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Thread: Recording (creating) higher vocal parts than I can sing.

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    Recording (creating) higher vocal parts than I can sing.

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    Back in the days of cassette recording, I just put the tape on half speed, sang the higher parts and then when I played it back at regular speed you would hear the higher harmonies that I could not produce with my regular voice. So my question is, with digital recording (I am using an older Boss BR600 digital 8track) is it possible to record a vocal and play it higher, and how do you do it? Thanks.

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    Get a harmonizer...either standalone hardware...or if you can use plugins with your Boss, there are various software harmonizers.

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    What's your budget? The 'tape speed' trick makes you sound like Alvin & the Chipmunks, probably not what you are looking for.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    You could still do that same old school trick with Audacity. Record at half the speed and digitally change the vocal with the change tempo effect.
    I'm only competing with the person I was yesterday.

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    Melodyne. Although I've never used it for this purpose, I understand that it can be used for this, and harmonies, etc. etc. Can be expensive depending on what version you get, but it's well worth it imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skwee View Post
    You could still do that same old school trick with Audacity. Record at half the speed and digitally change the vocal with the change tempo effect.
    That gives the 'chipmunk' effect

    Quote Originally Posted by powerpop View Post
    Melodyne. Although I've never used it for this purpose, I understand that it can be used for this, and harmonies, etc. etc. Can be expensive depending on what version you get, but it's well worth it imo.
    Yep, you need to use a software that changes the underlying sound. A voice on C below middle C does not sound the same as a voice on middle C.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    [QUOTE=mjbphotos;4519360]That gives the 'chipmunk' effect

    I'm not advocating for the technique, per se, but if you record them at half speed, then they should come out at normal speed and the octave this person wants.
    I'm only competing with the person I was yesterday.

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    [QUOTE=skwee;4519385]
    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    That gives the 'chipmunk' effect

    I'm not advocating for the technique, per se, but if you record them at half speed, then they should come out at normal speed and the octave this person wants.
    Yep. And sound like a chipmunk...

    Even Melodyne can't make a full octave sound natural. It is just impossible.

    Used in a mix with a natural voice however, it is not so noticeable. Upper and lower 3rds and 5th harmonies sit good when mixed well. Solo them and you hear that it is fake.

    Octaves can be done, but it will sound intentional as an effect. I just did one recently that we called Death Kermit. But it is obvious for a reason.
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    If the key is more than four semitones too high you can increase your pitch by artificial means (like simple pitch shifting) for BVs and get away with it but if you want to retain 'you' then I've had little luck going more than a tone. The new features in cubase are great, but move too far and while you don't sound like Alvin you don't sound like you. However, I've also discovered even a semi tone shift in the whole song's key can be worth trying and then you sing normally. Like reinventing varispeed from the 60's.

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    My own solution is to have a female friend over to sing the treble parts. Works every time.
    I'm only competing with the person I was yesterday.

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