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Old 13th August 2011
Q & A Guest
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Originally Posted by krock2009 View Post
Hi, Eric

Since auto tune didn't exist yet (thank god) when 3EB's self titled record was made, how did you go about fixing Stephen's vocals if they were ever off key? Comping, Harmonizer?
We did spend more time getting the performances as close as possible. Some songs we would have to revisit over and over. Burning Man was one of those songs. That song was in a vocal range that was just not very comfortable for Stephan to sing. he could sing that verse maybe 4 or 5 times and his voice would get tired and the takes would just start getting weaker and weaker. We just took our time with it. We would sing on it a bit until his voice got tired and then stop and come back to it another day.

Even with all of the effort in capturing the performances there was still times when the vocals needed some pitch help. I did come up with a auto tune type technique back in the 90s. I used an Eventide H3000 harmonizer. I set up the H3000 so the pitch bend control on a MIDI keyboard would control the amount of pitch shift +/- 50 cents. I would simply listen to the the vocal performance and use the pitch bend on my midi keyboard to bend things in tune. The midi information was recorded in to Logic audio that was syncing to the analog master via SMPTE. In the mix of that record I had one H3000 dedicated to vocal tuning.

Also in "How It's Going To Be" there seems to be a large beeping feedback noise right before the bridge, intentional or happy accident?
I''m not sure on that one. The album version of How's It Gonna Be was a combination of stuff I recorded and parts from an earlier demo version that I wasn't involved with. The guitar track with that feedback was from the earlier recording so I don't know if it was accidental or not.

And finally were you the one responsible for reversing the words "crystal meth" on Semi-Charmed Life and if so who put you up to it.
I did do the "clean" version of semi-charmed and reversed the words "Crystal Meth". Clean versions are dictated entirely by the record company. It is pretty random. The most ridiculous one I have been asked to do is removing the word "Hell" from the song "Gives You Hell". There was not much left of the song when I was done.