Making harmony vocal sound like someone else

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
JefffM
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:16 am

Making harmony vocal sound like someone else

Post by JefffM » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:46 am

Hi guys,

I am doing some recording and the vocalist has overdubbed a harmony part on a couple of songs. Ideally we would like it to sound like another person singing it.

Anyone know of a plugin or other trick I could try?

Thanks

User avatar
metanoiastudios
buyin' gear
Posts: 593
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:38 am
Location: Goshen, IN
Contact:

Re: Making harmony vocal sound like someone else

Post by metanoiastudios » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:57 am

Hmm. I know Antares makes some kind of a vocal modeller. You could look into that. Waves also makes a vocal plugin that lets you mess with the formant and some other stuff.

If the singer's pretty versatile, you could always have him sing it a little different (more nasaly, more of a deeper sound, etc) and record it with a different mic, slightly off-axis. It won't sound EXACTLY like a different person, but still.
http://www.paulojuarez.com
*Will trade design work for gear!*

User avatar
Nick Sevilla
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Lake Arrowhead California USA
Contact:

Re: Making harmony vocal sound like someone else

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:49 am

JefffM wrote:Hi guys,

I am doing some recording and the vocalist has overdubbed a harmony part on a couple of songs. Ideally we would like it to sound like another person singing it.

Anyone know of a plugin or other trick I could try?

Thanks
Hmmm... I know this is goig to sound a little too blunt and obvious.

If you want a vocal to sound like someone else, then RECORD SOMEONE ELSE.

You will have to deal with the original singer's ego, so be prepared.

Cheers

User avatar
Aquaman
gettin' sounds
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:13 am

Post by Aquaman » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:18 pm

Yeah, sounding like another person is a job for another person.

Trying different timbres is a good idea, as a backup plan. You can also introduce some mixing techniques to differentiate the vocal takes. Try severely hi-passing the backing tracks, for example.

User avatar
Jay Reynolds
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1604
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:48 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Jay Reynolds » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:36 pm

Depending how many layers you want in the vocal stack, you can also try some "bozo takes". This doesn't work unless you already have some legitimately decent background tracks to begin with, and you will not want to put these takes out front. But ask your vocalist (or add 'em yourself) to "do one like Bootsy Collins is singing it". Then "do one like James Brown". Then I like to try "Roy Orbison". Get creative with your choices and there's really no way to mess it up. Its a great way to blow off some steam at the end of a session. The more caricatured sounding, the better and you won't want to use all of them (expect for when you do :wink:). But just one or two of the right bozos can give a lot of character to a chorus or background.
The only thing you want to be careful of is making sure that the vocalist isn't going to get uptight on you about it. This style isn't for everyone. You will also probably want to take a minute and work out the blends for your bozo takes with the vocalist present. They may think you're crazy.
Prog out with your cog out.

User avatar
darjama
tinnitus
Posts: 1000
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:11 pm
Location: East SF Bay

Post by darjama » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:48 pm

You could try a formant shifting plugin (or for a similar effect, try recording it slower using varispeed), but it's only going to do so much. Obviously recording with a different mic & signal path wouldn't hurt either.

Formant shifting plugins:
http://www.xoxos.net/vst/vst.html#effects
http://www.olilarkin.co.uk/index.php?p=freeplugins#ff

User avatar
fossiltooth
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:03 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Post by fossiltooth » Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:55 am

Aquaman wrote:Yeah, sounding like another person is a job for another person.

Trying different timbres is a good idea, as a backup plan.
Yep.

Collaborate.

Work with others.

Hire singers.

Beg friends.

Whatever.

Get others involved, or no one cares!

Angie
gettin' sounds
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 6:37 am
Location: Colorado - Formerly Illinois
Contact:

Post by Angie » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:40 pm

Get a computer to sing it.

http://www.vocaloid.com

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9099
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:18 am

I am always wanting a backing female vocal, which is tough to get at 2:00 AM when I first think of it...

