How are you guys doubling, when not able to actually sing it

When only 1 lead vocal track is available, and you want to mimic some double tracking up the center, or have some doubles moved out wide … how do you guys do it? Ideally, there’d be variation in pitch and timing of the doubled track with regard to the original, like a “real life” doubled track … has anyone tried making microchanges in VariAudio to get effect?

To start it off … for up the center fake “double tracking” (as if the singer sang it twice), I use SoundToys Microshift, blending it in with the dry lead vocal. It actually doesn’t quite mimic the sound of double tracking (there’s a small stereo effect, and I’m not sure there is variability in pitch or how early or late the “harmony” voice is), but it does a nice job of making the centered lead vocal sound nice IMO.

If I really want to go for the full double track effect (variability in pitch/timing compared to the dry lead) I use RevoicePro 3. That also lets me keep it entirely mono, but to be honest, that’s never been a big deal either way for me. It tends to sound phasy unless the fader is pulled down on that “double-track”, but otherwise it sounds good.

For the kind of doubling where “double, triple, and quadruple” tracks etc. are placed way out on the stereo field at lower volume, Microshift isn’t helpful because it widens only a few degrees as far as I can tell, it can’t throw stuff way out their on the periphery. For that, I also use RevoicePro 3. It has a stereo preset, so if all I want is two “double tracks” out their, I can do it in one run. But if I want to vary the panning with 3 or 4 voices, or maybe process each voice separately, I do multiple mono runs with RVP3, and then pan/process each one separately as needed. I also like the fact that I can modulate how much the “double” track timing and pitch vary from the dry track. It’s not an earthshaking difference, but it does sound more natural to me than a fixed offset (haven’t checked to see how much confirmation bias there is in there!).

I have an old TC Helicon VoiceOne digital box … it has been great for me … but I think it’s gotten to the point where the combination of Microshift and RevoicePro 3 have maybe made it obsolete … although the VoiceOne box is cool to use (S/PDIF, lots of programming flexibility, etc.), the ease of the plug-in world is making me wonder if I’m going to be packing it up for good soon … :frowning: .

What do you guys do for doubling when you can’t get real “doubled” tracks laid down?

Thanks for any thoughts!

For a simple and quick double that sits underneath the main vocal, I’ve found that copying the track, hard tuning and quantizing it does a surprisingly good job. The doubled track sounds a bit odd when solo’d :slight_smile:

Very cool! Is there any phasing, or does that go away with turning down the fader (is there a typical range you have to turn it down by)?

I sometimes do it like John does. There are pitch correct artifacts, but if it is blended, it doesn’t stand out.

Along with hard tuning, you can use two of them and shift one a few cents north and one a few cents south as well.

Other ways I use are with delays and triggered effects. For instance, dope up the vox on an aux channel and use the main to trigger the opening of it. Say you have a longish reverb… you only hear the aux when it is open, no tails.

A good old chorus works pretty good too!

Hi Tom, that dupe/trigger/aux sounds very interesting. What kind of processing are you inserting on the aux channel (I’m just guessing there has to be some processing there, otherwise it would just be louder when the gate is opened?)?



I’ve haven’t noticed any phasing, the tuning and quantising seems to be enough to destroy any chance of the double being accurate enough to phase.

Yeah and you’re right that even the rare unaltered phrase phasing isn’t noticeable when the fader is dropped. I would estimate that when I do this the double would be 3 - 6 db below the main.

I’ve actually had a genuine sung double that was performed so closely that it had audible phasing that was unpleasant enough for me to have to doctor it. This was back when I was on SX3. I just chopped it into phrases and moved each one random amounts, then pitch shifted the chunks that were still phasey.

I have no idea, since i hardly ever record vocals…

Maybe im not understanding ur question… Idk… Im just gonna babble a bit…

The way i used to do it many years ago was to copy the vocal track twice… Pan one hard left, pan the other hard right and move them in the timeline (by a very minimal rate and displaced from eachother)
So, three tracks, one center, two sides (L+R) none of them playing at the same time so to speak.
Raise the side track levels by ear until they compliment the main vocal track. (Not too much;) )

Anyway, im prolly missing the whole point… Hope it helps (someone) anyway:)


Edit: oh… U mean like another singer… Lol ah well… Good night:p

Reel ADT does a great job…

A reverb or chain that has an effect that is longer than the phrase. Off the top of my head, desser, compressor,eq, reverb, delay. Have the gate in between the reverb and delay or after the delay. I use the verb to fill out (use early reflections for stereo impact with the tail to fill in) and the delay to spread. The delay is tuned for higher frequencies, panned wide and the reverb for body but it can be whatever is really needed. A lot of the time I will base a treatment on other elements that are in the composition. If there is a keyboard pad, listen to its range. You can build a process chain that sounds similar to it, joining the vox to it. Then you can have the ranges sit on top of each other or overlap a portion to extend the overall presence of the particular sound in the mix as a whole. Extensions work great in the hooks and choruses of a song.

Another way to faux double is to aux off the main and convert it to ms using flux stereo tool, invert one channel (left or right) of the signal, and a delay of milliseconds set all to wet. Tune the delay to taste with a low and high pass eq to spot it precisely.

Sorry to ramble…

In the modulation effects category there’s an effect called Cloner. There’s a few presets that will do a great job.
Preset Name: A Little More… There’s a few more that will do backgrounds, check it out :slight_smile:

You can also copy the vocal track and use the pitch correct effect or variaudio if you want harmonies steinberg has a great tutorial on it.

for a doubled take with an intentional doubled feel, the split-harmoniser technique works… ~+9 cents for one copy, -9 cents for the other, pan apart, and give them about 17 and 22 ms delays respectively. adding slight random FM to either side will prevent it from obvious phasing when collapsed to mono.

then tons of other techniques, just following the logic of ‘creating subtle differences in the L & R versions’ will yield some result.

if you have melodyne, there’s a function to add slight pitch variation, which is just for this purpose.

Hey thanks everyone!


AP - didn’t know about Cloner, will have to check that out!

John, thanks for clarifying.

ggc, that is pretty cool, thanks!

Shadowfax: That Reel ADT looks pretty cool. I have a simplified version in RevoicePro 3, but reading about Reel ADT made me think about running it through some tape saturation in Magneto.

lukasbrooklyn - great tip. I actually built one of these a few years back, I like it.

Tom, there is an encyclopedia of knowledge in that tip, I will keep it handy and try to chip away at understanding it over time - thank you!