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Question: I have an Audio engineering questions. I would like to your opinions on using
"doubles" on a track; can they be used througout the entire song, or only parts
of the song? Is there a 'general rule of thumb' as to where they should be used
and when they are the most effective? Also, what is your advice when it comes to
harmonies. What is the "technique" used in audio engineering to make them sound
'tighter' so they don't sound like a background vocal?
Answer by

Nuri Amir's response:
I'm not an engineer so I can only give my experience, what I do and what I've seen other successful producers do. Coming from a R&B/Hip Hop/Pop background, we double just about everything. I'm told some artist like Pac and Micheal J stack their vocals in multiple layers in the studio. It's hard to learn but it gives you a richer sound. Plus they got the budget and the time to do that, most of us don't. For harmonies, keep them tight and close, half step, two part harmony works best for me, used only to accentuate and highlight. Harmony loses it's effectiveness if it's overdone. If you really want get a good handle on harmony, listen to old Motown and Stax/Volt records. Or groups like America, Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan. Listen to Aja or Rumors, or 80's Michael Jackson. Don't try and re-invent the wheel, it's already been done, just go get it. Listen to Kool and Gangs 80's stuff. And a little reverb is the only thing I know to do to get a better blend, but only works if you sing it tight. I think the key in your situation is the singers have to be tight, phrasing and vibrato are important. If you're relying the engineer to make your harmony tighter, what are you gonna do when you perform live. Sing it right, sing it tight!, and you won't have to worry about the engineering.

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