Harmonies

robgreen

no face
Very similar story. I grew up in the Catholic school and sang in choir. Rock bands. Now basement.
Like you I came across a software harmonizer.
I did this tune for that.
A single vocal line with 3 harmonics added by machine.
I had to set the harmonizers up for specifics like 3rds and 6ths.
I learned pretty quickly that I could alter the sound by doing a "wha wha" inflection. There is a term for that.
It was fun.

This is really interesting. I've never tried these harmonisers before and my approach to harmonies and backing vocals is pretty basic and often involves scratching around like a blind chicken. I can usually pitch to a fifth or an octave to harmonise, but besides that I've no real idea.

So do you punch the key into the harmoniser then - because you'd need to know whether to flatten the 3rds and 6ths depending on whether it was the major or minor key? Any recommended software ones to play around with?

One thing I can see being fun would be to create the initial harmonies with the tool and then use them as a guide to re-track against.

On harmonies in general, I'm just not good or experienced enough to know what the various constituent parts being sung are when I hear a song that uses them heavily. Maybe this would be a good way to start recognising the patterns.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
The TC Helicon I have can be driven from MIDI and used live, and you essential play the chord, it figures out the notes in it and then take the mic input and creates the notes - you select things like how many voices below and above and stuff like that. It's actually quite good when dropped in and out live. However, it can only do parallel harmony, so while one or two voices can be held on, if their note is common to both chords, you can't have movement within a chord - or of course has instead of words. That all said, musically and quality wise, they're now no longer the robotic sounding things they were.
 

Manslick

Road
This is really interesting. I've never tried these harmonisers before and my approach to harmonies and backing vocals is pretty basic and often involves scratching around like a blind chicken. I can usually pitch to a fifth or an octave to harmonise, but besides that I've no real idea.

So do you punch the key into the harmoniser then - because you'd need to know whether to flatten the 3rds and 6ths depending on whether it was the major or minor key? Any recommended software ones to play around with?

One thing I can see being fun would be to create the initial harmonies with the tool and then use them as a guide to re-track against.

On harmonies in general, I'm just not good or experienced enough to know what the various constituent parts being sung are when I hear a song that uses them heavily. Maybe this would be a good way to start recognising the patterns.

Rob,

On this particular tune, there is 4 devices called Neptune, which is a harmonizer device in the Reason DAW.

One is set to adjust the main melody. "AutoTune"

The others are set to transpose the note coming in, to root, 3rd and 5th.

If you notice the first device is set to C major, then C, E, G respectively. On the clip posted I had one set to A the 6th and that gives it that country flavor, like a train horn in the night.

It is easier to do this than explain it.

HTH
 

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DM60

Well-known member
I do a lot of multiple vocals. One song I am mixing now, it is like 20 tracks of vocals, basic plastic garbage can hits, and various non-musical equipment, a single bass and a acoustic in the background. Very fun to play.

Here is one I did with the main verses using two vocals, then the chorus uses about three, maybe four harmonies. Many times I just vary the pitch slightly to get the sound that I like. Caution, very spiritual song, but around 1:18 is the chorus.

 

fat_fleet

Swollen Member
... you had me until Beyonce. :D

You know I was listening to one of Armistice's songs in the clinic not long ago and I heard him do a Beyonce-part, and narcissistically thought "Hey, he's been listening to my stuff!" but soon realized it's statistically more likely he's actually listening to Beyonce.
 

Jimham70

New member
I recently bought Izotope's Nectar2 Production Bundle and will be trying it out soon. This software takes the next step from harmonizers with added features like using midi to execute the notes that have been pitch shifted from the original vocal as well as panning & modulating... to separate the other voices. It's a great time to be making music.
 

robgreen

no face
Rob,

On this particular tune, there is 4 devices called Neptune, which is a harmonizer device in the Reason DAW.

One is set to adjust the main melody. "AutoTune"

The others are set to transpose the note coming in, to root, 3rd and 5th.

