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#188237 - 01/03/13 08:36 PM [Off-Topic] Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ?
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
Finally hooked up and tried out my VoiceWorks - and I realize I'm at the tip of the iceberg (sort of like when I used BB for the very first time).

I bought the Voiceworks because I love groups like the Eagles, Chicago, Simon and Garfunkle, Bee Gees, Beach Boys, Abba (for when my wife sings), Franky Valli and the 4 seasons. But I have no idea what types of harmonies these groups use - it's done so well, it often sounds like 'one voice' (I guess that's the point).

So for some of these bands I'm listing - are there any VoiceWorks presets that might most lend themselves to these groups ? I know it will be years before my ear will allow me to figure this out for myself.

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#188238 - 01/04/13 08:14 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Joe V]
MusicStudent Offline
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When did you buy your VW? You are aware of this new TCHelicon free giveaway which includes what you mentioned. It may work on the Voiceworks otherwise, can you swap it for a VL?

500 new & FREE presets for VoiceLive 2, Touch and Rack

In November we released the preset mega-pack “More Play” for VoiceLive Play and Play GTX. Since then we’ve been hard at work converting all those presets for the rest of the VoiceLive Series (VoiceLive 2, VoiceLive 2 Extreme, VoiceLive Rack, and VoiceLive Touch) and now it’s done, gift-wrapped and waiting for you to import from VoiceSupport. In fact, we’re adding the entire factory bank from VoiceLive Play too, making it a total of 751 presets ready for you (while ’751 presets’ is not as catchy as ’500 presets’ we hope you don’t mind the free addition…)!

Covering all styles and genres – from Gangnam Style to Whiter Shade of Pale – it should keep any singer happy well into 2013. Discover your sound via the songs you like, or go on a random walk of presets for inspiration.

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#188239 - 01/04/13 09:16 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Joe V]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Quote:


I bought the Voiceworks because I love groups like the Eagles, Chicago, Simon and Garfunkle, Bee Gees, Beach Boys, Abba (for when my wife sings), Franky Valli and the 4 seasons. But I have no idea what types of harmonies these groups use - it's done so well, it often sounds like 'one voice' (I guess that's the point).





Maybe a quick word concerning the nuts 'n bolts of pop vocal harmonies might help as well.

There's really only a few things that can be done (and still sound good within the context).

Old School harmony singers and lots of Session Singers often use terminology that goes like this:

"One up and one down." -- this is the ubiquitous three part harmony where the Melody voice is in the middle and one singer sings "one up" which is the next note of the chord or triad that is higher than the Melody note, while the other singer covers the "one down" with then must be the next lower note below the Melody note.

For example, if the Melody note is a C over a C Major chord, the "one up" would be covering the 3rd, or E while the "one down" would be singing the 5th of the scale below the C, which is G.

"Two Up" not used that often, but may be needed because that fellow on lead doesn't guite have the range to make it to the main note. Voice Switching is not kosher in classical harmony on paper, but who cares about that in a pop tune. Git-R-Done. in this case, the lead singer would be wanting to sing the bottom note of the triad so the two harmony singers have to take the two notes that would then be above that.

"Two Down" is, of course also used sometimes. The opposite of the above.

There are a lot of cases where it is not 3 part harmony as well. Singing "One Up" creates that rather marvelous harmony where there is one other background singer only. The Beatles' recordings from the 60s are very good examples of this that come to mind readily at the moment. "Love Me Do" is a great example.

Having performed the role of background singer while either bangin' a geetar or a keyboard, the above terms, if understood by other members of the ensemble, are great ways to quickly get the right harmonies for a cover tune at rehearsal. "I'm UP, You're DOWN..." -- But these days, I'm finding way too many who are trying desperately to be great musicians and performers but looking for too many shortcuts. I say these things at rehearsals and people just stare and don't even want nor try to understand. sigh.

TIP: Even if you don't like the genre, perhaps *especially* if you don't like the genre, there ain't a pop or rock band anywhere that couldn't benefit from at least attempting to sing some modicum of barbershop for a bit. A Capella Hymns. One of the bands I was part of back when we all had hair on our heads and acne was noted for very strong vocals -- which is actually the PICTURE of any pop song, all the rest being the FRAME -- were each and every one of us just kids who had been subjected to singing in school choir, church choir, church quartet and even a barbershop quartet together. After working and performing something like "Fairest Lord Jesus" in 4-part, A Capella, and making the church audience have that pregnant pause of shock before breaking out into applause, well, that is a lesson that kids will take with them.

Older kids can also learn to sing as well.

And Harmony is not hard, it is FUN.

