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Mixing Tips and Tricks 7/9 Ask Pro about DAW Tips for Vocaloid

2016/05/20

01

Choroidea Online Mixing Course Vol.1

This online course shows the process of mixing this song.

▲ZENRYOKU syndrome - Words, Music, Arrangement and Guitar by choro

 

Usually Parameters are used for Vocaloid editing.

Here we ask a award-winning mixing engineer how he would edit Vocaloid with his ordinary equipment.

Find out how compressor and EQ can make Vocaloid sound more like human!

 

Original Page

 

Previous Article - Mixing Tips and Tricks 6/9 Ask Pro about Parameter Editing for Vocaloid

 

02
choro

Hi, Sho!
Today, let me ask you about how to make a Vocaloied sound more human.

What kind of process did you go through?

 

03
Sho Uehara

First of all, I noticed the Vocaloid sung flat.

Human singers do things while singing, some are intentional singing technique and some are unintentional action.

Intentional techniques are singing technique like having vibrato, nuance...

Unintentional action is groping for the next pitch for a very short moment.

 

02
choro

Vocaloid software has a pitch control function.
It's default value is 8% pitch bend.

 

03
Sho Uehara

It is notable especially when intervals are large.

When a singer goes from a lower tone to a higher one, goes a little bit too far for a very short moment.

But Vocaloids don't do that.
That is the reason they sound machine-like.

So, I made that action artificially with Auto-Tune.

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This shows what I did with Auto-Tune.

Red lines show before editing, green lines after editing.
When lines on the grid lines it means it's sung on pitch.

You see, red lines are close to the grid lines.
But when a human sings, it won't be this way.

So what I did was raising tones just a little bit, when going low to high.

Precisely speaking, 「け」「は」「りょく」「り」「ま」and so forth.

Too much adjusting might make it sound like it's singing off pitch. So I have to be really careful.

 

02
choro

Wow, it's such subtle work!

Vocaloid parameters can't do such subtle work.
And it looks like that takes a lot of work.

 

03
Sho Uehara

It is subtle work. It's a matter of 0.1 second.

I apply this adjustment for the entire song.
It took me about one or two hours.

 

02
choro

If it was me, it must have taken three days!

 

03
Sho Uehara

I also turn up the volume here and there.
A singer naturally sings chorus at top volume.
A vocaloid doesn't.
So I edit it like human.

2

This is what I did with the volume.

The black thins is the waveform.
The blue line is the volume.
You see, 「け」「こ」「しょう」three spots I turn up the volume.

This is where a human sings with natural attack.

This also took me one to two hours.

Imitating pitch and volume of human can make a Vocaloid sound more human.

 

02
choro

Mmmm it's so delicate work!

Making a song takes so many hours and days while listening a song takes only three minutes.
And people criticize the song is good or not.

I think it's inevitable.
And I'm happy to know that mixing engineers are in the same situation as us songwriters.

 

03
Sho Uehara

Making a song natural is the most difficult and time-consuming.

Now, let me show you plug-ins I used.

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From left to right, I use.
The order to use them means a lot.
It'll make a huge effect on the sound quality.

On the left is a compressor named MV2 of Waves.
I use this for singing voices very often.
This can raise only soft sound.

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The center is Renaissance EQ of Waves. It can adjust volume of each frequency. Vocaloid audio file you game me was too much on
mid-low to mid range, so I cut them.

Now, let me explain more about EQ.

Guitarists may think EQ as an effector.
Mixing engineers think EQ as something to make the sound flat.
The name EQ stands for equalizer, it equalizes something.

 

02
choro

I've seen such Plug-ins engineers are using!

And I didn't know EQ was used to make the sound flat.

 

03
Sho Uehara

Vocaloid audio file you game me was too much on
mid-low to mid range, I used EQ to make them flat.
Basically we cut where it's too much and boost where it's not enough.

We don't have to do anything when the original sound is flat.

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On the right is DeEsser of Waves, which drives down high-range elements. When you even out the volume with compressor, "s" sound would be unpleasant to the ear. This plug-in can handle it.

Then add reverb.

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Above is a plug-in to add reverb.

I used Renaissance Reverb of Waves and delay of Nuendo.
When it comes to delay, I use Nuendo most of the times.
As for reverb, I use all kinds. I often use Nuendo reberb.

 

02
choro

EQ, delay, reverb......all of them are needed for mixing, aren't they?

 

03
Sho Uehara

Yes, basic effectors are EQ, compressor, reverb, delay.

I use delay stereo and set eighth-note delay.
I also make a slight difference between L and R, which yields breadth.

As for reverb, I listen to it and set parameters.

When I use reverb for a singing voice, the parameter would be 40msec.
And I cut high range of reverb to make singing voice blend in with music.

 

02
choro

Thanks!
Next time, We try lots of experiments. OK?

 

03
Sho Uehara

Sure!

 

To be continued

Previous Article - Mixing Tips and Tricks 6/9 Ask Pro about Parameter Editing for Vocaloid

Next Article - Mixing Tips and Tricks 8/9 How to Mix Drums with Compression and Reverb Effects

-Choroidea Online, mixing, ZENRYOKU Syndrome
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