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Doubling Lead Vocals?

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.

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Profile picture for user sshack

sshack Tue, 03/25/2008 - 19:58

bent wrote: Sorry, I didn't know anyone else was waiting to hear that (aside from Sshack, that is).

:oops:

You have a following.

8)

Profile picture for user bent

bent Tue, 03/25/2008 - 20:08

Soon we'll be living in a rented house waiting for Hale-Bopp to return, of course that's not gonna happen until what... 4500AD or thereabouts?

:lol:

havinga-studios Mon, 03/31/2008 - 14:41

hey I am new to this place, thought I would contribute some ideas.
If it was a rush job, sometimes I would duplicate the track. Delay it maybe by 15 to 25 mSec depending on what works. Also I use a plugin like Autotune on one track or possibly both pitch correcting with different strengths. It is a quick and dirty trick but it gives two vocal tracks that behave differently due to the fact one is more corrected than the other. Of course you may want to go through and just pitch correct the parts that require it and not do all of it.
I do prefer two separate takes especially when the singer is skilled and fairly consistent.

Also a Chorus on the second track I have done as well.

filmmusic2008 Fri, 04/04/2008 - 20:33

Kid Rock was on Howard Stern and defended his use of double vocals after the idea of "cheating" was brought up. He said that he was in fact harmonizing and that the vocals were completely different.

Perhaps it is cheating if you are covering something up.
But, since Blues is what people should be singing....I would say to add the second vocal because blues is never the same way twice.
Don't try and emulte the first track, but just repeat a few key words like they do in rap songs.
If you want to be great, then listen to TuPac Shakur and what he does with double vocals.
If they are an octave apart then go for it, or have one vocal track be spoken word like The Doors did.

Profile picture for user song4gabriel

song4gabriel Fri, 04/04/2008 - 23:27

i hate to say this but i get pretty good results when i am too lazy to sing a double vox using waves doubler. i keep the grequency mod (on the 2nd voice) pretty close to zero and duck the gain a bit behind the real one.

i know purists will kill me- but it works okay. if you are an expressive singer and , like me, never seem to sing my double track close to my original without a million takes (in which i lose my patience often)

it helps me to keep the flow of creativity going...

just my 2 cents

Profile picture for user bent

bent Sat, 04/05/2008 - 01:01

Filmmusic said:

But, since Blues is what people should be singing....I would say to add the second vocal because blues is never the same way twice.

OK, which one of you turned that particular rock over???

Sethiroth Thu, 04/10/2008 - 09:38

Noob here...

Question. When you double the vocals, do you keep them the same volume, or do you have one quieter then the other?

danbronson Thu, 04/10/2008 - 11:08

Why would anyone consider doubling a vocal take cheating? It takes a lot of skill to be able to sing consistently enough to make doubling sound good. And when it works (when you have a good singer), it sounds great.

havinga-studios Thu, 04/10/2008 - 12:52

I've read in some places where they would have upto 4 tracks. Apparently Coldplay does this in some of their stuff just to fatten the vocal. I could see this being helpful with falsetto stuff as well to thicken those vocals.

CrackerBrand Sat, 05/24/2008 - 10:56

when i record my own songs, i tend to improv the vocals each and every take, (i've been to too many counting crows concerts i suppose) but i've found straight copying the vocal take from one track to the next, then chopping it up into several sections, (segments of 10 or so), then time stretching each segment by a ms or 3, and run it through some various (but gentle) processing of sorts, and tuck it (volume wise) under the original by a few db

baze sax Fri, 04/23/2010 - 18:32

hi, what about the old school(motown) method - spliting the lead vocal in two channels and then using the heavy compressed second ch to fill 5-8khz presence freq in the first. I am thinking to try this live. is this sensible? any advice?

Vocal Booth Store Sat, 04/24/2010 - 16:40

Doubling vocals...

I prefer just adding some effects like chorus or delay, reverb etc.....you have to be very careful when doubling that it doesnt sound to artificial. If done right, it can sound very cool!!:cool:

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