Have Fun,


--Mac
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#188240 - 01/04/13 03:35 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Joe V]
Mac Offline
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Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Check out this operatic trained singer and luthier's YouTube tutorials and demonstrations on the subject, here using Beatles' One Up, One Down harmonies:

How to sing In My Life Vocal Harmony Beatles Tutorial Harmonies

"One Down"

--Mac
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#188241 - 01/04/13 04:21 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Mac]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2163
Mac, thanks so much for this link. I am busy now watching all of his Beatles videos. What a great resource to work on my vocals and harmony!!

Have you ever seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=998AIOSzFLc He doesn't break it down but a very nice one-person performance nonetheless!

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#188242 - 01/04/13 05:29 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
Thanks very much Mac. As always - you've helped me put a first foot forward. And jazzmandan, I'm going to follow up on your suggestion immediately.

Dan - do you use a helicon hardware product - if so, which one and what harmonies do you use on your voice for what songs ?

Mac - How would you recommend I practice to start developing my ability to sing harmonies. Just start with singing the melody notes for a simple song with 3rds, and then use my guitar to find the 3rd higher, and sing along with the proper guitar notes ? - what other ways to best learn this ?

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#188243 - 01/04/13 06:26 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Joe V]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
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Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Quote:


Mac - How would you recommend I practice to start developing my ability to sing harmonies. Just start with singing the melody notes for a simple song with 3rds, and then use my guitar to find the 3rd higher, and sing along with the proper guitar notes ? - what other ways to best learn this ?




I recommend the same procedure as for learning how to improvise jazz and bebop stuff.

"Transcribe, Transcribe, Transcribe"

The above does not necessarily mean notes on paper, although for those who can it may serve them, but there are and have been plenty of great playing nonreaders and they too transcribe the works of others that sound like what it is they want to accomplish. Some of those nonreaders have developed phenomenal memories as well as phenomenal ears.

*Pick a song that is already recorded in which you dig the harmonies.

*Use your instrument to find out what notes are being sung. This may take some time, but time well spent that is slow the first time and gets to be faster and faster in process once you start doing it.

*Knowing the *exact* notes being sung is key to being able to sing them along with the other vocalists.

*Being able to "find" at least your starting note, on your instrument, is a good way to make darn good and sure you are going to nail that harmony when it is time. I will still pull that little trick from time to time when performing, whether playing guitar, trumpet or keyboard and being called upon to sing one of the background harmonies. Just try to not make it stick out that you are playing a note in order to sing a note. Often, one of the notes in a chord you are playing in the song will be the note you need to find, other times, you can add a fill or run that has that note in it (plus if the run can end on that note, eh?) and have a reference for those parts where it is hard to nail the entrance note.

*PRACTICE

Without a Mic.

Save the Mic for when it is needed. Sing in the air. Fill the room. Listen to hear your voice come bouncing off the back wall. Sometimes you have to start by sitting or standing in a corner, facing the corner. The sound bounces right back at both ears. Wonderful thing for the person who accompanies themselves on the acoustic guitar to do, you can hear *everything* you are doing or not doing when in that corner. (And is the only time I could ever really hear what that darned Ovation really sounded like while playing it. Those bowlbacks sound really great and full -- about twenty feet out in front of 'em -- not so much for the guy playin' it, who is behind all that focused sound. But the beer belly and the thing rollin' off the lap made my Ovation become history anyway.)

Inhale first, then sing using air to drive the cords with a relaxed and "open" throat. Never try to "pinch" notes out from the throat. When the air from the diaphragmatic muscle is being pushed properly and at high enough velocity to drive the vocal cords, you will hear a big ROUND sound. Sing correctly like that and avoid the kind of damage lots get into trouble with later, nodes on the cords that need surgical removal is not cool.


--Mac
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#188244 - 01/04/13 07:39 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Joe V]
MountainSide Offline
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Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1031
Loc: Lake Keowee, South Carolina
Joe, tell me a little more about that VoiceWorks hardware you mention. Is this different than the TC-Helicon Audio Harmony that's in BIAB and RB? Is it the same but with more presets and configurations? Looks like there are some 38 presets included in the PG version.

Can the one in BIAB and RB be used for vocals or just instruments? I also see mention in the user's manual of using it with PowerTracks...or does that mean it has to be used with tracks ported over to PowerTracks?

I watched the TC-Helicon vids on their websire...simply amazing what that thing can do. But before I start lusting after another piece of gear, how does it differ from the PG inclusion?
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#188245 - 01/04/13 09:28 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: MountainSide]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
The Hardware units work in Realtime.

Some of them can take an audio input from say a guitar that you are playing, and analyze that and derive the right vocal harmonies around your voice in the mic input. This is fantastic and works very well.

Some of them also have a MIDI input that can do the same as the above for MIDI keyboardists of the like. As long as the unit can get the chord, it can make the harmony that matches.

