#1
I do this, but is there a way to make it a bit less obvious?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T-9V0aZvyY


That's my cover of a Stooges song, which I double tracked the vocals. Maybe it's just me but I can hear two seperate voices rather than one big voice if that makes sense. Is there a correct way to do this?


Also does this song have the main vocals and then the main vocals underneath an octave down? I'm just making sure I'm not the only one hearing it. (at the chorus I'm hearing it, starts at 1:12)


Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=---X12mY14Q


Any help would be amensly apperciated.
#2
Yep, there are several voices in the chorus bit at 1:12.

Anyway, one tip many use is to have one of the takes lower in the mix than the second, enough that they interact nicely but it gels better as a single vocal line. Also, you have to be good at hitting the same notes consistently and with the same timing for double-tracked vocals to work best.

If you struggle getting them to work, many people sing the praises of copying the vocal track and shifting one up and one down a few cents in pitch, and putting a slight delay on one. A similar approach, which I've used to widen single vocal lines before, is to use a delay (I use Logic Pro 8's built in Delay Designer, so many delays you'll have to use a few times for this, rather than the way I describe) where I have just two repeats of the source - one gets panned left a little and one gets panned right similarly (around 30-50% is all that's required or you start competing with guitars and such); then one repeat is shifted up 3 cents, and one down; and finally I make the delay for the first repeat somewhere around 8-12ms and the second repeat is between 11-15ms, or sometimes a slightly larger gap between the two.


Edit: After listening to your track, the second verse is more noticeable than the first by quite a bit - I actually thought the first verse and most of the chorus was fine. Maybe using a bit of reverb would help for the first half, and then I think you'd need to look at alligning the vocal lines a bit for the rest - If you zoom in to the vocal tracks enough, you should be able to bring one more in line with the other... if the timing is a bit varied, you may have to chop up the vocal lines a bit into single words/when there are big enough gaps, so that you can move them around a bit more freely, which is tedious but can be a lifesaver when nothing else works!
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Mar 28, 2011,
#3
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Yep, there are several voices in the chorus bit at 1:12.

Anyway, one tip many use is to have one of the takes lower in the mix than the second, enough that they interact nicely but it gels better as a single vocal line. Also, you have to be good at hitting the same notes consistently and with the same timing for double-tracked vocals to work best.

If you struggle getting them to work, many people sing the praises of copying the vocal track and shifting one up and one down a few cents in pitch, and putting a slight delay on one. A similar approach, which I've used to widen single vocal lines before, is to use a delay (I use Logic Pro 8's built in Delay Designer, so many delays you'll have to use a few times for this, rather than the way I describe) where I have just two repeats of the source - one gets panned left a little and one gets panned right similarly (around 30-50% is all that's required or you start competing with guitars and such); then one repeat is shifted up 3 cents, and one down; and finally I make the delay for the first repeat somewhere around 8-12ms and the second repeat is between 11-15ms, or sometimes a slightly larger gap between the two.


this guy knows his stuff!!! it is all how they edit and mix it. so have one has "lead vocals" then some more as harmony or backing vocals!
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#4
well the way i do it, instead of recording 2 seperate tracks, just automate a bit of chorus in the parts you want to double track. that way, you don't have to mess around recording more takes, and you can adjust the settings in whatever way you want.
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#5
Quote by Unholy.Daemon
well the way i do it, instead of recording 2 seperate tracks, just automate a bit of chorus in the parts you want to double track. that way, you don't have to mess around recording more takes, and you can adjust the settings in whatever way you want.

The only problem with chorus, is that because the signal is going in and out of phase, it is more noticeable than doubling with a delay/panning/transposition, and that effect might be too much in a track with just vocals and acoustic guitar. But, yours is another suggestion that is good when it suits the song

Quote by thejester
this guy knows his stuff!!! it is all how they edit and mix it. so have one has "lead vocals" then some more as harmony or backing vocals!

Thanks
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Mar 28, 2011,
#6
oh, i didn't actually listen to the track, i didn't realise it was just vocals and acoustic =]
yeah, Goliath's method would most likely work better in this case.
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#7
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Edit: After listening to your track, the second verse is more noticeable than the first by quite a bit - I actually thought the first verse and most of the chorus was fine. Maybe using a bit of reverb would help for the first half, and then I think you'd need to look at alligning the vocal lines a bit for the rest - If you zoom in to the vocal tracks enough, you should be able to bring one more in line with the other... if the timing is a bit varied, you may have to chop up the vocal lines a bit into single words/when there are big enough gaps, so that you can move them around a bit more freely, which is tedious but can be a lifesaver when nothing else works!



