Within the expansive and vibrant realm of music production, double tracking vocals has remained a potent tool for amplifying vocal performances. By duplicating, or even triplicating the vocal tracks, producers can intensify the sound, resulting in a richer, more immersive auditory experience. This complete guide will delve into the world of double tracking vocals and provide seven essential steps to help you master this technique.
An Insight into Double Tracking Vocals
Prior to exploring the finer details of double tracking vocals, it’s crucial to grasp its fundamental concept. Double tracking, also referred to as doubling, is a recording method where the artist records identical parts twice, and the two versions are played simultaneously. This technique is predominantly used with vocals but can also be applied to other instruments. When done correctly, double tracking can enhance the depth, richness, and intricacy of your sound.
The Merits of Double Track Vocals
Employing double tracking vocals isn’t merely about amplifying the volume of the vocals. It’s a technique that serves multiple functions in a mix:
- Density: Doubling the vocal track can add density and depth to the vocals, giving them a more robust sound.
- Pitch Correction: If the singer’s pitch is slightly off in one track, the second track can mask these minor flaws.
- Stereo Width: Double tracking can also be used to add stereo width to mono recordings.
The Procedure for Double Tracking Vocals
Although double tracking may appear simple – recording the identical part twice – there is more to it than what appears on the surface. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Capturing the First Track
The initial step in double tracking vocals involves recording the primary vocal line. This track acts as the main vocal line that carries the melody.
2. Capturing the Second Track
Upon recording the first track, the vocalist then records a second performance of the same part. The objective here is not to reproduce an exact copy of the first track, but rather to capture a performance that closely resembles it.
3. Synchronizing the Tracks
Once both tracks have been recorded, they need to be synchronized accurately. Minor timing differences between the two tracks can create a chorus-like effect, contributing to the richness of the sound.
4. Mixing and Balancing
The final stage involves mixing and balancing both tracks. A common method is to maintain the first track at the center and pan the second track slightly to one side, which can create a sense of space and depth in the mix.
Potential Pitfalls When Double Tracking Vocals
While double tracking vocals can yield remarkable results, there are common errors that should be avoided:
- Excessiveness: Overdoing it can result in a cluttered mix.
- Poor Timing: If the timing between the two tracks is significantly off, it can result in a sloppy sound.
- Inconsistent Performances: The performances on both tracks need to be as consistent as possible. Major variations can distract from the listening experience.
Double tracking vocals is a potent technique that can add depth and richness to your sound. Understanding its concept, purpose, and process, and avoiding common mistakes, will enable you to effectively use this technique to enhance your vocal tracks. Remember, practice is key when it comes to mastering double tracking vocals, so don’t be afraid to experiment and refine your technique.