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DallasSteve

What vocal effect add-in do you like?

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I'm one of the old voices here at almost 65.  I don't have the range or quality that I used to have.  I was thinking of ways to compensate and clean up my bad vocal notes on my demos and the first thing that came to mind was the popular AutoTune.  But my voice is so bad it might not even be able to tune it.  So I thought of something like the vocoder that artists like Daft Punk used.  I think that's driven from the keyboard so tuning shouldn't be a problem.  But then I saw an ad for Ovox and I was pretty impressed.  I didn't even know something like that existed.  What tool do you think would work best for a poor vocal performance (at a price point not over about $50)?  Aside from that I may still want something like Ovox for the wild music it can produce.  It's like an instrument I've never heard before.  Or 100 instruments.

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If running CbB stay away from Ovox for now

 

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8 minutes ago, DallasSteve said:

I'm one of the old voices here at almost 65. 

I'm over 68 years old and I've never had any range or quality in my voice. 😞  

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I have a copy of Melodyne Essential for sale for $25...
That will be the best tuning product you can get in that price range...
PM if interested

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scook

That's a bummer (as old guys like me might say).  The post was dated last December.  Has the problem not been fixed?

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Bapu said:

I'm over 68 years old and I've never had any range or quality in my voice. 😞  

I've gotten de-ranged as I've gotten older...

 

 

 

though the extent is a matter of opinion.

Edited by TheSteven
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scook

Update.  I looked at the thread you posted and someone posted today that the problem still exists.  Ovox even has a note at the bottom of the page that the latest version is not compatible with Cakewalk.  They suggest requesting a previous version.  I wonder if anyone has tried using that previous version with Cakewalk.

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The Izotope Bundle for $99 is the best bang for buck...you get tuning and effects
for $99

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, DallasSteve said:

the first thing that came to mind was the popular AutoTune.  But my voice is so bad it might not even be able to tune it.

...

at a price point not over about $50

This doesn't sound realistic at all.

At the risk of sounding patronising (because I don't know what you know);

The human voice is complex and so are the physiology and math involved in explaining and modeling it. Cutting to the chase; the sound is generated in the vocal cords acting as the oscillator and then goes through a series of resonating dynamic chambers called the vocal tract where it becomes filtered in various ways, greatest effect of which is felt by the harmonics of the original sound, producing what are called the "formants" of the sound which constitute most of the characteristic timbre of your unique voice. (In addition, other parts of your anatomy produce their own sounds in the process and are then mixed in with the actual periodic sound that is singing).

Retuning the end result is quite a lot more difficult problem to solve than turning a frequency knob on a sine wave. There is practically no moment during such sound production when we could stop the clock and say what's going on inside the "instrument" is deterministic within the scope of our best physical modelling efforts. AFAIK  it's part of the reason why speech synths are still stuck in the uncanny valley. Now after we do a fair bit of simplifications, we can approach realistic emulation of an isolated moment of voice production or manipulation, but even then - in the latter case - the key is high quality source material, i.e. the more "pure" and spectrally narrow, and the smaller is its dynamic range, the easier it is to fix.

Feel free to let me know if you think I'm talking out of my rear - I'd love to be proven wrong. My point is that there's a reason why Antares AutoTune and Flux IRCAM Trax are so expensive; trying to do such things, let alone doing them well, is not for the faint of heart. So there is not much serious competition. (Feel free to point me to some as I'm also on the lookout for a no-less-than-amazing voice manipulator...)

There are quite a few affordable plugins that provide some ways to manipulate the pitch and formants, and a bunch of other parameters I don't understand. iZotope VocalSynth 2 was already mentioned and can be grabbed for that $50, but don't expect miracles. Polyverse Manipulator seems to have pretty impressive DSP going on, but doesn't seem like it's being apologetic about artificiality. I'm pretty sure Melda's tooling could achieve great results in skillful hands, if you're not hell-bent on perfecting every transform. Alas, they're not exactly cheap at MSRP either, so better wait for a sale if you've got the engineering mindset to attempt that route. 

