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Harmonizing on rap vocals
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Kruxify
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#1
22nd March 2013
Old 22nd March 2013
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Harmonizing on rap vocals

I have been listening to Tech N9ne and The Jokerr lately and I've been wondering how they achieved that harmony-like layering in their vocals...

Here's a clip of what I'm talking about (starts at 2:42)
The JokerrĀ® - "Ever Before" (As Part Of The Jokerr's Legacy) HQ Official - YouTube

Here's my theory, and please correct me if I'm wrong.
- For the main vocals, I would really like to think that his lead vocal is just a single layer that's overly compressed/slammed. But I also get the feeling that he layered it twice (I'm not talking about the adlibs or those layers in certain phrases).
- For the harmonization parts, I believe they're 2 layers (could be more) and one is panned possibly 70% left and the other at the right, in an octave higher in pitch than the main vocal. And possibly another layer on center, an octave below, but in a really low level.

Are my guesses correct? I would really love to learn how to do this. Anybody have any insights on these? Thanks.
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22nd March 2013
Old 22nd March 2013
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I'm interested in this too, but I don't think it's raised or lowered an octave. Just because that's quite a difference in pitch, even though it doesn't sound like it would be.
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MBR
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22nd March 2013
Old 22nd March 2013
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It sounds like there's definitely more than 2 layers here...

If I were trying to re-create this, I'd have my vocalist record three passes of the main vocal, and then two passes of a higher pitched vocal and pan them out to taste.

It sounds like the higher vocal is buried in the vocal mix which is causing it to sound more like an effect than anything.
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22nd March 2013
Old 22nd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBR View Post
It sounds like there's definitely more than 2 layers here...

If I were trying to re-create this, I'd have my vocalist record three passes of the main vocal, and then two passes of a higher pitched vocal and pan them out to taste.

It sounds like the higher vocal is buried in the vocal mix which is causing it to sound more like an effect than anything.
But the "pitching" isn't created in during the mix, is it? Or do you think it has to be tracked rapping in a higher pitch?
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22nd March 2013
Old 22nd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post


Is that dude for real? Holy hell, that was awful.
+1 my dude, wtf was that? lol.
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22nd March 2013
Old 22nd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak View Post
+1 my dude, wtf was that? lol.
Well, not saying I'm a fan of the song either, just how the vocal effects were made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miiika View Post
Nobody could possibly do that! Ever! It's unheard of.
In some sense you can, maybe it'll have some sort of melodic tune to it if you rap in a "higher" pitch (perhaps I'm not using the right terms correctly, but I hope you can understand what I meant).
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23rd March 2013
Old 23rd March 2013
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Nothing is over compressed in audio eng. we try to avoid that. As engineers tools get better thier able to use less. Rapper may stack a vocal 5 times. When the engineer gets it it turns into 3 or 2 or even 1 in alot of cases. Stacking a vocal for loudness is happening less cause of better software comp. Harmonizing a vocal for an *effect* is a diff thing. Harmonizing can be achieved in a lot of creative ways 3 stacks slightly shifted a couple cents. Bussed with an chorus type effect to bring out harmonizing effect. Tech9 does a lot of both stacking and harmonizing.
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23rd March 2013
Old 23rd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miiika View Post
I get the impression that you never actually recorded anything.
It's the weekend, maybe you find the time to set up a mic and try it.
F, you could even try your "theory" and see what that gets you.
Report back on monday with the results.
I have recorded 2 mixtapes (and on progress on finishing my last one before a studio album)... I really think, you're misunderstanding what I am trying to say here. Maybe I just can't express what I am trying to say properly, and I apologize if I fail to, but my point is that there is always some dominant note, or key in a "rap vocal", all I'm saying is maybe if you sang (i.e., "rapped") it (i.e., the whole vocal track, or what ever part you'd like to stack) at a higher note, or key, to "harmonize", maybe that is one of the ways on how you can achieve that effect.

Now of course I'm not saying that's the only way, during post you can use effects like digitally pitching it higher/lower, perhaps even use melodyne or something to create it robustly, etc.

My point is, yes you can rap at a higher vocal pitch, I sing my hooks and layer it about 6-8 times depending on the song with higher, lower, and the original pitch. Though I have never achieved it properly when rapping (perhaps that is because of many factors, maybe the song/rapping is too slow, or maybe I need to apply some basic music theory to legitimately harmonize, I don't know). I'm just asking if he possibly might have done what my theory was, or if it's possible to achieve it that way, and maybe it's just because I am doing it wrong/I'm missing something as to why I can't do it.

