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Vocal processing
Old 10th January 2019
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Sofine's Avatar
Vocal processing

Hi Starcadian,

Thank you for doing this Q&A. I really admire your approach / creativity to your music and visuals. Your song HE^RT opens up a rip in space / time and transports me back to a time when it was OK for me to wear denim jackets and eat crap and not worry about it. I digress.

Would you care to explain a bit about how you created that haunting inner voice vocal for HE^RT in terms of recording / processing / FX etc.



PS - I notice that one of your Arturia sounds is called "Oíche Shamhna". I'm Irish (Dublin) and am wondering if you have any connection to Ireland?

Last edited by Sofine; 10th January 2019 at 06:04 PM.. Reason: To add PS
Old 14th January 2019
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starcadian's Avatar
Hey Simon, thanks for listening!

It's funny how much people liked the HE^RT vocal as it was born out of complete and utter necessity haha!
Generally speaking, I don't have a great voice. I haven't mastered my diaphragm, if I try to do a vibrato, there's a very good chance croaking, it can get nasal and to this day I haven't lived in a house good enough to accommodate my singing. (I'm actually sitting at the very same place I recorded the HE^RT vocals right now)
So given that HE^RT was my first electronic song with actual singing, I tried a ton of stuff before I ended up with the final thing. I tried every possible combination to hide my voice and ended up using a balance of the Ableton Vocoder, Antares Autotune (boo to dongles btw) and the Melda Productions Multiband Harmonizer. I think it broke down as:

- Lay out main vocal and autotune it to taste.
- Use the Multiband Harmonizer to get an octave lower secondary voice.
- Double the main vocal with a midi controlled Ableton Vocoder track. The trick here is to use the right waveform, I find somewhere between Saw and Sine to work best for chill songs.
- Sibilance overdub to define the words a little bit more.

I also remember sitting there and drawing out the vibratos/formants syllable per syllable to get it exactly to where I wanted it.
I still do that to this day, but now I almost exclusively use Izotope's Vocalsynth 2 ( I beta tested that and fell in love immediately) and Waves Tune for autotuning. Nectar 3 is really good too, but I really don't like how they tackle MIDI harmonizing, there is always a pitch attack jump in the beginning that I can't get rid of.

PS: Not Irish, but I lived in England for 5 years and was in a band with a bunch of Irish folks, so I picked up a bit here and there
Old 14th January 2019
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starcadian's Avatar
Oh another badass thing Vocalsynth 2 does is it reads MIDI Pitch Bend and to my knowledge, it's the only Vocoder that does that. Really saves a ton of time!
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