 

There's more (because Melda), but these sprung to mind:

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MAutoPitch (free!)

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MVocoder

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MTransformer

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MCharacter

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MHarmonizerMB

 

Edited by sarine

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sarine

I'm not looking for miracles that will make me the next YouTube sensation.  I want to produce some demos that aren't marred by horrible vocals, that's all.  Nothing near perfection.  If my work develops into something marketable I'll hire a better singer to overdub their vocals, maybe put together a band.  But for now this is just like painting a picture I never expect to sell.  I'm doing it because I enjoy it.  I don't have to make more money.  I picked the $50 price point because the Ovox add-in wowed me and right now I can buy it for $39.  Why spend a lot more with my limited goals?

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8 minutes ago, DallasSteve said:

I want to produce some demos that aren't marred by horrible vocals, that's all.  Nothing near perfection. 

Then my advice would be try the free options first. Try to find the minimum amount of transforming you need to do to make the source sound good enough for your purposes, and consider processing the whole track even if just subtly to color it evenly artificial rather than making individual notes sound out of place.

Vocal exercises can do wonders for future takes and with age come better analytical skills and learning strategies that you can employ in turning some of those deficits in vocal agility into character. For example, if you find that you have difficulty singing in key or hitting certain notes, it may pay off to sing controllably off-tune in a way that better accommodates later pitch-correction for more consistent sound, rather than micro-edit mistakes every other phrase.

Just some thoughts... I'm not a singer.

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Posted (edited)

If the vocal performance is bad, no amount of editing or effects is really going to fix things. The question to ask is if you were ever a good singer in the first place. I've seen a number of people on this forum say that because they are older, they have a bad voice and I've listened to some of their songs and their bad voice has nothing to do with their age but rather that they can't sing and probably never could because they never undertook the training. Their voice is unprofessional.

If you never were a good singer then it won't magically get better in your 60's. You have to start lessons and practice now to get better, there are plenty of lessons available online through Udemy and other sources but a professional tutor is better in my view. Everyone can take up singing at any age and improve their vocals.

Don't be self conscious or equate singing with being a pop star, no-one expects to see you in tight jeans and leather on MTV. Singing is just an instrument, like a piano or guitar and plenty of people take it up in their 60's and 70's and in the local choir around here in their 80's and 90's. Have you thought of joining a quartet, they are fantastic for keeping your voice warm.

If you used to be a good singer, then there is no reason why you cannot call that back up, but, if you were a good singer, you would know it takes practice, and loud practice to get your voice back into the zone. Again, no reason to be self conscious that because you are 65 your suddenly not allowed to belt out a tune.  As we age, it can be easy to fall into an "oldness" mindset, where everything is blamed on age, rather than diet, inactivity and lack of motivation. Usually as you get older, you may lose the highs a little but you will gain in the lows. If you getting older, singing is also a great therapy for addressing things like sleep apnoea and snoring etc.

Most of the famous singers who got famous in their 20's still sound fabulous and in some cases better than they used to now in their 70's. Tom Jones, Gladys Knight, Mick Jagger, have a listen to some of these, Gladys Knight, now in her 70's sounds better than she did in her 20's. Have a listen to this live performance, in her 70's:

 

 

Having said that, there are some singers whose voice does deteriorate a bit when they get older and they don't sound as good in their 70's. If that;s yoiu, then get another singer in but make sure that really is you before you do or you might miss out on some fun.

Edited by Tezza

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Strangest thing: I started finding my singing voice when I turned 50 or so. 

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I started singing regularly for the first time in my life since beginning of last year, through the Smule app with singers from all around the world. My singing has improved a lot, but I’m singing a lot since then. No miracles, it takes practice, and with a vocal coach to help you correct your singing mistakes, you’ll improve more quickly.

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11 hours ago, Fleer said:

Strangest thing: I started finding my singing voice when I turned 50 or so. 

It's always in the last place you look.

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8 hours ago, Christian Jones said:

I've always been amazing.. you should hear me

We should.

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