Sunday, May 16, 2010

Creating Harmony Tracks with Melodyne

There's a bunch of fake harmony plugins out there and if you've tried any out (or worse, shelled out cash on them like me) you've likely been pretty disappointed with the results. I've found a pretty good way to create harmonies using Melodyne.

The obvious way to make a harmony with melodyne is take your lead vocal, select the scale snap option (with the scale properly selected in Melodyne of course) and move all the notes up/down a 3rd, 5th or wherever you want it. Certain notes won't work being at that exact interval and will have to be moved up/down a semitone to fit with the melody and under the chords you have. This method does work ok but does sound a bit phony because while the pitch is different from the melody, the performance is exactly the same and this tends to make the harmony track sound robotic.

A way to make your harmonies sound a lot more realistic is to record an entirely different vocal singing the original melody and then using that to draw in your harmony track with Melodyne. You'll want to fix the pitch on it so it matches the original performance and is in tune but even after this is done it will still ultimately be a different vocal performance and will sound a lot less robotic combined with your original lead vocal.

Obviously it's better to record real harmonies but some vocalist just aren't capable of doing so and either don't want, or have the resources to get someone else to do them. This is definitely a great way to get the harmonies you want under these circumstances. I also like using the first method (without re-recording the voice) to get some harmony ideas. Sometimes some great mistakes happen that I'll then get the vocalist to sing in.

As always here's a link to my website for my production company, Morph Productions

If you don't have Melodyne you can get it here:

Morph Productions - Toronto Recording Studio
Morph Productions on Twitter
Morph Productions on Facebook


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