Correcting harmony vocal rhythm
Video: Correcting harmony vocal rhythmIn this video we'll go back and address any necessary rhythmic changes to our harmony vocals. And you may find that it's easier or quicker to correct the rhythm and the pitch in the same pass--which sometimes it is--but the benefit to doing separate passes is that it forces you to listen twice so that you're more likely to catch any remaining issues or any artifacts created by your editing. So one thing that I find very useful when we are editing timing is to use a ruler against which we are going to gauge the timing. So in the case of our lead vocal, we were listening to the lead vocal against our instrumental track, and we can do the same thing with our backgrounds, but in the case of a harmony it may be really useful to gauge those against the lead vocals since we want them to sync up tightly with that.
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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 harmony vocal rhythm
In this video we'll go back and address any necessary rhythmic changes to our harmony vocals. And you may find that it's easier or quicker to correct the rhythm and the pitch in the same pass--which sometimes it is--but the benefit to doing separate passes is that it forces you to listen twice so that you're more likely to catch any remaining issues or any artifacts created by your editing. So one thing that I find very useful when we are editing timing is to use a ruler against which we are going to gauge the timing. So in the case of our lead vocal, we were listening to the lead vocal against our instrumental track, and we can do the same thing with our backgrounds, but in the case of a harmony it may be really useful to gauge those against the lead vocals since we want them to sync up tightly with that.
So let's go and look at our full session and scroll down to our first background. And in our window here, let's choose lead 1a_COMP and then switch back to our first background. Not to confuse the terminology, a background is the track name, but in this case it contains both background and harmony vocals, so we are really editing the harmony vocals on a track called BG 1a. And we'll choose to Play visible. So by selecting play visible, we are going to going to hear what we can actually see in the Editor window.
And that means that anything that is unmuted in our arrangement window won't actually play as long as Play visible is selected. And the track is not visible in our window. So let's take a listen here. (music playing) So we are going to look at the timing in our BG 1a vocal track. (music playing) And overall, it's pretty tight, but you can hear that the let might start just a hair late. You can actually see that here as well. So we can switch to our Move Notes tool and just drag the beginning of that note just a hair earlier to sync up a little more tightly with the lead vocal.
(music playing) And again, the next word, it, that transition might just happen a hair behind as well, so we can just address all of these little issues as we go. The end of it might need to be a hair later. (music playing) And perhaps the be might be starting just a hair early. (music playing) Yeah that feels a little bit tighter to me. Obviously, this is all based on what your ear hears. If you really want it to be absolutely perfect, there are other tools you can use, like I mentioned before using vocal line.
But this is a better technique because we can really kind of fine tune it as we go. For most songs, we may not even want to do this because we may be trying to create something that's a little bit more natural and a little bit more of a human performance. In this case, we are kind of trying to tighten it up and make it sound a bit more pop. So we are going to tighten up the performances and get them to sound a little bit more like a pop record. So basically, we'll go through it phrase by phrase and just tighten up the rhythms as we go. Now I am actually going to turn off Auto Scrolling while I am doing this because I don't want to have to keep re-centering my view. You can do that again under View > Autoscrolling or use the key command, Command+Option+F or Ctrl+Alt+F, and let's just tighten this up just a hair.
(music playing) Make sure those Ts are in a similar place here. I am going to stretch the end out to make it match a little more closely, which then condense that breath more than I might like, so I am going to stretch that out a little as well. (music playing) That's better. (music playing) Okay, and now we have a harmony part here that's harmonizing with a different vocal, so let's include that vocal as well in our visible selection so that we can actually hear what we are harmonizing. So let's listen to that. (music playing) Pretty good. The P on spend might be a hair late.
(music playing) I am going to basically check each of these spots as we go. (music playing) The T on tender and the T on tough I believe need to be tightened up a little bit. I am just going to catch the stuff we hear, and if you really wanted to fine tune it, you can also check it a little bit visually. (music playing) But as always, what really matters is what it sounds like. (music playing) Check our chorus here, and again, I am not so worried about the chorus because I don't mind it being a little bit more raw, especially on this song.
(music playing) Important thing is that the feel is right. If the feel is funny or something feels rushed or out, then I might adjust it. But I am not worried about it being perfect in this section. (music playing) So there I can hear a little bit of a flaming effect between the two different words of attitude, so that's something we may want to adjust.
I am not quite right in there yet. (music playing) That's a little bit better, and we can keep going with this. I mean, this is certainly not perfect yet, it's just closer to what we are looking for. So really, the choice is yours as to how far you want to go with it. (music playing) Take a look at those one more time. (music playing) It's probably cool. So again, I am going to copy and paste this section, since it repeats here.
So I will make our selection, copy, make our selection and paste, and it can't hurt to just double check it. (music playing) Yep, and let's just check the end here as well. (music playing) That was really kind of on their own, so we don't have to worry about timing those against another part. And then essentially, the process is to include more and more of the tracks as we go. So now we are looking at the first double of this part...