Also, the newer technology in these hardware units is rather amazing as to realism of the voices it creates.


--Mac
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#188246 - 01/05/13 07:08 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Mac]
MountainSide Offline
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Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1031
Loc: Lake Keowee, South Carolina
Thanks Mac, appreciate the info on that. Simply amazing technology...incredibly fast processing.

So it does need some type of input other than just your voice alone...it needs to pick up a chord progression from somewhere..right? Could it be used with BIAB or RB alone with no other "live" input i.e using just RT's, VSTi's, super midi tracks all being driven by BIAB or RB?
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#188247 - 01/05/13 07:30 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: MountainSide]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
Moutanside,

To be honest - I'm still a bit overwhelmed with the learning curve on the voiceworks, and just how realistic I can make it sound. Though I've heard some samples on youtube, they don't really impress me. I'm going to post another thread to see if our forum members can share what they've done with it - don't get me wrong, the technology is AMAZING, and for composing, practicing, learning, and arranging purposes, it is OUTSTANDING - but it's not going to replace backup singers in any sort of recording you would want to 'sell'.

Also - to really learn about ANY product - download and read through the manuals.

Start with the Quickstart guide - it will answer your previous question.

http://www.tc-helicon.com/products/voiceworks/support/


Edited by Joe V (01/05/13 07:32 AM)

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#188248 - 01/05/13 09:37 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Joe V]
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5500
Loc: Chicago
Quote:

Dan - do you use a helicon hardware product - if so, which one and what harmonies do you use on your voice for what songs ?




Oh, I guess that is to me? I have VoiceLive Touch. Got is a little over a year ago and while I love it and have had an absolute gas using it, I have not yet worked it into a recorded use which showcases its value. But the time will come.

Yes, it works with BAIB but with a limitation. This has been disucssed in the forum in grreat detail over the past year. It should, with no restrictions run in RB, but I am not a RB guy - this also has been discussed in the past. So I use it in Reaper for rehearsals and live work. It effectivley serves as the sound device so with Laptop running Reaper and Guitar and Mic all running into VLT and the VLT out to the PA is all that is needed.

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#188249 - 01/05/13 09:47 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: MusicStudent]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
The hardware vocal harmonizer can be used with Band in a Box sending the MIDI notes as stacked note chord data to it by using the Prefs-> Output Chords function and setting the vocalizer up properly to accept that MIDI stream on the right channel.

In that sense, it then works the same as if you were playing the MIDI chords or triads into it in realtime while singing.

Once that connection and setup is established, the vocalizer will work in Realtime with BB playing accompaniment while you sing lead into the mic or you can record your voice to Audio track and still fire the vocalizer at the right times during playback as well.


--Mac
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#188250 - 01/06/13 07:52 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Mac]
MountainSide Offline
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Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1031
Loc: Lake Keowee, South Carolina
Thanks guys....appreciate th info on this. I'll be digging into this a bit more and searching for previous posts as JazzManDan suggested. If this thing can be used standalone with BIAB and or RB, with no other "live" inputs, that could really open up a whole new avenue for song development and accompaniment.
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#188251 - 01/06/13 09:08 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: MountainSide]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:

Thanks guys....appreciate th info on this. I'll be digging into this a bit more and searching for previous posts as JazzManDan suggested. If this thing can be used standalone with BIAB and or RB, with no other "live" inputs, that could really open up a whole new avenue for song development and accompaniment.




as Mac said, using the voiceworks can be as easy as letting BIAB or RB send chords to it... but, if you are willing to endure a little learning curve, this device is totally MIDI programmable! Every singe function that you can change with the controls on the device's face plate can also be controlled by sending MIDI data to it!

This means that you could have a gig that uses hundreds of different settings on the voiceworks, and never have to touch it once because your songs send the specific settings needed by that song!

It can do things like select the correct patch, set the correct key, select the appropriate harmony type, add and subtract additional harmony parts, turn harmonies off and on as needed in the song at exactly the right place (without you having to divert your attention from the song in order to find a pedal and stomp on it)

If you are familiar with making piano roll edits to volume and velocity, this works exactly the same way, except the company has defined their own uses for the upper controller numbers. These controller numbers, and what they do, can be found in the user manual.

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#188252 - 01/06/13 09:22 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Joe V]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:

don't get me wrong, the technology is AMAZING, and for composing, practicing, learning, and arranging purposes, it is OUTSTANDING - but it's not going to replace backup singers in any sort of recording you would want to 'sell'.





even though I have 2 voiceworks units (love 'em, I'm also a voiceworks evangelist) I don't use them for recording. They are great for live presentations because they work in real time, and are rack mountable with other gear that you drag to and from gigs.

