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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:32 pm 
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Lone Star

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:48 pm
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Hi All,

I'm new to the forum. I have just bought a AW16G and I am current waiting for it to arrive, so haven't yet had the pleasure of using it. I've been recording, on and off, for about 12 years using my trusty old tascam 424 mkII. But it's time it hung up it's faders and I decided to go digital.
I have skimmed through the manual for the 16G and seems fairly well set out, but one thing I regularly do on the Tascam is slow the backing track down by about 2-3 semitones to record vocals as I don;t have a high vocal range, then when finished return the tape speed to concert pitch. This is very easy on the Tascam but I'm not sure how this can be done with the AW16G (if at all).

Would some of you more experienced user be able to give a quick overview of how to achieve this on the 16G.


Many thanks

KW


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Spaminator Extraordinaire
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Welcome to the digital age. I was very hesitant to switch. I had a Tascam 388 which I finally sold. I wouldn't recommend trying to lower the pitch and bring it back up. It always has a chipmunk sound to it. What I've had to do in my old age is lower my tuning on my instruments. I've been dropping from the standard 440mhz down to around 427mhz. That helps me with the high notes.

The answer to your question is I believe you can do it, but since I've never tried, I wouldn't be able to point you in the right direction. Someone will come along soon enough with more info.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:35 pm 
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HamelnStock Survivor and Midi Guru
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Hi and welcome. There is pitch function on the G but like Ron i never used so i can't tell. For such a case i have bought Cubase elements in which you grab a vocal track and tune it up by cents as many oktaves as needed although the chipmunk thing may kick in here also. I have not used this for myself though. If i can't sing the note myself then i just don't but thats me.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:35 pm 
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Has Been To Cheeseland
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Location: Just west of DEE-troit
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Hi KW, and welcome. Yeah, you could do that with the pitch shift function, You'd start by shifting your backing track down to where you want it, recording your vocal, and then shifting the vocal up by the same amount you shifted the backing track down.

While I've played with the pitch shift a couple of times, I've never seriously used it so can't say how well it would work. My suggestion would be to create a single backing track (a copy or a rough mix) to shift down. You could then delete this once you got your vocals recorded, rather than shifting it back.

There are two reasons I suggest this. First, you don't know whether shifting a backing track down and then shifting it back up will add some artifacts you don't like - best not to mess with your original backing tracks in this way. Second, when you perform a pitch shift on the G, it takes a while to process the shift. If you aren't ready for it, you may think the machine has locked up for a few minutes. Why waste more time shifting your backing tracks to their original state?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:29 pm 
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I'm pretty sure the OP is referring to the vari pitch function that was on Tascam analog gear. As I said, I used it sparingly on my 388. But if not careful I got that fake high sound that reminded me of Alvin . . . OK!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:39 am 
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Marker Magician
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I have used the pitch shift on many occasions. I use it to sweeten some vocal performances, if the singer is generally accurate with relative pitch ( ie. between the notes/intervals within the song) but the singer tends to sing "under the pitch ( consistently slightly flat) I boost the whole track a few cents ( 3 ->> 8 cents). this is generally not noticed in the sense of the creation of artifacts, but will perhaps make the track "brighter". Now you will have to listen for and take care to recognize new "sharp points". Use undo and apply a little less overall pitch lift.

Or find opportunities to use the the second way i use the pitch shift function, which is to slightly lift (or lower) a passage, part of a phrase or even single word. the opportunity to do this of course depends on finding suitable edit points, between words or in the silence of breath points between phrases.

It is really better to get the note naturally though. Changing your vocal technique may help, which may result in less volume and/or a more "airy" top end, so you are not pushing but rather you are reaching, whilst thinking about being "over" the note.

Tuning down, as ron suggests, is a good way to deal with this issue too.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Lone Star

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Firstly, thanks for all your replies and helpful suggestions. It's really nice to see a group of active and knowledgeable people.
I only used the pitch shift as my voice tends break-up at the higher register notes as I've grown older, it's not I can't reach them, they're not "pure". Probably after too many years of singing (badly) in a band.
The down pitch shift by a 2-3 semitones was very easy on the Tascam as the tape just slowed slightly, and it made recording vocals that bit easier. There wasn't any noticeable "Chipmunk" when speeded back up, but you just had to remember to hold the note slighty longer as the tempo was also reduced , I think 3 semitones is about 19% slower.
I do take the point that you should sing it as you do naturally and record it that way, and if I was doing this commercially I wouldn't entertain it. But for now these are just demo's of some songs I've written and I expect that in future others would (hopefully) sing them. And hopefully also showcase the sound quality of some the acoustic guitars I make. There’s no intent to “fool” anyone.
I’m pleased that the 16G can do the pitch shift and I’ll enjoy trying it out, even if more complex than the old Tascam 424. Interesting point about the time it takes to shift the pitch, does this mean it keeps the tempo the same?. It must be doing a lot of processing on the digital data to achieve this and I can see that it could well introduce processing glitches.

Anyway, thanks to all, very helpful.
KW


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:55 pm 
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Has Been To Cheeseland
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Yes, when you perform a pitch shift the tempo is not changed.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:13 pm 
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Being "old" myself and having come from your exact situation, I too bought the 16G to re record a bunch of old songs I wrote and recorded on my Tascam 388. You are too correct in that as we age our voice doesn't hold as well and hitting the higher register seems a distant memory. Like many hit bands these days who are about the same age as dirt, I highly recommend you just lower the key or detune before you attempt the mess of auto pitching. I mean go for it if you want, it's just to me the sound isn't the same as when we could do it on tape.

Hope to hear some of your music soon.

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GSMUSIC: Hey RZ, Im not no upper class american, the gear I own is what I have special to me. My car sucks, my house sucks, my nieghborhood sucks. Does yours RZ? Does it?

rz-land


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:00 am 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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There's the pitch shift which processes a track and does not change the tempo.

There's also the vari pitch function (see page 160 of the manual) which is not processing, it's the equivalent of a slightly faster or slower running tape. You can vari the pitch by a maximum of 6%, which almost exactly is a single semitone. Don't forget to put it back to zero, or switch it off!! This is NOT stored in a scene nor is it reset by a reboot of the machine. So, if you put it away from 0% and forget about it, it'll be off of the regular sampling frequency into eternity. Not that it ever happened to me, no sir! :^o

Welcome to the forum.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Lone Star

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:48 pm
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Thanks Robbie,

This pitch shift is exactly the function I was hoping it would have, the old Tascam had about +/- 2 semitones variabilty and the AW16G has +/- 1 semitone. This was usually enough for me to help "sweeten" the vocals.

I must admit to leaving the tape speed in the wrong place and carried on recording a guitar part. It's very interesting to hear a guitar played a semitone higher than the rest of the music.... interesting but not musical. So the point is well taken about restoring the pitch to the normal position.


Regards

KW


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:00 pm 
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Wrangler
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Hello KW and welcome to the forum.

I've used the vari-pitch on the AW16g many times in the same way as I used to do so on analogue 4-track and it works very well - you should have no problem using it that way.

Good luck,

CDA.


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