Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

How to make that sound...
omnrock
KVRer
16 posts since 2 Jul, 2011

Post Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:53 pm

I am looking for some help replicating the “hide and seek” effect from Imogen Heap, using any of the apps I own like Vocalsynth 2, Nectar 3, Little Altar Boy, Komplete 12, Cubase 10. My intent is to use it as a starting point for dialing in my own sound, but I can’t seem to get close to the demos that I’ve found.

I’m willing to pay someone to create the preset and maybe a project template. Please read through and feel free to message me with a bid if you think you can help!

Specific examples of the effect I’m trying to replicate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XepnJV6v9RQ
https://soundcloud.com/izotopeinc/4-imogen-heap
https://sounds.com/samples/release/11368/sound/1457764

I am not a pro sound designer, but rather a musician trying to achieve a vocal sound that works for me. What I am specifically trying to get is a super clean, chordy, textured, harmonic sound like those demos and my versions of it just are not that crisp.

I get that you need a super clean input to make it crisp. I also get that some of this is midi driven and I have tried setting up tracks with midi data that matched the chord progressions of hide and seek, just to get a baseline comparison of the vocals. I am still just not getting the same sound from any of the included presets or my own experimentation. I can get sort of close, but it sounds like a bargain version of the effect I’m going after.

I reached out to Izotope for some help with this as well. I was hoping that they could give me the exact settings they used for that soundcloud demo, but I could not pin them down on that! They were very helpful to be fair to them and they went out of their way to make me a quick video showing me some other parameters in the plugin. However, it felt a little odd that I wasn’t able to get the exact settings for a product demo that was instrumental in my purchasing decision for said product.

Here is what they provided in regard to the Jacob Cases video above:

Izotope:
Our sound designers said they are doing immediate pitch correction first. Then they are using Polyvox stacked with the "bats" preset in compuvox, and "breath" from Biovox. There may also be a little vocoder blended in there if it's not compuvox.

However, Bats and Breath are not presets, they are dials on those modules :/

Please send me a message if interested and we can discuss more!

Ah_Dziz
KVRAF
2618 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:36 am

What synths do you own?
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

omnrock
KVRer
16 posts since 2 Jul, 2011

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:24 am

I have Komplete 6-12, so anything in there, massive, monark, mouth, razor, etc.

I don't have serum or omnisphere. I don't think I have a ton of other synths tbh, I have been trying to contract my software rather than expand.

I got close to the sound I really wanted on my first album, but the vocalist is remote in Denmark and was using Logic and Vocal Transformer, which isn't available in anything but logic... So this time, I am trying to do my own vocals and get that sound without logic :/

https://soundcloud.com/omnsound/eternally

Ah_Dziz
KVRAF
2618 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:59 pm

The mouth should be able to get you pretty close. It sounds like a mix of autotune into a vocoder.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

omnrock
KVRer
16 posts since 2 Jul, 2011

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:39 pm

There are many ways to get close to that sound. Tough to match it. Any takers that want to try for a fee?

Kwurqx
KVRist
430 posts since 15 Jun, 2017

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:20 am

Imogen Heap - Hide & Seek
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYIAfiVGluk


It was done using a

Roland VP330 (Vocoder Plus).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_VP-330
The Roland VP-330 was a paraphonic ten band vocoder and string machine manufactured by Roland Corporation from 1979 to 1980.
In addition to vocoding and generating string sounds, the VP-330 can also play four different choir sounds, each of which uses four bandpass filters, shared from the same pool of seven total.[1] Like Roland's other string machines of the era, such as the RS-202, it features a BBD-based ensemble effect that thickens the strings, and optionally the choirs and vocoder.
So....you will need a Vocoder (preferably 10 band)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocoder

Here's a comprehensive list of hard- and software Vocoders.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vocoders

You could try your luck with the excellent and free TAL - Vocoder (11-band)
https://tal-software.com/products/tal-vocoder

And you will need a string/vocal sound similar to the one of the VP300 as input (and a mic line in on the other).

Good luck...

omnrock
KVRer
16 posts since 2 Jul, 2011

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:14 am

hehe so no one is down to design an actual preset for cash money?

I get that you are trying to be helpful, but this is the most common reply I get to this question. There are a TON of people who think "you just turn this and combine this and bang" and 100% of the time, that does NOT get the exact effect. Not once!

I am looking for specificity, not generality as I have already achieved that general sound with the plugins and it's not feeling good enough.

omnrock
KVRer
16 posts since 2 Jul, 2011

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:16 am

There is also absolutely NO consensus on how it was done.

I have heard TC Helicon, Electrix WarpFactory, you are saying Roland VP-330. The truth is that no one seems to know for sure! This is an interesting question in general, there might be more info on the Messina than there is on properly recreating this effect.

theviirus
KVRist
119 posts since 13 Mar, 2005 from HELL

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:45 pm

“My favorite computer blew up on me,” Heap explains. “But I didn't want to leave the studio without having done anything that day. I saw the [DigiTech Vocalist Workstation] on a shelf and just plugged it into my little 4-track MiniDisc with my mic and my keyboard and pressed Record. The first thing that I sang was those first few lines, ‘Where are we? What the hell is going on?’ I set the vocalist to a four-note polyphony, so even if I play 10 notes on the keyboard, it will only choose four of them. It's quite nicely surprising when it comes back with a strange combination. When it gets really high in the second chorus, that's a result of it choosing higher rather than low notes, so I ended up going even higher to compensate, above the chord. I recorded it in, like, four-and-a-half minutes, and it ended up on the album in exactly the structure of how it came out of me then. I love it because it doesn't feel like my song. It just came out of nowhere, and I'm not questioning that one at all.”

