Looking for any suggestions on things I might try to get a slightly more realistic sound from a particular group of samples in the Spectrasonics "Vocal Planet" collection, which I recently purchased.
Specifically, within the section of Jazz samples, I'm using various combinations of sounds (mostly "Doos" and "Dahs"), and in one part of the piece I'm working on, I want to have the melody line trade back and forth every couple of bars between the men and the women.
Now the men sound great, very rich and warm -- but unfortunately there aren't separate samples for the women, just a "MIX GUY/GAL" folder with a "DAHS MIXED" sample and a "DOOS MIXED" one. Even in these samples though, while the notes played in a male range sound great, anything in a female range (this particular melody goes from F-F above middle C for the women) doesn't sound nearly as convincing.
When the men and women sing together it's not too bad, but on their own the "women" sound harsh, very cold, kind of "hooty", and basically just like a male voice artificially pitch-shifted way too high.
I've massaged the female-only section as best I can (with multiple tracks using a mix of slightly different samples), and while I know there's no magic way to get something from nothing, I was hoping maybe someone here had been through a similar process, and might have some suggestions for paths worth exploring (particular techniques, plug-ins, sonic cheats, etc.)
Thanks in advance for any thoughts (other than the obvious "hire professional singers and book a nice studio" one -- 'soon as I can afford that, I will!)
(BTW, am using Logic Studio on a dual 1.8GHz G5 PowerMac, 3.5 GB RAM, running OS X 10.5)
You could try altering the formant of the male samples so that they sound female - it's essentially a change without actually chopping the performers' balls off! I've tried it before to great effect (not the ball chopping!), although sometimes it can sound a bit unnatural, so you have to be careful about the amount you change.
I think Logic allows you to do this, but I'm not sure what the quality is like.
I use Melodyne for audio manipulation like this. You can buy a plugin version now, which works directly in your DAW. However, one of the standalone Melodyne programs (like Studio, or Cre8) allow more manipulation and you can have multiple tracks which makes harmony work easier.
Thanks for the reply. I have tried some the "vocal transforming" (as opposed to merely pitch-shifting) plug-ins, so far without too much success. But I'll keep at it, and may look into that Melodyne option down the road.