Author Topic: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread  (Read 4674 times)

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Offline Tomislav95

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2016, 08:55:03 AM »
I think Portnoy made some nice backing vocal contributions to DT, i always liked when he sang backings together with Petrucci.
Especially this https://youtu.be/pWD8Us5qSqQ?t=156
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Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2016, 08:56:41 AM »

I'm still interested in hearing the JLB vocals.

It's not exactly what you're looking for, but MP posted links to some different approaches they tried with that vocal. The 2nd link has an interesting Labrie section underneath the harsher vocals.

http://www.mikeportnoy.com/forum/tm.aspx?m=2352022&high=Nightmare+to+remember


Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2016, 10:36:07 AM »
I wish it had half the JLB vocals and the end "how can you prepare"
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Offline Art

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2016, 11:28:30 AM »
I think Portnoy made some nice backing vocal contributions to DT, i always liked when he sang backings together with Petrucci.
Especially this https://youtu.be/pWD8Us5qSqQ?t=156

classic!  :lol :lol :lol

Offline bosk1

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2016, 12:12:32 PM »
I always enjoyed his vocal parts.  There is only one I can think of that didn't really work for me (the "rooooooaaaaarrrr!" in ANTR).

Same here.

I find it funny people complain about DT using backing tracks, but forget they used them on PoW live with the backing vocals in the verses, those awesome high pitch MP vocals, which I expected him to do live.
A couple of things:
- Those particular vocals would be impossible to recreate live, due to it being so many voices. Just about all other live vocals they ever did in those days were always live.
- Nobody was lip synching to that backing track so nobody tried to pass it off as live, when it wasn't. Which is what they do these days

As much shit as some people give MP's vocals, for the most part I thought he was an excellent backing vocalist. And his insistence to always to it proper live was always something that I respected. I don't really respect Petrucci when he's lipsynching but all I hear are layers of Labrie vocals. Or even worse, a single Labrie vocal seemingly coming out of Petrucci's mouth. (The Mirror on Breaking The Forth Wall.)

Fair point if you prefer the past way of doing things where all of the backing vocals were done live.  But I have to vigorously disagree with your point about lip synching and, as you put it, "trying to pass it off as live, when it wasn't."  They don't do that, and this has been gone over in detail in other threads.  Yes, they are piping in triggered backup vocals that are clearly James' layered backing tracks.  That isn't in dispute.  And if you don't like that, that's perfectly fine and is your prerogative.  But JP is positively NOT lip synching.  I know this for two reasons:

1.  When I saw them on the DT12 tour, I was right up against the stage and close enough that I could hear him singing (even though I could not hear him coming through the PA).  And I was especially listening to hear whether he was singing because it was already being discussed on the forums at that point in time that people thought he might be lip synching (and if I am not misremembering, I believe some of that discussion was in connection with Luna Park because it had been released by that point and the same issue appeared to be going on there). 

2.  I asked him.  And I mentioned the same thing--that on LP, it looked like he was not actually singing because there was no vocal track where you could actually hear him, but it looked like he was mouthing the words, and you could hear the JLB backing track.  And I told him about the forum speculation that he was lip synching.  And he told me that, no, he is indeed singing and not lip synching, but that he does not consider himself nearly the singer James is, so while they wanted his voice added to the backing vocals for texture, he was very low in the mix. 

Now, is it possible he was not being truthful with me?  Sure.  But given that I was able to verify for myself at the show I was at that he was actually singing, and given that I am not aware of any time he has ever been untruthful with me in the past, the most reasonable conclusion is that he was telling the truth and that he does not lip synch.  I don't know whether his backing track on the two live releases in question is missing from the final mixes, or whether it is just buried so low in the mixes that you can't hear it.  But all credible information suggests that he is singing in harmony with the trigged JLB backing track and not lip synching.  So it is annoying to say the least to have to continually see people continuing to perpetuate the incorrect facts about the supposed lip synching.
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Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2016, 12:13:20 PM »
I always enjoyed his vocal parts.  There is only one I can think of that didn't really work for me (the "rooooooaaaaarrrr!" in ANTR).
I really like that part! I also see the humor in it too.
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Offline Lynxo

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2016, 01:29:12 AM »
I always enjoyed his vocal parts.  There is only one I can think of that didn't really work for me (the "rooooooaaaaarrrr!" in ANTR).

