Reader’s Choice: Most Popular Vocal Production Articles in 2014

by Dan Gonzalez

Optimizing vocals with DSP

Craig Anderton brings you on a DSP-inspired journey through all the different ways in which you can get your vocals processed and finalized. Various topics involving the VX-64, EQ, Compression, Expansion, and much more. Check out the article here.

How to use a vocal double to enhance lead vocals

One of the toughest things about working with a lead vocal track is getting it to pop out, while allowing it to still sit in the track nicely in context with its surroundings [other tracks].  Every mixing engineer has her/his bag of tricks, but here are a few ideas to utilize a “vocal-double” which may help support and embellish the lead vocal track. Cakewalk guru Jimmy Landry shows you how he worked on the vocals for his Javier Colon demo track. Check out the article here.

Make your voice sound thicker (studio & producer)

Vocal production can lead to many different types of processing. Sometimes subtle enhancements to your vocals can make all the difference in the final mix. SONAR X3 Studio and Producer introduces Melodyne Essential as a fully integrated and pitch correction editor. This easy to use software allows users to access their Melodyne right from the Multi-Dock without needing to perform any special tricks within the software – including fattening up your vocals. Check out this highly-read article here.

Make your voice sound like Daft Punk with Melodyne Editor and SONAR X3 Producer

Certain effects have defined generations of music. The decade of the 80’s for example was a major era for reverb. In today’s pop music, the use of pitch correction software seems to be an effect that many artists and producers are utilizing creatively. Daft Punk has been using this effect for a number of years now, making them one of the first to bring this vocal style to the level of popularity it is today. Check out the article here.

Hum a melody and convert it to MIDI using ARA

As a musician, inspiration can hit you on the train, during dinner, or even while you’re driving somewhere. Many musicians carry some sort of recorder around with them. I know sound designers who always have a device ready for taking samples, and guitarists that hum melodies to themselves when they feel they’ve come up with something original that they want to remember. Now you can import your melodies right into SONAR and convert them to MIDI using the innovative ARA integration. Check out the articles here.

Better together: Try SONAR X3 and Melodyne For Free!

What could be better than Melodyne Essential included with every copy of SONAR X3 Studio & SONAR X3 Producer? Only full integration of Melodyne in SONAR through ARA technology.

The future is here folks! This means the best pitch correction, time stretching, and audio to MIDI conversion in the business are at your command in SONAR X3 Studio & Producer. Whether there’s a flat note in a vocal, or you want to adjust phrasing, Melodyne makes it a snap to polish your recordings.

By adding support for ARA technology (Audio Random Access), we were able to seamlessly integrate Melodyne Essential into SONAR’s Skylight interface. This means no waiting for data to transfer into the Editor. Simply click to open the audio clip and get to work. To convert audio to MIDI, simply drag and audio clip onto a MIDI track and Melodyne takes care of the rest. And if you are using any other version of Melodyne or plan to upgrade, you get to enjoy the same level of integration automatically.

Best of all, ARA integration is available in the SONAR X3 Free Trial!  Download the 30-day Melodyne Trial to experience both together and see Continue reading Better together: Try SONAR X3 and Melodyne For Free!

SONAR X3 Quicktip: Play Guitar, Convert it to Bass

There are times when you are in a bind and need to get a solid bass line down, but there is not bass player in site. Well, now in SONAR X3 you can easily record your bass parts on any instrument and convert it to a virtual bass instrument using the new ARA integration.

First let’s plugin the instrument of your choice. For me, the closest instrument was an acoustic guitar. I’ve been playing around with some chord changes recently and I need a solid walking bass line to jam along with. Unfortunately I don’t have a bass guitar close-by so I’m going record the bass line on the guitar Continue reading SONAR X3 Quicktip: Play Guitar, Convert it to Bass

SONAR X3 Feature Spotlight: Melodyne Essential with ARA integration

Addictive Drums

One of the most talked about features in SONAR X3 has been the new ARA integration. Every version of SONAR X3 now includes ARA Integration which allows you to use Melodyne as if it were part of SONAR X3. In addition, SONAR X3 Studio and Producer also include Melodyne Essential (retail value $99).

While including Melodyne Essential is a huge upgrade in terms of pitch correction, it’s the ARA integration that really takes it over the top. The main benefit of ARA is that it allows SONAR to integrate with plug-ins that can edit and analyze audio, such as Melodyne. ARA greatly improves the workflow when using plugins like Melodyne that do MIDI analysis and pitch and timing correction. Compatible plug-ins can exchange information about the project’s timeline data, including audio clips, tempo, pitch, rhythm and much more, which allows them to behave as if the plug-in was part of SONAR.

In a recent article on CreateDigitalMusic.com, industry expert Peter Kirn stated the obvious: “there’s no other way to say this: Celemony’s Melodyne line of products is just better than any other offering out there.” Kirn later went on to proclaim, “Cakewalk has done more with the SDK for ARA than any other host so far.”

Read the ARA integration article on CreateDigitalMusic.com

Developer Notes: SONAR X3 ARA Integration

SONAR X3 Tip: Easy Audio to MIDI Conversion

SONAR X3 Tip: Make your vocal thicker with Melodyne

SONAR X3 Tip: Drum Replacement with ARA and Addictive Drums

Upgrade to SONAR X3 Producer (includes Melodyne Essential)

SONAR X3 Quicktip: Make Your Voice Thicker (Studio & Producer)

Vocal production can lead to many different types of processing. Sometimes subtle enhancements to your vocals can make all the difference in the final mix.

SONAR X3 Studio and Producer introduces Melodyne Essential as a fully integrated and pitch correction editor.  This easy to use software allows users to access their Melodyne right from the Multi-Dock without needing to perform any special tricks within the software.

One great way to process vocals is to add low end to them without using EQ. Thickening up a vocal can be a tricky task but now with the use of Melodyne you can take advantage of it’s pitch correction abilities.

With the deep integration of ARA technology simply do the following to edit pitch:

  • Insert a vocal track that needs some help in the lower register.

  • Highlight the desired audio region

  • Go to Region FX and highlight Melodyne

  • Melodyne will appear in the Multi-Dock

Minimize the Melodyne Editor for now and do the following in the Track View

  • Highlight your audio track and right-click on the Track Pane

  • Select [Clone] and make sure to enter 2 in the selection for “repetitions”

This will load two tracks with the same Melodyne region enabled.

  • Open up the first region within Melodyne

  • Go to Edit > Select All or simply hit CTRL+A

  • Within Melodyne use the magnifying glass tool to zoom in on one specific blob

  • Within Melodyne go to Edit > Pitch Grid and select No Snap

  • Using the “Main Tool” click and drag the entire selected track down every so slightly

  • Do the same with the second cloned track but in the opposite direction

  • Now pan both tracks somewhat out in width and mix them underneath your main vocal track

  • Apply a Low Pass Filter to both and any other processing you want to experiment with, here I added some saturation to both tracks

The goal here is to create a parallel thickness underneath your track so that your vocal becomes more present in the lower and punchier frequencies.

Try it out, and experiment with more parallel DSP effects and you’ll start down a route of unlimited effects.

Learn more about SONAR X3 here.