Periodically measuring the vitals is the key to staying healthy. Depending on our needs and age, we keep track of various metrics as preventive measures to remain healthy.
While general health matters to all of us, the health of the voice matters the most to singers. Voice is the most significant asset of a singer.
Accurately measuring the quality of voice is not ubiquitous. Celebrated singers can afford voice coaches to measure, improve, and maintain the quality of their voices. The rest of us take opinions from non-professionals and make our moves blindly. We are solving this latent need at Riyaz.
Riyaz is on a mission to democratise the access to accurate measurement of a singer’s voice every time he/she sings. It’s probably the first of its kind in the world.
Getting deep insights about our voices
The most important quality measures of a singer’s voice are the following.
- Pitch accuracy
- Vocal range
- Breath capacity
- Breath control
- Voice agility
Pitch accuracy is the ability to accurately sing the correct notes in a melody.
When we go off pitch while singing, it’s apparent to everyone who listens to it. It takes numerous practice attempts to perfect it, but the effort can be significantly lowered if a singer always measures his/her attempts accurately every time and reflects on them to improve.
Riyaz measures pitch accuracy by comparing the notes of the original singer to the aspiring singer and provides it as a % measure for every singing attempt.
For instance, take a look at the detailed voice metrics of a singer on Riyaz who sang the popular song Left and Right by Charlie Puth.
Vocal range is the span from the lowest to the highest note one’s voice can produce. Usually this is measured as in Octaves.
In Indian classical music, an octave is called saptak and has seven notes called swara. These notes are sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni (similar to the Western do re mi fa so la ti). Each octave has three variations – Lower Octave or Mandra Saptak, Middle Octave or Madhya Saptak and Higher Octave or Taar Saptak.
The ability to sing in multiple octaves is considered to be one of the most important qualities of a good singer.
To sing the above mentioned popular Malayalam song “Pramadavanam”, a singer must have a vocal range of 2.2 octaves. A vocal range of 2 to 2.5 is considered to be very good for a singer. Riyaz measures and shows the vocal range of every singing attempt.
Breath capacity refers to a specific aspect of breath control – lung capacity.
There is a strong correlation between the lung capacity and ability to sing because lungs are essential organs to produce sound. If the lung capacity is fully extended we can easily control the flow of air across our vocal chords.
Riyaz measures one’s ability to sing comfortably in a single unbroken breath in seconds.
Control over breath will round the tone and make the voice fuller. It allows us to project the sound better and extend our range.
The stomach, not chest, rises when we breathe from the diaphragm. This gives tighter control over the release of air across the vocal cords.
If we need to perform a song like the one below live, we must have impeccable breath control. Riyaz’s Breath control score for this song is 0.99 in a range between 0 to 1.
Any songs with a breath control score of 0.6 or above requires very good expertise to control the breath while singing.
Riyaz measures and shows this for every singing attempt.
It is the ability to sing fast melodic phrases accurately.
If one needs to perform a song which has fast moving notes or the intervals between notes are very short, the voice needs to be agile.
Listen to this song Aayi Jhoom Ke Diwani by Asha Bhonsle is a great example to have good agility over the voice to sing. Riyaz’s Voice agility score for this song is also 0.99 in a range between 0 to 1.
Similar to breath control, any song with an agility score of 0.6 needs very good expertise to sing those phrases fast while maintaining the pitch throughout. Along with other metrics, Riyaz measures voice agility as well.
As Lord Kelvin, one of the most eminent scientists of the nineteenth century, says,
Ready to measure your voice yet? If yes, consider doing it on Riyaz!