Same here.

I find it funny people complain about DT using backing tracks, but forget they used them on PoW live with the backing vocals in the verses, those awesome high pitch MP vocals, which I expected him to do live.
A couple of things:
- Those particular vocals would be impossible to recreate live, due to it being so many voices. Just about all other live vocals they ever did in those days were always live.
- Nobody was lip synching to that backing track so nobody tried to pass it off as live, when it wasn't. Which is what they do these days

As much shit as some people give MP's vocals, for the most part I thought he was an excellent backing vocalist. And his insistence to always to it proper live was always something that I respected. I don't really respect Petrucci when he's lipsynching but all I hear are layers of Labrie vocals. Or even worse, a single Labrie vocal seemingly coming out of Petrucci's mouth. (The Mirror on Breaking The Forth Wall.)

Fair point if you prefer the past way of doing things where all of the backing vocals were done live.  But I have to vigorously disagree with your point about lip synching and, as you put it, "trying to pass it off as live, when it wasn't."  They don't do that, and this has been gone over in detail in other threads.  Yes, they are piping in triggered backup vocals that are clearly James' layered backing tracks.  That isn't in dispute.  And if you don't like that, that's perfectly fine and is your prerogative.  But JP is positively NOT lip synching.  I know this for two reasons:

1.  When I saw them on the DT12 tour, I was right up against the stage and close enough that I could hear him singing (even though I could not hear him coming through the PA).  And I was especially listening to hear whether he was singing because it was already being discussed on the forums at that point in time that people thought he might be lip synching (and if I am not misremembering, I believe some of that discussion was in connection with Luna Park because it had been released by that point and the same issue appeared to be going on there). 

2.  I asked him.  And I mentioned the same thing--that on LP, it looked like he was not actually singing because there was no vocal track where you could actually hear him, but it looked like he was mouthing the words, and you could hear the JLB backing track.  And I told him about the forum speculation that he was lip synching.  And he told me that, no, he is indeed singing and not lip synching, but that he does not consider himself nearly the singer James is, so while they wanted his voice added to the backing vocals for texture, he was very low in the mix. 

Now, is it possible he was not being truthful with me?  Sure.  But given that I was able to verify for myself at the show I was at that he was actually singing, and given that I am not aware of any time he has ever been untruthful with me in the past, the most reasonable conclusion is that he was telling the truth and that he does not lip synch.  I don't know whether his backing track on the two live releases in question is missing from the final mixes, or whether it is just buried so low in the mixes that you can't hear it.  But all credible information suggests that he is singing in harmony with the trigged JLB backing track and not lip synching.  So it is annoying to say the least to have to continually see people continuing to perpetuate the incorrect facts about the supposed lip synching.
Fair enough, I wouldn't believe he was lying either. (Even if I do find it weird that he even bother if he can't be heard by neither the live audience, nor the DVD viewers.)
But what about The Mirror? While it doesn't sound like Portnoy on Breaking The Fourth Wall, I could swear it sounds like Labrie. Is he underneath those vocals as well? If he is so low in the mix that you can't even hear him when he sings the call and response sections, then what's the point?

I don't think I read those threads you mention so apologies if this has already been resolved.
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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2016, 08:09:31 AM »
Schmedley Wilcox.  MP wales during the 8VM section.  What's not to love?   :lol
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Offline CableX

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2016, 07:56:13 PM »
Yeah, about the original post and thread, I really miss MP's backing vocals. Especially live, and is a glaring hole in the band to me. I really wish JR would step up to the plate with something regarding vocals.

I feel with Transatlantic, MP upped his game because he kind of had to. And outside of LSFNY-Home, and some other earlier stuff around that time, he really did improve. Even though I thought stuff like TDEN and *that* ANTR section were duds, so many other things shined. I liked his full range- from the Beautiful Agony section of ANTR, to AROP during the verse, and CM, I felt he did so well. And even though I like the sound of JP's voice a little more, it was clear with Wither vs. TBOT vocal demos that MP had to use less autotune.
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Offline PetFish

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2016, 08:21:51 PM »
It's not about "stepping up to the plate", Jordan could do that any time, it's about what the needs of Dream Theater are right now.

