Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

Forum-wide collaborative cover

I'm just looking to see if anyone would be interested in making a cover song with the voices of multiple forum members on different lines of verses and choruses. If so, what songs? No one might want to do this, but I'd personally say something fairly universal and simple such as Hallelujah, Let it Be, or Knockin' on Heaven's Door so almost everyone can join in. We can use karaoke tracks but it would also be cool if threw together a quick background track since lots of members play instruments. I'd be willing to lay down guitar lines.

It might seem like an engineering nightmare to some with different people using various levels of technology to record, but it's definitely doable especially if the raw vocal lines are given to a single person to mix. This might also help some newer forum members learn from the more experienced folk. I just want to know if anyone is interested in doing this; there's no need to commit to anything right now.

edit: additionally, if we ever got far enough along to make a video showing members from a wide range of ethnicities, genders, and age, I think that would be very cool to see.


  • rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    It would be interesting to try.  I have not used it, but someone else mentioned bandhub, which might work, too, if you could somehow limit it to people from this forum.  Not sure you can.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro Posts: 14,836

    I think we could probably do this, as long as we realize that it could take a bit of time to get something like this to the finish line... not that getting there wouldn't be half the fun.

    I actually would prefer to do it as a VIDEO, although having the audio portions recorded in a DAW would also be good.  I'm thinking if a person doesn't have an audio workstation AND a webcam or video recorder, then an audio and/or a still photo could suffice, but ideally it would be a Video of the person singing it Live into a Digital Audio Workstation.  I could synchronize a separate audio WAV file to a webcam or video recording.

    We could probably use my dropbox as a holding tank for the recording submissions.

    Each person could sing the whole song, and then I could piece the different vocalists into the song in a way that does justice to the song and the singers, both on audio and video editing.

    We would first establish the KEY (the original recording key would be preferred) and the TEMPO, so that everybody learns it in the right key and speed.

    Then we send the backing track to folks and they record with the backing tracks playing in their headphones, while they record a VOCALS-ONLY audio to be mixed in with the rest of the project.  Only a portion of the song would be used for their part.  They would do the whole song, so that their part could be chosen.

    We could start with one song, and then move on to another.  Please realize that each song could take a long time to come to completion.  We might put up partials, just to show that SOMETHING is happening.

    We could either use our real names or our usernames, depending on if anonymity is wanted, and I could put the name on as subtitles when each person's part comes on.

    I would want it to be limited to KTVA students. Although this part of the forum is open to the public, I think most people viewing or listening to the recording would make the assumption that this was a mixed group of all levels of KTVA students.  Not just advanced students, any student that wants to participate.  It would be a good experience for any student at any level of their development.   

    This would be a fun thing to do, just to get to know one another a little more as real people, rather than icons, avatars,  and usernames, and to grow a little bit as singers.

    Lots of people have done this in other venues, but we've never done it here.

    I'm up for it.

    Let's pick a song. 


  • blondiewalesblondiewales Pro Posts: 483
    edited March 2015
    Anything by Kanye West or Nicki Minaj; they are truly ingenious artists.

    HAHA no, I'm just goofing. I thought it would be funny if someone actually suggested something like that. Like I said, I would recommend going for something fairly universal. Hallelujah (Rufus Wainwright version) has the benefit of many verses we could spread amongst people. Even more if we decide to add some Leonard Cohen's original proposed verses (over eighty of them, I believe). However, Let It Be by The Beatles has a happier message that more people could unite around. Both songs are easy range-wise. Hallelujah doesn't have anything over E4 and Let It Be is E3-C5 I believe but A4 and above are barely touched or falsetto. Really, any song that's been covered extensively by people from different genres could work. Here are some songs that could work:

    Bridge Over Troubled Water
    Knockin' on Heaven's Door
    Let It Be
    Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
    Signs (Tesla)
    Counting Stars (something recent, I guess)
    Lean On Me
    Stand By Me

    Any song that would make sense sung by a group, I suppose. I'd like to hear some suggestions from other people, but I personally vote Let It Be.

    We could certainly do it the way you suggested and it would be a polished production. Were you thinking sort of an unofficial advertisement for KTVA? However, I'd say the more work it involves, the less likely people are to participate. Back in the golden age of graphic design there were multiple design forums you could visit. One of the popular things to do was make a "worm." It's pretty much what it sounds like in that someone makes a design at a specified dimension set others add on to it. Very casual. Here's an example: http://web.archive.org/web/20070210023847/http://worm.bluesfear.com/index2.html just scroll across the top. I didn't scroll through the whole thing but it shouldn't have anything not PG-13. Avert your eyes if you're a sensitive soul. This was already sort of difficult to find. The ones I knew about are gone as the casual graphic design community has tanked.