If you notice the first device is set to C major, then C, E, G respectively. On the clip posted I had one set to A the 6th and that gives it that country flavor, like a train horn in the night.

It is easier to do this than explain it.

HTH

Thanks Manslick, that does help and is pretty interesting. Was also interesting to listen to the clip you posted upthread. I just downloaded a harmonizer this morning called pitchproof and tried something similar to you with a vocal track for a cover I did a while back –the main vocal already had compression, eq and reverb plugs on, and I sent it to a couple of other tracks which had the plug in on. I set one to a 3rd, one to a 5th and one to an octave up. There are also a couple of takes panned left and right and a lower layer which came in here and there which I left as they were.

Didn’t get chance to do much other than that, but would now be interesting to try and track a harmony using that as a guide for pitching at a 3rd up, as well as playing around with some other types of harmonies.

This was the outcome, kinda robotic sounding like fleet says, but was fun to play around with: Baby Britain harmoniser
 

Nola

Active member
Not to say I don't know some tone deaf people and unfortunately they just can't sing in key.

That's not the definition of tone deaf. Tone deaf is a specific condition where the person can't hear pitches rising or falling. If the person is singing out of key, yet raising and dropping the pitch (just missing the actual notes) that is definitely not a tone deaf person. They hear the pitches moving just can't match them. Totally different problem that commonly gets defined as tone deaf.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
That's not the definition of tone deaf. Tone deaf is a specific condition where the person can't hear pitches rising or falling. If the person is singing out of key, yet raising and dropping the pitch (just missing the actual notes) that is definitely not a tone deaf person. They hear the pitches moving just can't match them. Totally different problem that commonly gets defined as tone deaf.

Thanks for the insight. :)

TAE was not trying to make a judgment or medical diagnosis on anyone...

Maybe coin the term 'tone challenged'? I have much experience with that. Ugh..
 

TAE

All you have is now
That's not the definition of tone deaf.
I wasn't defining Tone Deaf, I implied I know some people who are tone deaf and to that effect .... for sure, without a doubt, they can not sing in key. Being as it is estimated that about 5% of the population is tone deaf it's not surprising that I have ran across a few in my life and experienced that inability.

I do like the politically correct term "Tone Challenged" for those that are not actually tone "deaf" but do have a hard time replicating tone with any reliable precision.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
I wasn't defining Tone Deaf, I implied I know some people who are tone deaf and to that effect .... for sure, without a doubt, they can not sing in key. Being as it is estimated that about 5% of the population is tone deaf it's not surprising that I have ran across a few in my life and experienced that inability.

I do like the politically correct term "Tone Challenged" for those that are not actually tone "deaf" but do have a hard time replicating tone with any reliable precision.

I was sure of that. :)

I am thinking closer to 70% can't hold a note. The other 25% can hold them well and have great fun at Karaoke bars.

It is the special 5% that either attempt to make a career or puts forth the effort to try. This is where there can be found greatness.

Even in that last 5% that have recorded with me, I have found issues.

Good lord Brittany Spears had a lucrative career in what I would have to place in the last 5%. But she offered more than vocals.. Guess it not just vocal talent huh?

Ok, Im just gonna STFU now....
 

TAE

All you have is now
Think I've finally figured out how to get the Quintet to follow the keyboard chords...having a lot of fun...Can totally get where Freddie could of / would of gotten inspiration for the harmonies they came up with...so fricking easy to get ideas and inspiration...living in harmony

Not sure if it's got some software issues sometimes it works and sometimes it stops doing the harmonies..weird..have the Quintet audio outputs routed to my Yamaha MOX8 audio inputs which I am using as the soundcard connected to my laptop and also have the Quintet connected to the MOX8 via a midi cable to trigger it. I came out to the studio yesterday and the laptop had gone into sleep mode ...previously was not able to get it to follow the chords no matter what settings I tried.... all of sudden it was following them...Then I woke my laptop and boom it stopped....WTF? I did a reset of the unit and for now it seems to be working and it's a lot of fun...

