Micro Shifting To Get Wide, Sexy, Velvety, Lucious, Pettable Vocals

I’ve been doing this for years, but I never knew that it was something that people actually do. I got the Ultrachannel plugin from Eventide when it was free for the first week or month or whatever, and I loved the way the pitch shifting unit microshift sounded on vocals, and I fine tuned it, using it on pretty much every mix since then. I never knew this was acceptable, I just did it because I thought it was cool. I got an email from Soundtoys over Christmas advertising this motherfucker right here.

Well screw me up the pooper and call me a bitch, I’ve been on to something all these years! I’m gonna stick with Ultrachannel since I love the results from it, and I use it to do many other things because it’s badass, but for anyone that has never heard of this, try it. Hey, @BigAlRocks. This is a good way to get your vocals to sound more wet too without going wacko on the reverb. PS, it’s on sale. Skoal!

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Another trick I use is running a lo-fi or a saturation plug behind this.

I also use the Mircorshifter on delay tails, then follow it with an EQ.

Izotope makes a version of this where you can phase shift but restrict the phase shifting to certain bandwidths. That’s pretty cool. Helps widen the upper mids without funk-ing up the mids and lows.

Roland Dimension D

Eventide H-910 Harmonizer

In instances where I need more control over the plugin, I use the Eventide H-910 (UAD), and the Waves Doubler to achieve a similar effect. The Roland Dimension D unit works too.

Could do similar stuff with the Boz Panther, but it doesn’t have modulation built in.

Whenever you post anything it makes me feel retarded. Thanks though. It’s good info.

I saw that from Soundtoys as well. I do this thing sometimes where I duplicate a track, then pan one hard left and the other hard right, then I drag one back a little bit (timewise) and then detune one of them slightly as well, and add whatever subtly different effects to each track. Is that kind of the same thing? Or am I missing the point.

I snagged “Little Microshift” in a Soundtoys freebie giveaway a few years ago. I’ve pretty much used it on every mix I’ve done since.

Prior to that, when I was still using Sonar, I had this complex little arrangement that used 2 of their pitch shifter plugins on left and right busses. I worked well, but it was a big hassle.

Boz’s Imperial Delay can do the Microshift thing too, BTW.

pretty sure the VanHalens of the world use this on guitar as well

if you think about VanHalen you think about a huge guitar sound etc…but 99% of the time it was only ONE guitar track (no doubled/split left/rt stuff)

So he generally used chorus or maybe slightly detuned harmonizer to get some of his big sound. Saw this online, I cant vouch for the exactness but u get the idea—> (set to either 18-cents sharp and 18-cents flat with a 12ms delay on one side or +12c/-15c/18ms)

this is a particularly wet example

is that eventide a vst or is that a rack unit? (I know the originals were rack units lol)

Definitely plugins. I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to use a real one in a plugin chain. I think it would be really inconvenient to be honest. And that’s a lot of rack space for 2 channels of phase shifting lol. We’re not talking about an 1176 or LA-2A’s worth of usefulness here.

well I didnt know if u were referring to plug ins or if u were just showing the eventide for historical purposes

I have the slate everything bundle. i wonder if the 'repeater" delay unit has any pitch shifting capabilities?

I know Reaper has some built in stuff

He used a phaser and chorus for sure. You have got the biggest Van Halen erection I’ve ever seen dude. Gotta love you.

Nasty DLA has pitch shifting abilities, and chorus options.

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I use their 'Ferric TDS" on like everything

When I was a younger man, I did the same. I still use their Tessla Plugins every once in a while on drums, but I’ve backed off the analog emulation gear a lot. I’m not sure why, I must like it clean. There’s only one mix recently I went heavy on the analog shit, and it was 'cause the song was a bit of a throwback. I find all this emulation plugin shit redundant. A lot of the new compressors stand up to the classics, it’s sales hype.

Now that I’ve committed blasphemy, I may as well say I don’t like Eddie Kramer’s sound (since he’s the king of analog). The records he did in the '60s and '70s were really muddy with undefinined highs and flat sounding drums, and the records he did in the '80s were too '80s sounding. Rock and Roll Over by Kiss sounds like it was recorded in a dirty bathroom with a microphone you’d win in a cracker jack box.

I had the Eventide Eclipse hardware unit for a long time.
There’s was a patch that I really liked with the micro pitches, interesting how they make effects and what they do. The unit came with a paper manual and you really have to learn the electronics side of FX.

Anyway the patch used 5 voices, straight voice right down the middle.
Then 4 more arranged like this:
-14cents panned hard right
-7 cents panned mid right
-7 cents panned mid left
-14cents panned hard left

I cut those values in half which made it more like a room sound less radical.

Really has a live feel with the micro pitches.

I like when he tried to produce AC/DC and after one day (or week) they couldnt stand him lol, so they told him “were r taking saturday off” and they called their manager and said “get rid of this guy!”

Paul Stanley has a really dull voice (I mean it’s not very bright, his actual voice is awesome) and Eddie just let it be really lacking in the high-end. Paul doesn’t really pronounce his S’s, when he’s singing. It’s like when he has to sing he develops a lisp.

Kinda sorta, but not really. Here’s Grampa’s description. In the old days, you used a harmonizer, (Eventide was the most well known) to simulate harmonies from single instruments or vocals. You could set it up to add thirds, or fifths, or sevenths, or octaves, and pretty much anything in between to add harmonized parts to a live performance or recording. I think the thickening thing kind of happened by accident, because the hardware would sometimes drift off pitch just a touch and have to be reset. If you set it up just slightly off the pitch of the original track it would emulate doubling of the track, but much wider, since there were no time or attack errors like you would get when you try to physically double a part. If set up properly, it could make a single part sound huge.

I keep meaning to make a dedicated plugin for this. I use ID for this all the time, but it’s set up in a way that makes it kind of hard to dial in.


This sounds sort of similar minus the pitch shifting: http://www.masteringtuition.com/index.php/secret-no-1

I tried it on @Cristina’s vocals on the Wasteland contest and liked it enough that I saved off the FX chain. …I actually own Microshift too! (Doh!)

That would be cool. Would this be an inexpensive tool, or would you load it up with a bunch of cool shit that would make all of us soil ourselves upon announcement?

Not sure. I’d probably make it super simple. Dual pitch shifter with a hpf/lpf would do the trick 90% of the time. The problem is that it starts getting easy to think of features that would make it better. Throw in a compressor/limiter and some distortion and it starts getting complicated really quick. Add in some smarter non-static pitch shifting and delay and it gets even more complicated, but better sounding.