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How the Vocal Harmonizer was Born?

How the Vocal Harmonizer was Born?

Have you ever heard of pitch correction? yes, of course, who is not!? What about the harmonizer? what’s it? how does it work? Thousands of questions …

A pitch shifter is a device that raises or lowers the pitch of an audio signal. A simple pitch changers raise or lower the note (pitch) by one or 2 octaves, while subtler devices provide a range of interval modifications.

And what does that have to do with the harmonizer?

A harmonizer is some kind of a pitch shifter that combines the changed pitch with the initial pitch to form a 2 or more note harmony.

Pitch shifting (pitch correction), and therefore the term “Harmonizer” quickly created its way into recording studios all around the world. The notion of overdubbing multiple voices harmonized, or multitracking the lead vocal to form a natural “doubling” result and backing voices became extremely popular.

Since the very first time that humans started recording sound, there’s forever been one component that was the foremost important, vocal.

In the middle and late 70s, a piece of studio hardware that might be used to bring “pitchy” notes into line is introduced. That hardware was the eventide 1745M (a digital delay module) and eventide H949 (a digital harmonizer). Eventide’s H910 Harmonizer, released in 1975, was the of the primary affordable digital pitch shifters. Vocals might be tuned up or down over many octaves in real time, used to generate primitive vocal harmonies from one lead vocal. Despite the vocoder’s popularity, in those days it absolutely was still far away from accessible. Artists like Moroder and Herbie Hancock were using this technology. The Sennheiser vocoder price $10,000 (about $45,000 today) or more.

within the 1980s, samplers became widely on the market and affordable and it absolutely was simple to “sample” a bad note and play it back while “bending” it with a pitch wheel. and finally, software package came along within the 1990s that led to simple manipulation of vocal pitch.

Many artists within the late ’90s additionally started using pitch correction in their live shows, setting the hardware to assist in and fix live vocals.

These days, you cannot imagine a song without the so-called auto tune, vocoder… there are so many names for it …

The vocoder didn’t really begin its journey as a musical instrument. Instead, within the 1920s, Homer Dudley at Bell Labs created a tool that was designed so to make it easier to transmit telephone conversations over long distances by reducing bandwidth.

It additionally played a role during the second world war. Bell Labs created the vocoder in 1942 that enabled conversations between Churchill and Roosevelt to be tougher to intercept. The vocoder scrambled the speech making it virtually not possible for Germans to decipher. The scrambled speech would be restored along at the receiving end where it could be understood.

So while the vocoder wasn’t originally designed for musical purposes it’s indeed made its name within the world of music. The vocoder went through a remarkable transition from world war device to musical impact. The German band, known as ‘Kraftwerk’, were believed to be the very first musicians which used the harmonizer in their work. The band’s music was primarily electronic therefore using the vocal changer made plenty of sense. Bob Moog and Wendy Carlos changed several synth models once studying Dudley’s original device so as to make their own vocoder to be used on the Clockwork Orange soundtrack.

Many well-known musicians have used this device and some of them are Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Neil Young, Coldplay, Daft Punk and many innovative young artists.

But, not only do musicians use vocoders. It additionally has application in voice effects in other arts, TV shows, cartoons, animations, movies, video games, etc. Typically for robots or talking computers.

But wait…how does it work?

The speech, and its sound, are often shared into 2 aspects: pitch (the vibration of the vocal cords) and prosody (the modification of the pitch characteristics and extra sounds, like sibilance, accomplished by varied movements of the mouth)

It’s attainable to strip out the pitch and replace it with a selected pitch (in the case of a vocoder usually one controlled by a keyboard) while holding a lot of the prosody info.

Simply you are able to take a pitch generated by a keyboard or different instrument and modify it with prosody characteristics from speech to form a brand new, voice-like sound. This is basically what a harmonizer does.

Vocal harmonizers, like sequencers, samplers and onboard effects, have currently become standard options of computer-based hardware and software package synthesizers. Have you tried one? Irrelevant, whether it’s hardware or software, I think that, if there’s nothing else that you would like to do with it, at least you can have a lot of fun.


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