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Doubling Lead Vocals?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by tyCobb, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. tyCobb

    tyCobb Guest

    My friend (bandmate) and I have been debating the fact of doubling vocals in the recording of our songs. As the singer, I like the sound of the doubled vocal because it fattens the sound up a bit and allows for the vocals to cut through and not seem small compared to the other loud instruments. I also think my voice sounds better when doubled rather than with just one track.

    Is this a silly idea? My friend seems to think the tracks will phase and sound "stupid" but I plan on having one at normal level and the other at half level or so, just to beef up the vocals a bit subtlely, but not overpowering it so it sounds like "two of me" singing together, if that makes any sense.
  2. Gertok

    Gertok Guest

    I think there is a plugin that helps to align doubled tracks. It is called Vocalign, never used it though.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Gertok is correct and it is available for ProTools.

    But back in the old days.... We would frequently double the lead vocalist. Even if it wasn't intentional, a la' numerous isolated vocal overdubs later combined during the mix. Frequently makes folks that can't stay on pitch sound better.

    To prevent that phasing effect, you only need to delay one of the two vocals by about 25 ms.

    Some folks rely on a digital audio processor to create double vocals. Generally, these sound horrible with a robotic synthetic quality. I think that technique generally sucks even if randomization is built into the program. It basically pitches up and pitches down while speeding up and delaying tempo. Whereas a real double vocal shows off the vocalists skill i.e. it takes some talent.

    I've used the double vocal technique to make otherwise crappy sounding local bands, sound better.

    Only one of me
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. Glide

    Glide Active Member

    Remy, you are a gift.

    I am not a big poster but I read, read, read like a siv, and I really enjoy your experience that you share here.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Why thank you Glide. In fact you are my favorite....dental floss! I won't use anything else but Glide! Of course I like to glide on other things, such as beautiful music. Make some for me would you?

    Always listening. Always talking.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. tyCobb

    tyCobb Guest

    I agree with you Glide.

    Thanks Remy for all your help.

    By the way--you hit the nail on the head with singers using doubled vocals to make them sound more in pitch (it's kind of what I do because I'm not a very good singer). I hope that's not viewed as "cheating" or cutting corners too much from a professional standpoint, I'm just still a 19 year old newbie. lol.

    Happy Holidays everyone!
  7. I need some help with this as well. My problem is that Vocalign is not compatible with my OS. any help? is there any other plugin like Vocalign?

    Thanks much.
  8. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Not at all.
    Read up on Automatic (aka artificial / automated) Double Tracking (ADT), you'll find out why.

    Personally I prefer to double vox without plugins, as Remy stated.
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Glide's my favorite......nope, nevermind...my bad. That's Astro-Glide.

  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Ha...I love it.

    I was just doing a session where I was doing trumpet quartet overdubs and the quartet had like 20 takes on the same 16 bars. I accidentally hit the unmute in the DAW while tracking and the guys in tracking room came alive! It seems 70 some trumpets punching into their cans while they were trying to play is not desirable....

    Oh well, they deserved it - one of them whistled into my Royer SF12 and I heard the ribbon make all sorts of funky sounds..... :x :evil:
  11. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    Don't know why you would use a plug-in for doubled vocals.... seems lazy and fake.
    Why not just do another take or 7?
  12. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    Don't know why you would use a plug-in for doubled vocals.... seems lazy and fake.
    Why not just do another take or 7?
  13. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    yeah. I usually just set a track on loop-record and do two takes instantly. Double vocals really fattens things up.
  14. i don't consider Vocalign a cheaters tool. It's not creating a fake doubler effect like some plugins. Vocalign just helps with lining up the phrasing so that they are better in time with each other. You still have to sing the doubled vocals. Helps me save a TON of time. i just wish i would have checked to see that it was compatible with my new OS.
  15. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    It's only compatible with ProTools, which is compatible with Windows XP home and pro but not Media Center Edition. In fact, I wouldn't necessarily consider using it when going for those doubled vocal sounds. You need a little of that natural randomness to keep it sounding from being too unison.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  16. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Once you get good takes to work with, how do you approach mixing/blending the two (panning, EQ, delay, etc.). Obviously the song will dictate, but I'd like to hear some basic examples that perhaps you've done in the past.
  17. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    I'll see what I can find when I get home this evening.

    I might have some tracks I can load in and make a quick mix with doubles and without, for comparison's sake...
  18. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Beautiful, thanks Ben.
  19. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Dave and I gotta have a Pow-wow.

    We'll see if I can post what I have...

    Sorry for the delay!!!

  20. cathode_ray

    cathode_ray Active Member

    If you "sing" 2 takes, you will NEVER get them so close phasing will become an issue. Not even J Lennon could do that...

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