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Vocals: scrubbing vs space-bar discrepancy

scrubbing vocals noob question

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#1 bloosmurf

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Posted May 11, 2018 - 11:33 PM

I'm making my first custom, and have finally started to tackle the vocals. I have been using the space-bar to quickly start/stop the song to figure out the starting point and length of my vocal notes. Everything seemed to be going well (albeit slowly), but then I stumbled on how to make scrubbing work when searching for something else on the forums. (Warning: mostly irrelevant note ahead - I just want to vent in these parenthesis: I'd previously searched for info on scrubbing since I knew I was missing something, but couldn't find it anywhere. Even my best attempts at google-fu, searching forums, and re-reading the beginner documents for the 80th time failed to reveal that holding down alt was the magic key I was missing.) 

 

Now that I've discovered scrubbing, I thought my work would be much easier, but in reality I've got an issue. 

 

When checking previous work on the song, now using scrubbing, everything seems off. All my previous vocal work seems to be mapped about 1/64 of a beat "early". Has anyone else noticed something like this? I've never finished a song before - otherwise I'd just export it and test to see if I can figure out going on, but I don't feel up to tackling another major learning experience right now. Once the song is done I think I can handle that (and I feel ever so close). 

 

So I'm looking for advice:

Do I trust scrubbing and shift all my work?

Do I continue this track using the space-bar to ensure consistency within in the project?

Is 1/64 even enough to be noticeable (in other words do I even need to worry)? 

 

Thanks,

 

 



#2 ws54

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Posted May 12, 2018 - 03:22 AM

Have you seen this?   

Go to 7:39 and see how scrubbing is set up and used. What you are doing is not very efficient.

The rest of the tutorial is really good too.

 

Regarding whether 1/64 is enough to be noticeable, I would say yes, especially if you start a note 1/64 too soon.  1/64 too late is not as bad.



#3 BornGamerRob

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Posted May 12, 2018 - 03:24 AM

So I'm looking for advice:

Do I trust scrubbing and shift all my work?

Do I continue this track using the space-bar to ensure consistency within in the project?

Is 1/64 even enough to be noticeable (in other words do I even need to worry)? 

 

1. Yes. Scrubbing is the only trusted way I do vocals. Period. There hasn't been a better way that I've seen or anyone has proved to me to be better.

2. The spacebar is wildly inconsistent to get any precision. It's a crap shoot when using that method. 

3. The difference is epic on vocals. 1/64th is VERY noticeable when you have it wrong. Starting at the proper vowel is a must for a singer to start the phrase correctly. Harmonix doesn't even use a grid, they start where the vocal is supposed to start. 

 

I know it seems like a lot of work to go back through, it's absolutely worth it to get your vocal chart at a higher level.


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#4 bloosmurf

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Posted May 12, 2018 - 03:57 PM

Thanks for the quick replies. Looks like I'm going to re-work my note lengths using scrubbing as the standard. I'm only 1/3 into the song, so it probably won't be more than a half hour of work to fix it. The hard part for me right now is getting the pitch correct. Thankfully I have a midi that I've found I can mostly trust. It's probably taking me so long because I'm putting extra time in to try to train myself to identify the pitches without the midi. I could probably crank the song out pretty quickly by using the midi, but instead I see what I can come up with for pitches, then verify with the midi (at this point I'm usually wrong, but hope I'll start getting it soon). My long term goal is to get so that I don't need a scored out vocal part or midi so I can chart anything I want. 

 

WS54, thanks for the link, and I have watched that video many times but was pretty frustrated when I couldn't figure out how to get scrubbing to actually work (hold down alt, apparently). 

 

BornGamerRob, I am starting the vocals where they sound like they should on the proper vowel (as far as I can determine) instead of paying attention to the grid. Referencing 1/64 was just a useful way to get the level of discrepancy across.

 

I did also just encounter someone saying on the forums that for short words like "the", you can start the note on the consonant because otherwise it's hard to get the timing to register when playing. So I probably have some adjustments to do there as well. I hope there's not any other bits of info missing (can anyone think of anything like that I could be missing?). Thankfully I'm super stubborn and am not likely to give up. I'm looking forward to getting my first one in the bag because I know a second one will go much quicker. 

