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How do I get a 'coarser/deeper/harder' vocal?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Crye, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Hi. I'm on a project I need to complete soon, but in a location where I can't have a collaborator with a voice coarser than mine. But there's not much of a difference needed, so what's the best I can do to get a slightly coarser voice which isn't robotic? I have tried singing lower and deeper but not much joy.

    BTW, my mic, an ISK BM-5000, has a two pins that can be pushed to 2 values (The values are in brackets, so ignore latter...well, guess you already know these!) ...one has values Zero and -10dB & the other just has a Minus/dash (-) sign and a bent line like (/-) (the straight line continues right from the top tip of the diagonal line though; just trying to demonstrate) as values. Any tips for use of these?

    Any input very much helpful!

    NB: I once tried playing with pitch in FL Studio, but on a vocal/wave, it affected tempo/timing and the sound was horrible.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The switches on your microphone are a pad (attenuator) and a high-pass filter. For vocal use, leave the pad at 0dB and enable the high-pass filter (/-). What is the microphone plugged into?

    When I met a requirement similar to what you describe for tracking a vocal, the thing that created the Ahhh! moment was speeding up the guide tracks (about a fourth higher in pitch worked best) and replaying them in the singer's headphones while recording the vocal at the same higher speed. When the result was replayed at normal speed, the vocal was low and rasping in a way that sounded unnatural but not synthetic. If your DAW has variable sampling rates, you could experiment with this technique using different degrees of speed-up, but it would depend on your vocal range as to what you could manage.
  3. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Boswell ... thank God for you. And also for the terminology. My pad had been correctly at 0dB, but the high-pass filter had been at (-). So i have switched that to (/-) as suggested.

    - My DAW is Cubase 5 (I use FL Studio for beat making though -- elementary of course!) ... know if it has "
    variable sampling rates"?
    - My mic is plugged into a Line6 UX2 sound card.

    Please, please can you help me experiment by telling me how to go about "
    tracking" a vocal by "speeding up the guide tracks" .. I have no idea what guide tracks are or where to access Pitch to tweak! Sorry..
    Finally, I didn't get what you mean by "
    would depend on your vocal range as to what you could manage." ... like my breath?
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    My apologies - I was making too many assumptions about your way of working. I had assumed that you had everything except the vocals already recorded and you were replaying a mix of the recorded tracks into headphones while recording the vocal track ("tracking").

    I have access only to the scant information on the WWW about the Line6 UX2, but it looks as though it has no facility for sampling at user-defined clock rates. That means that the avenue I suggested is not open to you, at least not in the form I described.

    Does your version of Cubase have variable speed/variable pitch facilities? If so, you may be able to simulate variable-speed sampling by pre-distorting the pitch of the pre-recorded tracks upwards and replaying those while recording you singing the vocal line at the higher pitch. After recording, you distort the pitch of the vocal track by the same amount but in the opposite direction (downwards). When combined with the original-pitch backing tracks, you get the lower, raspy vocal. The important point is that you sing at the higher pitch and then it's mechanically altered to normal (song) pitch.

    What I meant about being able to manage it is that this method does involve singing at a higher pitch without going falsetto, and if the vocal line in the song is already close to the top of your normal vocal range, this technique is unlikely to produce good results.
  5. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Thanks again Boswell. Trying to look around I couldn't find out if/not Cubase5 supports variable speed/variable pitch.

    But you had been right..I have the beat and the scratch vocals, if that's what "
    everything except the vocals already recorded" means.

    Actually, even if I were just recording on a beat for the 'first' time (not tracking anything else), wouldn't the "
    tracking a vocal" work? Isn't there a way to record on an empty track or beat, say 'how are you' and make that sound coarser?

    OK, since Line6 fails me somewhere, now...

    Variable-speed sampling -- simulating it through Cubase, assuming it has variable speed/variable pitch facilities.

    Did you mean:
    1- I record scratch vocals
    2- I make their pitches higher by value v
    3- I replay product of 2 and ....sing/record/'track' at higher pit (hard to do since it may sound odd with the beat??)
    4- I change the pitch of the recording in 3, lower by value v
    5- I have the mix of products from stage 2 & 4 '


    Thanks again!
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Nearly right, Crye. The point about the pitch shifting in a suitably-equipped DAW is that the tempo is unchanged, so there would be no change to the apparent beat - it all happens at the original speed. Assuming the "beat" section is pitched rather than just rhythmic, you would temporarily raise the pitch of the beat (+ scratch vocal), sing to that pitch, shift the recorded vocal track down in pitch and then mix it with the un-shifted original beat track.

    In your number chain, you never mix using the product of stage 2. Your mix is the manipulated vocal (4) with the original beat track (not numbered in your post).
  8. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Haha ... well done again. I get it. I'm getting to that first thing tomorrow. Thanks in bundles!

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