Tips for slowed-down vocals?

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Tips for slowed-down vocals?

Post Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:40 am

Title says it all ... looking for mitigation strategies for the distortion caused by slowing down vocals.

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Re: Tips for slowed-down vocals?

Post Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:01 am

1. Varispeeding will create the fewest “artifacts”, though it obviously will change the pitch, which isn’t always desired.

2. Software matters for this, and it varies a lot. For me Ableton does a lot of things great, but stretching vocals is not one of them. Melodyne is still my go-to for stretching vocals.

3. If there are any particularly “draggy” words or syllables you can slightly shorten them one by one, being careful not to disrupt the flow of the rest of the phrase. Putting some small spaces between words could help with this. Tedious process, of course.

4. To stretch a long, sustained note even longer without destroying it, you can try looping a section of it a few times, with crossfades. This can also be very time-consuming to get to sound right, but it’s a cool effect if you nail it.

5. A Chorus effect can really help to cover things up on all of the above. A really wet reverb can help too but might be harder to pull off.

And of course, try speeding the whole track up as much as you can tolerate…Hope that helps!

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Re: Tips for slowed-down vocals?

Post Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:44 am

First off, I'd say that if the slowed vocals are becoming artifact-y to the point that you could loosely use the word distorted, it's very possible that you're dealing with a lower quality vocal source, or have ended up with one from slight re-pitching. In this case, I'd resort to my basic vocal clean-up routine for any lower quality source (and doesn't hurt to use on high quality sources either - always ends up sounding better).

This is the effects chain that I use in nearly every vocal track I use that I've noticed helps immensely in covering up a lot of undesirable vocal artifacts (which sounds like what you're dealing with in slowed down vocals, which is usually a bigger issue with already re-pitched vocals).

I'm very pleased with how they work time and again. Picture below. I also commonly use an EQ to tune highs/mids a bit, but it's probably not useful to your case so much, and also ignore the compressor, which is just a nice overall balancer I like.

- A light regular reverb set to a low width and at around 22% wetness.

- A wider room reverb set around 24% wetness.

- A very short, quick subtle delay (I like this one) at stereo 136 ms, wetness of 22% (or 24 if I feel wild and crazy).

My stage 2 clean-up effects if I feel they're needed for more extreme cases are a very light distortion, and if I really have to, a chorus. I just don't like how quickly chorus can mud the sound up, personally.

This picture is very program specific, but whatever program you use will have these general effects, but it'd be up to you to tune them as your program allows.


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