Correcting background vocal rhythm
Video: Correcting background vocal rhythmIn this pass, we'll go back through the background parts that we just tuned and make any rhythmic changes that we want to address. We can change the overall feel of the entire part by making things earlier or later, and we can also tighten up the timing between the various parts and takes. Now another approach to get a really tight pop like sound for these background parts would be to use a tool like vocal line or something else that your DAW might offer to tighten up the parts before bringing them into Melodyne or even after you have tuned them. But you can also use Melodyne to make these changes to the rhythm. And Melodyne actually gives you a very good toolset and a very easy way to make rhythmic changes in a very natural way.
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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 rhythm
In this pass, we'll go back through the background parts that we just tuned and make any rhythmic changes that we want to address. We can change the overall feel of the entire part by making things earlier or later, and we can also tighten up the timing between the various parts and takes. Now another approach to get a really tight pop like sound for these background parts would be to use a tool like vocal line or something else that your DAW might offer to tighten up the parts before bringing them into Melodyne or even after you have tuned them. But you can also use Melodyne to make these changes to the rhythm. And Melodyne actually gives you a very good toolset and a very easy way to make rhythmic changes in a very natural way.
So if you want to keep the performance sounding a lot more natural and not as super tight and super pop, Melodyne gives you a really good toolset for doing that. So again, let's take a quick look at changing the feel first. And I am going to go ahead and mute all of the other tracks so we can just hear the song one part at a time. So now that I have muted all of the background tracks except for the first one that we'll start with, we can hear what we are going to do a little bit easier, rather than trying to make changes to one track and hearing them all playing at the same time, which would really mask the effect of what we're attempting to do. So, again we may want to set this to Play arrangement so that we can hear the background track against the vocal, and let's take a quick listen to our part as it is.
(music playing) So if we wanted to change the feel of this and maybe make it sit a little more on top of the beat, we could switch to our move notes tool and hold the Option key or Alt key, and just click and move the entire performance just a hair earlier. And what this will do is move it in between sections of the grid rather than actually snapping it to the grid. So if we tried to move it without the Option key, we would actually see that it would move within sections of the grid, in this case it looks like it's moving by 16th notes.
I am going to undo that. Let's take a listen to this with a little bit earlier timing. (music playing) So that's a lot more on top of the beat, there might be some other changes that we'd want to make if we were going to keep that, like perhaps we would extend the end of a certain note here to make it land a little bit closer to the downbeat, again holding the Option or Alt key, to make sure that the edit doesn't snap to the grid.
(music playing) And we can also experiment with going the opposite direction and making everything feel a little bit more off the beat, little more upbeat, and more floaty. (music playing) At the end of the day the decision is really yours, it's an aesthetic choice what are you trying to accomplish with the song. So, what we are going to do then is make that decision and go through and edit all of the other tracks to match what we have done on our first track.
So let's say we decided to leave it more where it was, but we just wanted to change a couple of things. I am going to get the track back to where it was before we edited it, and perhaps we just want to make certain note transitions a little bit more on the beat, but leave everything else a little bit more behind the beat like we had it before. We can just move those two sections. (music playing) And may be we want to make the end of this note cut off closer to the beat again, we can just stretch the end out again, same here, but again holding the Option key or the Alt key. (music playing) So now let's say that's exactly where we want it, and we are happy with that performance.
The next step would be to move on to the next track and mirror that same timing with the other tracks. So we can do the same edits that we just made on the other track, and our goal again is to really just make all of the performances, in other words the double, the triple, and the quad of each part as tight rhythmically with each other as possible. So now let's listen to the two of them together. (music playing) Pretty good, I am not sure if there's a difference between the yas, or it could just be the pitch that I'm hearing.
So, we can use that technique we talked about earlier where you can visually compare the two by simply moving one or the other to a different pitch so that you can see both of them at the same time. And you can see that they do attack really close to each other, if we really wanted to be stay closer about this we could fine tune it a bit more, really get them to start in the same place and really get them to end in the same place. And then again don't forget to move it back to the right pitch. (music playing) So, once we have done that on the second track, we would continue do that on the third track, and the fourth track. Until we have got all of the background one parts where we want them.
And then we would do the same thing to tighten up all of the other parts, backgrounds 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 and get them all so that they are really tight together. Now for the purposes of this course we are not going to go through that in this video, but feel free to play around with it on your own and get it to where you're happy with it. One other thing we can do with rhythmic elements is use our Edit Time Handle tool, and we can really easily make note changes like we looked at earlier that might affect our performance in a nice way. So we can look at potentially slowing down the attack of some of these notes and again since we have two tracks going we probably have to make sure we do it on both tracks.
