Help for mixing backing vocals

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by arkada, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. arkada

    arkada Active Member

    hi, thanks for readiing this
    i want to make this effect in my band's backing vocals
    i i want to know if anybody of you knows what effect do this artist use? or what kind of threatment did the producer use?

    1- at 1:16 ( bitterswweet voices part)

    bernhoft - c'mon talk
    Bernhoft - C'mon Talk - YouTube

    2-at 1:19 (lyrics. running around again part)

    mika - we are golden
    Mika -We Are Golden Lyrics - YouTube

    3-at 1:09 ( voices that say : is this how we say goodbye)

    what goes around by justin timberlake

    What Goes Around by Justin Timberlake with Lyrics [fullversion] - YouTube

    thanks very much, and sorry my english
    have a nice day
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Of course there are many different ways in which to achieve great background vocals that are harmonically related. You could have a large choir of people with multiple microphones. You could have a small group of people with a single microphone. You could cut one person tracks and utilize harmony vocal generators within software and controlling those harmonies by use of a black-and-white MIDI keyboards. There is no one way to do what you want. There are many ways. To record a large gospel choir, I have hung 4-8 SM-57's over top of the choir. In a studio situation with only a few people, I have stuck each pair of people on different condenser microphones to stretch the texture. In software, the skies the limit. So you could accomplish that with a single person and a single microphone and make the software do all of the thickening and harmony generation. And then you can also add some effects like chorus, flanging variable time delays with the VL0's available in software. And then you can use all of that together. It's sort of like making a single taco as opposed to a taco salad. It's all the same stuff but one is more grandiose. There is no one single preset in software to create the whole gobbledygook simply.

    All those examples were pretty cool sounding and not what we would call simple to do.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. arkada

    arkada Active Member

    thank you very much RemyRad for your answer
    i would wish have a large gospel choir to sign, but i have limited money
    so i have to find a way to do it more ''economic''
    i can record a couple of singers, but what effect do i use in the voices?
    or something??

    thanks , byeee :9
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    There are numerous pieces of software that will allow you to create larger sounding harmony oriented choral sounding vocal parts. One is known as Melodyne, as well as ProTools and others whose names I cannot remember currently. These programs can be quite remarkable in what you can achieve with them. They also have different versions that in turn can be less expensive or more expensive depending upon how far you need to take this. A quick check into the trade publication known as Electronic Musician frequently have advertisements for these types of software. Of course, like any software, there will always be a learning curve one has to deal with. Some can be quite intuitive and straightforward while others can leave you brain dead from their complexity. There is no one size that fits all. I have found that Melodyne to be one of the most remarkable and they have numerous different versions available at different prices. All of which are just flat-out stunning in what they allow you to do. And without any kind of Mickey Mouse sounding artifacts. Some even let you change a female vocalist into a male vocalist and a male vocalist into a female vocalist. I don't know what if anything God had to do with that? LOL It certainly can save people a lot of money who want to change their gender without the exorbitant cost for surgery LOL. There are also other devices that can do this in real time by companies such as Digitech. It's a little box with both a microphone XLR and a 1/4 inch line level input and it will output 2-3-4 part and more harmonies. It actually has its own little keyboard on some units that allow you to manipulate it in real time. Other of their units are controlled via MIDI through your computer and a black-and-white keyboard. I actually have one of their older original units that I've had for over 16 years. While it too works well and it does have a tendency to sound a little more electronic than the newer units of today. The newer units of today absolutely don't sound electronic. They can actually be quite breathtaking when you hear them. Because when you hear them, you really don't hear them and that's what makes them so special.

