Vocal Effects Part 1
Uh, vocal effects and then we're gonna get into mixing preparation all right? There's definitely a few vocals vocal effects that I've that I get request for all the time uh whenever I'm mixing other people's bands uh we're going to be going into we're gonna be in the session reassemble all right, so uh when to use vocal effects now I just say I think with anything else when you're doing recording of writing a song, you want to do it with purpose, you don't want to just do put random effects everywhere ah, and these are some of the reasons they keep in mind to actually use vocal effects, so maybe sometimes you'll have a vocal and it's getting tired maybe for whatever reason the melody is just kind of repetitious and it's still good, but sometimes you wanted to be repetitious but still have some different elements. Sometimes you can put a vocal effect on just to spice it up a little bit um excitement movement just, you know, make things more interesting sometimes uh, clarity and definiti...
on this is especially in the more complex vocal arrangements sometimes it's great to have maybe a lo fi vocal in the midst of a bunch of stuff that's going on in that one low five vocal or distorted effect will kind of cut through everything else nobody here it puts everything else in it it's an effect but it's still kind of helps you with the clarity and definition of the part uh sometimes you can add texture there's um if anybody knows about convolution reverb you could do some really crazy things with ah different um actually I don't have an example of this, but there are textures that you could almost make with with river bs and stuff like that not just on an ambien in the ambience, which is the next one ambiance or moodiness sometimes a song lax the next one character um you might just have a vocal a guitar, a bass and drums and that's it and sometimes you don't want to do keyboards or anything like that you just want to keep it pretty raw, but sometimes it after ten songs of that it might especially in today's day and age we're like everything has since in it and stuff ah way that you could have an edge on that is to use these vocal effects. So um you cannot make an overall mood to a song maybe keep a weird effect on the main vocal the whole time, so those are some reasons that you actually use vocal effects not just not just random stuff um so let's get into this these air, these air, the different effects that I'm going to demonstrate this this may be kind of a short uh, segment and we might jump into mixing a little bit just so you guys are aware but there's a lot in mixing that I want to cover. I just want to make sure that we get everything talked about today. So, uh, it's fine. Fine with me this final. You all right? First one, probably one of the most popular effects and I use this on purpose here in the song reassemble, let me just put it free it's reverse reverse. I can hear that vocal swelling in before the parts so well, that's just done is help you anticipate that there's a change coming so there's a reason that I put that in there if if I don't have that in there, you may not know when the part is going to end or you know what to expect. So let me just show you how the kind of right and wrong way to do this because it's sometimes can be tricky I'll just show you the the best way that I've found to actually do this so I usually end up using the, uh this looks different than nine uh, this is the river of that comes with pro tools it's called de verb um there's a bunch of different ones that you can use waves make some really good river bs um r r verb is a good one. Uh what is a true verb is another good one. Uh alter verb is another good one so I'm just going to show you how to how to make this effect so what I actually did for this very specific one I will show you how much of this in a couple different techniques uh so I'll take the regular vocal and I usually just so there's no, just so there's no pops or clicks office fade I'll just take a chunk of the first vocal that are the vocal that I want the river to swell into so I'll just take a chunk well that's different okay, so that's all and then for some of these uh it's really easy to do like way too long of reverb now I'm probably put this round two or three seconds um for this particular effect ah man sorry guys, I don't have ten but there's a reverse button here. Well, that's cool but not every river has a reverse button but that's awesome. So if you have ten you khun khun to that so that's really cool um now whatever I do this I'll have let's render this and then you literally just you literally just, uh reverse it and then what you want to do is cut off the part that is not the reverb so so you can hear kind of off come in right there that's the part that you kind of want to just cut off because that's where the real vocal would come in and then usually because the reverb will probably be kind of quiet I'll just uh normalize it what normalizing does it just turns it up to the maximum volume without having a peek so I mean that's basically it for reverse river I do want to show it to you in a more difficult situation so it's cool little leading trick there uh but sometimes your first vocal isn't so simple like that one is just a long held out single note so that one is really easy sometimes the first vocal was kind of ah maybe a quick vocal and that's when it gets a