Effects for backing vocals

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by sundaypunch, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    My question is actually more about live performance than recording. I'm am looking for input on backing vocals. What effects can be used to fatten up and smooth out backing vocals?

    Other than adding a bit of reverb and delay is there anything else that can help?
     
  2. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    Chorus and compressor. . .or try a little delay, say 50 millisecond on one side and dry on the other side of the mix
    .
     
  3. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    The old Eventide trick works really well for both live and recording. Micro-pitch shift left side up 7cents and the right side down 7cents.
     
  4. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    1. Good singers

    2. Compression
     
  5. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    Good recommendations. Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced (probably older) multi-effects unit? I had a Yamaha SPX-90 at one point but didn't try it for vocals. I would try an Eventide harmonizer but they are going to be out of my range.

    As for good singers......
     
  6. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    The trick that worked for Def Leppard:

    1) Hire Mutt Lange as producer.
    2) Mutt sings about 100 overdubs of the harmony parts all summed together..

    Ever notice how at a certain time in music (around the early to mid 90's) that all Mutt Lange productions had the same backing vocal sound?

    What do you do if you don't have Mutt....stack your background vocals. Build a choir of them, and process them all a little differently. Remove some of the low freq's so they don't get too boomy, and add a compressor/limiter to the entire group. Pan each vocal to a different spot, and leave a hole in the middle for the lead vox. Verbs are usually short for background vox...maybe try a multi-tap delay instead of reverb.

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  7. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

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    Doubling. Track the same singers and parts more than once. Make sure everyone stays tight!

    When multiple background singers are involved, I'm pretty adamant about tracking them as a group using stereo miking - an XY pair or M/S. This gives you a natural stereo image without phase issues, and puts the singers a bit in the distance relative to the close-miked lead.

    If you have a good room, use a third input for a ribbon or SM57 (or equivalent dynamic) as a room mic and compress the snot out of it. I like using a Distressor on "nuke" or 10:1, but anything that doesn't pump will work. Done right, that mic won't have much in the way of lows or highs, but it'll have glorious, full midrange that doesn't miss sounds. Use the room mic as your main source, and then add the stereo mics in for spread and detail. EQ is usually involved at this point too.
     
  8. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    I always have the background vocalist keep a bit more air between the mouth and mic to reduce the immediacy, presence and proximity effect and truly make the BG vocals sound more like they are in the background.

    Most of my projects are performed entirely by me, and my standard lush, choral BG process is usually to double each part and symmetrically pan them. I go for almost gospel type BGs on many of my ballads and for an Eagles/CSNY feel on my more Americana-type tunes.
     

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