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Thread: How can I record my high harmony vocals beyond my vocal range?

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    How can I record my high harmony vocals beyond my vocal range?

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    Hi there

    I'm Mike from Australia and this is my first post. I am a singer songwriter who likes to record my own original songs. When I sing the main melody, I usually like to do so towards the top of my range (my highest note is about D or the tenth fret on the thin E string of a guitar). For years I had a Tascam four track cassette recorder (244). It had a knob on it which changed the pitch very easily. So when I would record a higher harmony vocal, I would turn the pitch control down by turning it anti clockwise, record my vocal at a lower key, then turn it back up to normal position. I would then have a tenor harmony vocal beyond my top pitch capability and it had the advantage of changing the timbre of the second vocal so it blended better with my original main melody vocal (without getting into 'chipmunk' territory. Sadly my Tascam gave up the ghost and I am now looking at getting a new home recording system (thinking of using the FocusRite Scarlett interface with my computer using its bundled software (Pro Tools Lite or Ableton) which I know very little about.

    With all that said I am looking to record simply. I loved that aspect of the Tascam. If I go to computer recording, can you good people give me some advice about

    -how I would simulate the process I used on the Tascam for lowering the pitch for high vocals and then raising it again on modern software. The other way took only half a second and I am keen to avoid complex pitch shifting. (I also can't sing falsetto easily).

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Best


    Mike

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    There will be a 'pitch' change option on any modern DAW. Melodyne is better at the task but more expensive.

    Welcome to the forum Mike!
    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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    There are a number of ways of doing.

    As Jimmy said, you can use the pitch shift option that most DAWs have.

    In most DAWs you can also change the playback speed and replicate the method you used with tape. In Reaper this means simply shifting a slider a little bit.

    In Reaper you can also craft a harmony from your original vocal by using ReaVoice. You can also use a formant shift to make it sound less chipmunky

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    Cubase can do this rather nicely too. Each version of software nowadays can do this kind of thing better and better.

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    There's a tool for that.

    wclc-04-jpg

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

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    Sampler. A good keyboard should handle the recoded voice take as a sample. Pilot that sampleon a MIDI controller like a starship using the bend wheel. Play your vocal. Add some white noise to thicken or bit reduction. Stereo reverb as icing on the cake, ducking.

    Probalby a VST in a DAW but , I use an old hardware VP-9000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by how do View Post
    er how about training and lerning the notes that are to high for your voice rather then foolling your self like silly little man (who no longer posts hear after the abusse I suffered). But we dont do stuff like that hear do we now as that would lead to unconstructive critasisum on the jellus little didums job!
    While OP is almost certainly not coming back, this isn't a very helpful comment.

    Everybody's voice is different. There's gonna be notes that you just can't hit. No amount of training is gonna get someone who is naturally a bass to hit a C6. You can't become a world-class musician on any given instrument just by training.

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    We???
    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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    Well - I do happen to know little about vocal training and training as a subject, and singing and musical achievement is a quite documented subject.

    There's the physical side. Everyone has a voice, everyone can sing. The differences are in the objective quality - as in pitch accuracy, rhythmic accuracy and the techniques of music applied to it - plus the subjective quality - as in how it is received by experts and non-experts. One important feature is that none of us have ever heard our voice live as others hear it, because of the split method our ears use. The direct trip down the ear canal and the indirect route through bone conduction. Hence the dislike of the sound of our own voice when recorded.

    In practice we have our main voice, and the most, a falsetto upper register, which can be amazingly wide. When somebody asks what their voice is like, we get a combination answer. I can sing very effective BVs, with complex harmony, with considerable and repeatable accuracy, but the subjective judgement by people I respect is that it's a good, but unremarkable voice. My lead vocals are bland - but accurate. Bob Dylan, on the other hand was very well received despite the fact that by the objective standards he was terrible. Some people have objective and subjective aclaim. Some people cannot sing in tune, with acceptable rhythm. If they also have a very average or below average voice that is not easy to listen to, then by any standard - they're a bad singer. It may be possible to learn to pitch. Rhythm accuracy can be learnt. Syncopation is unlikely to be developed. With proper structured training, range can be extended down and up by support to the muscles we sing with, but with some people the best they might do is a few tones extra. For others, no amount of training makes it better because they simply lack the aptitude or don't have access to good trainers.

    If you have an average voice and ask for advice, most people who do understand the objective and subjective criteria for singing quality can comment, and I think they did. If you cannot accept anything other than a pat on the back, it's always best to not ask. I do demos of tracks I produce for other people to sing with my voice singing their part. I'm not embarrassed by it, but I'm fully aware that even with lots of work, it is what it is. Why are you so grumpy about people who say "well, you're never going too be a great singer" if it's true.

    If you use Frank Sinatra as a singing quality subject, he fails badly in many areas, but like Dylan, he pulls it off. On the other hand quite a few pop singers are bad and just don't make it. We forget them quickly.

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    Everybody can sing, but not everyone can sing well. It's partly to do with nature, and partly to do with training. This is true of any other human activity, like playing golf or painting portraits.

    I have experienced a huge variety of singers over the years. Some brilliant, some tuneless. But it's interesting to see how singers differ. For example, some will sing a melody very well, and if they do a second take, it will be a virtual replica of the first. However, if you ask them to do a harmony, they cannot do it . . . they just lapse into the melody. On the other hand, I've had singers who can sing a melody, and can naturally harmonise very well, but have real difficulty remembering how they sang something to start with, so it is a battle for them to get their phrasing to match.

    This applies to me as well:
    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    I can sing very effective BVs, with complex harmony, with considerable and repeatable accuracy, but the subjective judgement by people I respect is that it's a good, but unremarkable voice. My lead vocals are bland - but accurate.
    But I'm happy to accept my limitations and I still enjoy recording my own material.

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