Have you ever been singing a song on your own and got to hear the harmonies that were “supposed” to be there but not? Every time i sing Take it easy, from The Eagles, I get to the choir and I just have to imagine that I have Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmidt by my side. Without the vocal harmonies, the song just doesn’t have the same impact, the same magic.
Imagine trying to make Kansas’ Continue rebellious son, only! I do not believe it. The same is true for Bohemian Rhapsody, because in. There are certain songs that simply cannot or should not be performed without those magical voices. So what the hell do you do about it if you are a solo artist?
Well, for live performances, you’re pretty caught up in having to get a few other singers for the harmonies. Actually, depending on how technically skilled you are, there are little machines that can split your voice and play it back as harmonies, but that’s another matter for another article. And trust me, it’s a huge pain to get decent results. Yes, I have tried it; no, I don’t anymore;).
However, you can record yourself singing harmonies with yourself (yourselves?), Right now if you wish, with tools that you probably have at home. As long as you have a PC with a sound card, an mp3 player, and some kind of microphone. Those little $ 4.00 PC mics are good to start with … no, seriously, I mean it. If you have the things I mentioned and want to try this out right now, all you need to do is download the open source audio program called Audacity from your Sourceforge website.
The reason I said you need an mp3 player is for the headphones or earphones, not the player itself. Plug those headphones into the green hole (normally) on your PC’s sound card. (“hole” = “jack” if you insist on using technical terms). You may need to unplug the speakers first, which is fine. Then plug the mic into the pink hole … I mean … connector on the sound card.
You only need to configure a couple of things in the software before you start. Open Audacity and go to Edit / Preferences to open the Audacity Preferences window. Check the box next to “Play other tracks while recording a new one.” Then click “OK”. Then go to the “Sounds and Devices” window from the Windows Control Panel. The icon looks like a gray speaker. Go to the “Audio” tab and in the section called “Sound recording” click on the “volume” button. The Windows Mixer will appear. “Find the channel that says” Stereo Mix “or” Wav Out “(depends on what sound card you have), and check the” Mute “box on that channel. Just close Windows Mixer and you’re good to go!
Record the melody by boldly pressing the button with the big red dot. An audio “track” will magically appear. Start singing into the microphone. When you’re done, click the button in Audacity with the big yellow square (which means “stop”). Go back to the beginning of the song by clicking the button in Audacity with the double purple arrows pointing to the left. Now you can add a harmony simply by pressing the red dot button again and singing along with your recorded voice on the first track. Do this as many times as you like (there is no practical limit in Audacity), for 3- or 4-part harmony. Hell, become a choir. I once became an abbey of singing monks!
That’s all about it. You just sang in harmony with yourself and you don’t spend a penny! There are many things you can do to improve the sound after you are done, such as reducing noise, moving voices left and right, etc. If you’re interested in learning about that, and many other great things you can do with that recording studio you didn’t know you had, check out our tutorials on the Home Brew Audio website. The first tutorial videos are free and the subsequent lessons are only $ 7.00 each. Other lessons will show you how to create a voiceover with music behind it, how to create loops, and how to edit audio, make multitrack recordings, and more. The tutorial covering the things we did in the article is there too, in case you were wondering;).
So come and visit us at Home Brew Audio. Health!