 7:18 PM on December 2, 2007


That bird was lip syncing.
posted by cogneuro at 7:32 PM on December 2, 2007


Somewhat related to mer-people and high voices, check out Vitas, mentioned here - Voice of Vitas - a few months ago in a similar thread.
posted by raygirvan at 7:33 PM on December 2, 2007


I almost posted this this afternoon, then thought it wouldn't be interesting enough for a FPP. Heh.

That said, this guy has talent. An unusual talent, but talent. I prefer his masculine singing voice though, not because it's more expected, but because it just sounds nice.
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:36 PM on December 2, 2007


That bird was lip beak syncing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:38 PM on December 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


beak syncing. ha!
posted by nickyskye at 7:41 PM on December 2, 2007


What an amazing talent. I mean, don't get me wrong, maybe if he picked another song, I'd feel different. But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much football I watch, how much beer I drink, or how loud I fart in public - I'll always have a soft spot for The Little Mermaid. (If you're in your late twenties, you know what the fuck I'm talking about.)
posted by phaedon at 7:56 PM on December 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Did anybody else detect a relentless, and hilarious, note of satire in this? Not only did he perfectly impersonate every saccharine, cloying turn of phrase favored by contemporary singing, but he took them to school.

When he dropped into his nature pleasing voice for the spoken word parts, it killed.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:00 PM on December 2, 2007 [5 favorites]


AZ nails it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:03 PM on December 2, 2007


phaedon, man, I love your cojones for saying that. And AZ, I totally agree with you about the satirical mischief. I was wondering if Disney or Broadway picked this guy up how the hell are they going to put his talent to use? Like maybe the multiple personality disordered Genie in Aladdin, played by Robin Williams? Somebody would have to create a role for this guy. But what role?

ps pants, thanks for the new vocab. Never heard of the word countertenor before and have been enjoying listening to Russell Oberlin's Bach Cantata No. 54 on YouTube. Bliss. The YT vid of Flammende Rose by Handel sung by countertenor Ian Howell is so beautiful it made me cry.
posted by nickyskye at 8:07 PM on December 2, 2007


beak syncing. ha!

Yeah, I thought I'd actually come up with something original there with that quip, but of course a quick googling disavowed me of such illusions.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:08 PM on December 2, 2007


This version of Ursula is pretty damn cool.
posted by Rubbstone at 8:09 PM on December 2, 2007


isn't this great? a perfect say to be at sea. the salt sea air, the wind blowing in your face? a perfect day to be at se. ah yes, delightful. a fine stong wind and a following sea - king triton must be in a friendly type mood! king triton? ruler of the merfolk young lad, thought every good sailor knew about him. eric, pay no attention to this nautical nonsense. taint nonsense, it's the truth! i'm tellin ya down in the depths of the ocean they live alone!

Yeah more than a soft spot, I have the whole thing committed to memory. My rendtion of the scene where Triton smashed up her grotto is wrenching.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:10 PM on December 2, 2007


My favorite version of this song comes from Negativland by way of a mole Disney animator.
posted by argybarg at 8:15 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's like the evil-universe Nancy Cartwright.
posted by odinsdream at 8:16 PM on December 2, 2007


nature pleasing voice

What the fuck did I just say? Of course, I meant "natural speaking" voice. But now I desperately want to hear a nature pleasing voice.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:27 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and there's this one, which has also been here before.
posted by raygirvan at 8:28 PM on December 2, 2007


Am I the only one reminded of This American Life's Greatest Phone Message of All Time?
posted by sdrawkcab at 8:28 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's bloody good.. but he's no Joey Arias.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:29 PM on December 2, 2007


He simply has a voice with an incredible range of octaves. He hits those notes naturally without going into a falsetto. He has natural talent but the vocal cords are muscles and he could very well have simply worked hard and practiced enough to expand his range and overcome notes his voice might've broken on before. I have a wide range, but I know that when I'm singing and practicing a lot, I am able to hit things easily that I may have struggle through before. The muscles get stronger and the voice expands.

It looks like a girl from Irvine is currently beating him. She has over 13,000 votes. It's a tough call because his voice is clearly more trained and he sustains the notes much, much better than she does. She doesn't use her breath enough, she lets all of her notes drop away far too soon for a Broadway tune. But she is better at the conversational aspects of the song. And she's not singing in a studio, she's just webcamming it. And she's cute.

He's awfully talented though. So I hope someone important notices him and he gets something out of this if he doesn't win.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:41 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's different amounts of reverb on the "female" singing voice and his spoken word parts. If it's his voice at all, he's lip syncing to himself in the vocal booth.