little bit more tricky to make sound good or sound correct so this here is um okay I can't take this pain I'm putting these back to the original editor so it would be cool if we could hear actually know that when I don't care about let's go to the second one here we go I think this is a great uh spot so at the end of this chorus now this is like kind of almost helping the flow and structure of the song and that's why I'm keeping in mind when making making these choices so we're coming out of the chorus wait so that kind of came in in a weird spot you might not expect to vocal to come in there, but if you do have something that's helping you anticipate that a vocal is coming in you may not be so surprised and you may feel better about the song as the way it flows so you will take away smaller chunk these don't have to be so that first word is my, um I'm actually excited to do this right in front of you because this may or may not work correctly and I just want to show you that they're, uh you got a kind of mess with a few things to make sure that stuff is correct so let's, go back to our d verb say, where are the not too long three words too long? It'll just don't because the sound kind of weird if it consumes okay, just go that plug in just reverses it that's all it does, I'm sure whatever program you're using has some kind of, uh plugging that will reverse it and I usually put it on a different track, not the same track that the vocal is on, so what? Okay, so that when we could not even here that one's kind of subtle but uh I think that works for the demonstration at least just kind of shows you hear here comes something uh just not getting blindsided for no reason all right? Uh another since we're talking about river really quick something that I like to do is all right this's going from a pretty extreme part into, like a really quiet part so sometimes like if you don't have a kind of awkwardly just is cutting off so sometimes people might come to this and say, well, I just needed may put more reverb on the main vocal, but what you actually want to do is make a special situation for each part we were actually talking about guitar stuff me and cameron earlier and he was he brought up uh sometimes there will be a guitar part that just comes in in the song where you just you just hear the guitar part by itself and sometimes you might wanna change the tone just for that one little spot so it sounds good so that's the way you want to think of the song like you don't want to just throwing effect on and it just like, well, that should cover it all you know what I mean? It's just like each part of the song needs to feel right and sometimes you need to do these little things to make sure that it flows so all this literally is is I took the last word and, uh put reverb on it, but I did it like this so I processed it and uh turned up pretty long I don't know ten seconds something like that so that's just a cool thing and you know you could do that with delay also but anytime I do those effects it's easier to actually print them you can automate but that kind of gets tricky and if you send it to someone else to be mixed those things get lost so it's important to have those actually in the session uh instead of just relying on a plug in to be automated okay some invaluable uh, effects let's get into screaming distortion I know a lot of people have questions about that there are a few different kinds of distortion now I don't always use a distortion but some vocalists needed some vocalists like when I would use a distortion I would do it because maybe they maybe for instance you did track one vocal and it didn't come out very thick you didn't have time they lost voice, etcetera, etcetera so when I m putting distortion on a track it is dead first in the chain it's before compression before e q before anything else so there's there's a few distortions I like one of them comes the pro tools sorry for the non pro tools users but I'll also show you one that comes with a different pack that you can get this one is just made by uh designer have a heir whatever I don't know it comes with pro tools uh I want to show you a preset basically that I use so this is what sounds when I first put it on ah, a little extreme um so you can mix it but it still is kind of staticky and what you want from this distortion is maybe not that you noticed that there's distortion but a fullness added to your vocal so what do you do this what's really cool about this is it has let's turn it all the way back to distortion completely so it has a high cut building built in so it gets for that fizzy nous let's uh let's activate that as we play by the way. So when you do have it in there it's not just a bunch of high end foz it's kind of like a thicker mid relax oscar been ain't the way I love the jobs so you can hear it just kind of as that body on jeremy here specifically I I don't think I've ever used distortion on his vocal because he he's fine without it but sometimes you you have to add that stuff and sometimes bands like that even if it doesn't actually need to be there wait so um just mix that to your preference so it's like not too much but still adding the character that you will uh you could mess with these other things in here I mean, this is just specific to this one plug in there's different the pre shape changes the sound like sauce jar beneath the wise guy so, uh, what I'm hearing