I heard about the delay thing before, so I moved one vocal take ahead a little, which explains the out-of-sync feeling. I don't have access to delay so I tried that lol.


I'm gonna try the delay thing right now on audacity. The reason I moved one slighty is I heard the two frequencies can cancel each other out or something?
#8
Quote by rocknrollstar
I heard about the delay thing before, so I moved one vocal take ahead a little, which explains the out-of-sync feeling. I don't have access to delay so I tried that lol.


I'm gonna try the delay thing right now on audacity. The reason I moved one slighty is I heard the two frequencies can cancel each other out or something?

Audacity isn't really the best tool for the job but I'm sure there's ways of doing it on there.

As for the cancelling out - you're talking about about phase cancellation, but that only really applies to two similar signals of the same source... in the case of two separate takes, it's very unlikely you'd get any negativeeffects, and it's in the microseconds range that this sort of thing applies because it's only a few samples difference between positive and negative in a complex waveform.
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#9
It isn't too noticeable and it isn't bad-sounding in the way it is noticeable.
I like the part at 1:20. Sounds big and strong.

I've heard professional albums with extreeeemely noticeable multi-tracked voices. (Nickelback anyone? lol) and sometimes it isn't necessarily a bad thing unless they don't flow together properly. For example, I've heard some errors in recording like on a Big 'N' Rich album (lol) the two singers would on occasion not end a line at exactly the same time or something and it wouldn't really sound the best. Not something most people will notice, but avoid things like that.

Like Goliath said, zooming in and trying to fix things up right can work. I've done it for guitar tracks before and it worked fine. Usually, some slight differences won't be enough to matter though. If you get them too perfect then you'll lose some of that dual sound.

the part at 1:20 sounds big and strong in a good way.
#10
Quote by TechnicolorType
It isn't too noticeable and it isn't bad-sounding in the way it is noticeable.
I like the part at 1:20. Sounds big and strong.

I've heard professional albums with extreeeemely noticeable multi-tracked voices. (Nickelback anyone? lol) and sometimes it isn't necessarily a bad thing unless they don't flow together properly. For example, I've heard some errors in recording like on a Big 'N' Rich album (lol) the two singers would on occasion not end a line at exactly the same time or something and it wouldn't really sound the best. Not something most people will notice, but avoid things like that.

Like Goliath said, zooming in and trying to fix things up right can work. I've done it for guitar tracks before and it worked fine. Usually, some slight differences won't be enough to matter though. If you get them too perfect then you'll lose some of that dual sound.

the part at 1:20 sounds big and strong in a good way.


Yeah I've noticed it on Nickelback. I remember before I was into music at all and thinking "what's with this guy?" and thanks for the compliment


I'd like to make my recordings "bigger" if thats the word, but when I start layering guitars, it essentially sounds like arse. I've got an 8 track and I like to keep effects to a minimum (mainly because my computer is pretty shakey)


Anyway the more I layer tracks, sometimes it actually sounds quieter, or it just completely overpowers the vocals. I guess this is just experimenting and the like?


Quote by DisarmGoliath
Audacity isn't really the best tool for the job but I'm sure there's ways of doing it on there.

As for the cancelling out - you're talking about about phase cancellation, but that only really applies to two similar signals of the same source... in the case of two separate takes, it's very unlikely you'd get any negativeeffects, and it's in the microseconds range that this sort of thing applies because it's only a few samples difference between positive and negative in a complex waveform.



I see. So it's experimentation and working with what I got? I reckon if I can get things bigger without effects then I'm on my way.
#12
Quote by FireHawk
My band layers all of our vocals (almost) usually with a harmony. Sometimes you can't really tell sometimes you can. I think it can sound really good if used correctly.



I've heard this on a few Beatles and Stone Roses tracks, I'll give it a go.


Got a week off coming soon, gonna try as many techniques as possible, keep em comin
#14
the best thing to do is work on your singing. you kind of have to get used to double tracking. you can do all the editing you want and all the "tricks," but nothing will sound as good as a singer who is good at layering.

take that good singer and apply some of what was said above, and you've got a quality sound.
#15
Quote by sandyman323
the best thing to do is work on your singing. you kind of have to get used to double tracking. you can do all the editing you want and all the "tricks," but nothing will sound as good as a singer who is good at layering.


