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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:59 am 
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While recording a vocal track it dawned on me that some harmonies would be great. I have a terrific vocal harmonizer (hardware), namely the TChelicon Harmony-G XT, which works with a guitar input for determining the harmonies in real time.

I recorded a few chords with the keyboard and a guitar VSTI that follow the melody chords into the DAW (no need to record actual guitar) and assigned them to an output bus. Both tracks can be deleted after the vocal harmonies are successfully recorded.

The output bus plays through an unused output of my rec/pb hardware (Focusrite Saffire) which is not connected to any of the mixes that go to either monitors or headphones. (On the Saffire, you have to assign one of the DAW inputs other than DAW1/2[which is the monitor speakers] to the output used).

During recording, I hear a zero latency mix from the hardware (the Saffire can do that), including harmony vocals and DAW, and the harmonizer only "hears" the fake guitar chords for determining the harmonies.

Be aware that the output signal from the DAW is very strong for a guitar input, so be conservative on the volume settings.

The result is excellent, great boost to the song.

This procedure can be used for other types of reamping, provided you have hardware that has extra output channels.

have fun,

-helmut

addendum:

You may even go as far as reamping the voice track itself along with the fake guitar chords. You could thus force different harmonies if you alter the chords into, say, dominant sevenths or whatever. However, if you sing in the harmonies kinda "live" as described above, you most certainly sing differently, having Linda and this hunk of a black guy singing along with you. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:53 am 
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Yes I used to use TCHelicon Voicelive, but in fact MC can do it better IMO. Here's my method:

Duplicate the lead vocal part 3 times. Pitch each of the duplicates up by a third, a fourth and a fifth respectively.

When you play back each pitched clip along with the lead vocal, some notes will be obviously "right" and some will not. Edit out all of the "wrong" notes from each of the three duplicates, and make a comp. It will sound brilliant, and for the final touch I use autotune, not to tune the vocals, but to add the formant. Sounds very convincing!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:50 am 
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Location: near Music City,USA
aj113 wrote:
Yes I used to use TCHelicon Voicelive, but in fact MC can do it better IMO. Here's my method:

Duplicate the lead vocal part 3 times. Pitch each of the duplicates up by a third, a fourth and a fifth respectively.

When you play back each pitched clip along with the lead vocal, some notes will be obviously "right" and some will not. Edit out all of the "wrong" notes from each of the three duplicates, and make a comp. It will sound brilliant, and for the final touch I use autotune, not to tune the vocals, but to add the formant. Sounds very convincing!


dang,I never even thought of that. I just always do it the old fashioned way.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:22 pm 
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Ah, yes this will work. Must try that one time.
With the TChelicon I noticed, the unit forces you to sing better, because it will not catch onto the harmonies if you miss the tone. It has some pitch correction built into it, but this cannot work wonders without sounding like Cher.

Also, there is some "live" effect to it. Dependent on the harmonies setting I find I sing things I could not have come up with if I wanted. There is some momentum in using it that yields different results as a single voice treated afterwards.

It is funny that although the results are less than natural sounding, the total result is very convincing.
This unit always is a guaranteed jaw-dropper if you play your guitar and sing along and then kick in the harmonies unexpectedly.

-helmut


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:16 pm 
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I have used a similar technique with my Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Do be aware that there is in fact a latency happening. It may not be obvious to you, but it was to me. I solved that problem by simply visually lining up the incoming harmonies with the existing vocal.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:32 am 
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Hmm. I did not notice any latency the DAW would introduce. But the hardware box has a DSP built in that effectively does some D/A and A/D conversion besides heavy computation.

As opposed to a live usage, we have the luxury of moving things around in the DAW.

-helmut


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