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Monday, February 27, 2012

"How Will I Know" Isolated Vocals

This week we're looking at isolated vocals, and todays feature is a 1985 hit by the late Whitney Houston called "How Will I Know," which was a huge MTV hit that helped push her to superstardom. Eventually Whitney went on to sell an incredible 170 million albums during her lifetime, far more than most people realize. Here are a couple of things to think about as you listen to this vocal track.

1) You can hear the compressor work a fair amount. There are a few parts where her breaths are exaggerated where you can hear the compressor pushing up the level. You can't hear it in the track with the music though.

2) The reverb is pretty long and there's really a lot of it on the vocals. It's a good sounding verb that's filtered so it doesn't have a lot of highs or lows so it fits the track well.

3) Whitney doubles herself in the choruses, sometimes very closely, sometimes not so much. It's a popular technique that many producers and vocalists use frequently.

4) You can't hear many of the actual punches, but some of the vocals are pretty are pretty much on top of one another, which happend a lot back in the days of limited tracks due to the limits of magnetic or digital tape.

5) Note the long delay on the vocals in the bridge, which sounds like it's about a full quarter note and timed to the track.

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1 comment:

Brandon said...

I was never much a fan of that tune, but wow, what an amazing vocal performance! It stands on its own without the backing tracks. In fact, I like it a lot more.


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