Whenever I’ve tried to incorporate my voice…I’ve found that resampling it works best…but when mixing it with synths it has to be perfectly intune… I know it’s just me sucking and not being in tune but mixing vocals with electronic music is super hard…so any tips…
Melodyne and Autotune to the rescue!
I’m in the same boat as you - I’d probably need lessons and a lot of practice in order to pull it off. I’ve tried many times and realized the hard way that it’s not just something you can pull out of your back pocket and kick ass at.
But on the other hand, melodyne and autotune can definitely make you gud.
I record them phrase by phrase while monitoring pitch. I can’t imagine singing 8 bars at a time.
Also good idea is to double vocals and make backing voices too, and a bunch of words just you can put them in a mix when you needed.
I’m usually thinking about the lyrics as I’m composing, as this is by far the easiest way I’ve found for me. So, I make sure of a few things as I go, like keeping to a scale that isn’t going to tax my voice too much. Keeping in a scale range for your natural voice. Although most the time I’m barely singing, as I don’t have a vocal booth, so I tend to have this hushed song to almost spoken vocal delivery. Then I learn the whole song by heart, and spend as much time practicing until I’ve got it down and my voice is sitting where I want it for the song. As I use hardware, I’ll record the instrumentation and the vocals at the same time as one track. I always find the vocals sound better in the mix that way. Then I record takes until I get it right.
I might sometimes do 2 vocal takes of identical lyrics and timing, but with different effects on them, and then blend them together. As for Autotune and the like, I’d rather cut of my ears with a spoon. My voice may be far from perfect, but it’s my voice inperfections and all.
Punk it. Shouting solves all tech issues and is very therapeutic.
I often find when working with backing singers (like, the lead vocalists I record can sing in tune with the backing track easy peasy) but with many of the backing vocals, which are great to add for some variety here and there, some things I find can help them a lot are:
Having a guide track. Often best is not actually a lead vocal track as those have way more inflection, vibrato, more pronounced consonants. So I’ll record a scratch guide track that is sung very straight on the notes and beat, no vibrato. That seems to be especially helpful when it is a harmony. Oftentimes, it they are doing a harmony I will even mute the lead line. A lot of times this saves me from having to use autotune.
Doing small chunks. Lots of people less experienced with singing struggle with breathing. Sometimes I’ve coached them on this, other times, easier just to try to do like, half the verse at a time or w/e.
Of course comping. Set a loop and take multiple takes. This applies to any vocals though for me. I do letter grades line by line so track progress. That helps for efficiency of editing later.
Im actually alright with having some of my lyrics and vocals intelligible or low in the mix, sometimes there for just another texture, if a listeners wants to concentrate on it then they probably will make out what I’m singing, but if not then probably not. That’s more a stylistic choice I make though. apart from that as mentioned already, just take multiple takes, then I use Cubase vari-audio to clean up pitch, I don’t go made on the tuning though, I find that I get away with the tuning and get to leave them sounding more natural a bit more because of my choice of keeping the vocals low.
I too sing phrase by phrase. Helps me focus on tone, pitch and rhythm.
Also, Melodyne over here. I bought it for some client projects, one of which was a real challenge so I got quite proficient with it.
The other thing I do is ensure that my synths aren’t perfectly in tune, I discovered this when I was doing a lot of guitar tracking along side VST’s, the guitar never sat right in the mix because of the fluctuations in pitch due to slight variations in intonation and string bending while playing. Same applies to voice. In part this has been remedied by my use of more HW synths, but I also take measures to “slop it up a bit” in post after tracking, esp w VST’s. I’ve got some max for live, reaktor and plug-in tools for this purpose.
I don’t know why but i think it is cool video. Just found it and wanna watch https://youtu.be/a_xoEnKh-P0
I like this suggestion the most because at least it’s the raw, real version of your voice at work.
Always remember that Britney Spears’ pro-deucer has probably mastered all of the more ‘advanced’ studio techniques, and we have confirmation that it actually sounds like garbage with absolutely zero heart and soul behind it.
i take the albini philosophy in the sense that i don’t want to fuck with the vocal qualities and performance, as much as possible. creative FX are one thing but when it comes to treatment and mixing i think of it like any other instrument, is it clear, is the natural character there, does it sit comfortably in the mix?
i do comp takes but i try always to do as much as i can as live as I can, with fewer cuts - it’s less work in editing (since i usually record myself) and it preserve more feel. I don’t specifically break it into phrases (besides considering where i take my breaths) but i always try to at least get easy to cut chunks so i’m not splicing words or trying to hide unnatural cuts in the middles of words or anything
above all tho i wanna be true to the voice i’m recording be it mine or someone else’s, not cutting the shit out of it and drowning it with studio FX