Doubling vocals is an important tool in almost any style of music.
It is used to make a vocal or rap line more interesting and thus to attract and hold the attention of the listener. You hear this double tracking a lot in rap and hip hop music and there are a few simple rules to follow. Depending on your artistic decisions you can double the whole song, only the verses, only the chorus, certain lines or a few words words you want to accentuate. This is up to you so be creative!
We don’t want it to sound like there are or more two hip hop vocalists rapping together. Our main intention is to make the main vocal rap more powerful.
Select your lead rap line
- You start with making lots of takes. Make a compilation with the best rap lines and make that your lead vocal.
- As I stated in another blog post on hip hop vocal recording the compiling is a breeze when all the different takes are recorded with the same volume ( a warmed up voice !) and with the same distance to the mic.
- If you are really good at rapping it’s even better to try to get a whole verse or the whole track down in one take.
Double track the lead rap
- If you have enough takes that are good it is possible to compile a second and even a third version of your rap.
- These can be used for the doubling.
- If you have been freestyling and there is not enough resemblance between the different lines you should try to double the lead line by rapping again with it.
Mix the different rap lines together
- There are several ways to add the double track to the lead vocal.
- Putting one double track about 10 dB under the lead track thickens the lead vocal, but you don’t get the impression that the main vocal is doubled.
- Find the right volume for the second track so that both blend together well and feel well integrated with the hip hop beat.
- To create a more spacious effect use two doubling tracks and pan them hard right and hard left.
- Change the timing of the two panned tracks with .10 seconds: the right panned tracks comes in a tenth of a second earler than the lead rap, the left panned tracks comes in a tenth of a second later.
- Again, we don’t want to create the impression of three hip hoppers rapping together.
- The aim is to enforce the lead vocals. The extra tracks should pass unnoticed and have to be reasonably quit in de mix. Ten to twelf dB should normally do the job.
Check the final mix
- If the different lines don’t blend together well chances are that you did not rap the double lines exact enough to the lead rap.
- In that case: rehearse! If you want the vocal doubling weapon in your arsenal of vocal techniques it is important you learn to master this skill.
- You will sound much more professional!
- If you need free beats for your rehearsals, simply dowload them from our website.
Have Fun and Stay Tuned !