help me with my vocals with doubling.

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versuviusx
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help me with my vocals with doubling.

Post by versuviusx » Fri May 11, 2007 5:12 pm

i need help with vocals. uh what i have been doing is double tracking. what this means is that once i have a track down i will go back and record another track to try to fatten up the track and make it sound more in your face. the problem is that it's super time consuming and i can never perfectly recreate the same track twice. i can come close but even then i always feel a little sensitive about it not sounding right. any ideas to make this sound better would be great. what i don't want it to sound like is like a choir. i hate that. i some times do harmonizing but i don't want to do it all the time. its a trick that should be used sparingly. i want it fatter and big sounding without the phase or out of timing problems i'm currently having.
any tricks or hints would be awesome. there is a lot that goes into vocals i know. but i have the time to try to tackle this.

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Packy
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Post by Packy » Fri May 11, 2007 6:48 pm

My early attempts at vocal doubling also ended up with some wanky phased out artifacts. Do you have both vocal tracks at the same level? I found that bringing the second vocal track down just a little bit helped eliminate the phase weirdness a whole lot, yet the "fattening" doubling effect was still there.

Really short stereo/panned delays can also give you some interesting doubling-like effects, although sometimes that might lead to worse phase/imaging problems. Again, keeping the delay voice a little bit under the lead voice is usually the best way to do it. Good luck!

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri May 11, 2007 8:08 pm

yeah just bringing the level of the double down a bit will help. you can also try

using a different mic for the double
standing further back
different eq...

if you pan them like 10 and 2 it takes care of the phasey stuff. but it also definitely sounds like 2....if you want it to sound like one big one, maybe just go with one and work a really compressed version of it in underneath. or more likely have the compressed one loud and work the uncompressed one in under that. i do that all the time. get the compressed one sounding good and bring it in the mix to where you can mostly hear it but it's not quite loud enough. then bring the uncompressed in. i find it really adds life and makes the vocal pop right out....

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Post by RefD » Fri May 11, 2007 9:14 pm

slicing off the top end of the double with high shelf cut can make a huge difference.

when i'm feeling lazy or rushed (most of the time) i just use the "AM Radio" or "Telephone" presets in the TC Works parametric EQ to do this. :wink:
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JGriffin
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Post by JGriffin » Fri May 11, 2007 9:34 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote: using a different mic for the double
standing further back
different eq...
.
I'll add "different pattern" to that. If you tracked the main vocal with a cardioid mic, do the double in omni.

Another good trick for tight doubling is not to sing s' or hard consonants at the end of words when you sing the double. That way you don't hear multiple cutoffs. Example: (and I use this one 'cause it's the track I was singing when I learned it) in "Every Day I write the book" If you're doing the chorus doubled you'd sing "every day I write the book" on the lead and "every day I write the boo.." on the double. So you don't end up with "book/k."

It's odd; once I have a good vocal down I usually double it in one or two takes because by then I know all the phrasing pretty cold. Maybe you need more passes at it to get the phrasing right. And of course, if you run into a phrase you have problems with, go back and punch it in!
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syrupcore
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Post by syrupcore » Fri May 11, 2007 10:41 pm

I do the roll off and it works pretty well for me. I've never tried it but reading this thread has got me wondering if keying a gate on the second vocal from the first might help with timing.

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spectralgrey
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Post by spectralgrey » Sat May 12, 2007 1:59 am

I always find inconsistencies between double tracked takes to be quite charming. To each his own, I suppose.

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Post by flanneljammies » Sat May 12, 2007 8:59 am

For some reason, I always find the double sounds better if I record it WITHOUT listening to the original. But I guess that goes along with spectralgrey's comment?!?
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Packy
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Post by Packy » Sat May 12, 2007 10:41 am

dwlb wrote:
Another good trick for tight doubling is not to sing s' or hard consonants at the end of words when you sing the double. That way you don't hear multiple cutoffs. Example: (and I use this one 'cause it's the track I was singing when I learned it) in "Every Day I write the book" If you're doing the chorus doubled you'd sing "every day I write the book" on the lead and "every day I write the boo.." on the double. So you don't end up with "book/k."
Big +1 on that one!

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Post by Ivon » Sat May 12, 2007 9:45 pm

flanneljammies wrote:For some reason, I always find the double sounds better if I record it WITHOUT listening to the original. But I guess that goes along with spectralgrey's comment?!?
Yeah. That technique has worked for me as well. I don't know why it works for me. It just does.

Dark star Balla
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Post by Dark star Balla » Sat May 12, 2007 10:06 pm

So just copying the vocal track and effecting it and eq'ing it different is not a good method?

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Post by Ivon » Sat May 12, 2007 10:13 pm

Dark star Balla wrote:So just copying the vocal track and effecting it and eq'ing it different is not a good method?
I don't know if it's a good method. I've tried that technique with vocals and guitar and personally, it never sounded quite right to my ears. To me, you lose something...you lose the aspect of performance, which will definitely effect the end sound.

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JWL
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Post by JWL » Sat May 12, 2007 10:34 pm

One thing I do with vocal doubling is to not sing every single word. I'll go through the song lyrics with the singer, and highlight the words we want to emphasize. Then he'll do a performance where he doubles the hilighted words only. A good singer can improvise this without need for the highlighter.

You can also do this after the fact with editing, just delete the parts you don't want.

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palinilap
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Post by palinilap » Sat May 12, 2007 11:17 pm

The last time I did this I listened closely for passages that weren't working doubled, and muted the crappy takes. It was tedious, but the final result was cool. The doubling occurred sporadically, and was surprisingly musical.

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Post by joel hamilton » Sun May 13, 2007 8:19 am

I almost never double the main vocal, but I will often TRIPLE the main vocal.

Just like when doing multiple string passes, like violin: a double simply highlights the differences between the two, but with three, you start to hear it just aas a thickening, especially when lowpased/de-essed quite a bit, panned hard, with the main up the middle.
You then wind up with a stereo pair that just widens and thickens the main vocal. these takes should be as close to the main as possible in pitch and timing. I will even edit off flamming sibilant moments if need be, like muting or chopping off the "s" at the end of a word, so only the main vocal "does the ess."

It also helps to use something like a really short dely, slighly LFO'd so the pitch drifts ON PURPOSE, and makes the doubles feel a bit more alive, even when they are not oud at ALL. You CAN make it sound lik one big vocal, but it takes a second.

I also will not wind up moving the main singer of the band, or using a different mic, or a different pattern. The main vocal should be as focused as possible. If there are other singers, or a whole group of singers, I will move them around a bit, and certinly put them off mic a bit so regardless of the fader position, the lead singer is always "in front."

Just try and make your performance really match the main track, then lowpass and de-ess the hell out of it if you have to, just to get the "s" and "t's" to not flam. If it is way the hell off from the main, then punch that word or section until you get it right on.

2 tracks always sounds like 2 tracks to me with vocals, but 3 tracks sounds more like 1 if done right...

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