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Harmonizing Hysteria
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soupking
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#1
24th December 2008
Old 24th December 2008
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Harmonizing Hysteria

Well, not exactly, but I think it has a nice ring to it. No, this isn't a thread involving Def Leppard.

I've got an Eventide Harmonizer 300 D/SE. I don't get it, but I don't have the manual. Maybe that's part of it. It's like being in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory banging my head on lollipops and tripping over candied canes when all I want it a simple stick of gum. I finally find the gum and I can't get the gum to chew correctly.

Okay, the abstract is I just want this thing to give me a harmony, 3 ,5 , octave etc. and it sounds like chip and dale. Now i've posted about this and people say, "well, that's what it does". Well, okay two things.

1) Phil Collins doesn't sound like Chip & Dale.
2) Everybody raves about it and I get more seemingly natural results out of Garage Band plugins.

I literally don't believe me ears. I feel like I should be able to make this box sound rich and on the right note. But everytime I sing into it, it's all slippery and whizzy and wants to detune. Like it sounds like Alvin on luuds. Does that make sense?

I've been looking at the TC Helicon stuff, but the more I do, the more I keep kicking myself like "What am I thinking?! Everybody on Harmony Central bought Helicon because they couldn't afford an Eventide."

So, I'm trying to find out what's subjective and what's common knowledge.

I'm trying to find a harmonizer for vocals and strings mostly. The TC Helicon comes the closest to harmonizing without getting all squirrely. Like, if Lexicon made a harmonizer, I'm guessing that's what I'd want. I guess...I got the D/SE because I wanted a solid harmoinzer for vocals etc.

Just something clear and harmonic. Maybe that's why I like the plugin. But I can't take a plugin on-stage. It's not very flexible.

What am I doing wrong? Where is my mind?

Any help is appreciated, I obviously don't have a clue about harmonizers.
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#2
24th December 2008
Old 24th December 2008
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I've never achieved great results from my D/SE either....I'm sure I'm doing something wrong as people always rave about Eventide's harmonizing abilities.

I have an Orville also. I think I read that it has some new algos to formant correct the pitch shifted voices for more natural results? I haven't played with them yet so I can't comment..
#3
24th December 2008
Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post

What am I doing wrong? Where is my mind?
You will never get a thick harmonization artificially that sounds real. Plug in or Harmonizing box. The closest you can possibly do on stage is to track the harmony parts live in the studio and have something play it back on stage(DAW or digital multi track tape) and you sing along with it.

In a pinch a keyboard sampler with a ton of memory triggering the vocal samples can work, but you will need a keyboard player to do it for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
Any help is appreciated, I obviously don't have a clue about harmonizers.
The Eventide greatest asset is the effects it can create that are not necessarily realistic. Also things you can do on the fly while playing and manupulating the sound.

Again if you want realism hire a 2-3 great backup singers that can do the harmony while you are performing.
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24th December 2008
Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
You will never get a thick harmonization artificially that sounds real. Plug in or Harmonizing box. The closest you can possibly do on stage is to track the harmony parts live in the studio and have something play it back on stage(DAW or digital multi track tape) and you sing along with it.

In a pinch a keyboard sampler with a ton of memory triggering the vocal samples can work, but you will need a keyboard player to do it for you.




The Eventide greatest asset is the effects it can create that are not necessarily realistic. Also things you can do on the fly while playing and manupulating the sound.

Again if you want realism hire a 2-3 great backup singers that can do the harmony while you are performing.

Right, I hear you on realism, but I can't afford to hire a string quartet. I need something that I can use for that and vocals. I could afford people in a recording environment but for live apps I have to cheat. So this is what's brought me to the hardware conflict.

My main conflict is why do the TC Helicon demos sound better than anything I've gotten out of a Eventide for vocals.

I thought about samples but my drummer said it'd be a real bitch, and that we'd need timecode. And my work doesn't stay in solid time for very long.

So this is my alternative route. My conflict is that popular demand says I'm downgrading. Should I not be able to achieve the same things from an Eventide that I would a Helicon model? I would think that would be a no-brainer but I seem to be all thumbs with Eventide models.
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24th December 2008
Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post

So this is my alternative route. My conflict is that popular demand says I'm downgrading. Should I not be able to achieve the same things from an Eventide that I would a Helicon model? I would think that would be a no-brainer but I seem to be all thumbs with Eventide models.
The Eventide 3000 pitch shifting algo's were developed in the mid 80's.

The TC Helicon was released what? a couple of years ago.

That's almost a 20 years difference. You don't think in 20 years that the pitch shifting algo's would have improved? Of course.

But none are really perfect and sound totally real.

No one who used the Eventide H3000 back in its hey day used it for doing interval harmonization unless it was for a special effect(darth Vader voice or chipmunk effects). It was used for very mild pitch shifting to thicken up sounds(a few cents up and down on each side).

If what you really desire is perfect interval pitch shifting(3rds, 5ths & 4ths) while doing it live track it first and have it play along with you when performing. Trust me that's how most people do it. Or tell your drummer to stop being a worry wart and have him trigger the start points and play along to a click. I've helped produce shows this way and it works. It will just take work on your part ahead of time in rehersals and planning to make it look seemless on stage.
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24th December 2008
Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
The Eventide 3000 pitch shifting algo's were developed in the mid 80's.

The TC Helicon was released what? a couple of years ago.

That's almost a 20 years difference. You don't think in 20 years that the pitch shifting algo's would have improved? Of course.

But none are really perfect and sound totally real.

No one who used the Eventide H3000 back in its hey day used it for doing interval harmonization unless it was for a special effect(darth Vader voice or chipmunk effects). It was used for very mild pitch shifting to thicken up sounds(a few cents up and down on each side).

If what you really desire is perfect interval pitch shifting(3rds, 5ths & 4ths) while doing it live track it first and have it play along with you when performing. Trust me that's how most people do it. Or tell your drummer to stop being a worry wart and have him trigger the start points and play along to a click. I've helped produce shows this way and it works. It will just take work on your part ahead of time in rehersals and planning to make it look seemless on stage.
That's awesome advice Mr. ThrillFactor. It helps knowing that it was mainly used as an effects box more than an interval device. It still does a wonderful amount of things like add presence/thickening. It just doesn't really do what I need for vocal harmonics. It might for strings, but vocals...Yeah, it would just sound better if it were sampled or something.

I don't know why the drummer is all anti-sampling. I hit triggers all the time. They're called keys. Click or not, I don't think it should make a bit of difference, but I don't know everything.
#7
25th December 2008
Old 25th December 2008
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+1 on everything Thrill said. The Eventide was/is the go to tool for increasing the width of the vocal using very slight pitch variances. Vocal stacks to thicken, Eventide as width enhancer. Used that way, it will yield the sounds you are remembering.
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25th December 2008
Old 25th December 2008
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hey Soup--the producer I worked for in the early 90's was a big fan of +10 cents up on left -11 cents down on the right

or something like that.

good luck on finding something you love about that box.

I did a gig recently where I plugged into one on the fly doing a live mix/recording and I couldn't get anything useful. on the spot unplugged it. moved on

ho ho ho
walter
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#9
25th December 2008
Old 25th December 2008
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It is sort of funny that it is called the Eventide "Harmonizer", and what it does worst is harmonizing. That box is great for microshifts, chorus, flanger, and there are even some cool stereo delays that often get overlooked.
#10
26th December 2008
Old 26th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrunch View Post
+1 on everything Thrill said. The Eventide was/is the go to tool for increasing the width of the vocal using very slight pitch variances. Vocal stacks to thicken, Eventide as width enhancer. Used that way, it will yield the sounds you are remembering.
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