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Used on SZA's vocals for "All the Stars", as stated by producer Matt Schaeffer in this May 2018 Sound on Sound interview.
There are 12 SZA vocal audio tracks in total: two for the main hook, one second verse lead track, and nine verse backing tracks, which in fact provide emphasis and overdubs of single words. All SZA audio tracks have the Antares Auto-Tune 8.1 plug-in, the two hook tracks each also have the FabFilter Pro-Q2 equaliser, and the main SZA verse track also has a de-esser, while the backing vocals have two instances of the Waves RVerb and one of the same company’s H-Delay. Apart from Auto-Tune, most of the processing is done on the ‘SZA ?’ aux, to which all SZA audio tracks are sent.
Schaeffer: “The inserts of the sum track for SZA’s vocals consist of the EQ3 seven-band, Waves RComp, UAD Pultec EQP1A, UAD 1176E, Waves De-Esser, UAD LA2A, another Waves De-Esser, the Pro-Q2, yet another Waves De-Esser and the SoundToys MicroShift. The De-Essers affect 11400Hz, 15032Hz and 2000Hz respectively. I like stacking de-essers set to different frequencies. It works like narrow multiband compression. Sometimes I will in fact use a multiband compressor, like the Waves C4, but if the vocals have very specific harsh frequencies, I prefer to use several de-essers. They also are helpful as I like boosting high frequencies in vocals; here, the EQP1A boosts 16kHz. The EQ3 has a high-pass at 216Hz and cuts at 695Hz, and the Q2 lowers the high end to some degree. When a frequency bothers me, I usually sweep through [with a band set temporarily to boost] to find the frequency and then I cut. The MicroShift provides a little extra width and a slight ambience with the delay parameter, without actually making the vocal sound too stereo.
“The sends go to auxes called ‘SZA Verb’ and ‘DVerb’, both of which have the DVerb and EQ3 seven-band, two ‘SZA Delays’ with the Waves H-Delay, and the ‘SZA Chamber’, which has the Waves RVerb and again the EQ3 seven-band. I put an EQ after the reverb, because I don’t like too much low end in reverb. You get a cleaner sound by taking it out, and you make space for actual instruments to take up that spectrum. The delays are both set to eighth note, and one of them is set to ping-pong delay and also is automated to only come in on certain places.”
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