Posts Tagged ‘how to change key signature’

Reworking Vocal Samples Into Something Original

June 3rd, 2011

By D’Layna Huguez-Dixon

When I talk with music producers, occasionally I’ll get one who says, “I don’t like using vocal samples because I’ll end up sounding just like everybody else.”  This is a valid concern, but doesn’t have to be the case.  It is a little like saying, “I don’t want to add a saxophone in because I’ve heard other producers use saxophones—people will think I am just ripping off their sound.”

Many producers think of vocals and instrumentation differently, when in reality, what is the voice but an instrument that can truly speak?  In the same way you can find a hundred different melodies, layers of harmonies and a myriad of rhythms buried inside a three-chord progression, vocal samples are only limited by our creativity and imagination.

Just like remixing or covering an old song or using licensed music samples, it’s all about making it your own and taking it to the next level to set you apart!

Here are some tips used by top producers, including myself to make their vocal samples sound unique.

  • Change the key – maybe move it from a major to a minor.
  • Add a filtered effect
  • Change the tempo of vocal
  • Stretch the vocal
  • Mix and match samples to create your own vocal lines
  • Chop up vocals -  You can chop up vocals manually or by removing silence between words.  Most recording programs have a feature that will remove silence.
    • In Sonar, the Remove Silence feature allows you to split long audio clips into smaller ones, which opens a variety of creative possibilities.  I use this feature when working with vocal sample lines that do not fit the timing of a new music track.  After I remove silence, I move each word to fit the timing, thus creating a fresh new vocal line.  It’s tedious, but the results are worth it!
  • Layering vocals – Pan one dead center and the other two hard left and right or whatever sounds good to your ear.  Add different effects to the ones you have panned left and right.

In our previous blog “Major Turned minor using Cubase 5“, DJ Karas walks us through just one way of taking a cookie-cutter sample and truly making it your own.  Using software such as Sonar, Pro-Tools, Logic Studio, Cubase 6, Propellerhead Reason 5 or Ableton Live, the possibilities of mixing, matching and overlaying vocal and instrument samples is truly endless.

If you have any tips, tricks, tools or techniques, step up and share your knowledge.  We’d love to see them and so would everyone else.



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Major turned minor using Cubase 5

June 4th, 2010

DJ Karas from the Russian Federation submitted a few tips and tricks on changing key signatures.   For his contribution, we awarded him $25.00 in Download Credits for future purchases!  Congrats & thanks to DJ Karas from all the staff at Vocal Downloads!

DJ Karas

DJ Karas - Tips - Major turned minorReview the steps below and listen to the final mix which will be featured on his upcoming track titled “Can’t Help Myself” featuring Vocal Downloads artist Becky Cutler.  

Although this was done using Cubase 5, these techniques could be applied using other DAW software.

 

Step 1:  Came up with the piano harmony

Listen here:  Step 1
See here:  Step 1 Screenshot

Step 2: Visited www.vocaldownloads.com and purchased vocal samples in DMajor

Listen here:  Step 2

Step 3: Edited vocals to change key signature from DMajor to Dminor

See here:  Step 3 Screenshot
Listen here:  Step 3

Step 4:  Created background vocals with auto-tune effect.

Listen here:  Step 4
See here:  Step 4 Screenshot

Step 5:  Used Vocal Whisper preset from “Tc Hellicon VoiceWorks Plus” to give vocals color (http://tchelicon.com)

Listen here:  Step 5
See here:  Step 5 Screenshot

Step 6:  Mixed all the tracks.

Listen here:  Step 6

Step 7:  Arranged and produced the final mix

Listen Here:   Can’t Help Myself

DJ Karas’s other works are available for sale using our vocal samples:

http://www.junodownload.com/ppps/products/1428815-02.htmMy House
http://www.junodownload.com/ppps/products/1441771-02.htmFantasy
http://www.junodownload.com/ppps/products/1474473-02.htmPump it Up

To hear more from DJ Karas visit his myspace page www.myspace.com/djkaras

http://www.loopmasters.com/#a_aid=4c3f4e4895e93