Join Scott Hirsch for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with harmonies, part of Vocal Production Techniques.
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- Harmonizing vocals in the studio is one of those topics…where every producer or vocalist…will have a different approach.…One thing that's helpful I find is to have a piano or…or MIDI keyboard handy so you can find…and play notes to sing.…Some producers will arrange and have all the harmonies…played out as mini sequences so they can quickly…move through the parts.…Other producers rely on the singer to come up with…harmonies on the spot.…A good place to start is with the third and fifth…scale degrees above the root note.…To get a little more interesting, you can try experimenting…with other scale degrees like the second,…sixth, or seventh.…
Or even working in the octave above those.…- When it comes to harmonies…I've been able to sort of pick up on them just in my head.…Having a mother who's a backup singer,…the gig rubs off on you a little bit.…But it's good to have the keyboard around…if you want to build a…slightly more technical harmony…that's not just your sort of standard three part.…And that takes a lot of the work out of it.…
First, learn how to get the singer comfortable in the recording studio and select the right microphone and preamp for the session. Scott discusses how to set up a good headphone mix and configure your DAW, and interviews the recording artist featured in the course, Jade Hendrix, about warm-ups and vocal health. Next, Scott moves directly into recording: positioning the mic, setting levels, and using compression. Then he delves into the psychological aspects of vocal production, like coaching the singer and giving feedback over the talkback mic. In the final chapter, Scott demonstrates some creative production techniques, including doubling vocals, stacking multiple vocal tracks, using Auto-Tune while recording, and methods for harmonizing.
- Warming up
- Selecting a microphone, preamp, and headphone mix
- Setting levels
- Dealing with dynamics
- Recording vocal takes
- Creative production techniques: doubling vocals, using Auto-Tune, and more