BEST VOCAL TRACKS FOR TESTING
Some voices are bigger than others, but it takes all sorts to comprise a decent test for your system
Kate Bush Top Of The City
One of Kate’s best vocal performances at her 2014 Before
The Dawn London shows is also, not that surprisingly, one of the most accomplished executions she’s ever committed to tape.
Her other-wordly ability to near-whisper one line into the mic and belt down the next is fully to the fore. Go for the original The
Red Shoes album version rather than 2011’s Director’s Cut, as the latter features a tragically restrained vocal delivery.
Nina Simone Strange Fruit
While Simone’s dramatic cover of Abel Meeropol’s sobering protest poem (most famously performed by Billie Holiday) doesn’t perhaps show off her vocal dexterity as much as many of her numerous hits, it’s a triumph of low-level dynamic craft.
The most insightful kit should reveal very few static moments in what is a comparably low-key yet highly arresting vocal, nor ignore the effect of its starkly minimal piano accompaniment.
The National Demons
Thick, cavernous and resonant (albeit with the range of a teaspoon), Matt Berninger’s baritone has become one of the most recognisable in popular music - thanks in great part to its soothing depths and his rare ability to at once be so mellifluous within melodies.
Demons is one of his most sure-footed, more-monotonousthan-most deliveries, which is sure to give your mid/bass driver a good run for its money.
Bon Iver 715 - CR∑∑KS
Unless you have your system connected to your TV, there’s a very good chance you won’t have heard Darth Vader through it. If you’re now sitting there thinking what a pity that is, the next best thing is listening to this.
A radical departure from his trademark falsetto, Justin Vernon’s completely unaccompanied vocal seeps from a thick vocoder cloud, with warmth belying its digital genes that a decent mid/bass driver should lap up.