    That's what I had in mind. More of an ongoing project on the forum that gave people a reason to visit more often than a collaborative effort that's worked on and released. So we would start with a backing track and a couple of lines of vocals, and they would be posted by someone. Then another person would add on his or her lines and post that and so on. This would probably attract the most people, but I'm not certain how many people you can mobilize for it anyway. I posted this to get an idea of how many people would be interested. I tried to keep the suggested effort minimal to garner more people. Some singers, especially new ones, might be reluctant to go through the process of regarding a vocal track to the best of their ability. Personally I'm up for any suggestions though.
  • rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    Hahaha @blondiewales:  I almost fell out of my chair reading that first line!!

    I like all the options you've suggested.  I don't know Hallelujah well, and have sung the "5 Man Electric Band" version of Signs, not Tesla's, but it's really close.  All the rest are great, IMO.

    If you are looking for something pretty simple, bandhub looks easy, but I'm not sure we could limit it... I'll try doing a track and see if I can invite only certain people to collaborate... worth a shot, but I'm afraid it'll be limited in quality, too.

    I have over 7000 karaoke tunes, if that helps to have a base line for people to record to, that's pre-recorded, and eventually, you just remove that recording from the mix.

  • blondiewalesblondiewales Pro Posts: 483

    Oh, sorry mate I meant to address your suggestion before anything else. I've taken a look at bandhub before. Is it limited to 8 people, and how much control do you have over your input signal (your recording)? Different singers often sound best with vastly different adjustments to their voices in post-production, and even more so here because of differences in equipment. For example, if someone records with an SM-58 (like I've done in the past), they'll discover the signal makes their voice sound very quiet. Not necessarily weak, mind you, just quiet because of the small signal. It has to be amplified post-production, but there's a specific way to do it otherwise it'll just distort on you.

    If we did Signs we'd have to do the 5 Man Electric Band version anyway. The Tesla version just uses different instruments and has slightly more swearing.

    Help me look into Bandhub a little more and let me know what you find. I'm open for any and all suggestions right now.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro Posts: 14,836

    For some reason I couldn't see much of anything on the worm link.  Scrolling on the top didn't seem to have any effect.  I may be too technologically challenged here.

    I suppose there are a number of ways to approach this.  The way I suggested is what I'm more used to doing.  That's not to say someone else might be able to get a "worm" off the ground and keep it going.  It might be more fun.  That's just unfamiliar territory for me.

  • rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    I was not aware of the limit of 8 people on bandhub, and I thought I saw several with 9 or 11 tracks / participants on them... however, if you get that many, it becomes more difficult to manage the controls.  I also can agree that managing the quality has to be hard.  I think you have little control over sound editing.
  • blondiewalesblondiewales Pro Posts: 483
    edited March 2015
    @highmtn try going to the link and then scrolling right. If it doesn't work don't worry because the site is technically closed and I had to look through web archives to find it. If I didn't describe it well, a graphic design worm starts with one artist making an image that's 500 x 300 for example, and another artist adds something to the right of that, making the entire image 1000 x 300, and so on. Eventually it's a really long image and it looks like a worm.

    This is unfamiliar territory for me too and people may well gravitate towards your idea. I think I'll just get something going, and people will naturally do what they want to do and that will be the new standard.


    You're probably right there's no limit of 8 then, because I only did a quick scroll through.

    What I'll probably do this weekend is record the first line of a couple of songs, and people can either add to the song or start their own, and I'll keep the must updated and recent version of the song on the main post so it's easy to find. We'll have some rule of having to wait at least for two other people to join in before a person can go again so no one dominates the entire song. If anyone wants to go ahead and record, please do and send me the link. This way we can have multiple songs going for people to choose from, and some will inevitably be more popular that others.
  • rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    I just checked out that worm, and it's really cool... some great artwork there!  I've never heard of them before.
  • blondiewalesblondiewales Pro Posts: 483

    Haha yeah. Believe it or not, that art is old-school. Newer digital design is much much better, both in terms of image quality and artist quality.

    I've started recording some of the potential song collaborations, and I should post them soon. Are there any other song ideas? By the way, there's no definite reason to wait for me, if someone wants to get a jump on this.

    @highmtn Where should I post this new thread, since you want it limited to KTVA members?
  • rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    @blondiewales:  I would try to get a jump, but I've been suffering from a chest cold, and have not been able to shake this cough for going on three weeks now... today is FINALLY a nearly-decent day, but I still have a bit of a cough, so I'm not singing much at all still... sigh...  When I get a cold like this, it sticks with me WAY too long... my wife had it, got over it in less than a week...  I guess she's healthier than I am.
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