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How do you like to multitrack vocals?

osq_122

Member
Messages
213
I've gotten on a multitracking vocals kick lately and was wondering what techniques you like to use to get a great sound. At the moment, I'm just playing around with different techniques but I'd love to hear what you do so I have some new ideas to try. I'm interested both in mic placement/choice and mixing. Also, it'd be great if you could mention the style or type of sound you were going for since multitracked vocals can range from Queen to Katy Perry to D'Angelo and whoever else you can think of.

Personally, I'm going for a sound that's often like Bon Iver, some John Mayer, Sufjan Stevens, and sometimes Fleet Foxes... but the basic sound is really just slightly R&B flavored/influenced with occasional forays into big, almost crowd like vocals on some choruses. However, I'm interested in finding out about many different styles and how you approach it both in pre and post work.

My current method/experiment is to sing the main melody just like I normally would (large diaphragm condenser, about 12 inches away) and then record the other vocals while standing back farther. Some are in unison, others harmony and then I volume mix and pan until it sounds lush and full, without the main vocal standing out too much.

So, how do you like to do your multitracking?
 

RocksOff

Member
Messages
7,456
Multiple mics, multiple passes. As many options as possible, both lead and backing vocals.
Be mindful, as usual, of phase cancellation when using multiple mics on the same source.
My fave right now is a tube LDC and a 57 phase aligned and close as possible. 2 passes for lead vocals... Or so. Crush the 57, slight compression on LDC.
 

franksguitar

Member
Messages
3,683
I record a main voice with only a tad of reverb and relatively dry pan centered. I have the vocalist do all the backing vocals using a digitech rackmount harmonizer that doubles the voice and can add harmony interval voices (i.e. 3rd or 5ths) is is a stereo out so I split the backing panning them left and right and the result is big vocals
 

harpinon

Member
Messages
8,975
My favorite approach is on lead to record the exact same line twice.
Then I reduce the volume of one track a bit and pan it off about 30-60% depending on the sound I'm after. Makes the vocals sound bigger.
 

osq_122

Member
Messages
213
Multiple mics, multiple passes. As many options as possible, both lead and backing vocals.
Be mindful, as usual, of phase cancellation when using multiple mics on the same source.
My fave right now is a tube LDC and a 57 phase aligned and close as possible. 2 passes for lead vocals... Or so. Crush the 57, slight compression on LDC.
If I had a second mic, I'd totally try this. As I think it over, it makes me wanna borrow a mic from my church and try it out. Thanks for the inspiration!

My favorite approach is on lead to record the exact same line twice.
Then I reduce the volume of one track a bit and pan it off about 30-60% depending on the sound I'm after. Makes the vocals sound bigger.
I'm definitely gonna have to try this tonight. Sounds like it would be great to do on a chorus of a song (possibly combined with a gang vocal in the background as well...)
 

osq_122

Member
Messages
213
I just found this song as I was looking for versions of it for my singing class. Definitely gave me some unique inspiration for multitracking vocals.

 

ronzie

Member
Messages
486
Speed the machine or daw up or down in cents (aka tones, as in 1/4 tone etc..) and sing to it. When you've finished to your liking, put the machine or daw back to normal speed. Blend to taste. Helps keep dbls and such from having a tendency of recessing the vocals in a mix. It helps when people stack their own voices..
 

kenneth

Member
Messages
931
Speed the machine or daw up or down in cents (aka tones, as in 1/4 tone etc..) and sing to it. When you've finished to your liking, put the machine or daw back to normal speed. Blend to taste. Helps keep dbls and such from having a tendency of recessing the vocals in a mix. It helps when people stack their own voices..
Listen to any post 1985 Lindsey buckingham or Fleetwood mac (w/Lindsey producing), and it will be have tons of this technique.
 

osq_122

Member
Messages
213
I just tried this real quickly tonight. Such a cool effect, really helps get a nice thick multitrack sound without being too obvious or bland. When I have some more time, I'd really like to put this to the test and see if this helps me get some of the sounds I hear in my head. Thanks so much for the tip!
 

scottywompas

Member
Messages
1,588
I usually just sing the parts twice. I use minor EQ differences on each track. Usually pan the second track off the main track just a hair and adjust faders to taste.

Scott
 






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