It's well-documented that Jordan does what Jordan does that's right for DT and that's what fits just like he doesn't write lyrics, it's not that he can't, it's what's right for DT.  Just like what John Myung does which is not play lead bass like the (very) olden days.

Try thinking in terms of not something lacking, but something we had for a while and now we're on to something else.

Offline energythief

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2016, 11:58:49 PM »
With all due respect, I think he should keep his mouth shut and play drums.


Agreed. Would love reissues without his voice.

Offline The J-Man

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2016, 07:32:23 AM »
The fact that he can do ANY vocals live while drumming, to me, is impressive. Maybe the drummers out there don't think it's a big deal...but I'm not a drummer and I think it's awesome.

Just like with JLB, MP has some vocals that are good and some that are not so good. I'll echo the sentiment that his ANtR vocal was good up until the roar at the end of it. Not sure what I would have done differently in his place, though.

I also like his spoken part (rap or whatever) in Prophets.

Offline toro

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2016, 01:32:23 PM »
I just wanted to say that I love his vocals in the chorus of "Blind Faith" ("invisible," "predictable," "desirable," "regrettable").

Actually, I think all of his vocals on the 6DoIT album worked and enhanced those songs.
This. He was on fire on that album.
He is also pretty good in Transatlantic.
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Offline Madman Shepherd

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2016, 04:06:05 PM »
I always enjoyed his vocal parts.  There is only one I can think of that didn't really work for me (the "rooooooaaaaarrrr!" in ANTR).

Same here.

I find it funny people complain about DT using backing tracks, but forget they used them on PoW live with the backing vocals in the verses, those awesome high pitch MP vocals, which I expected him to do live.
A couple of things:
- Those particular vocals would be impossible to recreate live, due to it being so many voices. Just about all other live vocals they ever did in those days were always live.
- Nobody was lip synching to that backing track so nobody tried to pass it off as live, when it wasn't. Which is what they do these days

As much shit as some people give MP's vocals, for the most part I thought he was an excellent backing vocalist. And his insistence to always to it proper live was always something that I respected. I don't really respect Petrucci when he's lipsynching but all I hear are layers of Labrie vocals. Or even worse, a single Labrie vocal seemingly coming out of Petrucci's mouth. (The Mirror on Breaking The Forth Wall.)

Fair point if you prefer the past way of doing things where all of the backing vocals were done live.  But I have to vigorously disagree with your point about lip synching and, as you put it, "trying to pass it off as live, when it wasn't."  They don't do that, and this has been gone over in detail in other threads.  Yes, they are piping in triggered backup vocals that are clearly James' layered backing tracks.  That isn't in dispute.  And if you don't like that, that's perfectly fine and is your prerogative.  But JP is positively NOT lip synching.  I know this for two reasons:

1.  When I saw them on the DT12 tour, I was right up against the stage and close enough that I could hear him singing (even though I could not hear him coming through the PA).  And I was especially listening to hear whether he was singing because it was already being discussed on the forums at that point in time that people thought he might be lip synching (and if I am not misremembering, I believe some of that discussion was in connection with Luna Park because it had been released by that point and the same issue appeared to be going on there). 

2.  I asked him.  And I mentioned the same thing--that on LP, it looked like he was not actually singing because there was no vocal track where you could actually hear him, but it looked like he was mouthing the words, and you could hear the JLB backing track.  And I told him about the forum speculation that he was lip synching.  And he told me that, no, he is indeed singing and not lip synching, but that he does not consider himself nearly the singer James is, so while they wanted his voice added to the backing vocals for texture, he was very low in the mix. 

Now, is it possible he was not being truthful with me?  Sure.  But given that I was able to verify for myself at the show I was at that he was actually singing, and given that I am not aware of any time he has ever been untruthful with me in the past, the most reasonable conclusion is that he was telling the truth and that he does not lip synch.  I don't know whether his backing track on the two live releases in question is missing from the final mixes, or whether it is just buried so low in the mixes that you can't hear it.  But all credible information suggests that he is singing in harmony with the trigged JLB backing track and not lip synching.  So it is annoying to say the least to have to continually see people continuing to perpetuate the incorrect facts about the supposed lip synching.
Fair enough, I wouldn't believe he was lying either. (Even if I do find it weird that he even bother if he can't be heard by neither the live audience, nor the DVD viewers.)
But what about The Mirror? While it doesn't sound like Portnoy on Breaking The Fourth Wall, I could swear it sounds like Labrie. Is he underneath those vocals as well? If he is so low in the mix that you can't even hear him when he sings the call and response sections, then what's the point?

