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How common is vocal doubling?

I was thinking about doing some vocal doubling for my cd I'm recording. How common is this?

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jonyoung Wed, 10/10/2007 - 07:07

Lots of doubling is done with digital delay (10-25ms) since doing it the old fashioned way isn't as easy as it seems. I've only encountered a few vocalists that have the phrasing and pitch control to do it really well.

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Cucco Wed, 10/10/2007 - 07:13

jonyoung wrote: Lots of doubling is done with digital delay (10-25ms) since doing it the old fashioned way isn't as easy as it seems. I've only encountered a few vocalists that have the phrasing and pitch control to do it really well.

As much as I can't stand listening to her...Natalie Merchant is a fine example.

Much of what's heard today is done via harmonizers, not vocal doubling. (Nickelback, Hillary Duff, Rihanna, etc...) It takes a pretty good musician to be able to do it without making it sound like a ripe pile of feces.

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EricIndecisive Wed, 10/10/2007 - 08:31

Cucco wrote: [quote=jonyoung]Lots of doubling is done with digital delay (10-25ms) since doing it the old fashioned way isn't as easy as it seems. I've only encountered a few vocalists that have the phrasing and pitch control to do it really well.

As much as I can't stand listening to her...Natalie Merchant is a fine example.

Much of what's heard today is done via harmonizers, not vocal doubling. (Nickelback, Hillary Duff, Rihanna, etc...) It takes a pretty good musician to be able to do it without making it sound like a ripe pile of feces.

well, even with the harmonizers, they still sound like a ripe pile of feces. thats why i like punk rock cus i can relate. they cant sing and neither can i, its a beautiful thing

MediaMurder Wed, 10/10/2007 - 10:08

sarNz wrote: pop music + making vocals impossible to sing in real life = hit songs

LOL

It is very sad that this is true, pop culture devours unrealistic music made by untalented individuals...

*sheds a tear*

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fourone3 Wed, 10/10/2007 - 10:22

It is very sad that this is true, pop culture devours unrealistic music made by untalented individuals...

Precisely why engineers are more talented than the 'artists' :wink:

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EricIndecisive Wed, 10/10/2007 - 10:26

fourone3 wrote:

It is very sad that this is true, pop culture devours unrealistic music made by untalented individuals...

Precisely why engineers are more talented than the 'artists' :wink:

hey, there still are SOME people that can actually play / sing. im just not one of them. nor am i a good engineer. dammit! but its fun anyways!

jonyoung Wed, 10/10/2007 - 13:11

That's the spirit! I'll autotune the very occasional word or phrase on a vocal track, but I've become a curmudgeon and will flame someone right out of the room if they want every damned word tuned. I think it was Roger Daltry who once said "A word sung out of pitch, but with feeling is always better than a word sung in perfect pitch without feeling. I like my music organic.....just not as organic as ripe feces, however.

Costy Wed, 10/10/2007 - 17:01

Hey Jonnystevens,
Yes, double tracking vocals is a common technique back from
long time ago. You may check out DVD series "Classic Albums",
these are about making of well known records. A couple come to
mind: Machine Head by Deep Purple and Dark Side of the Moon
by Pink Floyd. Good examples of double tracking and harmonizing
vocals for real, not with plugs and boxes.
However, the post, it seems removed by moderators (about punk),
had a point - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. For example,
R. Plant in Zeppelin didn't use it much, neither Sir Mic in Stones. It's
like with classical music, a solo violin versus violin section. You got
to figure out what delivers your idea better.
Just an opinion.

RemyRAD Wed, 10/10/2007 - 20:39

Oh heck, having a mediocre singer doubling their track makes them sound only half as mediocre. So I would say, there are numerous good reasons to do it and not with a digital delay device. You want all of their natural inconsistencies not computer created inconsistencies. Even if they are not good at doubling themselves, you can help to correct timing and pitch problems in software. You will still have enough variations to provide true realism and not a computer fake. So there are your reasons for cutting more than one lead vocal tract on more than a single channel. Always get at least two complete good takes out of them and then you have the workings for what you need to.

Double trouble
Ms. Remy Ann David

JensenBohren Thu, 10/11/2007 - 08:18

jonyoung wrote: That's the spirit! I'll autotune the very occasional word or phrase on a vocal track, but I've become a curmudgeon and will flame someone right out of the room if they want every damned word tuned. I think it was Roger Daltry who once said "A word sung out of pitch, but with feeling is always better than a word sung in perfect pitch without feeling. I like my music organic.....just not as organic as ripe feces, however.

I guess that works if you're the only game in town, but if you say that they shouldn't autotune each word and they say "I can go across town to the other guy..."

...well, that just doesn't work.

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Cucco Thu, 10/11/2007 - 10:22

It depends on how bad you want/need business.

When I had a nice commercial studio with a high rent, I would do whatever was necessary. Now that I have no overhead, I tell them to pound pavement.

pedalsteelman Thu, 10/11/2007 - 16:45

As for examples on this subject I would have thought the most famous user of doubling his vocal was John Lennon.
I'd even go as far as saying it was his 'vocal sound'. If you want to record a Lennon sound alike; double it!

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