    I've added harmonies to otherwise bad rock 'n roll backup singers with that old device.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. arkada

    arkada Active Member

    other question
    wich plugin do you use to backing vocals regularly?
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Ordinarily, I don't utilize any plug-ins when recording backing vocals. I actually specialize in live recordings on location where there are entire choirs. Through the years than in the past, I've utilize my Digitech "Vocalist" to add some harmonies to some rock 'n roll backup singers. If I were to do this with a plug-in, I would most definitely utilize Melodyne software. A scaled-down version is included with a purchase of an Avid/DigiDesign piece of hardware such as a M-Box that also includes ProTools. So for around $450 US and up, you get exactly what you need and then some. It's a great bang for the buck for your needs. And it includes that incredible plug-in. Now even though it's a scaled down Special Edition version, it's still incredibly powerful and versatile. An even more elaborate and more powerful version of Melodyne can be purchased separately and utilized with other software or as a standalone piece of software. It only cost a few hundred dollars US. And I would recommend that for you. The examples I've heard of it are completely mind blowing and out of sight! Completely remarkable! Totally awesome! It's what you're asking for. It's what you need.

    Of course one must still utilize decent microphones and a reasonably decent recording interface in order to record the vocals. But after that, that software not only will it create harmony vocals, it will also pitch correct all vocals. It's an extremely powerful tool. I'm sure you could even get an example CD or even a download from the company that will demonstrate to you everything it is capable of doing. You need to hear it to believe it because it's almost unbelievable to hear. It's stunning. It's crazy amazing. It's the best that computer processing and fine coding have to offer. I'm not sure if it will cause you chills since you are already in Chile? But if anything could cause you chills in Chile, it's that software.

    I've actually never even bothered to use mine and I have it.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. arkada

    arkada Active Member

    thank you very much
    but i need to do this fast and i have no time to buy a best recording equipment
    so.. what effect do you think the producers use in the backing vocals of the examples??:S
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    They use exactly what I recommended. Melodyne. There is a plug-in version and there is a standalone version. The plug-in version, of course, can work with various programs such as Avid ProTools and others. Whereas the standalone version is a piece of software unto itself and is not a plug-in. You would do it all from the standalone program. So this does not require you to purchase any other recording equipment than you already have. You simply use what you have two record with and then create the choral harmonies with the software.

    While there are also hardware devices that will do the same thing, that's a piece of equipment that you have no time to buy as you have so indicated. But you do need to purchase the software. Whether it's the plug-in or the stand-alone program. There are no other ways to do what you want. Well, there is other ways to do it but it would be crazy to try and explain it to you since it would literally require days to accomplish. For instance, in software, you can change pitch without changing speed. This would allow you to punch in each and every note one at a time and adjusting the computer for each and every note one at a time. And then you would need to layer and layer and layer the process. Did I say days? I meant weeks or months to try and do something as foolhardy as that. Not that some crazy people haven't attempted that in the past as I'm sure there have been some crazy people in the past. And that's why it's the past because they probably committed suicide after trying to do that? So they too are not only in the past they have passed.

    You should also know that you can only do this fast if you completely understand and have command of your software, your computer, your MIDI interface and MIDI keyboard. That's the learning curve you have to understand. This is not like a drive-through hamburger joint. This requires practice, experience, knowledge. It's not a single push button. It's not a single selection you check off in software. If you don't know that already, you should not even attempt this. You probably also think that the heaven and the earth was created in seven days? We have a pretty good idea it didn't quite happen that way. A couple of billion years maybe but not seven. Of course that all depends on your point of view. The art of recording is not that of a short order cook. You don't pick up an instrument and suddenly turn into Mozart. Only Mozart could do that. It's taken me over 41 years to become as good as I am. How long have you been doing this? Three weeks? Maybe four? OK, I'm sorry, maybe six months? This is not an instant process regardless of what plug-in or whose software you choose. This you must understand.

    On the other hand, if you need this done quickly? You might want to go to your local top shelf, top-flight, best studio in town and ask them to do this for you? You might get quicker results that way. You just tell them you're the producer and then tell them what you want. Then they'll tell you how much it will cost. Then you can decide for yourself.

    You've had too many chili peppers
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. arkada

    arkada Active Member

    thank you very much Remy Ann David, thanks for your time and patience

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