I don't think I read those threads you mention so apologies if this has already been resolved.

Whats the point?  Even if he is low in the mix to the point where he his hardly audible, it can still round out the vocals.

Also, I do believe they rerecorded MPs parts now that he isn't in the band.  So the "Temptation" part in The Mirror is probably James with some vocal effects recorded in the studio a few years ago.  Same for the spiel in The Shattered Fortress.  It sounds so different I wonder if it isnt some mystery guest like Richard Chycki or maybe its John Petrucci (or Myung!)

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #49 on: October 14, 2016, 01:37:22 PM »
I only really like MP's vocals when he was doing harmonies with James & James/John. MP and JP's voices contrast with James's voice really well in range and just tone in general. Also, MP's lead vocals in parts of The Whirlwind by TA and during the back and forth parts at the beginning of The Glass Prison work fairly well in my opinion. Other than that though, I'm not a huge fan. I wish he would have had more direction from Neal on songs like Flying Colors' Fool In My Heart and on TA's cover of Procol Harum's A Salty Dog.
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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2016, 03:49:26 PM »
I thought he did a great job with A Salty Dog.

Offline Dr. SeaWolf

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #51 on: October 16, 2016, 09:07:00 AM »
I actually really liked MP's lead vocals on "Fool in my Heart".

Offline ytserush

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2016, 12:15:44 PM »
I actually really liked MP's lead vocals on "Fool in my Heart".

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Offline Thoughtspart3

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #53 on: November 10, 2016, 11:36:16 AM »
I pretty much have always liked them.  They add some variety and a different tone to portions of songs.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #54 on: November 10, 2016, 12:08:02 PM »
I know it obviously isn't DT, but his vocals on the new NM song that was just posted are pretty terrific.
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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #55 on: November 11, 2016, 01:31:06 PM »
I think the tone of his voice is nice - different. But the way he executed certain things... "there is something that i really want you to know-ho". Adding that extra syllable to the end of 'know' instead of holding out the phrase in one breath and dropping to the next note in the melody. Live, I get that he would do that, because that would be more difficult to do while playing drums, but in the studio it seems very amateur. I mean, certainly a song could be intended to be sung in such a way, depending on what the writer is trying to convey, and that may very well be the case here, but I've noticed it happen quite often in different songs MP has sung. It's something a lot of amateurs do, thinking it will add attitude to the part. That being said, I'm not calling MP an amateur - he's clearly not. He's a world class musician. But I don't think it sounds very good. That being said, a lot of singers have their faults. James for instance, as I'm sure you all know, when singing live sometimes turns parts into a flurry of vowels where you're sitting there thinking, "what the fuck did he even say there?" hahaha. I don't mean any disrespect towards MP - it would be a much easier thing to explain in person instead of on a message board. I promise I would be coming off as much less snobby. haha. Just my thoughts on it. But overall, I think his voice is VERY fitting as a backing voice, and occasionally fitting as a lead vocal voice, depending on it's application.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #56 on: November 11, 2016, 05:05:20 PM »
I think that's a good summation.  His voice never sound terrific or anything close to that, but sometimes he can sound decent enough to not be a detriment to the song.  Other times, not so much.  A friend always says, "He's like Steve Howe; whoever told either of those guys they could sing was nuts." :lol  To be fair, Portnoy isn't nearly as atrocious as Howe as a lead vocalist, but he should still stick to mostly harmonies and the very rare lead vocal.  He is a good enough drummer and arranger to where he doesn't need to sing.

Offline Mladen

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2016, 03:30:54 AM »
Howe is a singer? I don't remember him singing any leads on Yes albums, and I always thought his solo stuff was purely instrumental, although I've never listened to any of it. Does he sing on Asia albums?

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #58 on: November 13, 2016, 10:47:59 AM »
Can't say I'm a fan, but I'm actually probably in the minority when I say that his contribution to Constant Motion was great. The back and forth with LaBrie during 2nd verse always gets my energy going.

