Sunday, January 8, 2012

DisguIsing the Off-Key Vocal Note

So the vocal line is great except for one tiny little EAR-catching off-key note! What do you do in GarageBand without a fancy ($$) program that does pitch correct?
DISGUISE the note.
You probably have several instruments playing simulataneously with the vocal track.
1. Pick the single-note instrument, such as flute or sax. Piano with all its notes is ok but not as effective in catching the listener's attention.
2. Go to that instrument's notes that surround the slightly-off vocal note.
3. Ensure that the instrument's track at that point does NOT include the correct vocal note! If it does, that will only serve as a measure to the listener that yes- the vocal note IS wrong.
4. Create harmony notes at this area with the instrument track. Notes can go above and/or below the vocal note. "Busy" (like 1/8th notes) can be a friend, but it's probably not needed.
5. Adjust the volume of the instrument's notes so that they stand "above" the vocal in the surrounding area somewhat -- not enough to be really noticeable, but enough to detract attention from the vocal.
6. If still needed, open the volume track, open the audio region to be 'wide', and reduce the volume of the offensive note:)
And of course, if all else fails.... call the vocalist in to re-sing the piece, or learn to just enjoy the fact that music is to be fun, not always perfect!
Much joy to you in the pleasures of sometimes-imperfect music...:)
©2018, 2012 DianaDee Osborne, all rights reserved

Updated version published 8 May 2018

Monday, January 2, 2012

Get Out the Buzz! Easy MIDI Hint

This is one of my final Quality Check steps to get a better sound from MIDI instruments.
1. Go into the SCORE section of the music.
2. Select a short section. Working about 4 measures at a time, click ABOVE the first music note, then hold the mouse button as you drag the cursor down to the lowest note and then to the right-most bottom of the 4th or so measure.
3. Look at then length of the notes -- especially the last note in a measure.
THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR SAX, HORN, and other "harsh" loud instruments.
4. If you see a note that has extended past the measure line, click on it and shorten its length.
5. A previous blog Hint provided more details about "quantizing" (the timing) and ensuring all notes are short enough to not "bleed" or extend into the next note -- the next note will not be heard if the earlier note lasts too long.
This simple step gets rid of a lot of buzz -- especially for loud songs like rock and funk.
6. If a review shows a specific measure where buzzing still happens, check each individual track that is playing at that point. Most likely, you hit the controller keyboard a little harder for a note and need to lower its Velocity (also in the music notation section; if in the MIDI view, loud notes will be in a brighter green in GarageBand).

Much joy in music to you!
©2018, 2012 DianaDee Osborne

An updated version published 1 May 2018