Join Josh Harris for an in-depth discussion in this video Dealing with wet vocal stems, part of Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching.
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.
- What is time stretching or expanding?
- Understanding how time stretching fits into the remixing process
- Working in Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, or Reason
- Calculating the tempo of the original track
- Dealing with wet vocal stems
- Importing vocals with the 10% time-stretch rule
- Comparing time-stretched vocals at faster tempos
- Putting a time-stretched vocal in context
- Setting up a session for double-timing a vocal
- Creating a 4/4 remix from a song originally in 3/4 or 6/8
- Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track