GAME. SET. MATCH.
#16
Double-tracking *anything* requires being *super* tight - especially vocals.

John Lennon pretty much always did this. It was basically "his sound."

And yes, too many layers actually starts having the reverse effect and actually sounds smaller. The reason is that "punchiness" lives in the air around the sound. If there is no air in there anymore, and instead, just one "brick" of sound that has no breathing space, it doesn't sound very good.

Looked at another way... In order to tell how big the mountain is, you need to be able to see the ground and the sky. If you stand in front of a cliff and all you see is a wall of rock, it's hard to say for sure how big it is.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#17
Quote by axemanchris
Double-tracking *anything* requires being *super* tight - especially vocals.

John Lennon pretty much always did this. It was basically "his sound."

And yes, too many layers actually starts having the reverse effect and actually sounds smaller. The reason is that "punchiness" lives in the air around the sound. If there is no air in there anymore, and instead, just one "brick" of sound that has no breathing space, it doesn't sound very good.

Looked at another way... In order to tell how big the mountain is, you need to be able to see the ground and the sky. If you stand in front of a cliff and all you see is a wall of rock, it's hard to say for sure how big it is.

CT



In regards to Lennons sound, I've heard it was 3 takes, one hard left, one hard right and one down the middle. The ones on left and right at a lower volume.


Anyone verify this?
#18
Could be... I, too, would be interested in this correction, if applicable.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#20
Depends on the singer and the context. Sometimes I like it. When I do it, I rarely like it. Lennon sounds terrific that way.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#21
Speaking of double tracking here is a plugin that artificially does it.
The ADT technique was developed at Abbey Road Studios by engineers recording the Beatles in the 1960s. To free John Lennon from having to sing everything twice for real double tracking they came up with an artificial replacement: they sent the original signal to another tape machine and re-recorded it. Due to the physical distance between record and playback heads the new signal was delayed. The length of the delay depends on the tape speed (the slower the tape is running the longer it takes for the signal to travel from the record to the playback head). However, due to the machine's (small amounts of) Wow and Flutter the delay time was not fixed but varied slightly, giving an additional chorus-like effect.
The ADT Plug-In takes a mono input signal and creates a stereo output. The original input signal will be output on one channel, the new ADT signal on the other. Blending the two is also possible. The Plug-In allows to control the delay time (10 - 50ms), Wow and Flutter (both with intensity in % and frequency). All values are based on the technical data of the tape machines that was originally used to create this effect. Take a look at a screenshot.


http://www.vacuumsound.de/plugins.html

I haven't tried it yet....so let me know if you do....
#22
This thread already has a lot of posts so I'm sure someone probably said this, but what I've found most helpful for getting "one big voice" rather than two different voices is making one of the tracks louder in the mix than the other.

Basically choose the take you think is better, and put it at X level, make the other track 1/2X. This will make it so the softer layer helps make your voice sound bigger but most listeners won't be able to tell it's there.
#23
Firehawk - before the days of delay algorithms... that's how they did delay. Back before they had algorithms for chorus, they used to press gently on the side of the reel as it played back.

So, basically, what that plugin does is:
-copies the track
-applies delay to one of them
-adds a smidge of chorus

KurdtStaley - Phil Spector used this trick similar to that... he would have two copies of a vocal track. He would compress one of them quite heavily and the other one not much at all. He would then combine the two with the compressed one lower in volume. This gave you the effect of compression on the vocals, but the expression and dynamics of a natural voice track all at the same time. IIRC, he called it the exciting compressor or something like that.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#24
Quote by axemanchris
Firehawk - before the days of delay algorithms... that's how they did delay. Back before they had algorithms for chorus, they used to press gently on the side of the reel as it played back.

So, basically, what that plugin does is:
-copies the track
-applies delay to one of them
-adds a smidge of chorus



The plugin is very effective btw....I really like the results
#27
Quote by FireHawk
Distortion and a High Pass filter can achieve the effect



Thanks man. I'm not definetly covering it, but I might submit a cover of it for the next UG Covers Album.


If a High Pass Filter decreases lower frequencies and accenuates higher ones (the ones above the Threshold) is it safe to presume a Low Pass Filter does the opposite, as well as a Bass Filter accenuating bass frequencies and lowering the treble?
#29
Quote by FireHawk
yep



Thanks for the advice man. A lot of things just made sense to me now. I'm quite a big Strokes fan and read on the first two albums Julian would use a high pass filter a lot aswell. Whether I use it or not in my songs remains to be seen but you know, the more you know