 

This process would be so much more difficult if it weren't for the good community you guys have helped build. In the forums I only occasionally see a noob getting reamed out for a dumb question (and often they deserve it, since the question is usually answered in the documents that are provided). Thanks again. 



#5 BornGamerRob

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Posted May 12, 2018 - 04:33 PM

I hope there's not any other bits of info missing (can anyone think of anything like that I could be missing?). Thankfully I'm super stubborn and am not likely to give up. I'm looking forward to getting my first one in the bag because I know a second one will go much quicker. 

 

Vocals is one of the hardest things to chart. It's time consuming and at many points, you just need to know what the pitch is. So there is a lot more to say on this subject in order for you to have a great vocal chart. I'm also afraid to say, midis are often incorrect with pitch. They're a good guide, but if you used a straight midi to throw the vocals out on a chart, it'd be a trainwreck. Often the notes are waaaaaayyy to long and there are absolutely no slides in most. If you're not using slides, you should also go back and put those in as well (when a note starts in one pitch then ascends or descends into another).

 

You'll just have to keep working at it and maybe get some feedback from some willing to look your chart over. Without the feedback I received, I would have been charting vocals inaccurately. Also, be open to feedback. It will help you grow tremendously. Those offering it are just trying to help you get better.

 

As a note, you'll never get reamed out from me (ignored more likely) and many others here as well. Not sure there's ever a "they deserve it" moment IMO, but glad you stuck around and I wish you the best with your first custom. Can't tell you the feeling of excitement I had when I finished one. It was terrible for the most part, but hey, gotta start somewhere. =-)


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#6 Farottone

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Posted May 12, 2018 - 04:39 PM

MIDIs are usually very useful, but as BornGamerRob said you need to consider them helpers, not "almost finished". Note length is bad but mainly the issue is with slides, because music MIDIs use Pitch events to deal with that. You're getting help from good authors, I'm sure you'll do just fine. ;)



#7 ws54

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Posted May 13, 2018 - 04:50 AM

 WS54, thanks for the link, and I have watched that video many times but was pretty frustrated when I couldn't figure out how to get scrubbing to actually work (hold down alt, apparently). .


Unless I am missing something, you don't hold down any key while scrubbing. Go to exactly 8:05 in the video and see that he grabs the top of the vertical cursor and moves it left and right. That is how you should be finding where the note tubes begin and end.

#8 BornGamerRob

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Posted May 13, 2018 - 05:40 AM

Unless I am missing something, you don't hold down any key while scrubbing. Go to exactly 8:05 in the video and see that he grabs the top of the vertical cursor and moves it left and right. That is how you should be finding where the note tubes begin and end.

 

I hold down alt. If there is an alternate way, it's not apparent from that video. But I've always held down alt.


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#9 StackOverflow0x

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Posted May 13, 2018 - 05:59 AM

You'll eventually get good at picking up pitches. What I do is hold on the scrub, then hold on the possible note to hear the differences between the two. If it's a match, I set it. Once you have enough unique notes, the rest goes much faster. Sometimes finding the scale and locking the notes to the scale could help, too.



#10 Farottone

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Posted May 13, 2018 - 10:54 AM

 

I hold down alt. If there is an alternate way, it's not apparent from that video. But I've always held down alt.

 

Yup. Depends on Reaper version, and that's why we say to stay on 4.22 (and Nyx was on 3.xx when he did that video: bless his heart but sometimes he's just stubborn!)



#11 Farottone

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Posted May 13, 2018 - 10:57 AM

For pitches, when I author I never have ReaSynth on, it messes with the original track. I have my phone on with my tuning app open, I start singing a few words, pick up the pitches and  figure out the scale. From there it's just a matter of relative pitches and whenever I need confirmation I sing (pro tip: falsetto, the higher frequency makes audio recognition by the tuner way easier). This also takes care of tuning cent issues. You don't have to be good at singing by any measure, btw, you just have to match the original note on a number of try and take it from there.







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