Friday, July 09, 2010

BGV Tips

(Note: I posted this answer to a question about rock BGV recording a few days ago on, and I thought I should post it here as well. I added a few things for this post.)

I generally record my own backing vocals. I usually do either 3 part harmonies or 4 parts with the bottom note doubled up an octave. I overdub each part a minimum of 4 times, so there are at least 4 voices on each note. I then evenly distribute each part across the stereo field.

When I am recording other singers doing backgrounds, I typically have people switch back and forth, so one voice is not dominating any specific part. I usually ask for a very forward placement, with extremely bright vowels, especially for rock. Having a male sing high falsetto in unison with a female also produces a great effect.

I lightly compress each track, and I usually bus all the tracks to the same reverb I am applying to my instrumental tracks. As far as EQ, I usually apply a high pass filter, and boost some of the mids and some of the highs, but specific frequency choices depend on what else is going on in the track.

When you have that many tracks, things like ending consonants are not always together, so I often edit out any late endings, and use just a couple of tracks to establish the ending consonants.

One more note on track numbers: If you are limited on tracks, it's a good idea to record all 3 or 4 parts once, then bounce those down to 1 track, and so on. I've always felt like that fills the sound out more than bouncing all the takes of one part to one track.

(Originally posted at Quora)
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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Prince Vs. the Internet

I have always been a Prince fan, and I have often found his eccentricity almost as interesting as his music. However, his latest pronouncement that "the internet's completely over" even has a diehard fan like me scratching my head. In an interview with The Mirror, he compares the internet to MTV, claiming that the web will become outdated just as the music channel did.

Even more odd, he is releasing his new album as a free CD for subscribers of the print edition of The Mirror. That's it - no iTunes, no CD's available in stores, and he has even shut down his website. In other words, if you don't happen to live in the UK or subscribe to The Mirror, he doesn't really want you to hear his new CD.

You can read the full interview at The Mirror.
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