The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
lets talk about vocal stack's especially Brian Mcknight
Old 28th September 2004
  #1
Gear interested
 
Bravestar's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
lets talk about vocal stack's especially Brian Mcknight

Hi Dave ,

how does Brian Mcknight/Destiny Child/Justin etc etc
stack there vocals.

Are they multi layering the vocals heavily per harmony ie 16 melody 16 high harmony 16 low harmony (just an example).

How are the making there harmony's up , i presumbe there not just using 3 part harmony(anybody using 8 part).

Do you pan the parts equally apart ie 8 melody at 10 o clock,8 melody at 2 o clock and so on(for example).
Or do you just get the stems to mix, if so how do they come to you.


Ps what is Brian's mic/micpre/compression chain and anybody else you care to mention.
Old 29th September 2004
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Exmun's Avatar
 

I can't comment on Brian or DC, but I've gotten a sound approaching that sound when you get to at least 3 layers per part. A lot of it also comes out in cutting the mids and lower mids. Not just shelving things out willy nilly, but judicious notches in key frequencies seems to do the trick. Cuts down low and in the mids affect our perception of the highs without the overabundance of esses that you get when you boost the high end with an EQ shelf. When you boost with a high shelf EQ, you'll probably need to deess those vocal tracks.
Old 29th September 2004
  #3
Gear addict
 

Im pretty sure he answered this a while ago.
Old 29th September 2004
  #4
Gear interested
 
Bravestar's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Exmun

I've gotten a sound approaching that sound when you get to at least 3 layers per part


How many part harmony are you laying

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

judicious notches in key frequencies seems to do the trick. Cuts down low and in the mids affect our perception of the highs without the overabundance of esses that you get when you boost the high end with an EQ shelf


Do you care to elaborate on the frequencies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ahellam

Im pretty sure he answered this a while ago.


do you have a link.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------



It would still be could to get David to chip in on this one though.
Old 29th September 2004
  #5
Gear interested
 
Bravestar's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
bump
Old 2nd October 2004
  #6
Guest Moderator - September 08
 
Dave Pensado's Avatar
 

Yo Bravestar

Thanks for being patient. I am actually finishing up a Beyonce mix now, and just finished Brian's new album a couple of weeks ago. They both have THE GIFT. One thing she and Brian have in common is speed. Both are incredibly fast. Brian probably did all the vocals to "Anytime" in 20 minutes. What you see with him and Beyonce is the tip of the iceberg. Let me start with Brian.

Brian rarely flys his vocals. He almost always gives me 4 stereo tracks of bacs. In the tape days it was always tracks 17-24 for backs, and 16 was the lead. Always. The 1st three are usually a basic chord, and the 4th one moves all over the place, but basically gets higher from 1st to 2nd to 3rd chorus. He blends himself in the phones while he is singing, so I basically put all 4 pairs at the same volume and I'm done. Like one of the other threads, he moves a lot of air, so they need very little from me. His engineer CWOOD, is excellent. Just as an aside, Brian has one of the best "ears" I have ever seen. Play a chord, and he can call out the notes as fast as you can play them. His brother Claude (lead in Take Six) is amazing also. Brian is so amazing he pisses you off. Just when you think you are a pretty good musician, he humbles you. For example a few years ago he decided to play guitar. In 1 month he was playing on his record. I asked him who the new hot dog guitar player was and could not believe it was HIM! By the way, I am a guitar player also (retired).

Beyonce just hears those harmonies in her head. She was born with them. Her dad, Matthew is quite a good singer, and I believe Tina sings also. She usually starts off with the tonic, and builds from there. She does a little experimentation, and then blends them herself with the engineer. I love her timing. She has no regard for the beat, but it always sounds right. I don't think I have ever seen anyone work harder than Beyonce (maybe Mya). I've seen her fly in from Europe, come to the studio, do vocals for 4 hours, fly to NY for concert, go directly to airport for 2 shows in Japan, and on and on. No sleep for days, and just keep going and loving every minute of it. Mya is like that also. I get tired just TYPING about it!

