homeRecording forum and I came across this question:
Hey guys, im tryna record the typical hip hop sounding "ayy", which usually sounds like a crowd of people. I'm doin a few takes in different tones..somethings lacking.. any ideas?
What he's looking for is known as "Crowd vocals" or "Gang vocals".
I thought to myself... "I know how to do that!" So I answered it. Good story huh?
Then I thought, hmm I bet somebody else might want to know this too! So here's my answer, trimmed down and broken into steps:
- Get a few friends together - 4 or 5 is plenty.
- Record 6 to 10 tracks of the group all doing the parts you want to sound like crowd.
Of course more tracks can work too, but I find that once you go beyond 35 voices or so the strong sounding low mids start to disappear. You can always mute tracks if you record too many though.
- Pan half of the tracks left and half of them right. Somewhere between 50% and 100%, depending on how close to the front of the mix you want the crowd to be.
note: If you want the crowd to be really in front, pan a pair of the tracks left 10% and right 10% respectively. I try not to pan any of them center because the sound of a crowd surrounds you by it's nature.
- Make all the tracks about the same volume and send them to a group channel (or in protools, set the output bus of each track to the input bus of an aux channel).
- Apply any effects to the group/aux channel