For recording, I get MUCH better results by just singing all the parts, then using Melodyne to clean up any timing or tonal discrepancies between the parts. Melodyne provides so many ways to control and manipulate recorded audio that it isn't even a fair comparison to recording with a hardware unit that adds one or two benefits.

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#188253 - 01/06/13 09:26 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Pat Marr]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
These hardware vocalizers can also be pressed into service by those wanting to learn how to master the art and science of harmony singing in pop songs.

Recording the output of the thing will generate perfect guide tracks for which to not only use to locate which notes to sing, but to practice singing along with.

One can also get really creative along those lines, figuring out ways to record only one of the synthetic voices to one of the tracks, yielding a way to Solo one voice and use the playback as a singalong guide to learning the harmony part.


--Mac
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#188254 - 01/06/13 09:52 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: Mac]
Joe V Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
Quote:

This means that you could have a gig that uses hundreds of different settings on the voiceworks, and never have to touch it once because your songs send the specific settings needed by that song!

It can do things like select the correct patch, set the correct key, select the appropriate harmony type, add and subtract additional harmony parts, turn harmonies off and on as needed in the song at exactly the right place (without you having to divert your attention from the song in order to find a pedal and stomp on it)





As I plan my appearance debut I have often thought about how to manage so many MIDI program changes, and whether to do that by physically initiating each myself, or programming them into a pre-recorded sequence. As I mentioned in a previous post, to me there is much more excitement generated by a live musician when the audience can watch the musician trigger each and every discrete sound made. This I think is one of the many appeals of purely acoustic music. Moving into the electronics world of effects/synthesis/sequencing begs the question 'how much automation' - and some of you have given very clever, thoughtful and useful answers.

So with this point of view in mind - I like the idea of being in control of triggering all of those changes myself (which limits, practically, the amount I could use without looking like the comical 'one man band' as someone said - which is to be avoided at all costs). If I am the trigger man for all patch changes - it allows me in many respects to be more spontaneous and creative during a performance than using a pre-recorded sequence with patch changes.

So if you want to be the MIDI program trigger man, and you're a guitar player - what's the best MIDI controller (I would guess it has to be a foot controller) that facilitates storing, saving, and visually viewing the many different patch changes you might want in each different song ?

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#188255 - 01/06/13 10:13 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: MusicStudent]
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5500
Loc: Chicago
Quote:

Yes, it works with BAIB but with a limitation. This has been discussed in the forum in grreat detail over the past year.




This was a very important "limitation" to me and caused me to abandon using BIAB for this purpose. I just wonder if recent upgrades have now addressed it.

But, here is my point: I suspect few if any will recall exactly what the limitation was, and if no one is aware of it, then why would we discuss it! We seem to be doing a lot of talking about a lot of nothing. I don’t mind if it’s just to see who has the biggest opinion. Unfortunately, all this rhetoric has caused the OT forum to become more confrontational. And if you disagree with that observation, then you see my point perfectly.

In this case, if someone was actually trying to use BAIB with a vocal processor and was having troubles, than that would be something to talk about. If that was actually the case here, I would be glad to hook up the BIAB-VLT combo again to verify if the problem continued, and we would have a thread which actually provided some information.

There are still enough “good” threads appearing here to keep me coming back, and I suspect when the winds of January die down, that will continue. My concern is who will be left.

Or have I gone over to the dark side to simply babble on, stirring the pot and adding fuel to the fire. I guess if someone posts a response pointing out that this post is not "musically realted" and therefore violates the forum rules, I will have my answer.

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#188256 - 01/06/13 10:30 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Can anyone recommend some Voicework presets that would work best with some of my favorite bands ? [Re: MusicStudent]
Pat Marr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:

Quote:

Yes, it works with BAIB but with a limitation. This has been discussed in the forum in grreat detail over the past year.




This was a very important "limitation" to me and caused me to abandon using BIAB for this purpose. I just wonder if recent upgrades have now addressed it.

But, here is my point: I suspect few if any will recall exactly what the limitation was, and if no one is aware of it, then why would we discuss it!




as I recall the main limitation to using BIAB with vocal processors is the fact that BIAB only allows one MIDI port, which, until recently, was directed to a synth.

If your songs have all realtracks and no MIDI, you can direct this port to the vocal processor.
I think its also possible to set the midi instruments to use a dedicated VSTi which then frees the port to be dedicated to whatever hardware device might find it useful.

I WILL say that it is a real hoot when you get BIAB and a voiceworks hooked up at the same time! It makes me fall in love with playing music all over again!
--------------
note:
the new vocal processors that are triggered by audio and not by MIDI provide a different challenge, which I will address in the next post

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