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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 11:13 AM
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    Default Vocal harmony stompbox?

    New drummer for our trio. He said he could sing harmonies but that turned out to be a slight exaggeration on his part. I have to record a demo of what part he needs to sing for every song and even then he struggles mightily. Great guy, easy to work with...don't want to replace him.

    So I wondered if technology could save us. Those vocal harmony stompboxes. Looks like something which could help us if we used it moderately (i.e. don't fall in love with it and overpower everything) I did a slight amount of research and it's looking like they work best for acoustic players....not so much for a full (loud) band. Anyone ever work with them in a band situation?

    This one looks really cool.


  2. #2
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 05:42 PM
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    They sound very fake and odd. We tried one once to add a second harmony...was just weird. Your best bet is to teach him to sing harmony correctly.
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  3. #3
    Good Enough vanzefflin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpospoke View Post
    New drummer for our trio. He said he could sing harmonies but that turned out to be a slight exaggeration on his part. I have to record a demo of what part he needs to sing for every song and even then he struggles mightily. Great guy, easy to work with...don't want to replace him.
    Sounds eerily familiar. Your drummer isn't from McKinney Texas by way of Las Vegas is he? I had this experience. He was in a band in Chicago that took popular tunes and converted them to a bluegrass format. They supposedly did 4 part harmony on most of their stuff. A large part of his ad read that he was a competent background singer,...cat couldn't find doe.

    Great guy, easy to work with, and played ok drums.

    Anyway, I haven't found an electronic device that doesn't have issues, from sounding chipmunky if you went above the tonic, to low end rumble if you went below.

    I have always required a drummer to be able to sing. Quite frankly, I prefer they play other melodic instruments as well. Our current drummer sings great,.... lead or harmony. He also has a one man show where he plays guitar, sings and has a kick drum, a jam block on a bass drum pedal for a rimshot and a snare with another kick drum pedal. It's surprisingly good, and looks funnier than hell.

    Sorry for the rant. It sounds like you guys need a fourth or a new drummer.
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  4. #4
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    They sound very fake and odd. We tried one once to add a second harmony...was just weird. Your best bet is to teach him to sing harmony correctly.
    He's looking like a lost cause on that unfortunately. I was hoping one of these things would work. I do notice they have the harmony way louder in the mix than I was planning. (probably for demo purposes)

    Quote Originally Posted by vanzefflin View Post
    Sounds eerily familiar. Your drummer isn't from McKinney Texas by way of Las Vegas is he? I had this experience. He was in a band in Chicago that took popular tunes and converted them to a bluegrass format. They supposedly did 4 part harmony on most of their stuff. A large part of his ad read that he was a competent background singer,...cat couldn't find doe.

    Great guy, easy to work with, and played ok drums.

    Anyway, I haven't found an electronic device that doesn't have issues, from sounding chipmunky if you went above the tonic, to low end rumble if you went below.
    This guy can actually sing lead pretty well. He just hasn't developed an ear for harmony. He keeps drifting back to the lead part whenever we sing together. I keep hoping he can get a feel for it if he practices a lot...but it's not getting better.
    Quote Originally Posted by vanzefflin
    Sorry for the rant. It sounds like you guys need a fourth or a new drummer.
    Finding a drummer who sings...not easy. We are turning into Spinal Tap really. We've gone through 6 drummers in 3 years. Quite the mental beating that. A fourth member....well...that cuts into my paycheck. (and adds one more person to please)

    Thanks for the responses guys!

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 05:57 PM
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    I have a Boss VE-20, and to echo what Brett said, I really don't like the harmony stomp box portion of it.

    Maybe it is all in the dialing it in, as you can set genders of your harmony singers, their intervals, etc. But I don't like it on the Boss very much either, it sounds like something coming out of a 1950's Disney cartoon.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  6. #6
    Eruption Infinite Cactus's Avatar
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    12.01.17 @ 02:40 AM
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    You say he can sing lead pretty well. So whoever is singing lead now could always jump to the harmony note and have the drummer sing the melody. for any harmony stuff. Especially if the drummer has a lower note in the stack, then it actually saves the lead singers voice a bit and gives it a rest.
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  7. #7
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    12.10.17 @ 05:57 PM
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    That's a pretty good idea , and it's not like other bands haven't done the same thing .
    I've enjoyed reading the reviews of those vocal harmony units . There was a time when we were considering using one , but never got around to sampling any of the options .
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  8. #8
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 05:42 PM
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    Default Vocal harmony stompbox?

    We actually used one of those units on a recording and it came out great and we used it. But we had it do a lower harmony and it worked much better. For recording it works fine if you use it right. Live is just shit.
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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 05:57 PM
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    Thanks , Brett .
    Sounds a bit like an old Digitech guitar unit I had . Neat for practicing and getting ideas on tape , but was an awful sound for a live gig .
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  10. #10
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    You wouldn't even know it was an altered voice, it just sounds like lower gang background vocals. But all it was a second take of our singer's voice through that thing with a low harmony setting.
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