Best plugin for automatic double tracking/vocal doubling effect?

bwb wrote on 10/30/2002, 6:22 AM
I am trying to achieve a vocal doubling effect that sounds like the classic Beatles doubling that was called automatic double tracking (ADT). The Beatles did it by getting a slight delay between the heads on a tape machine and slight modulation of the sound by varying pressure on the tape reel.

Should I try to achieve this using a special purpose plugin, or would it be better to use a plugin chain to do the delay and then modulation? What are the right sorts of settings?


stakeoutstudios wrote on 10/30/2002, 7:09 AM
tricky one. You could try copying the vocal to another track, and moving one slightly forwards or back. Pan if you like. Alternatively some kind of chorus plugin or something like PSP's pseudo stereo.

I don't know how you'd start emulating the tape side of things though - perhaps Cakewalk FX2 Tape Sim.

Personally I'd just use a nice Valve Mic, and put a short delay on the lead line, then actually double track it, or do triple-tracking and pan the copies left and right for more width.

A Program like Synchro Arts Vocalign can align double-tracking takes perfectly, so there are no parts of vocal out of time with each other - awesome program.

Nat wrote on 10/30/2002, 12:22 PM
Wondering, in which Beatles song can we hear this effect ?
Geoff_Wood wrote on 10/30/2002, 5:01 PM
Eleanor Rigby is one for sure, but *many* others as well. EMI's ADT was tape based. I think that a fixed delay would sound sterile in comparison.
bwb wrote on 10/30/2002, 7:34 PM
One of the most striking examples is John Lennon's vocal on "Tommorow Never Knows".
Nat wrote on 10/30/2002, 11:17 PM
Wow cool
I heard that tommorow never knows is the first song to use a sample. I,m wondering if the person who told me that referred to the laughing of Paul that was cutted up and reversed.
Geoff_Wood wrote on 10/31/2002, 4:23 AM
Just reading "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions' and I saw the bit where Paul not only dabbled with acid, but invented Acid. Sort of. He was the one running around and experimenting with 'tape loops'.

Also (totally OT !) crank up Hey Jude and listen very carefully at 2:59, maybe best on 'phones ;-)

stakeoutstudios wrote on 10/31/2002, 6:47 AM
There's a Lexicon Delay plugin written by PSP that has tape based delay simulation...

That might be worth a go...
SonyEPM wrote on 10/31/2002, 9:20 AM
Webpuppy's idea (copying the vocal to another track, and moving one slightly forwards or back) would be the same as a the tape machine method (right? just a delay?). I've done this quite a bit with guitar tracks- pan the original track 75%L, dupe the track, pan it 75%R, push the second track down a little and you get a double-tracking sound. To make it more real I pitched the second track up very slightly, so it sounds a teensy bit out of tune, then I split the track up a bumped the split portions around a little so the timing was looser- sounded pretty good, not too gimmicky.

edna6284 wrote on 10/31/2002, 9:36 AM
It's a great idea to split up the doubled track and move parts around a bit...just so it doesn't sound like it's some automatic process (like a standard delay). Your method probably comes out sounding like it was actually sung twice...D

stakeoutstudios wrote on 10/31/2002, 2:31 PM
thankyou :o) However, that Lexicon Direct X Plugin by PSP emulates the effect I think he's after!

Also, PSP do another plugin, called Pseudo Stereo, which does much the same thing as copying the file to another track and moving it back or forwards. You could combine this with the delay mentioned...

I know Mark Berry (he's asked to do my band's album -, he worked with George Martin at Air Studios, and worked with Paul McCartney, so when I speak to him, I'll see how he'd go about it :o)

spydakb wrote on 10/31/2002, 3:45 PM
I did this last night with some sax loops that I felt was lacking. I didn't pitch it yet, but so far it is achieving the goal.

- KB