Fake.
posted by emelenjr at 9:05 PM on December 2, 2007


I find that hard to believe. Frankly, when you're paying for studio time and an engineer cueing up backing tracks, you don't lip sync. To lip sync he could've just done a web cam like everyone else.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:09 PM on December 2, 2007


If it was done in a soundproofed studio, there shouldn't be reverb at all. That's known as a 'dry' vocal. If it has reverb at all, it had to have been added at post.
posted by empath at 9:19 PM on December 2, 2007


I believe it's real... and cheesy. But he's definitely VERY talented.
posted by kdern at 9:28 PM on December 2, 2007


Hard to believe?

There is most definitely reverb on the female vocal track, and his spoken intro (and also the spoken line in the song, although it's harder to tell there because of the music surrounding it) is dry.

I could be wrong, but I still think that if that's his voice doing the female singing, the video clip shows him lip syncing to a recording of himself singing.
posted by emelenjr at 9:33 PM on December 2, 2007


Where's Clay Aiken's version?
posted by Ynoxas at 9:37 PM on December 2, 2007


wierd. he had 3,000 more votes an hour or so ago, when the link hit digg.
posted by empath at 9:41 PM on December 2, 2007


Yeah, he had like 13k votes when I voted. Weird.
posted by dobbs at 9:54 PM on December 2, 2007


If it was done in a soundproofed studio, there shouldn't be reverb at all. That's known as a 'dry' vocal. If it has reverb at all, it had to have been added at post.

That is correct. Actually, if you just used the video camera's sound feed, there would've been no music since that's what the headset is for. So what I believe is that he recorded it in one take (I have done this many times, so don't tell me it can't be done. He's clearly trained well enough to knock out one good take.) and then had the final song put into the track for the video. Just like a regular music video. This is not uncommon. If I was going to make a video of myself singing jazz while recording in studio, that's exactly what I'd do too... if a nice studio version of the take was available of course I'd want that to be what people heard with the video instead of tinny in-studio acapella.

The guy did a professional job is all, he's obviously coming from a different place musically than the girls who are singing into webcams in their bedrooms. Does that mean his singing is fake? Of course not.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:09 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually, one thing would make what I just said different. If they were shooting the video from the engineer's sound booth. You can hear everything in there, and they can add reverb on the spot.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:12 PM on December 2, 2007


There would be ways to have the live feed from the mixing booth back into the camera's microphone feed so I really don't think reverb is proof of lip synching.

Quite a talent, this guy. I love is whole new world duet.
posted by Brainy at 10:27 PM on December 2, 2007


Mannered, and the pitch is not always quite certain, but a damn good set of pipes.
posted by Wolof at 10:36 PM on December 2, 2007


the reverb is only changing in ways that could be followed by the sound engineers, right? then nbd, they're pulling takes.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:38 PM on December 2, 2007


Seems real enough to me, but I thought it was a little strange that his girl voice was in much better tune than his man voice range. His timing was also different between the two voices for the Aladdin song. He was way behind the beat for the boy part while his girl part was a little in front. Maybe he just doesn't practice singing in a normal range?
posted by mexican at 11:32 PM on December 2, 2007


If it was done in a soundproofed studio, there shouldn't be reverb at all.

I don't understand this. You can run a mic into a reverb unit and have it go out into another track so that you can have a dry and wet vocal. Or, as it seems here, you can run it out as wet and have reverbed vocals, even in a soundproof vocal booth. You can also, on a lot of digital reverb units, use a gate to deaden it. I'm not picking on empath, since there are several others who have brought it up, I'm just wondering why it would have to be done in post. And if it was done in post production, does that make it less real? From what I've heard, he goes off pitch enough times that if they were pulling in different takes, wouldn't they have fixed that as well?

Thanks for posting this, nickyskye. I don't know that I've ever actually seen The Little Mermaid, but that's a pretty great vocal track.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:00 AM on December 3, 2007


yeah, i didn't mean post-production really, just the reverb had to have come from an effect, not the room itself.
posted by empath at 12:05 AM on December 3, 2007


I will bet you thirty dollars that the reverb doesn't change between the singing and speaking.
posted by pokermonk at 12:22 AM on December 3, 2007


(that is, the setting has not been altered.)
posted by pokermonk at 12:25 AM on December 3, 2007


See also: Castrati.
posted by Ljubljana at 1:35 AM on December 3, 2007


See also: Castrati.

DO NOT WANT
posted by grouse at 2:10 AM on December 3, 2007


This was really good, thanks.

