Post-Script to Clockwork Clown Blog
by, 07-22-2012 at 07:32 AM (12087 Views)
This is a post-script to the final part of my 6 part "Clockwork Clown" blog. To get the full sense of this little piece, you really need to the final part of of the blog here: http://forum.recordingreview.com/blo...ls-vocals.html
Here's something interesting I came up with for the vocals on my winning May "Accident" mix:
One of the problems I had was with getting the vocal to sit "just right". In "Accident" the vocalist had quite a high voice with not much lower midrange power in it - almost the complete opposite of the Clockwork Clown vocal. The difficulty was in getting the vocal to "connect" with the rest of the mix.
Here's the sound of the solo'd vocal:
There seemed to be a "spectral gap" in the low mids that no amount of boosting eq seemed to fix - it just seemed to muddy things up. The problem was that there was virtually none to speak of in the first place...So it needed to be "generated" - but how?
Vocal tuning held the answer... well, not vocal tuning per se, but one of the parameters offered by vocal tuning. The "Formant" control is critical when making tuning shifts, especially large ones - it can stop the shift in pitch from creating a shift in the tonal timbre of the vocal. For example, if you have to shift a note up a number of tones, the tonal quality will probably end up being "chipmunk" like. But by turning down the formant control to counter the upward shift in pitch, the vocal will retain the same timbral quality as the unshifted notes. You can mess with the overall tone of a vocal just by changing the formant control. Turning it down is instant Barry White, turning it up is instant Elvin the Chipmunk.
I had often used the formant control to "naturalize" the sound of artificially generated harmonies, so I knew what it was capable of... This gave me the clue to appropriate it to inject a little "Barry White" into the "Accident" vocal & create some subtle low-mid "connective tissue". Again, my approach was to use it in parallel to the main vocal, just slid in underneath it:
Here's how it sounded solo'd:
...pretty weird huh?
Yet, combined with the main vocal, it just gave it that certain "something":
So, there you go, intrepid Home Recording Audio Engineers, go forth & imagine your own weird & wonderful uses for all the incredible modern digital facilities we have at our fingertips!
All the best!