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Beginners Vocal charting video

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#1 rubydanger

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Posted May 12, 2020 - 12:47 AM

Let me preface with saying, I am also a beginner at vocal charting, but I feel I have a very nice, smooth flowing process so I decided to share it with others that might be intimidated by it.  I would love to give someone credit, but I have kind of taken everything I have read or watched and mixed them all into my way.


I would love to hear suggestions on how to improve, or just let me know if this helped you at all.  I have attached a link to the template that I set up for converting vocals to midi at the bottom of the OP.



Here is the Vocal Template

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Video on how I tempo map

Beginners Vocal charting video

#2 chaosjaye

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Posted May 12, 2020 - 02:36 AM

watched it well done reaper

#3 Atruejedi

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Posted May 12, 2020 - 02:59 AM

A few notes (pun):


You could save yourself some hassle if you open both your pitch guide track and your vocal chart track simultaneously. Select them both and open them on top of each other by using CTRL+ALT+E. The transparency will allow you to see where you "should" be as you chart the vocals. ALT+N will swap between tracks. Could save you a lot of time.


You need to be scrubbing a lot more. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Simply lining up the vocal tube to the length of the waveform doesn't make for good vocals. Lots of noisessssssss the human mouth makesssssss don't register as pitch. I try to only have tubes placed where a clear vowel sound is being made.


I can't stress the importance of slides enough. Lack of slides punish good slash drunk and enthusiastic singers and force the vocalist to sing like a robut. No fun. For example, that initial "fantasy" absolutely needs a slide. I was hoping you'd add it as I watched when you went back and gave it a listen :D


At first I was gonna tell you that using the 128 grid brush is silly, but for a song with a BPM this slow, 128 is actually somewhat necessary. However, under normal circumstances (say, 120 BPM), it will make very little difference. I used to chart everything as "finely" as possible in 128 then realized what a waste of time it was. 64 will become your best friend once you realize what's important to tube and what isn't.


I love this song and was thinking of charting it someday, so once you give it your best go, I'll be happy to take a peek at your project and make sure it's up to snuff. The best way to know if it's up to snuff is to actually perform it in Rock Band. And you're right, it's always preferable to have too short of tubes rather than too long of tubes. Hit the mark, don't fill the tank!


Very useful video for beginners and those who don't have a knack for doing things "by ear." My only criticism is SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB.




Oh, and use these scrub settings... that -30 30 is super important.



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#4 rubydanger

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Posted May 12, 2020 - 04:25 AM

Thanks for the opening on top of each other tip - works great and not sure why I didn't think about that as many times as I have accidentally done it when I didn't mean to!


I couldn't agree more with you on the scrubbing.  I do actually scrub ALOT more than was shown in the video.  But again, the video was more of a beginners video just to get started basically.  Also, certain songs, like Dear Mr Fantasy have their vocals separated so much that that placement by eye is pretty accurate.  What I usually do is work on 1 phrase at a time.  I place what I can by eye, and then go back and scrub the entire phrase to compare my placements.


Slides are also IMO a more advanced step.  I do agree the more slides the better (when needed) but you can also fall into the severely overcharted vocals due to slides.  Have run into a few of those here! 


Thank you for the comments!!  Maybe when I feel I have moved up to intermediate, I will make a follow up video!!


As far as Dear Mr Fantasy, it is indeed on the burner and will send you a copy to compare/help/critique when it gets closer.

Proud member of SomeOldGuys collab group - see our WIP here

SomeOldGuys Release page here

Video on how I tempo map

Beginners Vocal charting video

#5 doa

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Posted May 12, 2020 - 06:33 AM

I haven't done the dryvox to midi thing before - so I might give that a go! 


For silencing selections of the audio in Audacity there is a predefined keyboard shortcut that I like better than generate silence and it doesn't have a pop-up window to click OK on: Ctrl + L.


Thanks, for making these videos too - it's always nice to see how other people are doing things! :)

#6 AJFOne23

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Posted May 12, 2020 - 07:41 AM

I'm always surprised by the automation to the process that can be done these days. I forget that a lot of people have trouble deciphering pitch. I have good ears for it so I don't rely on much else but for a beginner this would be very helpful. Bravo!

#7 Shroud

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Posted May 12, 2020 - 10:33 AM

Not sure if you mentioned it in the video, but one thing that helps those without good ears is always sheet music. I know it sounds trivial, but I am not convinced that many charters use them... In our local libraries there's tons of sheet music books to borrow for free, but you can also just google for them, and there you can find the actual vocal notes. I never understood what is the point of having vocals transcribed to sheet music since nearly all non-opera singers simply learn to sing by ear off the record, but as a beginner customs author I can finally have a use for them :)

#8 rubydanger

  • 223 posts

Posted May 13, 2020 - 09:16 AM

Thanks doa, that is extremely helpful!

Proud member of SomeOldGuys collab group - see our WIP here

SomeOldGuys Release page here

Video on how I tempo map

Beginners Vocal charting video

#9 ManicPixieGirl

  • 172 posts

Posted June 21, 2020 - 02:55 PM

Pro tip, You can literally skip the routing matrix step thing, the extra plug in on another track and make life much easier by doing this:


Step 1 - Upload your song or youtube link to ezstems.com to get your vocal stem

Step 2 - Insert into your project, add the ReaTune FX to the vocal stem, Check the "Send to Midi Events when pitch changes" Box, go to the correct tab and choose the right Key for your song (You can find that by uploading the song file to https://www.audiokeychain.com/).

Step 3 - right click on the vocal stem in Reaper, Apply FX to items as a new take (MIDI output)

Step 4 - After it finishes, right click on the 2 take vocal and choose Take > Explode all new takes to new tracks

Step 5 - Clean up and chart and click the scale box inserting the same key you got from https://www.audiokeychain.com/

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