Recently I reading an interview with a mix engineer that disliked auto-tune on lead vocals but would often use it in parallel as a doubler along with a stereo flanger or chorus. REAPER includes a realtime pitch correction plugin called ReaTune, and it works pretty well for this trick.
I used this trick on a recent mix where the chorus vocal needed a more ‘pop’ smoothness. Reatune on automatic correction, plus Stilwell’s Oligarc Chorus to make it stereo. Blended a few dB lower than the lead it added thickness and width.
- Insert new track after your main vocal, name this track “doubler”.
- Send post-fader from main vocal to doubler track.
- Insert ReaTune on doubler track. Activate Automatic Correction with a fast attack time of 50ms.
- Insert a stereo chorus (such as Oligarc Chorus) or flanger. There are many freebies available.
- Adjust the chorus/flanger for a wide stereo spread with no dry signal.
- Adjust doubler track level to taste.
I bet you want to know how this sounds. Here are some example clips from that mix to demonstrate the technique.
Main vocal soloed
Vocal + Doubler soloed
Full mix without doubler
Full mix with doubler