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  • Here's a Cool DAW Tip. Got Any Others?

    I was adding background vocals to a song, but the harmony was reaching the upper limit of my range. As pitch shifting is pretty good these days, I did a premix of the song and pitched it down two semitones. This was easy to sing along with, so the immediate problem was solved.



    But here's the cool part...when I transposed the vocals up two semitones to fit with the real track, the vocal quality was subtly different due to the formant shift...almost like female vocals, but not quite; more like angelic, which is ideal for background vocals. The quality of the pitch transposition was such that the voices sound fine, no glitching or anything, just...different. This wasn't the kind of formant shift you get through resampling, it was more subtle.



    Just for kicks I tossed the vocals into V-Vocal to adjust the formants downward, so I could see if it was possible to retrieve my natural sound. I could, but I liked the formant-shifted version better.



    I used to do this all the time with tape - slow it down a few percent, sing along, then speed up to give my vocals more of a "pop" sound. Two semitones is a fair amount of shift, but with today's decent pitch transposition algorithms, it's very doable.
    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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  • #2
    I was reading a little while back where a guy who did not like the sound of his natural voice, but liked it when he used a shifted one from a vocal harmoniser, and use that.

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    • #3
      for the demos i don't even bother to record vocal harmonies, I make that with celemony from one single vocal line

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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by A. Einstein
        View Post

        for the demos i don't even bother to record vocal harmonies, I make that with celemony from one single vocal line




        Yes, you are going the other way, and use celemony to create harmonies, this guy say he just uses one of the shifted voices as the single vocal line, because he think it sounds better than his own voice, perhaps it is because it has been auto corrected and in better pitch.

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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by electrochrisso
          View Post

          Yes, you are going the other way, and use celemony to create harmonies, this guy say he just uses one of the shifted voices as the single vocal line, because he think it sounds better than his own voice, perhaps it is because it has been auto corrected and in better pitch.




          Guy Craig can waste as much time as he want's in pre-production, he is not on my salary list.



          And anyway, I don't produce the song "Rum and Coca-Cola" with melodyne with The Andrews Sisters, nor does David Jungle bell that way:








          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Htw8nRuTk

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by A. Einstein
            View Post

            Guy Craig can waste as much time as he want's in pre-production, he is not on my salary list.




            It takes less time to pitch a premix down, sing, then pitch the vocals up than it does to find a suitable singer and hire them!
            Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
              View Post

              when I transposed the vocals up two semitones to fit with the real track, the vocal quality was subtly different due to the formant shift...



              [...]



              I used to do this all the time with tape - slow it down a few percent, sing along, then speed up to give my vocals more of a "pop" sound. Two semitones is a fair amount of shift, but with today's decent pitch transposition algorithms, it's very doable.




              Have you tried any other instruments with this technique?



              Something that pops to mind would be a distorted guitar rhythm part. Play it around standard and drop it two semitones. I wonder if one would get better clarity doing it this way.

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              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
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                As pitch shifting is pretty good these days




                Curious- what pitch-shifting software were you using for this?
                "I'm a mur-diddly-urdler!"
                www.tbushrecording.com

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                • #9
                  Take the lead vocal in the chorus. Duplicate and pitch shift up an octave. It sounds totally ridiculous. Add a nice distortion to get a warm saturation. Get a 1/4 note delay into plate thing happening to really get the note to sound warm and just bloom outward. It's an octave, it'll cut. Keep it warm. Mix it back slightly behind the multitude of other vocals that come in at the chorus.
                  __________
                  Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                  Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                  Jesus

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                  • #10
                    Track the lead vocal several times. VocalAlign and Melodyne them to match up to the lead. Some you shift -10, +10, -20, +20 etc. Some you shift the formant in Melodyne too. These are all doubles pitch wise of the lead vocal. Now pan them all out and mix them back so you think you're really only hearing the lead vocal.



                    the idea is you're trying to not get that doubled sound. no flamming, no wild card pitch variations. It all tracks the lead vocal except for the intentional, incremental changes through pitch, 10, 20, 30, 40 ms delay, formant, etc. But all different takes. This blends but brings the variations beside pitch and timing to the forefront.
                    __________
                    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                    Jesus

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                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by BlueGreene
                      View Post

                      Have you tried any other instruments with this technique?



                      Something that pops to mind would be a distorted guitar rhythm part. Play it around standard and drop it two semitones. I wonder if one would get better clarity doing it this way.




                      I've recorded harmonica parts by pitching (a copy of) the whole song down to a key I had a harp for and then pitching the harp part back up to the original. Worked great. Except that I'm really a lame harmonicist.
                      .

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                      • #12
                        you all know that those tricks all sound like doo doo



                        of course you can add a megatronic to it and underlay a dubstep beat, then you may have a chart hit, but...

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                        • #13
                          A variation on how to to Craig's varispeed...



                          I set the master daw's sound card to external sync, patch in an old Adat XT as master clock (no tape in it), start play or rec on the daw, reach over to the XT and click the pitch buttons up or down.... daws instantly varispeed for whatever you want to do for overdubs.



                          Just like the tape machines but with a larger range of varispeed limits.

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                          • #14






                            Quote Originally Posted by A. Einstein
                            View Post

                            you all know that those tricks all sound like doo doo



                            of course you can add a megatronic to it and underlay a dubstep beat, then you may have a chart hit, but...




                            __________
                            Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                            Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                            Jesus

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here's another. Hard pitch correct bass guitar. Sometimes in Melodyne I'll straightline the bass guitar. This give an authentic sound from the fact that it's a bass guitar after all, but the solid as hell pitch can sound great. Sounds way evil.
                              __________
                              Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                              Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                              Jesus

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