• Harmonies
  • Started by Kellyanneg
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Harmonies
on: April 24, 2019, 19:39:53
Hello! Ok I have another topic I would love input on...Harmonies/backup vocals. Where? Where not to? (Where is it appropriate in the song) How do you sing them? As in, softly? The same as you sing lead but adjust with effects? How many notes?(like if you had one back up vocalist vs three)  I like the idea of an instrument used as a harmony too. What do you think? The songs I've heard from all of you are produced wonderfully, with knowlege, details, and creativity I respect tremendously. You are a wonderful group source. Any shared thoughts would be appreciated. Hope you all are well.  :shinyteeth:
Do what makes your heart sing :)


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Re: Harmonies
Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 23:21:44
Hi @Kellyanneg,
Ooooh harmonies.. I love them!! And you know my default answer: there's no right or wrong.. ever..
So I can only tell from my own experience.
Imo this (again) is in the arrangement 'process' of writing songs (but even the songwriting process differs for everybody).
So suppose I'm arranging a track, I search for sweet spots to emphasize certain words, and singing a 2nd and/or 3rd harmony sometimes helps.
Btw, the and/or matters for me as well. Can be great to add a 2nd voice in let's say the 2nd chorus, and a 2nd AND 3rd voice later on.
I am guilty of overdoing vocal harmonies, because I have so much fun adding them (probably because my main 'instrument' is singing).
In return you (probably without noticing) gave a great tip here, never tried to add a second harmony to a lead-vocal track with an instrument, great idea!
Hope this helps a bit, and I'm very curious how other kitcheners respond to your questions!
Cheers!
Mar T.
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Re: Harmonies
Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 01:36:20
Hello @Mar T. !  Thank you.  I have never attempted harmonies, other than singing to the radio. It's different with a blank slate so to speak. The idea of building harmonies with each chorus is a great tip. What makes you decide which words throughout the song to harmonize? Your harmonies are great btw!!  :thumbsup:


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Re: Harmonies
Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 01:43:28
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 01:46:17 by Mar T. »
Cheers @Kellyanneg , just try it and experience the results for yourself, collect the feedback from your listeners and based on that I'm confident you'll find a signature (Kelly) way of making use of them!!
As for my case I'm always searching for ways to emphasize.. And harmonies (to me) are a way to connect the message (lyrics) and the music (chords, melody)..
I've heard your harmonies as well and I'm very confident you're using them/continue going to use them to your advantage, and to the listeners ears 'relief'.. You can do it, it's in your toolbox..

Oh, and now I realize what I've said, plz don't limit harmonies to choruses.. They can seriously help to build up in verses as well.. (imo)

Mar T.
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Re: Harmonies
Reply #4 on: April 25, 2019, 01:56:54
@Mar T. Hmmm,  mustve been an instrument sound? Or someone else? I haven't done any harmonies in my songs..but thanks!!!  :lol: and yes, I suppose Ill just have to dive in and see what I come up with...Ive tried finding videos on this, but no luck. Thank you kindly!!  ;D


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Re: Harmonies
Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 02:00:26
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 02:04:35 by Mar T. »
..  I like the idea of an instrument used as a harmony too. What do you think? ...

@Kellyanneg I responded to your very own (imo) great idea  :lol: :lol:
Btw I was sure I heard harmonies before.. prob my fault..  :pompom: See, I can hear the gem!!  :pompom:


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Re: Harmonies
Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 08:56:53
If you haven't noticed yet, that's a sort of prove that it sounds natural.
Boast boast.
I do as little genius guitar work as possible. I will never play two notes/chords if one is enough. But what I don't do with instruments, I do with harmonies. 9 out of 10 times with voices or else with a guitar.

The age old calling/answer idea. I make old fashioned music. Someday (like my dad's spectacles) I'll be very very modern again.
Kind regards, Gus


Re: Harmonies
Reply #7 on: April 25, 2019, 15:54:15
@Mar T. Lol!! Well thank you for your confidence!  :pompom: and compliment!! 
@LePlongeur it struck me when you said you never play two notes/chord when one is enough. I will keep that note close. Thank you for your contribution!  ;D


Re: Harmonies
Reply #8 on: April 28, 2019, 03:53:44
Hi @Kellyanneg  so ... I like harmonies ... I love choral music .... kind of have to considering my day job, my wife's day job and the life experiences of my children.

However, for the kind of music I usually make - harmonies  (as in all three of us singing in harmony) seem kind of old fashioned? maybe?

Most harmonies in our recorded music are all Melissa. It blends perfectly. I also always have her double and triple each important part in the chorus to create a wider fuller vocal by panning them left and right. 

The harmony parts usually come in at the last chorus when I do them. It depends on the song I guess.

We've done live gigs with bigger bands where the other musicians want to sing harmony for everything and it just kind of cramps our style. Older musicians ... maybe that's why I feel it  is old-fashioned?

We did a couple songs where we all sang harmony and usually multiple parts each. In our song "Strong Love" we made a whole church choir!  :D So, yeah, depends on the song really.
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


Re: Harmonies
Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 16:39:38
@Bill from November Sound  I listened to Strong Love again, and it (harmonies) definitely adds emotion and strength, and being the most dominant on the last chorus seems to be a common message - good to know!  Do you (anyone) always pan harmonies left and right?  Are double vocals used with the same purpose?


Re: Harmonies
Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 17:43:25
Hi @Kellyanneg  . I was already doing this doubled vocals thing that I learned and adapted from The Recording Revolution   -   but @Leonard Scaper wrote some really helpful advice in a thread about getting the vocals sounding full but sitting in the mix! He got us all thinking more about it, really.  I think he said "floating" the lead vocal? I thin he can point us to that thread? @Leonard Scaper ?


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Re: Harmonies
Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 17:55:34
Hey @Bill from November Sound ....had to look for that thread. It was a good one as a whole bunch of folks chimed in with their methodology:

https://www.songwriter-forum-kitchen.com/forum/songwriting-ingredients/26/vocals-in-the-mix/3459/

That "floating the lead vocal" thing was something I was pondering about comparing the placement of vocals in the mix to riding a wave:

For anyone who has ever played hard in the surf, I was thinking about how mixing vocals is like riding the waves. You could ride high up on the musical wave on a surfboard or you could be body surfing and be tucked in as a complete part of the wave.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

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Re: Harmonies
Reply #12 on: April 30, 2019, 18:56:30
Very interesting and inspiring. I hope to decipher all of this one day!  :praise:



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