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 Post subject: pitching vocals up and down?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:36 pm 
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Location: San Antonio, TX
I have been listening to Burial and The Weeknd and they both use pitch modulation it sounds like in these two examples below, how do they pitch the vocals up and down without going out of tune and how are they staying on the same note and staying in key while moving up and down??? I use Ableton Live and I really don't understand how this effect is achieved.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDFEQyx7o4k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlEkvbRmfrA

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 Post subject: Re: pitching vocals up and down?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:29 pm 
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There are actually a couple of things going on here, lot of disparate tricks so fair warning, it's gonna take a lot of practice to get that sound "competently".

You can definitely do similar things in Ableton, but I would advise either Autotune or Melodyne. The "graph" mode of either will give you a split between words and notes and allow you to drag them around, change the formant characteristic and related vocal timbre effects. Typically the pitching is done on each word or syllable, only occasionally multiple times in a word or syllable.

A key thing to this effect (and why Autotune or Melodyne excel vs a DAW) is that these two artists typically use a more slow pitch drift than an electro producer would (ie Skrillex). So it is important to fine tune the "drift" of the pitch moving to and away from your source and destination note. Autotune and Melodyne excel @ this. This makes it sound like a real vocal performance, but kind of like an alien one.

Another key thing to note is that there is actually a fair bit of harmony in play. Some of the notes that stand out, sound exceedingly pleasant or really dissonant are that way because they are really multiple copies of the word playing a chord (say a triad... root + 3rd + 5th) mixed really well to sound like one source. Also you can experiment with having the chord harmonics fade in and out of the root, or get a nice effect by arpeggiating a chord in the same word (think the "know" in "Tell me how to kno-o-ow" and then resolving on the second repetition. also the pad sound that intermittently plays that sounds like "ahhhhh" - probably multiple copies of the vox or the vox with a synth playing harmony).

I have a good friend who is amazing at all of this using just Ableton... but in the more skrillexy style. If you wanna do this style in Ableton you probably need to be real good with the pitch automation and volume envelopes, as each word needs to flow naturally here.

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 Post subject: Re: pitching vocals up and down?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Location: Bristol UK
Formant/pitch shifting. All good pitch shifters included editable formant values as well, the benefit of melodyne is you can really stretch it out to extremes.

To hear the extreme use of these two check mr posfords psy wonk stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... gsE#t=707s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdlbORpRiM8

Burial really leaves stuff loose in terms of pitch shifting. Even though it doesn't sound like it, i think a lot more realtime processing is involved in the weekend tune.

Also be sure to sample a lot of MGS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... cxY#t=144s

Other than that I would recommend some FFT Fx and just mess around with parameters. This free plug is on both OSX and pc, but its hugely powerful. There's delay involved due to the FFT process, but its got a diverse range of capabilities.

http://rekkerd.org/dtblkfx/


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 Post subject: Re: pitching vocals up and down?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Thanks Angryrancor this helped me a ton!!!

which autotune plugin would be best suited for this kind of work, I don't really have the cash for Melodyne at this moment.

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 Post subject: Re: pitching vocals up and down?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:14 pm 
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and thanks for all the links Ricorb! I'll be checking all of that out!

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 Post subject: Re: pitching vocals up and down?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
kangarOoah wrote:
Thanks Angryrancor this helped me a ton!!!

which autotune plugin would be best suited for this kind of work, I don't really have the cash for Melodyne at this moment.


Any of the ones with the "graphic mode" will work, not sure how all their editions stack up at this very moment though. I think "Autotune 7" is the most featured one that will have basically everything. Personally I have Melodyne assistant myself, but have used autotune in the past on stuff (v6 I think).

I'm gonna try out Ricorb's suggestions as well, couple things I haven't tried in there and Ricorb is just an all around talented dude so I try out his tips on principle.

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 Post subject: Re: pitching vocals up and down?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:33 am 
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Here's a decent vid on splitting the audio clip into midi sections
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp8AVAf3R3c


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