As far as EQ and all that stuff, it doesn't matter. They sing to what they hear in their phones, and it always comes out sounding like "them", no matter what mic or chain. It is truly an amazing gift.
3
Share
Old 2nd October 2004
  #7
Brian Mcknight is a great musician but I dont think you can be serious in mentioning Beyonce in the same category. Crazy In Love has terrible rubs with the chords of that track with the background vocals. In the lead vocal there is a spot where she sings a major third against a minor chord.
If your using loops and samples you have to sing with the chords that the loops are playing, not just stack thirds without paying attention . Somehow I dont think Brian Mcknight would ever let something like that on a track of his.
I dont mean any disrespect to you Dave, but whoever produced that track
I think dropped the ball.
Old 2nd October 2004
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Exmun's Avatar
 

If singers always had to sing in the chorded scale or the scale implied by the chords, then a whole lot of music is a bunch of crap (Jazz in particular). The beauty of what Beyonce did on Crazy in Love was how she made it work.
Old 2nd October 2004
  #9
Lives for gear
 
zboy2854's Avatar
 

Sometimes a major third against a minor chord can be cool, even though it's "technically" wrong. I kinda dug the way the vocal rubbed against the changes in the song. Never assume it wasn't done on purpose, kinda like leaving in the headphone bleed on "Beautiful"...
1
Share
Old 4th October 2004
  #10
Quote:
Originally posted by zboy2854
Sometimes a major third against a minor chord can be cool, even though it's "technically" wrong. I kinda dug the way the vocal rubbed against the changes in the song. Never assume it wasn't done on purpose, kinda like leaving in the headphone bleed on "Beautiful"...
Sorry I don't buy it, I'm sure it was done on purpose, given what's going on in the harmony, I doubt she was aware of what was wrong with it and the backing vocals. And I'm not talking about singing a passing tone which is maybe what you mean exmun. If you think Beyonce made it work, thats what makes the world go round to me its just a real bad note, and not good harmony. My real point is, I thought it was a real stretch to compare beyonce to brian mcknight in any way.
Old 2nd September 2008
  #11
Gear Addict
 
musicjon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
Sorry I don't buy it, I'm sure it was done on purpose, given what's going on in the harmony, I doubt she was aware of what was wrong with it and the backing vocals. And I'm not talking about singing a passing tone which is maybe what you mean exmun. If you think Beyonce made it work, thats what makes the world go round to me its just a real bad note, and not good harmony. My real point is, I thought it was a real stretch to compare beyonce to brian mcknight in any way.
It's dominant 7/#9. You may not like it, but to others it's beautiful.
Old 4th September 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
My real point is, I thought it was a real stretch to compare beyonce to brian mcknight in any way.
Why, because she's a girl who's sold a lot of records?! She's been singing seriously, in and around professional music almost ALL her life. You just heard Dave Pensado himself say that she is an amazingly gifted talent. Have YOU worked with her? I think the real question is: why does it bother you that she is so good at what she does?! Is it because she's super fine?

Be careful you don't sound jaded and jealous when you make assumptions about popular artists and how talented you think they may or may not be.

Sorry for the mini-rant. Let's get back on topic!

halcyo
1
Share
Old 5th September 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 
davidwilson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicjon View Post
It's dominant 7/#9. You may not like it, but to others it's beautiful.

A long while ago I studied orchestral theory ( forgot most of it by now) and if theres one thing I learnt was when I applied it to pop music was that you can make anything work technicaly.

But to make it work musicaly is a different thing.
Old 5th September 2008
  #14
Gear maniac
 
messiahwannabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicjon View Post
It's dominant 7/#9. You may not like it, but to others it's beautiful.
to at least 4.2 million others actually! more really, i live in indonesia and can speak to the true international appeal that song has, it's an anthem all the way round the world.
Old 8th September 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 
remo's Avatar
 

the dominant 7/#9 was good enough for Hendrix!
Old 13th September 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
CJ1973's Avatar
 

Its definitely a 7#9 chord and its usually prominent in alot of RnB tracks and usually resolves from there on and the tension things is fabulous. Stevie Wonder is the big one for these sort of music/vocals and thats what she is doing. To have a minor 3rd next to a major 3rd on the same octave is probably not the best, but to space them out by an octave would make a neat sound. To perhaps have the root note, then a minor third, dom 7th and a major 3rd (7#9th) would be nice for harmony, ofcourse all in my humble opinion. Its horses for causes really.
Old 29th September 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
Yeah dom7/#9 worked out fairly well for James Brown. . .

Brian Mcknight is frikkin rediculous, I saw him a while back, and you can just tell that he is one of those guys, who if he was made un-famous tomorrow, it would only take him a couple months to get back to the top. . .
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
maskedman72 / So much gear, so little time!
18
Mastering101 / High end
69
s.d.finley / Geekslutz forum
14
RaGe / Q & A with Dave Pensado
8

Forum Jump