Two different approaches for pitching layered vocals…

We always have to know what style of music we are working on and what makes sense for that style. It may be surprising, but how you pitch correct vocal layers varies depending on what type of music you are working on.

I’ll start with pop music. Pop music is a perfection type of music. All the vocal layers should be 100 percent on pitch. The vocal layers and harmonies all together should sound like a keyboard playing a chord. To achieve this, make sure that when you are drawing your vocals, the pitch lines are very straight. In Autotune graphic mode you do this by turning up the retune speed for each word you draw in. For Melodyne you can do this by using the pitch modulation tool. This also straightens the pitch line so it is not shaky. One way to effectively pitch layers of vocals that I do is hard pan each vocal to opposite sides and compare them. If there are more than 2 vocal layers just mute the others and just edit 2 at a time.

The other approach is for music like indie pop, indie rock, or just rock in general. This approach involves less pitch correction to give that “wall of sound” choir sounding vocal stack. What exactly makes a choir sound so huge? That’s pretty simple, it’s the fact that everyone is slightly off pitch and time with one another. When different singers are blending together and slightly off, it creates a deep, chorus-effect type of sound. However you don’t need a choir to achieve this. If you record all of your vocal layers, each layer is bound to be a little off pitch. This is good for this approach. When you go to pitch correct these vocals, use slower retune speeds using Autotune graphic and do less pitch modulation in Melodyne. Allow the pitch to be off but just slightly from layer to layer.

I will be doing upcoming tutorials so be sure to subscribe to the Perfect Vocals Academy YouTube channel!

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