And yes I am open to all methods of achieving it, I'm just simply asking for some guidance and clarification -- you don't have to shut me down and doubt me with my abilities just because of that.
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23rd March 2013
Old 23rd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynm26 View Post
Nothing is over compressed in audio eng. we try to avoid that. As engineers tools get better thier able to use less. Rapper may stack a vocal 5 times. When the engineer gets it it turns into 3 or 2 or even 1 in alot of cases. Stacking a vocal for loudness is happening less cause of better software comp. Harmonizing a vocal for an *effect* is a diff thing. Harmonizing can be achieved in a lot of creative ways 3 stacks slightly shifted a couple cents. Bussed with an chorus type effect to bring out harmonizing effect. Tech9 does a lot of both stacking and harmonizing.
I heard that Tech doesn't punch in that often either, though somehow he's able to get the vocals extremely tight -- I mean, that's insane! I've read about VocAlign, but I think who ever mixes his tracks just manually nudge the stacks in sync, no? It flows really well on however it is done... and I don't know about the over compression thing, I've heard mixed things about this, especially when "it depends on a certain situation", may you elaborate on why that is?
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23rd March 2013
Old 23rd March 2013
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The Joker track there is harmonized in 3rds not octaves, it's diatonic so you can't just pitch it up a third. Thirds are the most common vocal harmony and rap (like all speach) is pitched (except for maybe whispers of some sorts)...some more in tune with the track than others.

When a record is done nobody cares if you used vocalign or elastic/flex/bend/nudge. Use the best tool for the situation.
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24th March 2013
Old 24th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
lolwut?



Do we?



I'd say pretty definitively that the opposite is true.
Wait so we, OVER comp thats what were taught to do? You know sas..were gonna just ignore this statement. every one knows over compression squash the transients and we try to avoid this at all cause you can get a great sound with setting the comp correctly with out over compression?
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#12
24th March 2013
Old 24th March 2013
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isawsassquatch ummm...are you an engineer or producer have you ever seen the process from recording to mixing engineer they take away alot of what they dont need most recording sessions come with 100 stacked vocals the engineer takes alot of these out. Most engineers with 1 track lead or 1 track & a double

Proof Dave Pensado engineering Snoops Vocals Im pretty sure when dave got it he had stacks, but as you see Dave has 1 track as a lead he is not OVER compressing the vocal odiously dave has good tools cause he dosent need 100 stacks to get a good sound and he balance his mix correctly.

so sasquash your wrong on both accounts
1.) Engineers do try avoid over compression
2.) Tools are better so more stacking is avoided
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#13
24th March 2013
Old 24th March 2013
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LOL these threads got me cracking all the time ^^
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24th March 2013
Old 24th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post


Priceless.

Jay. Relax. Your breathlessly manic posts make any sort of reasonable reply impossible, so I'll have to go ahead and just tell you this: I've been making records probably longer than you've been alive. There's a LOT you don't know, which you seem all too happy to repeatedly demonstrate here on this forum, time after time after time. Suffice to say, you've got a lot to learn.
Thank you.
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24th March 2013
Old 24th March 2013
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You can always tell when someone is in they feelings when they tell you to "Relax" please point to a statement where I wasnt? People quickly get in a defensive mindset when you rebut with facts and a clear and decisive statement to where they have to lash out and say real idiotic things like..
Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
so I'll have to go ahead and just tell you this: I've been making records probably longer than you've been alive. There's a LOT you don't know, which you seem all too happy to repeatedly demonstrate here on this forum, time after time after time. Suffice to say, you've got a lot to learn.
1st where does exp come into this argument you have a fact to state or a rebuttal state it. I need know knowledge of your senior citizenship. And YES there is alot I dont know and yes I will demonstrate it whenever I see fit. Uggh when is learning and asking for help a bad thing? Humility goes along way sas, and with it you to can grow.

The fact you had no response regarding the argument just a lot of gossip show's me your true answer on the topic which is none, so you chose this pathetic display of self righteousness to safe face. Sad sas, real sad your a smart guy know you can do better.

and Mindbender you chose to co-sign? Really? not statement just a co-sign? sad, I actually think your pretty good from alot of your comments, ugh its 2013
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#16
24th March 2013
Old 24th March 2013
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My argument about stacking not harmonizing but stacking...You DO NOT have to stack vocals to make something loud. Im not talking about the effect of the stack some like that thick, blurry sound (in my opinion its un professional). Achieving loudness can be done with one single compressor (with gain staging and balance in effect). When trying to achieve loudness one compressor can beat 10 stacks heck even 20.

