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How to Get Good Vocals During Choruses

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Josh1115, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Josh1115

    Josh1115 Active Member

    I was wondering if someone can give some tips, tricks, methods, plug ins, anything that would help me get a good chorus sounding vocal track?

    The method that I normally record is basically have two or three tracks with segments of a vocal performance broken up and take the best take of that particular segment
  2. Bodhi

    Bodhi Active Member

    Get two or more solid takes and blend them.
  3. mtm1

    mtm1 Active Member

    This. So much better than using a plug in but it can depend on the genre. Interesting hearing Brian May talk about how Freddie Mercury would double track like this and could create an almost phase problem-free second track if he wanted. However, often he would sing it slightly different on purpose to add more layers and "color" to the end result.

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  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    The takes should be IDENTICAL or else INTENTIONALLY different. AKA harmony. Otherwise, it may sound campy or otherwise amateur. It can sound great if done right or awful is done poorly. If you are going to do it, be prepared to spend some time getting it right. Close won't be good enough. If it doesn't make you think "yeah that sounds awesome", it's not there yet. Take the time. Do it right.
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    This is essentially the way it's done. Pros can't afford to have mistakes so comping is the norm. With millions at stake, there can be no flaws.
  6. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    The first main take of the vocals needs to be as near perfect as possible or you'll never get the second or third take even close. Many times while double tracking a vocal part it becomes apparent that the 1st take is not good enough. At that point you really have to start over, but even that can help you get to the point of near perfection. Keep repeating the process till it is done as good as perfect can be in your own terms.
  7. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    In Cubase I'd make a harmony by duplicating the track and then transposing the duplicate using sth like VariAudio amongst other FX if necessary.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Not the same result. Not nearly the same.

    First of all, harmony doesn't always work like that, in fact it rarely works like that. You can't just knock one of the clone tracks down or up by "X" amount following the tonic vocal and expect it to work. Harmony vocal doesn't just follow the lead vocal in an equal increments note-wise.

    The way to do it right is to sing the harmony part... be it something as simple as a block triad - or something more complex like suspensions, 7ths, 6ths, minor intervals, etc., with the original lead vocal take being as flawless as possible, because every other vocal part will be built around that original lead vocal track.

    And finally....if you can't sing, or you can't sing harmony, please, for the love of God, get someone who can.
  9. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Absolutely agree with the importance of having an accurate reference track. One thing I've done - especially when working with untrained vocalists - is to take the lead vocal track (which might have been comped from a number of takes), copy to a scratch track, and process the hell out of it in Melodyne. Make the pitch dead on and the minimize any modulation or drift. It's not something that I would put on a record, but it's easy to sing harmony to. Record the backing tracks to the scratch track, then ditch the scratch track and mix the background vocals. Take the original lead vocal and see how it sits with the BG vocals. If it sits pretty well, you can use pitch correction in a more musical way to tighten things up. Of course, you can rerecord the lead vocals with the BG mix as well.
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I should add that a well-rehearsed group of singers singing at the same time in the same room (screw the bleed and forget the Melodyne) usually sounds best - even if things aren't "perfect."
  11. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Bob...exactly! Just sad that putting that group together may not be possible at all times. And "you can use pitch correction" works for me.
  12. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    And eat the hard consonants on all but the primary vocal take.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    old thread but close to my heart. this may sound dated and not suitable for more modern productions but here goes.

    the way guys like Queen, CSN and Neil Young worked out was to do what were called vocal stacks. CSN would do these live with all three on a take and then triple that but essentially how its done by one person is to is to do one inversion of the harmony (say the 3rd) tripled (3 voices). then do the same for the 5ths any octaves (below or above) or variations. you can then take all these tracks and bounce them down to one or two tracks. this is the CSN "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" or Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody" sound.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    with bands like portugal the man being pretty popular, and alot of hevliy reverbed out, lush vocals harmonies all over the airwaves, on alternative rock stations, the stacked approach is back in vouge. It's funny that with all these big artists doing records to tape, and live takes, pinpoint accuracy in almost imhumanly perfect vocal techniques like csn, or queen, aren't really given recognition as part of the 'classic' sound right now. seems like people only talk about the fidelity aspect of it.
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    actually i found with stacks that perfection isn't really required ... a little difference between takes can be a good thing ... rule of thumb is if it sounds good it is good ... as pointed out previously eliminating hard essses and consents on all but the main vocal is called for ...
  16. Rumy73

    Rumy73 Active Member

    I love Queen but they were not always pitch perfect, but they were always musical. With autotuners, we too often chasing perfection and losing musicality. I have nothing against judicious use of studio tools like autotuners, quantizers and compressers but sometimes just the performance be. Listening to some of my favorite classic rock albums, I try to image how modern producers would have "perfected" the performances... To the point of sterilization!
  17. Paschalis I.

    Paschalis I. Guest

    In order to make the takes even more tighter between them, google Vocalign Pro.
    It really rocks and saves you hours of editing.

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