How can one person sound as a complete choir?

Hi,

I recorded my chorus arragement by microphone.
All seperate male vocals (TTBB) in seperate tracks.

Can I multiply each seperate input as if there is a choir?
Over and over again?
But still having 4 tracks?

I remember seen something like that in a professional studio.
But is it possible in Audicity as well?

Nico
The Netherlands

a qualified yes. BUT… it will not sound like you think it should.
at least not without a lot of extra work. you can add them up and keep them in four tracks. BUT just repeating the same voice and adding them together will not sound like a real choir. singers are not perfect. a choir sounds good because of all the small differences not because they are all identical (which would just sound like one person singing louder not like like a choir singing together). you need to have multiple recordings of each to start, each with very slight changes in pitch and loudness and timing etc. to get a realistic choir. you may find some filters on the web to help. usually easier to record the same piece a few times first and then combine them.
give it a try in audacity and see if taht is what you want. then try to make small changes before combining and see if that is better or not.
remember audacity is a good tool, but it is not the same as a pro studio with all the equipment and f/x.

Q. How can one person sound as a complete choir?

A. Chorus effect (before-after example attached)

http://downloads.cnet.co.uk/0,39100207,39168831s,00.htm
Other chorus effects are available.

I used this VST effect (plug-in) in Audacity 1.3.11 running on Windows Vista.

Here’s a short solo vocal smaple that I grabbed off YouTube, then repeated with “choir”.

The choir was made from multiple copies of the first sample with changes to the pitch, speed, start time and pan position. The sustain of the note was also adjusted by editing (cut and cross-fade) to provide two versions of the voice. The whole lot was then mixed and stereo reverb (Freeverb) added.

look at this months recording magazine.
guy in HI used the copy and add mutliple times approach after recording twice but also mixed in some synth voices. humans made it sound real. the total added up to a big choir.

Did something similar with a sax solo and converted it to a big band …

I used the free ANWIDA reverb VST that Irish pointed out, rather than Freeverb.
Also used “random amplitude modulation” and “random pitch modulation” plug-ins from here … http://audacityteam.org/download/nyquistplugins (in last 10 on the list) to add a bit of variation to the various copies.

Nice one Trebor.

One major disadvantage with creating “choirs” from a single recording is that there is a tendency for it to produce a “phasing” effect which can make it sound sort of “electronic”. This is caused because the similarity of the sound waves for each “instrument” causes interference with the other “instruments” (similar to a “comb filter” effect). The best way to avoid this is to use more than one instrument as the source - the more the better. Using multiple “takes” as the source will generally be more convincing than manipulating a single take.

If you are stuck with just one track to use as the source material, stretching and pitch shifting to make the instruments slightly out of tune with each other in addition to small changes in the start time can help to reduce the phasing effect.

A tiny hint of “Random Pitch Modulation” applied to each copy avoids any comb type effects … http://audacityteam.org/nyquist/randompitch.ny
Not too much or it will sound like a warped record.

Yes it will - vibrato will do the same thing, but different vibrato speeds should be used on different tracks.

How large of a choir are you trying to emulate? Why only four tracks? Are you mixing down to a four track? How many different harmony lines? Technically you should have no problem doing this. Refer to Freddie Mercury from Queen. He was a one man choir. You should be able to record each virtual individual on separate tracks. To the maximum that Audacity allows if you want. Depending on the number of harmonies, you take short cuts by coping and pasting groups. If you want to give it a bigger sound and make it sound like different people with different timing, then carefully select certain tracks and use the time shift control to slightly (slightly) move that person/harmonic duo out of sync. Experiment with this. Do not put chorus or reverb in until you mix down. If you put in on each individual track it will get confusing and everyone will sound like they were in a different room. If you were recording a live session of an actual choir the sound of the room would apply reverb to all so apply reverb to all at mix down. Add the outboard effects when you mix to the four track. (Assumption). If you are wanting to end up with four tracks on Audacity, the record as many initial tracks as you want leaving four open, then mix all other to the open four. Also, when mixing down, try to ad a little compression and sonic maximizer. Again, when using effects in recording, less is always better. Just go for that subtle but not obvious enhancement

Hope this helps.
Good luck

I need to add some kind of chorus to my voice it sound like a group of football supporters.
I dont know anything about audio editing (just change volume,cut,paste and some really basic things).

Any tips for a noob like me?

Bribe all of your friends and acquaintances to come round and record them several times. This will be your source material - then use the tips and techniques mentioned previously.

For getting familiar with basic functions in Audacity, try out some of the Tutorials (see link at top of page).

