VoiceWorks: How to use it with a sequencer

Question

I use a sequencer. How to set-up the Voice Works / Quintet to play the notes I have programmed on a special track.
How to avoid them sounding too mechanical?

Answer

Easy, here are some tips to non-mechanical sounding harmonies in Notes mode:

  1. Try to place your harmony notes within a 5th up or down from your voice. This is typically where pop harmonies live anyway.
  2. Use the styles! I like the TimPit (Time & Pitch) style in the Harmony menu because it closely mimics singer's timing. A little is good, too much is not so good. The same goes for the vibrato styles in the Voicing buttons - a different vibrato style on each voice helps realism. Unless you want an obvious effect, keep the Vib amt (Vibrato amount) reasonable.
  3. Portamento helps note to note transitions greatly. A value of ~40 works wonders.
  4. If you have spare channels, put each MIDI harmony track on a separate channel in your sequencer. When using only one MIDI channel, you are confined to a single pitch bend move for all of your harmony notes. You can produce awesome harmony with two channels/tracks. Now, use pitch bend to slide the harmony part around uniquely on each channel. When you play both (all) tracks back during your singing, the composite effect can be quite interesting and convincing.
  5. Less is more. Just because you want harmony doesn't mean you have to have 4 voices-on-full-blast in every song. Vary it by using a parallel 3rd in one song, an intricate 4 part in another, some nice 1up, 1 down in yet another. You get the idea.

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