What kind of tricks can be used in Live to enhance lead vocals?
besides the obvious i.e. using pluggins, compressors and EQ what kind of Live devices do you use to enhance a lead vocal track... especially when you only have a single track/take to work with?
17 votes received8 votes
For a good way to add delay to vocals without the delay muddying up the clean vocal try the following:
- Add a delay set to 100% Wet followed by a Compressor to the vocal track.
- Group them into a Rack.
- In the Rack's Chain List, Right Click/Ctrl + Click where it says Drop Audio Effects Here and select Create Chain. Leave the new chain empty and rename it to Clean.
- In the effects chain, expand the Compressor and turn Sidechain On. In Audio From, select the vocals track (the same track you're adding delay to) as External Source, and below select Audio Effect Rack | Clean | Post Mixer
- Set up your delay, then on the Compressor try a ratio or 10, short attack, around 100 ms Release and some knee, then turn the Treshold down until you hear the clean vocal cut out the delay.
- Tweak the compressor to taste.
What this does is automatically lower the delay when the clean vocals kick in. Then, as soon as the clean vocals level goes down, the rack gradually brings the delay back up.
27 votes received7 votes
One technique I like to use to give vocals more space in the mix, is to use the Filter Delay with very short delay times on both the L and R chain to give it some interesting space
- Load a Filter Delay into your track
- Turn of the L+R delay, we just want the L and R seperately.
- Change the delays to Time mode by clicking on the yellow Sync button for both
- Bring the Dry volume down -inf dB
- Even the volumes of both L and R to 0 dB
- Now you can play with the delay times, filters and feedback to move the sound around and make it come from new places in the mix.
- Don't forget you can hold down the Ctrl (Command on Mac) Key to make finer changes when dragging with the mouse.
This creates a short delay between the vocals coming out of the L and R, as well as cutting off some frequencies giving an impression that the vocalist is positioned somewhere out to the side.
28 votes received2 votes
complex warp mode is the only one that affects the audio at its original bpm. you can make another copy of a vocal take and apply complex warp to it to fatten the sound up.
likewise you can slightly warp another take or the same take to make phrases more interesting and sound doubled.
6 votes received2 votes
For de-breathing and de-essing vocals, i've discovered that it's great to get out of grid mode, highlight the region you want to de-ess or de-breath, hit command-e and then go into the clip's volume and take it down a notch there.
If you then edit the fades between the clips you can get some really good 'natural' sounding breaths and be still be able to dial plenty of compression and top end into the vocal.5 years ago | 0 comments
15 votes received2 votes
All depends on context.
A lot of cutting and re-shifting. A bit of quantising (always warped in complex or complex pro)
I tend to find if you want something a bit different a bit of corpus instead of reverb can be quite nice.5 years ago | 0 comments
5 votes received2 votes
hey thnx man, i had just one more question, i've bin tryin with the things you've told me and i understand about how to get the delay on the clip but can you please tell me step by step how to exactly put it on the last word of my recording? I've bin tryin to select the last word, but it didn't work out well and i can't seem to make it work the way i want it to. Hope you could help me out one more time, again i greatly appreciate all the help so far!4 years ago | 0 comments
2 votes received2 votes
I use Live for hip hop production, and many times the artists will just send me their vocal takes. Usually they will send over 3 or 4, and I'll have to comp them just to get one usable take. So when I want to double up vocals, Warping with the complex algorithm is my best friend.
I'll make two copies of the vocal I want to double up, and put them on their own tracks, panned left and right. Once I've got only the snippets of audio I want to use, all trimmed down to their own clips, I set warp markers at the very beginning and very end of each clip (I usually do this BEFORE duplicating so I don't have to do it twice, but sometimes starting with your warp markers in slightly different places can be even more effective). On the clips on the left channel, I might move the ending warp marker out by 1/32nd note, thereby stretching the entire clip and altering the timing. Then on the right channel, I might adjust the ending warp marker by 1/64 in the other direction, shortening it, but also moving the starting marker in 1/64th, which changes the time the clip starts slightly. Then adjust the left channel up by 4 or 5 cents, and the right channel down 4 or 5 cents. This is just a basic explanation of what I do, you'll have to adjust each one by ear until it sounds like a truly separate take, but this is the basic process of it.