Message for Steve: I know it has been a couple years since you did this, but the result you got is pretty much the whole reason I just downloaded Audacity. Would you perhaps have any of the settings details from your work here? I’ve tried following your recipe, but without knowing the quantity of pitch, speed, start time, pan position, flour, eggs and water, I am just making an un-listenable bowl of mush. Many thanks for any help, and thanks for the cool demo work.

As a rough guide -

Pitch change needs to be within 2% of the original or within 2% of a harmonising note otherwise it will sound out of tune.
A basic “chord” consists of intervals of 5, 7 and 12 semitones. Pushing a note up or down by 12 semitones is a big change (double or half the original frequency) and can sound a bit weird unless it is made not too conspicuous in the mix.

Very short differences in timing (less than 30 milliseconds) can cause a weird flanging effect unless the notes are also pitch changed. This is similar to the optical effect of looking through two layers of net curtains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moiré_pattern).
Timing changes much more that about 100 milliseconds can sound “out of time”.

The “Sliding Time Scale / Pitch Shift” effect produces much better sound quality than the standard “Change Pitch” effect, but it is rather slow. “Change Pitch” is much quicker so this may be better while experimenting.

As a starting point, try making three copies of the original voice. Shift one up by 5 semitones, one own by 7 semitones, and the other down by 12 semitones.
Adjust the levels using the Gain Sliders so that the original note is the loudest and the other notes a little quieter. Ensure that the level is low enough to avoid the mix distorting.
Mix these down to one track (Select all of the tracks then, “Tracks menu > Mix and Render”).
Make two duplicate copies of this track.
Shift one later by about 70 milliseconds and the other earlier by about 50 milliseconds.
Use the Gain sliders to drop the level of these duplicates a little, then use the Pan sliders to pan one a bit to the left and the other a bit to the right.

Mix the whole thing down to one (stereo) track and apply a little reverb. You should now have something close to a choir.

Well, if I’m being too lazy to read something already on here, let me know please. My concern isn’t necessarily if my voice can sound like a choir in a studio recording kind of qualily I don’t think. My concern is that my 3rd voice desn’t drown out my second and first voice because that’s what happens when I use the plain old voice recorder the computer has.

When I was growing up I’d take a cassette recorder and a small tape player and sing with myself. By the time I had maybe a quartet or more, there’d be this big roar, but you oculd hear all, or most of the voices. I got a Kerioky with a tape player and recorder, and it would give me good quality voices without drowning any of hem out or making a roar. Is that what it would sound like if you did that in a studio? I do want to sing with myself like that again. I’d spend hours and hours doing that when I didn’t have to do school work. I did do it on a nice boom box, with a bult in dual tape deck, but it still gave a roaring sound when I recorded a lot of voices, but the Kereoky could be adjuest to not do that.

Using tape the noise floor doubles with each duplication , so for a quartet you’ve increased the noise-level by a factor of eight , which is the roaring noise you report.

Using digital audio, rather than analogue-tape, the increase in the noise floor with additional layers does still occur but is not as severe because duplicating a track digitally does not add noise , (analogue-tape does).

It works! I could have been doing this for years probably, and it sounds almost as good, or maybe just as good as it does on the Kareoky. All you have to do is keep adding voices! I made a quartet, so I’m happy. That’s what I usuallydo anyway, so if I can’t make many more than that, that’s fine. I’ll juskee copying. Just put all thevoices in one file though.

I’d love to show you proof that I found out that I can make a fairly goodrecordin of me singing with myself with audactiy which doesn’t have one or 2 voices completely drowning out the otherss when you have 3 or 4 voices of yourself singing. I can’t however, and I guess at least one reason is these 2 messags I get when I try to save my recrding into a format that it can be played without having to use just Audacity. When I save a fike I get this message: “You are saving an audacity project file aup. To save an audio file for other programs use one of the fle > export comands.”

When I click on the file menu and then click export, I"m asked tosave file again. Then it puts up this message. “C:program files (x86) audacity/come HolySpirit.” Under that it says,
" You don’t have permission to save in this location. Contact the administrator to obtain permission." If you need to know what version of Audacity I’m using to answer this question, please say so and I’ll see if I can find out. I also have a friend I’d like to send a song I’ve recorded via audacity where I"ve sung with myself, so that’s why I’m asking this question. Thanks and God bless.

As the first message says: to create a “normal” audio file you need to “Export” the audio.

As the second message says: you shouldn’t save you files in “C:program files (x86)…”
When you get to the Export dialogue screen where you enter the file name, navigate to a place where you know that you have permission to write to, for example, your “Documents” folder.

Ok thanks. I was asked if I wanted to put the files in the “Darrell” folder instead, whish is a folder with my name on it. Maybe if I put it in My Documents, mabye it will convert. I’ll check the FAQs out.