The Middlemen gave feedback to Brian Vaughn for “Revolutions”:
Great song. How do you make these harmonies come out so crisp? Do you use auto-tune, or some other software?

Your style reminds me somewhat of an artist I follow named Brian Mikasa: http://www.feed-forward.net/w.1813_Dismembered

Do you ever get a chance to play this stuff live?
 Apr 24, 2012, 00:00 EDT
Brian Vaughn 
Hey hey.
Thanks for the kind words mate.

Getting the harmonies to come out crisp kind of involves a few things. No, I don't use auto-tune. Though I do spot-tune a bit using Cubase's built in tuner. It helps when you're doing a many-part harmony.

My recording process for vocals is... hm. I have a vocal booth I sing in and a wireless keyboard that I use to start/stop my DAW. What I normally do when I want a really tight-fitting harmony is to listen to the part a few times, get the rhythm perfect in my head, and then record the harmonies in little sections.

Then, after doing that, if I've messed up the timing any at all I do little micro edits on the harmony part- basically chopping it into bits and sliding words around to make sure the start of each harmonized word lines up with the start of the melody. (Is this making sense? It's kind of hard to describe it... would be easier to just show it.)

Then I play with EQ a lot too. I kind of like to cut highs and lows on my harmonies- so they kind of have a "telephone" sounding EQ to them. That makes them stand out a bit. I'll also often do stereo (double tracked) harmonies and a mono melody to further separate them.

I dunno, it's all just little tweaks and stuff. I spend way too much time mixing this stuff.

I haven't played live much in a while. The town I live in doesn't have a great music scene, and I find that I enjoy writing and recording and sharing with my online friends more than I enjoy playing small shows at the local venues. I have done some "live" stuff on YouTube recently. Basically acoustic renditions of some of my songs. I also performed at my work place a few weeks back. I did this song, in fact. Hauled in a keyboard, guitar, bass, etc- and did each of the parts, kind of looping and building up. (Some coworkers were interested in seeing how I record, so I just kind of setup and did a live sample recording for them.) It was fun. I could see myself doing that live, if it wasn't such a hassle to haul around the gear.

I'm getting ready to head to bed, but I'll bookmark that artist you linked me and check them out in the am. Thanks for the suggestion. :)
flag (Apr 24, 2012, 00:07 EDT)
The Middlemen 
Thanks for the detailed explanation. My personal production skills are lacking, so it's always good to hear from someone who actually knows what they are doing. Sucks about the music scene, but I think it's like that just about everywhere right now... sadly... ;p
flag (Apr 24, 2012, 00:23 EDT)