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Good Backing Vocals

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Good Backing Vocals

Postby DeWall516 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:33 pm

Alright guys I have another situation to throw at ya.

I play in a 5 piece rock band and 3 of us sing. I sing lead most of the time with a wireless Sennheiser. However, the other guys have wired shure Beta 58s. I can't remember the exact model (am I am at the university right now so I can't go look as this stuff is all at home), but it is a hyper cardioid as well. I typically have two monitors on each side in front of me and the others have one on their side closest to the main. When the others sing lead but don't play, they move to the middle to have wireless freedom. When they sing and play they stay in their respective spots. Basically what I am after is to get a live backing vocal sound kinda like the American Idiot era Green Day. Billie is always front and center. Would a good technique to try be having the guys back off the mics when singing backing in order to reduce proximity effect? I notice that Mike always is about 6 inches away. Does that help to avoid voices sound like they are eating eachother? We also only have vocals in the wedges too btw just incase you thought of adding that in a response. Thanks.
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Re: Good Backing Vocals

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:21 am

In my experience the secret of good backing vocals is good vocal technique. In other words when singing backing the technique is different to when signing lead. Not only should the singers not project in the same way, but articulation needs to be altered so that consonants are less hard, the ends of words are more 'rounded' and the whole sound is smoother.

Do an internet search for 'backing vocal technique' and you should find some good stuff.
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Re: Good Backing Vocals

Postby DeWall516 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:28 pm

Thank you much.
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Re: Good Backing Vocals

Postby tacitus » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:09 am

I'm with Mike on this - many bands, including some I've played in - have several vocalists who take turns to lead, and therefore they could at any given time be doing lead or backing vox. So it has to be a matter of vocal technique and working the mike or it'd be stupid busy for the soundie to adjust as you go. Clearly if singers are doing both, it's got to be through the same mike, so focus on technique and make sure they get good monitors that reflect accurately how they're fitting together.
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