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2016, 11:24:38 PM »
Can't say I'm a fan, but I'm actually probably in the minority when I say that his contribution to Constant Motion was great. The back and forth with LaBrie during 2nd verse always gets my energy going.
Actually, I forgot about his vocals in Constant Motion. That's another example of his leads (if you want to call them leads, more of a call and response with LaBrie than leads, but whatever) that I think really work. I really enjoy those parts in that song.
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Offline ytserush

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #60 on: December 29, 2016, 04:25:00 PM »
Howe is a singer? I don't remember him singing any leads on Yes albums, and I always thought his solo stuff was purely instrumental, although I've never listened to any of it. Does he sing on Asia albums?

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Offline Madman Shepherd

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2016, 05:28:29 PM »
Can't say I'm a fan, but I'm actually probably in the minority when I say that his contribution to Constant Motion was great. The back and forth with LaBrie during 2nd verse always gets my energy going.

I freaking love everything about that song including MP's vocals. 

I used to like his backing vocals and how they rounded out the songs (I might even have already posted that in this thread) but after hearing James post-BC&SL I really think he should remain the only vocalist in the studio. 

One key exception is Constant Motion.  I love that it is a biographical song that is general enough that most people can relate to it (like ACOS or Mirror) but not so specific that it is undoubtedly about the lyricist (TBOT).  That song might not be the most technical DT song but it is one of my favorite. 

Offline pretorios

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #62 on: December 30, 2016, 11:20:49 AM »
Most of MP's vocals weren't too bad. ANTR is patently awful on so many levels. I don't mind cookie monster vocals, if done well--Opeth's MA, for example. But MP's tone in ANTR blows goats. In fairness to Mike, however, ANYR, after it flows through the brilliant "beautiful agony" part, sort of becomes a pointless wankfest. It should've been capped at 10 minutes.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #63 on: December 30, 2016, 10:39:39 PM »
Howe is a singer? I don't remember him singing any leads on Yes albums, and I always thought his solo stuff was purely instrumental, although I've never listened to any of it. Does he sing on Asia albums?

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Wow.  Just...wow.  It's unbelievable that Howe did that on live TV.  That was beyond awful. 

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #64 on: January 05, 2017, 04:05:18 PM »
While it wasn't a vocal performance to bask in glory for, you guys do realize that he was singing the second voice and the mixing guys only managed halfway into the song to pull up the bass player's main voice, right?
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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #65 on: January 05, 2017, 08:44:35 PM »
Of course, but Howe still sang the verses by himself and sounded embarrassingly bad. I can only imagine how many people saw that, having maybe only heard of Yes, and put them on their "wow, that band sucks" list.

Offline ytserush

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #66 on: January 07, 2017, 06:13:31 PM »
Of course, but Howe still sang the verses by himself and sounded embarrassingly bad. I can only imagine how many people saw that, having maybe only heard of Yes, and put them on their "wow, that band sucks" list.

As bad as that is, and I consider it to be beyond bad in the context of Yes,  I don't mind his singing so much on his solo albums.

That said,  there's a world of difference between a professionally recorded solo album and a one off live event that most likely didn't have much of a soundcheck.


Offline ClarkeMSmith

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2017, 05:57:30 PM »
Lets put it this way.  MP utterly ruined A Nightmare to Remember, and its a song I just won't listen to thanks to him. So no, not too crazy about his vocals!  Good riddance.

Offline Herrick

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #68 on: February 13, 2017, 10:26:42 AM »
I think Portnoy made some nice backing vocal contributions to DT, i always liked when he sang backings together with Petrucci.
Especially this https://youtu.be/pWD8Us5qSqQ?t=156

That's fucking Hilarious  :D

Portnoy sounds ok in certain situations methinks.
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Offline DarkLord_Lalinc

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Re: Mike Portnoy's Vocals "APPRECIATION" Thread
« Reply #69 on: February 13, 2017, 10:40:11 AM »
He's not a singer and never will be. His voice had a nice meld with JP's and JLB's voices as harmony, but that's it. I never understood his need and desire of having his voice more upfront and present in every passing DT release, but hey who am I to criticize. I enjoy when he sings harmonies and that's it.

I gotta say that some of his Flying Colors vocals sound quite nice as well, although they are auto-tuned to hell and back; but whose vocals aren't auto-tuned these days?  :lol
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