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Dealing with wet vocal stems

From: Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching

Video: Dealing with wet vocal stems

In the old days of remixing, I very rarely ever received Wet vocals, by Wet vocals I mean vocals that have the effects on them from the final mix. Now I'm absolutely want the vocals to have the EQ Compression and Automation on them from the final mix, but Reverbs and Delays can radically alter the quality of the time stretch but in today's climate sometimes a Wet MP3 of all the vocals mixed together is all you get, and you have to do your best with what you have. I've learned a few tricks over the years to help smooth out some of the sonic wrinkles that can result from time stretching Wet vocals, and I'm going to point out one of them for you in this movie.

Dealing with wet vocal stems

In the old days of remixing, I very rarely ever received Wet vocals, by Wet vocals I mean vocals that have the effects on them from the final mix. Now I'm absolutely want the vocals to have the EQ Compression and Automation on them from the final mix, but Reverbs and Delays can radically alter the quality of the time stretch but in today's climate sometimes a Wet MP3 of all the vocals mixed together is all you get, and you have to do your best with what you have. I've learned a few tricks over the years to help smooth out some of the sonic wrinkles that can result from time stretching Wet vocals, and I'm going to point out one of them for you in this movie.

I have imported the Iyeoka Simply Falling vocals which are time stretched to 125 beats per minute already. And I'm going to time stretch the time stretch from 125 to 136. Now I'm simply choosing this BPM for the purposes of this movie. I wouldn't really do this but I need to point out the audio degradation that occurs when you time stretch a Wet vocal beyond a certain point. In fact, before we listen to the time stretch, let's take a listen to the vocals as they sound right now at 125 beats per minute.

(music playing) Excellent. We'll engage Logic's Flex mode and select Polyphonic so we have the best possible quality of time stretch, set the song pointer back to measure 1, select 136 beats per minute.

And as you'll notice we start to lose a little bit of quality in the Wet vocal you'll hear a little bit of what I call this warbly effect on the voice, and you can hear it on the Delays and Reverbs as well. Let's go ahead and listen to the song up here at measure 33. (music playing) The best way to describe what I'm hearing is that the vocal sounds like it almost has too much vibrato going through it.

So, one way we can address this problem is to select a Modulation Plug-In like Logic Chorus Plug-In. And before I play with the Chorus on, I will bypass it, I will put the plug-in over here, I'll move the head back right before measure 33, and I'll hit the Bypass Off as the vocal is playing. And you'll be able to hear how the chorus helps smooth out some of these artifacts. (music playing) This is a trick designed to offer a small sonic improvement but a small sonic improvement can sometimes be the difference maker in a SPEC mix being accepted and approved by the artist in their camp.

You should always aim your productions the best that they can be.

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This video is part of

Image for Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching
Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching

32 video lessons · 6185 viewers

Josh Harris
Author

 
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  1. 5m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      46s
    3. Why did we record this course in four different digital audio workstations (DAWs)?
      45s
    4. Using the exercise files
      2m 24s
  2. 3m 4s
    1. What is time stretching/expanding?
      1m 4s
    2. Exploring different time-stretching scenarios in remixing
      2m 0s
  3. 31m 17s
    1. Understanding where to get a capella vocal tracks
      2m 30s
    2. Time stretching in Pro Tools
      6m 44s
    3. Time stretching in Logic Pro
      4m 51s
    4. Time stretching in Reason
      5m 17s
    5. Time stretching in Ableton Live
      5m 16s
    6. Understanding the roles of multiple DAWs in a time-stretching workflow
      1m 2s
    7. Dealing with wet vocal stems
      4m 2s
    8. Choosing the tempo for different styles or genres
      1m 35s
  4. 21m 6s
    1. Importing vocals and using the 10% time-stretch rule
      7m 42s
    2. Comparing several vocal time stretches at faster BPMs
      6m 20s
    3. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      7m 4s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Setting up your session for double timing a vocal
      7m 27s
    2. Double timing the music and then time stretching the vocals to a slower BPM
      8m 54s
    3. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      10m 22s
  6. 28m 53s
    1. Setting up your session to slow down a vocal track
      2m 34s
    2. Calculating the BPM and tempo of the original track
      4m 18s
    3. Time stretching the vocals to a slower BPM
      6m 46s
    4. Comping the time-stretched vocal and the original vocal
      6m 49s
    5. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      8m 26s
  7. 54m 12s
    1. Starting from a pre-existing Pro Tools multitrack session
      13m 34s
    2. Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part one
      9m 55s
    3. Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part two
      7m 37s
    4. Subdividing 6/8 time and changing the time signature to 4/4
      7m 5s
    5. Editing vocal phrasing to work with 4/4 time
      7m 0s
    6. Time stretching the vocals to a faster BPM
      9m 1s
  8. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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