here is when it's completely all the way to the left it's kind of mid scooped and then all the way to the right sounds a little more full bodied we owe you so you would have just something like this according to what you're lacking, what you're missing what you want to add don't just you don't want to just randomly put this stuff on here especially when you're trying to use it to enhance something not just a special effect so that could actually be a mixing tool also uh there is another distortion um it kind of is more of an effect uh I want to talk about the waves um where are you waves uh the waves one not bundle is really awesome really fast and I use it all the time for certain effects thing one is kind of like a loaf I post distortion but when you want this type of effect this is like they nailed it theo on even if you wanted to you could take one vocal and put it on and take the other one and not wait so you still have that grittiness in there but you also still have clarity and that's another thing to keep in mind when you're using these uh in the mix you want to hear those s is in the pronunciation uh usually you don't want it to just sound like a jumbled mess of vocals or people have no idea of what is going on so sometimes it is cooled to mix in a dry signal with something like that um another really awesome tool that I use and it's uh this is an effect that I help with transitions all the time and it's a filter sweeps and waves does this very well with their one knob filter uh I encourage you guys to buy this pack it comes with a bunch of cool plug ins uh and they're really fast so let's say we want to put a filter on here all you have to do is automate what I just did if you guys don't know about automation I guess I should talk about this because uh when you're doing these filters I don't think there's really another way besides automation toe actually put these on here um so all you do is you click on this little guy you can see where my mouse's who click on that what you want is filter and that's why this one is so easy if you actually had any qu hav toe toe filter a bunch of different frequencies to make it sound like this then you click here on the track this little down arrow uh oops I'm sorry white tie just a clarification question teo so is that a turn on automation button that you hit at the top of the plug in? Is that the same place for every plug in with that? Yes okay, so improper automating anyone here? We're always is so this is the down arrow that you're gonna click on my track was just a little bit small they're so click on that fine go to the bottom of the list you'll see one non filter click on that and then you can just automate it however you everyone so no so if you this is not where I would ever use this plug in but uh s so maybe for intro or something like that it's kind of cool bring it in and then when it all finally climax is you've hit him hard with the music or something theo or maybe the beginning of a verse maybe it's just like bass drums and vocals and you you wanted the music to feel anticipated when it actually comes in. So uh these kind of effects are really awesome sometimes you might you want like a really cool fade out to a song theo so now does anybody have questions about that online? I know automation is it something that everybody knows about automation not specifically one question that we do have from the internet eyes from alex s and he's wondering do you add that distortion too all of the vocal tracks including the copies of the same line or just one good question uh sometimes I will just do it toe one I think I normally find myself just doing toe one for clarity's sake like I can kind of overdo it on one if I want and then kind of play with the volume of both of those tracks to make it sound a little more distorted or a little clear I find myself doing that more than anything but sometimes you don't have a double so you don't have a choice you want to put it on the main vocal? Yeah that's a great question. Great question. So, uh it comes with a bunch of these other plug ins which is pretty cool kind of compressor cue stuff I'm not gonna get into that. Yes, um I haven't even noticed the automation future before. Can you use that on uh other plug ins bringin a delay um or change even like the time on a delay or is it a specific to the volume so let me go into the compressor that comes with pro tools really quick here's all the different things that you khun uh automate uh okay so then see if you can see these type all these tiny little button like black holes right there that's what um they light up when they're ready to be when you're you have automation of great create thank you good to modulate your argument automation uh like randomly no I mean with intention but do you guys ever need in the genre that that you work in you know primarily rock to to modulate some of those uh automation sze eso it's ah little bit like faster maybe or or to give it life instead of us a curve and you know oh yeah yeah sometimes like I'll do cool stuff like channing's yeah so they'll be really quick and get another source and to modulate that from another source do you mean like I have a background more elektronik music and yeah, we're always modulating things with other things toe add bringing new dimensions or you know yeah do you mean like if you side chain a cake to us something like that yeah um uh no I