There are plenty of professional engineers with credentials that do not use a bunch of stacks. Maybe a lead and a double or sometimes just a lead.

This is my argument.
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24th March 2013
Old 24th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miiika View Post
Nobody could possibly do that! Ever! It's unheard of.
Huh?? You don't think it's possible for a rapper to rap in a higher, harmonizing pitch? It sounds to me like that's exactly how that song was tracked and I have a client who does that all the time.
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24th March 2013
Old 24th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynm26 View Post
1.) Engineers do try avoid over compression
2.) Tools are better so more stacking is avoided
Hey relax, jay, this is just a forum.

In my HO:

1. Engineers avoid mindless, unadequate compression
2. Tools are better so stacking is easier to do
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25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
Nobody stacks parts to increase loudness. Doubles are about texture, not volume.
Agreed

Stacking for loudness? Different takes? 100 tracks? Nooooo
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25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lau View Post
Hey relax, jay
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#21
25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
Nobody stacks parts to increase loudness. Doubles are about texture, not volume.
Agreed, triples, quadruples aren't needed? ...Clearly we were both on the wrong page, you were correcting me and had no clear idea on what I as mentioning.
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25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynm26 View Post
...and Mindbender you chose to co-sign? Really? not statement just a co-sign?...
Co-signing his statement was my statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynm26 View Post
...I actually think your pretty good from alot of your comments...
I appreciate the compliment, but I'm just being honest here. Some people need to concentrate more on the quality of their posts rather than the quantity. Not trying to be a d-bag, but posting things in an adamant or matter of fact way doesn't necessarily make them factual or correct. Using this thread for an example, there are several things you said in a very "matter of fact" way, when in reality it's just your opinion, or the way YOU perceive or choose to do things. But stating things the way you do can be very misleading. This is how misconceptions are born.

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25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Ahhh

I'd better get that J for myself, jay
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25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender412 View Post
Co-signing his statement was my statement.



I appreciate the compliment, but I'm just being honest here. Some people need to concentrate more on the quality of their posts rather than the quantity. Not trying to be a d-bag, but posting things in an adamant or matter of fact way doesn't necessarily make them factual or correct. Using this thread for an example, there are several things you said in a very "matter of fact" way, when in reality it's just your opinion, or the way YOU perceive or choose to do things. But stating things the way you do can be very misleading. This is how misconceptions are born.

I apologize, I see people here "for the most part" intelligent. Those who can read thru the lines or use "context clues" in most cases to understand one another. If you made a broad statement on an audio issue I should be able to pick up on it without you having to break it down all the way to 1+2=3 as I have been in audio for a long time. I do make broad statements cause I am surrounded by intellectual audio veterans. Some ideas or sayings can get smudged but do they really need a complete fundamental break down line upon line to come into agreement with another audio vet? Come on Bender.

Sometimes Bender people just like to "pick apart" your statement to make you seem like an idot or to make themselves look like the big shot on the forum (lame). Specially when they know full well how the particular statement can be TRUE even in the slightest. But they just cant miss a chance to show their immense genius by excluding a selected part of statement to disdain to credit their self esteem. Its down right stupid....beyond stupidity its childish.
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25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lau View Post
Ahhh

I'd better get that J for myself, jay
Lol you a fool Lau
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#26
25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynm26 View Post
isawsassquatch ummm...are you an engineer or producer have you ever seen the process from recording to mixing engineer they take away alot of what they dont need most recording sessions come with 100 stacked vocals the engineer takes alot of these out. Most engineers with 1 track lead or 1 track & a double

Proof Dave Pensado engineering Snoops Vocals Im pretty sure when dave got it he had stacks, but as you see Dave has 1 track as a lead he is not OVER compressing the vocal odiously dave has good tools cause he dosent need 100 stacks to get a good sound and he balance his mix correctly.

so sasquash your wrong on both accounts
1.) Engineers do try avoid over compression
2.) Tools are better so more stacking is avoided
Ummm...didn't he put a waves doubler somewhere in snoops vocal chain?
Technically, you could consider that a harmonization or a stack (I can't remember if he shifted pitch at all or not).....
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27th March 2013
Old 27th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdot View Post
Ummm...didn't he put a waves doubler somewhere in snoops vocal chain?
Technically, you could consider that a harmonization or a stack (I can't remember if he shifted pitch at all or not).....
yea sumtin like that
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