User avatar
Benedict
KVRAF
2977 posts since 5 Mar, 2004 from Gold Coast Australia

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:40 pm

I was thinking it sounds like the Digitech Vocalist so you want a Pitch Shifter that you can control in real-time (MIDI). Oh and you need to feed it a good line or it will sound duff. It relies in great part on the contrast between organic and mechanical.

I am happy to get paid to set you up with something similar but I don't own any of those devices you mention. I use Reason and when doing sound design, prefer to DIY over using the usual suspects. If you happen to have Reason with Neptune or Polar, then easy. maybe you have something that is similar in Cubase?

You are probably best not making a Preset, but to create your parts (incl the harmonies) using something like a Vocoder and then sending that over to be made into something unique that fits your overall track. Copying that Heap track just makes your song a copycat.

Even happier to get paid to do that sort of work.

:-)

Kwurqx
KVRist
430 posts since 15 Jun, 2017

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:56 am

omnrock wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:16 am
There is also absolutely NO consensus on how it was done.

I have heard TC Helicon, Electrix WarpFactory, you are saying Roland VP-330. The truth is that no one seems to know for sure! This is an interesting question in general, there might be more info on the Messina than there is on properly recreating this effect.
It seems I was wrong. It is NOT the Roland VP330. Not even a Vocoder. It's a Harmonizer. Most sources mention the Digitech Vocal Harmonizer.
Imogen Heap did not use a vocoder on Hide and Seek. She used an older Digitech Vocal Harmonizer. See, how the different kinds of effects are often confused for one another. You will not be able to do Hide and Seek with a vocoder. You can do it with a TC-Helicon rack, or anything that can do 3 or 4 part harmony with midi input to set the harmony chords.
Imogen Heap was kind enough to speak with iZotope and share a glimpse into the simple technology that helped inspire her groundbreaking song “Hide and Seek.”

"The only sound you can hear on ‘Hide and Seek’ is my voice. There’s no keyboard noise. All those harmonies are a result of what notes I play on the keyboard, which then tells the harmonizer which notes to make my voice appear to sing. I can choose the amount of effect (harmonies) to show through. I used about 50/50. So you can hear unaffected natural voice too.

“The first thing I sang were the words ‘Where are we? What the hell is going on?’ I carried on playing and singing, reacting to the chord inversions the harmonizer was throwing at me. It was set to four-note polyphony, four notes at a time, but using most or all fingers on the keyboard, the box is forced to choose which notes to use out of a chord. Before my very ears a song had emerged out of nowhere."
Imogen Heap does mention and uses a Harmonizer, but no specific brand/type, in this (Roland/BOSS) interview. Maybe because it was NOT a BOSS pedal.
https://youtu.be/o2sD-joYc-Q?t=142

omnrock
KVRer
16 posts since 2 Jul, 2011

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:48 pm

Thanks for the offer, Benedict! I don't own Reason anymore though... I am happy to pay for it, but would need to be able to transfer to my own setup.

I think it's an interesting pro audio problem in general as people underestimate the magic she created and how hard it is to recreate that...

User avatar
Benedict
KVRAF
2977 posts since 5 Mar, 2004 from Gold Coast Australia

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:17 pm

omnrock wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:48 pm
Thanks for the offer, Benedict! I don't own Reason anymore though... I am happy to pay for it, but would need to be able to transfer to my own setup.

I think it's an interesting pro audio problem in general as people underestimate the magic she created and how hard it is to recreate that...
As I said, the magic is in the contrast between human and machine. You can hear exactly the same contrast in this ELO record where they contrast the Vocoder against human playing and singing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgxAbVrT3u0
The same with this album that at first seems very mechanical yet the live bass player (and that most synths were played) gives a wonderful contrast that makes this a very revered record to this day.
https://youtu.be/AWQ7O3DAPl0

Owning a preset never makes the magic - it is a reverse logic that people apply seeing they don't understand how things work. The magic is in the artist and letting that out. Salvatore Dali could do more with an empty wet egg carton than I could do with the world's most Pro painting kit.

You don't need to buy Reason. Just work your song up with what you have then share the drafts with me and we work ut what needs to happen to build the magic. Do you have a track already? (you can PM me if you prefer)

:-)

omnrock
KVRer
16 posts since 2 Jul, 2011

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:19 pm

It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation with me. Since there is an element of playing midi with the vocals, I was hoping to get the sound I want dialed in and then experiment from that as a starting point when recording the vocals. The preset isn't the destination, it's just the jump off point...

I have tried applying some chords to vocals post-recording in order to see if I can achieve the effect, but the results are not as dynamic, obviously. Otherwise, I have basically held off on recording all the vocal bits for this second album until I can get this sound nailed down :/

User avatar
Benedict
KVRAF
2977 posts since 5 Mar, 2004 from Gold Coast Australia

Re: Help me design a vocal preset! Paid op

Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:41 pm

Then understand how the Digitech Vocalist worked. My understanding from reading adverts at the time was that it was 4 pitch shifters that you could assign MIDI Notes to in real-time to either make Choruses or what you hear here which is Harmonies like you have more singers in the band (even if they are robots).

You probably don't want modern maths for the shifters as they will sound too "good" compared to the older algorithms which is why I would start with Polar RE in Reason or Neptune, but really any decent live Pitch Shifter will do if you can feed it MIDI.

Essentially this is what the Digitech was continuing https://www.eventideaudio.com/products/ ... 910-plugin so you want something that you can feed your MIDI to.

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