don't really do that with uh with automation really I think that kind of when you side change stuff I mean that kind of just that interested itself with yeah and that's what it's like it's controlling like say you do have the kick in modulate their the centre being modulated by the kick it is controlling it but I don't think it counts is automation exactly okay so um but yeah cool, cool uh you can also make that same effect if you want actually show you guys on a regular just a regular e q because I know something I know somebody at home is wondering about this change okay so this is just another e q u do this with it any e q take thie frequency so what we're gonna do just turn on the low pass filter turn on really extreme um harry are with uh automation of that and you can literally do you can do the exact same thing with this I got a job so uh the other one has kind of like a residence to it whenever you can choose if you want me oh if you want to do um have more extreme sound you could the one nav is probably a better choice but anyway that's another thing you could just do it like that it's a really, really simple way to make the same effect with a different point okay uh and I'm one with automation do you ever utilize kind your own live moves as you're going through and perform them in a supposed to just linearly visually setting them up yeah this is cool because I was like one has like a pencil and get really organic with it or there's also another uh mode and pro tools where you don't do this a lot it's like uh so the moves that I made during that so I don't know why you don't sound like that, but there are like if you're doing like maybe uaw on guitar sometimes like that's really good thing because that's kind of that's really feel a lot of field with that so it would be difficult to try to program that in make it sound correct okay? Uh another effect that I know a lot of people are using these days um like glitchy effects, vocal chops and clinches and repeats and all this stuff and it's the easiest thing in the world to do so let's say way we don't need this effect anymore so let's say I want this to sound a little more like a robot all you do is you take a tiny little section and in pro tools you just hit command d over and over and says, hey, so and also if you don't like those little pops in there, you can just do your you're crossing your cross phase boobs get out of here all right on dh then another one because that's not the only type of like litchi effect that I've heard you'll take um so it's a er just want cool andy you just kind of take him off think of them as like if you program drums or something you would want him on that's not a cool one at all, but but that's the basic idea um and again this would be something to use in a like a gap let's say some of these are better are better used in areas like in gaps because you can actually hear them if you notice what the first example I did when I played it back it's on what it was almost impossible to even here so you would do something like there and you can get really extreme with this you can do a combination of like this plus the filter sweeps and like lo fi and get all kinds of crazy stuff you could turn up just a regular vocal part into some kind of crazy d j like thing? So if you're into that that's that's how you do it and I'm wondering if these air some of the effects and cracked this is that you've used previously on some of the released albums excuse me jehovah's witness wants to know what affected you use on the older a day to remember albums homesick for those who have heart to get the huge roaring screens uh well, that wasn't really that wasn't really any kind of effect or magic I actually I want to say this right now because uh ah lot of people think that there's going to be some kind of really weird thing that happens with like like what I've shown you guys with the vocals the singing is what I do with it with everyone there's not usually I don't really strained much from that I don't do some kind of crazy like add a synth plus the vocal type thing or something weird that you could not even think of it's literally the way the vocalist sounds so like jeremy on home sake chair me from album toe album jeremy will uh change the way he does his his screams um and homesick they may prefer the way that sounds over the other ones or something but the microphone was you eighty seven we actually recorded that into ah you a two six ten which is what we're using here and, um pretty sure that just wanted to rosetta eight hundred and then digitally into the computer and that was that there was no uh there wasn't even compression outboard compression or anything like that it was just that was it and we've we layered the vocals but here for instance uh in these gaps whenever I do these big things that sounds kind of like one big you know, monstrous voice but obviously you can see on the screen that it's a bunch of different ones and if we solo it so the unedited version theo you kind of hear jumbled theo it's not as tight that just sounds like, you know, one person a crazy person so uh I'm not saying jervis crazy come on, come on um so, anyway, this has, uh, whenever you do vocals like this, I'll just layer like a regular one. And like some low ones underneath their song, that but, yeah. There's, no there's, no magic trick toe that that's, literally. How you know the vocal sounds.