One thing not mentioned is to alter the "tape speed", ex., sing to a slower play back so that at the proper speed the vocal is a higher pitch.

The "bozo" approach is cool! I suggest having the singer sing with a different accent, ex., a Brooklyn, or a Latino...

Also, a whispered vocal, vs. a screamy one, can be a change-up.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
A.David.MacKinnon
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3474
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 5:57 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:43 am

vvv wrote: Also, a whispered vocal, vs. a screamy one, can be a change-up.
Mutt Lang has built a career on that one.
Try 300 tracks of whispered screaming. Blend to taste.

kRza.
pushin' record
Posts: 287
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2003 6:51 pm

Post by kRza. » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:32 am

i had the same quandry a bit ago.
If you want yr backing vocals to sound like a baby's coffin...use that Antares plug. It worse than shit.
I had one vocalist on a project and tried that turd plug. Then asked a neighbor (for some beers) to sing it and voila problem solved. He couldn't hold a tune for much...but pitch correction is much better than trying to fuck with the formant of a duplicate tibre ...especially the same voice.
grab a neighbor...bro....girlfriend.....whoever....free beer - pitch correct it if they suck - or do multiple tracks to add natural chorus for any wacky intonation and there you have it - my 2 cents.

User avatar
pixeltarian
buyin' gear
Posts: 582
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:17 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

woo

Post by pixeltarian » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:39 am

antares throat.
it's in their "vocal toolkit"

I'm not sure if it's sold separately or not. but it does some pretty interesting things - it's at least a good place to start for this sort of thing.

there's a lot of other non hardware/software options though.

sing your a separate track after warming up a TON, like do vocal warm ups almost too much, until the voice gets ever so slightly worn out (don't worry it will feel just fine the next day unless you waaaaay over do it, I'm talking singing a little more than a vocalist's comfort level, not vocal chord suicide)

you could just tryout different vocal stylings (try singing along to a cd with a unique sounding singer for a long while, and keep the 'vibe' it has in mind when your tracking). pronounce things different. sort of like you have an accent, but not really. a lot of artists do this, but I don't think anyones given it a name. change your body position, like, sit down for one vocal part. alter facial expression. It does have a significant impact on the sound when a singer is smiling vs. frowning, etc. open up the throat a LOT and try to sound a bit like an opera singer. Not everyone can pull that off, but it sounds good when not overdone.

are you going for a choral thing or what exactly? I just finished a three part harmony and it turned out pretty decent, I don't think it's obvious that all three parts are my voice, if you want to take a listen and decide you want to take a crack at it, let me know and I'll give you the technique info and the vocal chain specs:

http://www.mediafire.com/?3vd93httmwn

P.S. 100th post - woo! I almost feel like a real fake person.
"Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to cut all sources of retreat."
- Napoleon Hill

http://www.jeffreyjamesmusic.com
spook folk

http://www.myspace.com/tonguesonpaper
electro atmospheric rock

User avatar
JohnDavisNYC
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3035
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2003 2:43 pm
Location: crooklyn, ny
Contact:

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:26 am

varispeed, for those of you with tape, radar, or a good external clock... different 'characters' works, different mics, placement, etc...

but ultimately, getting someone else to sing it will be the easiest.

john
i like to make music with music and stuff and things.

http://www.thebunkerstudio.com/

User avatar
I'm Painting Again
zen recordist
Posts: 7050
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 2:15 am
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Post by I'm Painting Again » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:43 am

vvv wrote:I am always wanting a backing female vocal, which is tough to get at 2:00 AM when I first think of it...
around here is it super easy with a hotdog and some coke..

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9099
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:16 am

I live in the 'burbs, partially for that reason (kids!) :lol:

That said, Pepsi is better (still bad but better), and getting a woman to do anything at 2:00 AM with a hot dog sounds, eh, like greasy trouble.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 68 guests