(music playing) ...and just correcting the timing on all of these changes here. So we have got no changes that happen differently with the breath here. The end of this line that's actually coming in just a hair later on the other tracks, so we'll probably want to tighten those up a little bit more. (music playing) Oh, that might have been too far. It's getting closer but still flaming. (music playing) Closer, still flaming. (music playing) The idea is just to get it right so they don't sound like two separate breaths.
That's close enough for now. You can always keep going and fine tune this more if you want. And again, just be careful. Every once in a while you can accidentally switch tracks by selecting another track, you don't always want to do that so it's just something to be aware of. (music playing) I still hear a bit of a flam there, so I might try that one more time. (music playing) Getting closer, but it's still bugging me. So that's the kind of thing, hearing it more than once can often help you catch something you might have thought was okay before. (music playing) Jump ahead here and grab this next part.
You can also use visual cues like this. You can see here where something is actually a little early. So it's actually a quick and handy way to make those adjustments. Obviously, you got to make sure that it sounds right, because that's really all that matters at the end of the day, but having that ability to see it is sometimes very handy. Melodyne is very useful for that as well. (music playing) So we are basically making the same adjustments we made on BG 1a.
(music playing) Just making sure that they all sound good together. (music playing) Getting tighter and tighter, we will move on to our chorus. (music playing) So there's a couple of Gs in the girl that are not quite syncing up, so we can adjust those. And again, depending on how fine-tuney you want to get, and you can choose to ignore these or to actually adjust them.
But for a pop song, it's usually better to keep things really tight. (music playing) So those are definitely closer, but there is a bit of flaming going on in there between the Gs, so I am trying to tighten them up a little more. (music playing) Better, but not perfect. I am going to move on for now. (music playing) Tightening up the attacks of the Gs and the release of the last got there.
And we have also got a little bit of this attitude here, and I think we could tighten up better. So notice when you make a note separation, it's going to change the pitch between the two-note separations. They are not going to stay centered all the time, so you got to be aware of that and make any necessary adjustments. (music playing) There we go. I want to go back to 1a just pull that one up just a hair so that we are able to match this. (music playing) Switch back to 1b, check this next spot, and then we can copy and paste the repeated part.
(music playing) So we will make our selection, copy, and make our pasting selection and paste. I notice that that shifted later, so that means it didn't quite paste into right place. So let's make sure we are pasting it in the right place before we do this. And in order to do that, I want to make sure I am actually selecting the entire section that I want to copy and paste. I might have made a weird selection. Let's try that again. I see what's going on here, so it's actually shifting later because I made some edits within that.
In other words, I pulled it earlier, the section that I am copying. So what that means I need to do is either make the entire selection of what I just pasted and shift it earlier by the same amount, or I can simply copy and paste smaller sections of it and undo the paste. Okay, so we are back where we started. And then what I am going to do is do this in smaller sections just to make sure I am actually getting this where it's supposed to be. So one way to do that would be to start it section by section, I could just select a smaller section of what I want to copy and paste.
So in other words just a girl, girl, got, got, attitude, attitude and see if that will work. Now this looks like this will be a little bit tighter. Let's listen, though, and make sure. (music playing) Yeah, although the end of this may be just a hair early and then we can grab the second part, and we'll try copying the second half and just make sure that works. And here's where we're definitely a little off in our timing by pasting this. You can see that it's shifting certain things.
We just have the double check them, make sure that everything is going to work the way we want it to, the way we're expecting. You can see these are all a bit early, so we can simply shift them back where they are supposed to be, check that. (music playing) Now you can hear the rest of that is early, so let's shift that back to where it's supposed to be. (music playing) And then just double check the last bit. (music playing) And you can hear that they're essentially slapping or delaying with that flam sort of sound.
So we are going to move that back as well until they are little tighter again. (music playing) Now of course, instead of actually copying and pasting, you can always just make a manual edit and actually manually make these changes on the second half. There is many other ways that we could handle this other than copying and pasting, so we are just kind of going with the flow of what we started here. (music playing) So at this point, we have really just gone through our first part, and we have gone through the first two doubles and not the triple or the quad.
Our next step could be to move on to 2a and tighten that up, and we can also include B, and we could go to 3a and 3b, 4a and 4b. And then we have got all the harmony parts all tightened up. So the goal here really is to get the rhythm tighter between all the different parts. And in this case, we are starting really close to where we want to be because our vocalist is really talented, so it's not a lot of work that we need to do. It's just a lot of little detail stuff. So taking all of the stuff into consideration, go ahead and go through the remaining background parts.
Go through 1c, 1d and all of the parts, 2, 3, 4, and tighten them up and get them to where you think they sound right. When you open the session file for the next video, I'll have done the same thing, so you can always take a look and compare your work to that. And granted, we are just going to do a quick and dirty pass in the one that you'll open, but it will still have addressed most of those little timing issues that we need to look at. In the next video we'll look at some techniques that we can use to actually create harmony vocals if we hadn't recorded them. And we will look at using the material that we have already recorded to create different parts.
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