I learned something today: doing a record alone forces you into schizophrenia.
The fun part is reconciling those different personalities. As a singer, I am strictly against any kind of pitch correction software. As a producer I could sometimes kill myself for ruining an otherwise perfect take with that one flat note that kills the feeling of said take. As a musician, I cannot afford Melodyne. As a songwriter I just want to get the emotional narrative across, no matter what it takes.
Sometimes all it takes to make a vocal take WORK would be a little push upwards of 15 cents of a semitone. That could be done by melodyne or any other pitch-correction software, but the singer in me insisted on getting a chance to do it right without that. And yet, I am not the pitch-perfect Jeff-Buckley-with-balls singer I’d love to be, so a little something I found may come in handy when I mix this next week:
REAPER is the working environment of my choice, try it if you haven’t yet. Somewhere under day 3 they mention a pitch envelope. You can see how you get that in the picture above: you right-click on a sound item, go to the item properties and click on take envelopes. There you choose ‘Take pitch envelope’, and a mysterious horizontal line appears. Holding shift you can add envelope points and move these around to shift a certain area of the item upwards or downwards pitch-wise.
What I like about it is that it doesn’t sound unnatural, because actually you don’t hear it as it is not automated. I have to find the off-note by ear, wiggle it around, and decide which sounds better. That helps me keep the feel of the take without giving it any of that autotune-stench-of-death. Not that I intend to use it much, or otherwise the singer in me will cry itself to sleep every night.
PS: 1000 views for this blog. horay!