Billie eilish's "xanny" or, Saturating a Beat Frequency Part 2


#1

I posted a topic a month or two before the death of IDMf 1.0 about a theoretical, one hand clapping kind of process, how to saturate a beat frequency.

There was a very good discussion going on. But last night I heard kind of an opposite take on this that really perked my attention. Billie Eilish’s debut full length album has a song “xanny”, listen here so I don’t spoil the effect.

Listened yet?

Ok, so you probably noticed in the chorus the bass is distorting the vocals, tonally, and causing not just the distortion but a rapid ducking effect in time. What’s trippy is how they start playing beyond this, panning the vocals around. And in other songs (and perhaps this one don’t remember) they have the same effect on the vocals almost except minus the distorting agent (the bass), so I almost wonder if they didn’t just drive the bass and vocals into one distortion but actually synthesized a distortion on the vocals in time to the frequency of the bass. What do you think? How would you create this harmonic, musical effect of what is otherwise turning the volume up too high for the system?


#2

I have nothing to contribute beyond saying that I really enjoyed that effect. Might be the new cool thing in three years once the heathens learn how to do it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, those lyrics. Jeez. Saddest person in the world.

Nah, we’re on 3.0 now. :wink:


#3

Ive got nothing except I just started listening to this woman’s music and am surprised I kinda dig it.


#4

This. The effects on bass and vocals are not the same imho. Some effect parameters in the vocal FX chain are probably bound to the bass volume level (and maybe additional aspects) by envelope follower or similar.


#5

honestly its just a high speed lfo modulating the volume of the vocals set the speed of the lfo fast enough and sync it with a saturated sub bass


#6

The timbre of the vocals changes as well so it’s not “just” that if they utilized that method.


#7

You can also achieve distortion if you slam it into a limiter/compressor so that it will distort


#8

I’m going to guess that it’s a mix of mutiple steps.

The biggest thing for me is it feels like two channels are slamming into each other on the same bus. Notice at 45 seconds the bass changes slightly and the vocals opens up for a moment. Or modify.

The only reason I say that is, do you remember redlining all your tracks on your first projects ever? I do. Change one thing slightly and other stuff opens up or comes in to frame.

But this is intentionally done as an effect. But I figure the would just be the foundation to do the rest of it. Compression, LFO, sidechaining, etc.

Neat experience none the less. Would be curious to see the actual chain.