Kind of busy and have to travel this week but I'll try and lay down a few examples next weekend of how this damn thing works. IMO it works damn well for a 15+ year old piece of rack mounted gear...A guitarist I play with has a Voicelive thats a few years old and I think this unit is definitely at least on par if not better sounding.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
TAE, just fyi...theres a UX8 for $119 at GC in Tx. I was thinking of buying it as a spare for mine. lol
I just got a spare though and was amazed how it loaded up, has Window 10 drivers and the PodFarm PLatinum was free still...a $299 deal.

as for harmonies, im a amazed with you all who even know what harmonies are technically...not an easy thing to do imo.
 

TAE

All you have is now
TAE, just fyi...theres a UX8 for $119 at GC in Tx.

Very cool of you "Cool Cat" to give me a heads up.

Things happen for a reason (maybe ;)) With the UX8 biting the dust it forced me to try a couple of things...figuring out how to make the MOX send to Reaper ( done ) and because I knew the Quintet had a sweet preamp and very nice reverbs....I broke it out to use for vocals in place of Pod farm ( which I had come to rely on exclusively ) ....I had tried to get the harmony thing to work ages ago without any luck and then it just sat...started fiddling with it due to the gun to my head and the preamp for the mic is excellent, the verbs are awesome and most importantly it threw me into harmony land....not sure how much I will explore this new territory as it is a far stretch from my down n dirty one shot recordings but I believe it is where I need to venture so off I go.

Being as Line 6 is not making the UX8 anymore and the support and parts availability will dwindle I opted to look for something more recently released....I was ready to pull the trigger on the very inexpensive yet seemingly impressive Behringer 404HD or it's big brother UMC 1820....then I got the MOX working and it is damn nice for a soundcard in a keyboard..... 2 line ins to Reaper from the keys and 2 lines in for outboard gear( in this case the Quintet ) Being as currently it's just me recording me, I never need more than 4 inputs at a time so I decided to wait till after NAMM to purchase a new interface...still felling very strong about the Behringer choice but want to see whats coming down the line before pulling the trigger.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
theres logic to your getting something new. You went the resourceful route and with a good preamp for free, sounds to be working fine.
Whats a MOX? ..Motu?

I hear you for not needing the 8 inputs, rarely is 3,4,5,6 used. me neither.
 

TAE

All you have is now
Whats a MOX?

Yamaha MOX8 is my 88 keyboard which oddly enough came with what I believe to be a Steinberg ( part of Yamaha ) 4 channel audio interface built into it. Did not buy it for the interface and have to admit it took some head scratching to get it to communicate with reaper but once it was rolling EZ PZ and seems to be of very good quality. Certainly works for the short term and is a good exercise in controlling "GAS" "Gear Acquisition Syndrome"
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
nice keys, sequencer and interface. hey if that works, 4 seq and 4 ins,,,72 drum kits. you already have an interface it looks like.

Namm17, thats another thing why I slowed on buying another interface, beside not needing one, is the USB-C thing.
 

TAE

All you have is now
Wow...I am amazed with my little magic harmonizing unit Old technology that seems to be damn powerful...TC Helicon Quintet....

Really digging the harmonies I am getting out of it...linked with my keyboard via midi, it shows me each chord I'm playing as I move around on the keys and adjust the different parts of the harmonies as I do..I.E. I can be holding a vocal note in C with a c major chord, drop to a c minor and one of the harmonies (I can have up to 4 parts and 6 voices to choose from) follows the change.

Picking out a bunch of songs to try it with and will be pushing the record button pretty soon.....:eek:
 

TAE

All you have is now
OK here's a quicky with the voicelive

I have about 30 minutes into this...3 shots live to get an acceptable "take" a few minutes sort of pulling out the dead mic air..( not all of it ;( ) run through audacity to compress and convert to mp3 ...done

So keys and vocals performed live with the voicelive converting the vocal into a harmonized vocal...just scratching the surface of what I'll be able to pull off with the VL but for this mellow diddly it worked..

Autumn an old Edgar Winter Band / Danny Hartman tune....
 
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