Also, if you've got any pitch correction software, like Auto-Tune that works in real-time, it can also work wonders at creating separate takes. Instead of using it how you hear on the radio, with the setting (I forget the name of it off the top of my head) of 0, causing it to immediately lock into the closest pitch, you set it on just one channel to 5 or 6 ms, so that the effect isn't at all noticeable, but it changes the pitch throughout the clip, rather than a hard set number of cents. When doing this, you can also be a lot more aggressive with the cents control, bringing the whole clip up or down 25 or even 40 cents, to cause it bounce back and forth more. Even further, you can apply this to both the left and the right channels, with one set to a chromatic scale at 5 ms and the other to match the key (or even minor in a major track works really well in hip hop) at 7 ms.
This Auto-Tune method can also be applied using some of the other delay techniques explained in other answers to change their pitch up a little. The Granular delay can also be great for this with some creative routing and effects racks.2 years ago | 0 comments
1 vote received1 vote
I find the 'Multiband Compressor' the best for tweaking vocals..
(instead of compressor+eq)...
some neat tricks are always : slight delays... (even modulated ones like a flager)
simple delays inside a rack for doubling/trippling etc. vocal tracks...
'frequency delay' is a great idea.. (in addition to the Multiband comp) gonna start using that one myself..5 years ago | 0 comments
59 votes received1 vote
A tasteful dose of saturator helps boost your highs/hi-mids a bit. Can really help to clean up hard to hear phrases and add some color to a take.
The reverse reverb technique is pretty sweet. Make a copy of your vocal track and reverse it. Apply a long a long reverb with the effect 100% wet. Freeze and flatten the track. Then reverse it again. The reverb tails will swell into the vocal phrases. Just make sure it lines up with the original vocal and set the levels to tast. The reversed verb vocal is also an ideal candidate for some side chain compression. Chain the compressor to the dry lead vocal. In this way, you will get the reverb tails ramping up into the dry vocal, with the compressor ducking the reverbed vocal out of the way of the dry vocal.
One more: place a reverb on your track with a long tail, set to hi quality, couple db of diffusion, couple db of reflection, and 100% wet. Group it into an effect rack. Directly behind the reverb (inside the rack) place an autopan. Set the autopan to sync, 100%, rate to 1 bar. Click on the autopan and group it into an FX rack (inside of the original FX rack). Lower the volume of the autopan chain -4 or -5 db and duplicate the autopan chain 2 times. Adjust the sync rates of the two new autopan effects (try 1, 1.5, and 3 bars). Also adjust the amount of the 3 autopan effects differently (100%, 80% 50%). Directly after the autopan FX rack, place a compressor for a little boost, and then an EX8 set to Hi Pass, cutting everything below 300Hz. These last two effects will bring out the autopan and help clean up low end. You can also try dipping the mids a little around 1.5k. You should be able to hear the reverb cyclying back in forth between your speakers in a very lush manner. All that is left to do is add another chain to the initial effect rack that the reverb was first placed inside. Use this for the main (dry) signal. Lower the reverb/autopan chain under the dry chain to taste. Major ambience.4 years ago | 0 comments
5 votes received1 vote
Hello everyone, i have a little question. I'm absolutely new to ableton and just becuz i was curious i've chose to begin with live intro just for audio recording. My question is, if i've recorded my audio and let's say if i want the very last word of my recording to have delay on it, then how can i do that??
I've bin tryin it for a little while now and couldn't figure it out and i'm also not gettin any wiser on the included lessons. Hope you can take me trough the process step by step, since i'm an absolute beginner in ableton. Every help is greatly appreciated offcourse!!4 years ago | 0 comments
1 vote received1 vote
There are two functions of ableton that can be utilized to achieve this, automation, witch is displayed in the arrange window as a red line running through your wav file image. The other is modulation to be found in the envelope section of your clip view.
Both are essentially graphs upon witch you can assign any value(just about) that you like, automation will "turn" the knob for you, assigning a value to this makes it impossible to change the value manually without de activating the written automation. Conversely modulation represents a percentage of the value however it may be set, allowing one to change the original value, witch would now represent a maximum value for the modulation written in the clip view.
so to delay the last word in a phrase automate or modulate the dry wet value to effect the last word as desired.4 years ago | 0 comments
1 vote received0 votes
also live has some great vocal plugin,s like backing vocals, male vocal,s and etc.try them out and see if you like them if not try 3rd party plugin,s.5 years ago | 0 comments
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