Heyo, your beautiful 1-person-choir covers have inspired me to maybe try something like this myself and I was wondering whether you'd be willing to share some of your... methods? The environment you record in, how you organize and keep track (hah) of all those different tracks, whether you plan out the harmonies beforehand or just go ahead by ear, what your post-processing looks like, this sorta thing? Because I'm a bit intimidated by the scope of such a project and you have some experience óvo;
Oh sure! It’s easy once you know where to start!
As for environment, if I want really good quality I sit under a blanket like so:
(This is to prevent echo and worsen the quality of the recording for you guys who’s like what the fuck girl)
Otherwise I just sit in my bedroom, it’s pretty non-echo-y and works fine if I wanna do many voices.
Around 10 tracks is the bare minimum in my opinion. That gives a little effort but a rather full choir. In my latest one (”Warriors”) I used 10 tracks for each harmony, plus some harmony on that harmony pff - it’s for the full-sounding effect! And in the end it resulted in quite many tracks so win win win!
So once I’m done recording those 10 tracks (maybe I split it so 5 of those are harmony and 5 are main vocals) I save it and compress it into one mp3 file so I can move it freely and fit it wherever I want.
This is many voices, so be careful so that your sound doesn’t start screeching (like if you scream really loudly and it can’t take it so it goes all white noise on you)
Lower the volume enough on each track so that doesn’t happen. It’ll do loads!
So eh yes, to summarize that; record in strategic parts.
Choosing what song you wanna do is tricky, because you wanna find one that’s not too hard to do, but that also sounds good. So it’s after you’ve chosen a song you can start planning your choruses.
So far, I’ve done it in some different ways:
- Listened to the music and mimicked the different tones of the instruments
- Interpreted an already existing song without music
- Added choir to a song with main vocals
- Completely choir-ized a song with music
- Just flat-out very much choir the whole thing is a choir
- Freestyled a simple song with additional beat
Since I can’t read sheet music I go by ear, and I experiment A LOT. I improvise A LOT. So don’t be afraid to do that! Sometimes it’s nah, and sometimes it turns out awesome.
WIDTH! Withdt witdth - To get width in your recording, turn each and every track in the left and right speaker, gradually. (Track 1, left 90%, Track 2, right 90%, Track 3, left 70% etc) but listen carefully so it doesn’t weigh to much on just one ear!
Adding reverb/echo is a good way to make your choir sound fuller.
Here’s a sample of Homeland, where I had one main vocal but also focus on the choir. The main is in the left ear and the choir in the right so you can hear properly (no mastering was done on that one so it sounds very flat)
And as you can probably hear I forget a lot what I’m really supposed to sing?? pff so in some parts I’m like wait where am I BUT THAT’S OKAY you can bullshit a lot as long as nothing major stands out and ruins it all. But try to make all your voices sound decent.
I edit my final product in Studio One
I probably forget a lot now or miss out something you’re wondering about but just wing it, try out some songs and you’ll get the gist!