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The technique of doubling the lead vocal has been used for as long as there has been multi-track recorders. The Beatles did it way back when they were using only four track magnetic tape, and really didn't have a track to spare, which tells you how powerful the tool can be. Let's take a look at some of the doubling tricks that you can use. Doubling a vocal means having the singer sing the exact same line or phrase twice and playing back both parts. It works for two reasons. It makes a vocal sound stronger, and it masks any pitch inconsistencies. To get a really tight double track or strengthen the primary vocal track, have the singer listen to the song a section at a time, then try to sing exactly the same nuances.
Keep the original part a bit higher in the headphones, so the vocalist can hear it when he or she is off. (music playing) Every time she varies from the part, stop and have the vocalist re-sing it and punch only that part in. (music playing) If the singer has some pitch problems, sometimes it's best to hear a playback without hearing the previous performance, have him or her sing a second vocal without hearing the main vocal track.
The inconsistencies between the tracks will make you forget about the pitch. (music playing) While the doubling technique can work for a great number of vocalists, sometimes it just doesn't sound good, if both vocal tracks are played at the same level.
(music playing) Try adding the second vocal at 6-10 dB less than the track you deemed the strongest. This will add a bit of support to an otherwise weak vocal without sounding double. (music playing) That's how we have a singer successfully double track a vocal. To get a close double track, make sure the singer listens to the lead vocal first, then tries to match it.
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