Put me in the "I believe" camp. When I was training my voice* there was a time when I had access to a similar range without falsetto (although not with his skill; years of smoking and neglect stuffed up my original classical training); these days the lower range has atrophied because I don't use it any more.

*I promise that I will one day post in a thread without making my comment somehow related to trans crap :p

Regarding reverb/notreverb, couldn't he just have asked the mixdesk gnome to fade in a bit of processing for whichever range he thought was his weaker? (IANAMDG)
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:46 AM on December 3, 2007


yeah, i didn't mean post-production really, just the reverb had to have come from an effect, not the room itself.

Why would you think this needed pointing out? Obviously the sound we're hearing in the video is not being captured inside the vocal booth, considering it has a backing track in it. There's nothing about this that seems fake.

Anyway, his singing is good, but as mentioned above his dynamics are problematic. More compression might've helped, but his tone changes a lot along with his volume.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:54 AM on December 3, 2007


Am I the only one who freaked the fuck out on closing their browser as soon as they figured out that was him singing?
posted by schroedinger at 9:00 AM on December 3, 2007


dobbs, Thanks for pointing out the weirdness of the points thing. when I voted it was above 11,000 and then dropped suddenly to 9000 something. Huh. Wonder if they took their cue from the Presidential election voting system

Hanging chads notwithstanding, I really wish Nick a lot of success. His singing is surreal. I love the way his flexible voice goes from whispery to opening up into Broadway depth and bigness. Unlike all the other singers mentioned in this thread, most of whom have a sort of trick pony style, Nick's changes into the higher or lower range are very versatile and don't sound strained at all. Like Pants! said, I think this guy is a true countertenor. He's handsome too. *sigh
posted by nickyskye at 9:09 AM on December 3, 2007


*one trick pony style
posted by nickyskye at 9:11 AM on December 3, 2007


I knew a guy when I was in undergrad at IU that had a non-falsetto range that was close to a female alto's (along with a very long falsetto range). However, his voice was reedy and glassy, whereas this guy's sound is very realistically "female." I'm particularly impressed with how he occasionally breaks into what sounds like a female "belt" stage style. I've done lots of countertenor stuff in my time, and I can assure you that that sound is nearly impossible to do for a (normal) guy.
posted by LMGM at 10:01 AM on December 3, 2007


(...to the extent that I could be considered normal.)

not much
posted by LMGM at 10:02 AM on December 3, 2007


There's nothing about this that seems fake.

I didn't say it was. Someone said the reverb changed, and I just pointed out, that if there is reverb, it had to have been added afterwards, regardless, so it doesn't matter.
posted by empath at 10:35 AM on December 3, 2007


I'm just saying that pointing out that the reverb wasn't an acoustical property of the vocal booth is like saying that the actor playing Superman can't actually fly. The audio was obviously coming from the mixing desk and not from the vocal booth.

And no, it doesn't have to be added afterwards. It could've been recorded with reverb in real time.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:47 AM on December 3, 2007


A CD for this guy, one man a capella group?
posted by nickyskye at 12:32 PM on December 3, 2007


empyrean: "Nice. He should try out This Woman's Work a la Maxwell , via Kate Bush."

empyrean, I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I hadn't thought of this song for a long time and Maxwell's version is awesome.
posted by bove at 2:40 PM on December 3, 2007


This seems entirely legit. I'm not a good singer by any means, but I sang quite a bit when I was a boy alto, and by now I'm a baritone with a very well-developed falsetto. My "chest voice" range is extremely limited (probably from about G at the bottom of the bass clef staff to G or A above it), but my falsetto -- which sounds like a weak little boy -- goes up almost two octaves higher.

When this guy sings the girl parts, it's breathy in spots, which I think is a tell-tale sign of the falsetto. When he "sweetens" the ends of the girl phrases with a little Shania Twain-esque vibrato, this breathiness goes away since he's using more of a "mixed" chest-head voice.

At any rate, it's really cool. The guy's got chops.
posted by rossination at 8:20 PM on December 3, 2007


it's breathy in spots, which I think is a tell-tale sign of the falsetto. When he "sweetens" the ends of the girl phrases with a little Shania Twain-esque vibrato, this breathiness goes away since he's using more of a "mixed" chest-head voice.

Sounds like a reasonable description.

As of this morning:
Nick P - Sarasota, FL
Votes: 15924

Jennifer C
Irvine, CA - Part of Your World
Votes: 14711
posted by nickyskye at 6:12 AM on December 4, 2007


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