It’s simple physics that two voices together can sing louder than one voice alone. It’s also a fact that two vocalists singing together will always have at least slight variations in pitch, timbre, and timing. Those natural variations are what give doubled vocals such a magical effect, and it’s an effect that you can try in your studio with Duo.
Two of Us
Originally, doubled vocals were called “double tracked” because that’s just what they were: a singer would go back and sing along to their voice again, for a “double” track on the tape. It wasn’t until 1966 that engineer Ken Townsend at the legendary Abbey Road studios created artificial double tracking while recording the Beatles. In Townsend’s system, an untouched tape of a vocal was played back alongside a tape with manual control of the tape speed. This resulted in a crude chorusing effect that made the artificial double tracking sound more natural and human.
Dynamic Doubled Vocals
The technology for creating doubled vocals has come a long way since 1966. Today, using Duo, you can easily and instantly create a double of any voice (or instrument) with natural-sounding imperfections dialed in to taste. Listen to the vocal example below, first dry, then with Duo:
Duo: Vocal Dry/Wet
Note that when the doubled vocals come in, it doesn’t sound like an exact copy of the original. There’s some variation in timing between our two singers, and some pitch vibrato. Plus, they’re spaced out a bit in the stereo field.
Duo makes it very easy to get the settings you want, or to evolve them dynamically over time. There are selections for input source (vocal range or instrument), plus levels of pitch variation, timing variation, vocal timbre (similar to the throat controls on other Antares plugins), and vibrato. All together, these Variation controls allow for a natural sound that better approximates a real doubled performance.
And Duo isn’t just for doubled vocals—it’s also great for thickening and widening on instruments, or just making things pop and sparkle a bit more in a mix. Listen to this solo acoustic guitar dry, then hear how it fills out the stereo field and sounds more personal and intimate when we add Duo:
Duo: Guitar Dry/Wet
Or, for a more subtle effect, check out Duo on just the snare drum of our 909 beat. Note how the snare really stands out from the mix once we introduce Duo:
Duo: Snare Dry/Wet
Discover and Explore
While Duo’s intuitive interface makes creating perfect doubled vocals easy, it also offers plenty of options for getting creative. Try adding Duo to a reverb send to get a more surrounding experience. Or, try automating some of the parameters for sounds going in and out of phase. No matter what you come up with, Duo is a powerful tool that lets you dial in the exact effect you want, or discover the next new sound in music.
Time to Double Down
If you’re ready to explore the possibilities with Duo, download a free trial of Auto-Tune Unlimited. Available through subscription, Auto-Tune Unlimited comes complete with Duo, all of the AVOX plug-ins, every current version of Auto-Tune, and more. It also offers the lowest cost-of-entry to access the most comprehensive collection of pro vocal effects ever offered from Antares. Just click here to start your subscription, or try it out for 14 days at no cost.