And what this is going to do is make the attack of each note a little bit slower, so let's listen to the effect of that. (music playing) Now you can tell that they are obviously not done together, so let's just really quickly mute one of these. We are going to mute B, so we can really just hear the effect on A. I am going to undo that change on B, we are going to switch back to 1a, and let's hear that affect a little maybe more drastically just so we can really hear it. (music playing) In other words we're kind of swelling into the note, and we can even make it more drastic by dragging that handle even further down.
(music playing) And granted that this is single note so we're not noticing it as much on this note as we might on a different performance, but it's dragging out that vibrato on the beginning of the note, so you can see what was in the beginning is now moved later. And the other direction, we'll make it shorter or more of a abrupt attack rather than a smooth attack. (music playing) So this is the kind of thing you may want to use more on a lead vocal if you're trying to get a slight little swell into a note or make something a little bit more aggressive with an attack, but you can play around with it in all of your parts because you may be able to use it in some unique way.
Now another thing we can do with the rhythmic elements in Melodyne is we can actually change the rhythm altogether and make something completely new. Now let's say, for example, with any one of these parts, we didn't like the rhythm that we came up with, and we wanted to change the part to something different. May be if we didn't want three notes here, or we wanted a different rhythm of two notes, we could actually mute one by double-clicking with the Edit Amplitude tool--you can try this in both places--and then we can actually move with our move notes tool, the timing of one of the other notes to try something different rhythmically. And, as you can see, by moving that note--I am just going to undo it so we can see it happen again--the end of the note has been truncated. So we can actually stretch out the end of the note by shortening the muted note and by lengthening the end of the note that we want to affect.
So I am not sure if this rhythm is going to be what we want, it doesn't look like it, but let's have a listen to the change we just we made. (music playing) And we actually have some other parts playing in the background, so let's make sure those are muted. (music playing) So let's say we wanted a slightly different rhythm their altogether. Maybe what we would do is delete this little chunk, move this one more 16th note later, and may be we would use our Edit Time Handle tool to soften the attack of this note a little bit, now that we have changed that. Let's hear what that sounds like.
(music playing) We have got a really abrupt attack to that note, and that's probably because the note we removed earlier actually contains the attack of this note. So if we really wanted to go down this path and try and make this rhythmic change, maybe a better way to do it is to actually use that note instead of the second note in the place of this rhythm. So let's go back, we are going to undo these changes until we get back to where we started, and we could try going the opposite direction, deleting this, and moving this note earlier. So let's use our Move Notes tool and get the note where we want it to start, and now you can see this is going to actually make that note stretch longer because we moved the beginning but the end and the transition still happen in the same place.
So let's have a listen to that. (music playing) Ad again I need to mute 1b. (music playing) So, you can see this is not the best example because this is not a musical change that we would actually want to make. But if we did want to make a rhythmic change like this we can do so. Another way we could do this, that might be a little bit better example, would be to use some of these rhythmic notes at the end here. (music playing) Maybe I want this last note to actually fall in the downbeat rather than the upbeat so I can simply take that note and slide the entire note later.
Now I can see that that's lengthened the previous note so what I want to do is make sure there's a separation between the notes, and I can use the Move Notes tool to shorten the end of that note. Let's have a listen to that, I am just going to make sure that 1b is muted still, there we go. (music playing) So we can do that, and if we wanted to do the same thing here just a simple example of how we can use Melodyne to make these changes. Let's hear what it sounds like in this example. And again remember that if we were going to do this for real we would have to do it on all of the parts.
(music playing) And you can hear it's still a bit behind the beat, so we might want to tighten that up and make that last downbeat actually hit right on the top of the beat. We can also double-click to make it snap to the start. (music playing) Just like we could here, if we wanted to be really precise with our quantization we can simply just double-click, and it will snap to the point that Melodyne detects being the intended start of the note. (music playing) So you may decide that you do or don't want to follow that, really it's up to your ear.
So play around with all of these rhythmic tools. Before we move on I am going to set this back to where it was initially, and I am going to go back through into a quick pass just tightening up this section of the song. I am not going to really get into it too deeply, but just enough to do a quick and dirty pass, so we can tighten up the rhythmic part of these backgrounds. So once we have edited all of the rhythmic elements on these vocal parts, we'd want to make sure to listen again so that we know we're happy with the result. It's often a good idea to listen to the a cappella as well as the full mix since when you listen to the vocals all by themselves you may hear certain elements of the pitch and rhythm that you might not have heard when the instrumental was playing at the same time.
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