Unique Vocal Spot FX

A technique for making moody edits from full vocal phrases. Take a vocal loop or full phrase, and loop over small sections of the loop until your hear some words or even individual syllables that you like. Chop out these sections and add to a separate channel, use these more as a spot vocal effect rather than a full vocal. From here you can add some ping pong delay effects to help the vocals sit in the mix and give them more atmosphere. Even adding different delays with different delay times to each vocal chop to create a really interesting rhythmical effect.

Pitch Shifted Harmonies

Manually create your own vocal harmonies by duplicating your main vocal a couple of times and editing or adding effects to the duplicates. Initially you could try some pitch shifting, detuning by a few cents to give a thicker vocal sound, though to avoid phasing issues with your main vocal add some effects such as filtering, EQ, chorus, reverb or delay to the detuned vocal and even offset the timing slightly to distinguish it from the main vox, and also mix it appropriately, probably quite low. Or take your duplicates and try some extreme pitch shifting, either up or down an octave or even +/- 5 semitones, just make sure you stay in key. Again mix these quite low for a subtle harmonising effect, or mixed higher for ethereal and otherworldly vocal harmonies.

Autoloops

Try using an auto filter on your vocal to create some interesting textures. Engage the autofilter’s in-built LFO to effectively sequence the cut off frequency of the filter. Set the LFO to tempo sync and experiment with different speeds for different effects, dialing back in some of the original signal if you feel the sound is too filtered. Most Auto Filter’s will also feature some envelope controls, so to further this technique trying bringing up the Attack for an enhanced transient effect on the filter loop.

Reverse Delay

An excellent method for making an uplifter or effect sound from a vocal chop. Take your vocal chop and reverse it, add a big delay with plenty of feedback, using a delay time of 1/16 or above will create a nice effect. Bounce in place/Freeze & Flatten, with enough time post vocal chop for all the delay feedback to play out, 8 bars for example. Now re-reverse the audio, meaning your delay is added in reverse. Although the same workflow as a reverse reverb effect, the resultant sound is completely different. Either use this method to introduce vocal phrases or as an uplifter effect.

Percussive Vocal Slices

Resample a vocal loop into your sampler. Use your samplers slice function to chop the sample according to grid divisions, slicing at 16th notes should work well. Add the pattern to a MIDi clip/region/create pattern, meaning each 16th note will trigger each slice of the loop. Now when you play back the MIDI the loop will play back, if your original loop is a different BPM to that of your project you’ll have a slightly gated sound. Now activate an ADSR envelope on your sampler, take down the Sustain, keep the Attack down to 0, and tweak the Decay. Short decay times will create a percussive effect, whilst bringing up decay time will make the vocal more audible. A great technique for glitchy stutter effects on a vocal, just be sure to use plenty of automation to keep the edit interesting.