Correcting background vocal pitch
Video: Correcting background vocal pitchCorrecting background vocal pitch provides you with in-depth training on Audio + Music. Taught by Skye Lewin as part of the Melodyne Advanced Techniques
Correcting background vocal pitch provides you with in-depth training on Audio + Music. Taught by Skye Lewin as part of the Melodyne Advanced Techniques
In this course, producer and engineer Skye Lewin reveals the techniques that professional musicians and producers use to get the best-sounding results from Melodyne. The course covers digital audio workstation (DAW) and session preparation, and shows how to perform rhythm and pitch corrections on both lead and background vocals. It includes lessons on importing and exporting tracks between the DAW and the standalone version of Melodyne, as well as utilizing Melodyne as a plug-in, through ReWire, and through Melodyne Bridge. Skye also shows how to use a MIDI keyboard to edit the pitch of a recorded performance in Melodyne and how to trigger a MIDI instrument using an audio recording.
- Preparing for a standalone Melodyne workflow
- Setting up a session
- Using a live editing approach for vocal correction
- Batch correcting vocals
- Correcting the pitch and rhythm of vocals
- Creating new background parts
- Adding special effects
- Revising an edit in Melodyne Studio
- Changing the tempo of your audio
Correcting background vocal pitch
Just like with the vocals that we already finished, for all the Leads and Adlibs, we're going to go back through now and do a pitch correction pass and follow it up with a rhythm correction pass starting with our background vocals. Granted you'll notice that all of the backgrounds, including the harmonies, are named backgrounds in this session. That's just done to keep everything concise, and you can really organize your session however you want. If you wanted to have, for example, all of your harmony vocals on separate tracks, so that they are more easily controlled in the mix, you can certainly do that. It's really just a matter of what makes the session flow and working in the session easier for you.
So for the purposes of this course, everything is condensed down to keep it on as few tracks as possible. So the true backgrounds in the song are really going to be what we hear over the intro. Now there are more backgrounds through the actual song itself that have been removed for this abridged version. So we're just going to focus on the stuff in the intro for right now. So let's go to our Navigation menu and choose Zoom to Full Song, so now we can see the entire song here. We can see our instrumental up top and all the lead vocals and the Adlib track that we already worked on. Let's start with our Background 1a COMP.
So we can double-click or use the key command Shift+Command+E or Shift+Ctrl+E, to open the Editor window. We have got our background track selected already in the Arrangement window, so it opens in the Editor window. And we can either choose to Play visible, selected or arrangement again, like we have done before. This time let's play arrangement since there's no Lead vocal going on here yet, we can hear the track behind these vocal parts. So I am going to go ahead and play with just this one vocal unmuted from all these parts. (music playing) So that's all we're going to focus on right now with these backgrounds.
So this is a pretty simple little part, there's not any breaths or sibilants that we need to worry about. So we can simply select the whole thing and either double-click, or we can undo that and use our Correct Pitch tool, which is Command+Option+P or Ctrl+Alt+P, and in this case, I am going to go ahead and put it to a 100 because I am going to want this a little tighter, we may come back and do some more effects on this later. But for now, let's hear what that sounds like. (music playing) Cool. So that's exactly what we want to do, just tighten it up a bit for now.
I am going to go onto 1b, do the same thing. So unmute each track as we go like we did before, and again, you can change the workflow to anything that suits your preferences. I am going to try the same approach here. We're going to notice that a few notes were pulled up, one semi-tone here. We just want to correct those, and let's listen to this together. (music playing) Cool! And if I was going to keep it more natural, I might just correct a few things here either flattening this out a little bit or perhaps even making a separation, which is another way to handle certain things.
If most of the note is good or the pitch modulation on it is not sticking out, but maybe just one little part of it is to your ear, you can just separate that part and correct that part without having to change anything else. (music playing) Let's move on to our 1c, and we're just going to kind of plow through these since they're fairly simple part and build out this entire background section as we go. So you'll notice at these first four, obviously all one part and they have been quadded, in other words recorded four times, so that there are four different vocals singing the same part.
(music playing) Moving onto the next one, you can just hear how it gets a little thicker each time we add a vocal which is the whole point of having multiples. (music playing) Cool. So we got the first part. Let's grab our second part.
So we can see, and hear, that this is going to be a different note. In other words, it's a harmony to the part we just did. (music playing) Yeah, so we definitely want to fix a few of those little pitches in there. Let's hear this. (music playing) Cool. So we know that 2b, C, and D are going to be the same part, doubled, tripled, and quadded, so we can just quickly go through those as well, make sure we can hear them as we go.
(music playing) I am going to build this whole section out here as we go doing the same thing, pretty much keeping it fairly close to the original performance now just making sure that the centers are closer to where they supposed to be. (music playing) At a certain point you'll be able to tell if it really even needs any editing just by looking at it and obviously, you still want to listen because that's really what's important at the end of the day.
(music playing) We can go onto our next part. This is the third part, and you can see here there are just a few notes at the very end on this part. (music playing) And given the nature of this part, I probably want to tighten up the pitch just a hair more than I might have on the other parts. So I am going to go ahead and do that.
(music playing) And given that there is a breath in here, we can just make sure that it's not been affected by using our Reset Pitch Center to our original key command that we set earlier. And let's grab our next vocal in this series here which is the double of vocal 3. We can pretty much just apply the same approach we did on the last one and just double check it by listening. (music playing) And grab number C, every once in a while selecting with a certain tool may not actually make the selection, you have probably noticed it a few times by now.
So if it does just switch tools to the Main tool or the Pitch tool. (music playing) And we'll grab 3d to finish out this part. (music playing) Then we're moving onto 4a now, and you can see this is kind of like a B-line in this background arrangement. So in other words, it's going to be kind of a bit of a common response, so let's hear what that's going to sound like. (music playing) Again, we are just going to tighten up the pitches on these, and we can plow through these pretty quick, because there are all fairly simple parts just couple of notes.
So we are onto 4b now. (music playing) I might tighten up the Pitch Center on these just a hair, move onto 4c, do the same thing here and again we are going to switch tools to make that selection. (music playing) Get the right tool there, tighten these up just a tiny bit, and we'll grab the fourth recording of this part. (music playing) So we can really just plow through these, there are not that complicated, we can always make sure that our work is good by listening after we do stuff on a simple part like this.
So here is the first harmony part. We can even attempt to do four in a batch here, let's see what happens if we just edit them and then listen, so we have got A and B, C and D, and now we can listen to what that sounds like. (music playing) Cool. So that will work for now. We'll move onto our last part 6 and here are a few little rhythmic issues in there that we'll come back and fix in the next video.
Again we'll grab these all in one pass here, so 6a, 6b, 6c, and 6d. And let's have a listen to that. (music playing) Cool. So now let's take a listen to this entire little section of the song with all the parts. Granted, it's not mixed, we really just have a quick and dirty faders up mix of all the vocals as recorded.
But now we have tuned them a little bit, and let's hear what it sounds like. (music playing) So we have gotten through our goal with this. What we're going to do with this section in the song is copy and paste it to play it underneath the final chorus, which in this example, is really the chorus since we're doing in abridged version. So once we got these tracks back into our DAW, we would then copy them, put them on another set of tracks, and duplicate this section twice underneath the chorus.
And if you want to take a listen to the final version of the song you will be able to hear what we have done with that. So in the next video, we're going to go back in and correct any rhythmic issues with these background parts.
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