Fatten Up For Winter

Last updated on 3/31/2016


Winter's here and there's no better time to spend some serious hours warming yourself to the glow of Cakewalk on your computer screen. The last thing you want this time of year is thin sounding vocal tracks giving you the chills. Don't worry, your fellow Cakewalk users have submitted a couple of easy-to-perform edits that will have your tracks sounding as fat as old Saint Nick, quicker than you can devour a glass of milk and plate of cookies.

E. Lee suggests "a super nice, stereo effect for vocals."

  1. Record your first vocal track.
  2. Then record the vocalist singing the same line on another track.
  3. Take that second track and copy it to a third track. You should now have three tracks of vocals.
  4. Keep Vocal Track 1 panned to the center (Pan=64).
  5. Pan vocal track 2 all the way left (Pan=0).
  6. Pan track 3 all the way to the right (Pan=127).
  7. Select vocal track 2 and side it back, 1 or 2 ticks by selecting the clip, and then choosing Edit | Slide.
  8. Select track 3. Slide it forward 1 tick by following the instruction above.

By doing this you should get a wide vocal sound. Experiment with the time amounts on vocal phrases for which you’d like to make the sound especially HUGE. Slide these parts forward and backward by 3 or 4 ticks. it can "really make the hook super-wide."

Sean Ewing has some variations on this technique as well:

Rather than tie up CPU cycles by running a vocal through a fast delay plug-in for a doubling effect, try copying the track down to an empty track. Then align the copied track close to the second track but not "dead-on". Then pan the tracks to adjust the slight flanging effect this produces.

  • Wide pan (Pan Values are far apart) = no flange (very cool Lennon vocals).
  • Close Pan (Pan Values are close together) = fully flanged (actual amount depends on how closely the tracks are aligned).
  • Try EQing one track differently than the other. Be creative. You can produce some excellent vocal sounds without dropping huge coin on an over-hyped tube mic.

Elijah Arrigotti adds:

I found that another way to really fatten up any track is to use the Tape Simulator from the Cakewalk FX2 pack.  I have become addicted to that plug-in.  Every track I process through it sounds great! 

Don't stop with just vocals. Try these tips on other instruments. These fattening tips are a great way to get that "wall of guitars" sound, and they are also great for making a small horn section sound two or three times as large.

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