Give me your best examples of processed/manipulated/mangled vocals in music.
June 28, 2011 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Give me your best examples of processed/manipulated/mangled vocals in music.

Given how much I tend to chime in on the music threads, I suppose it's my turn
So, I find I often like music with significant manipulation being done to the vocals.
This can range from barely recognizable mangling like the remix of Nine Inch Nails' Gave Up on Fixed, to chopping(Fractured - Between the Lines), to weird pitch-shifting(dDamage - One to Hate), to comparatively subtle stuff like on Sunday Munich's Smallest Tragedy. Don't read too much into the examples. Style of music isn't terribly important, I just don't generally get much pop.

There's obviously a fair bit of room for interpretation, so a couple of things I'm not looking for:
* Wholesale application of some filter. Underworld(Vocoder): no. T-Pain(Auto-Tune): no. Ke$ha comes close on Blah Blah Blah, but her producers/manufacturers are still being conservative in my estimation.
* People capable of vocal acrobatics all on their own, like Liz Fraser, Diamanda Galás and Beardyman(I would so go to this tour). They're amazing, but don't fit here.

I'm aware of this previous question but most responses seem to fall into these two bins.

What's interesting to me is the active application of effects to make people's voices do things they probably never should have, sometimes turning them into just another "instrument" in the composition.
Your job is to point me at more stuff that I ideally don't already know about. Go to it.
posted by Su to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This is a song made up of edited samples from Disney's Alice and Wonderland. Kind of a neat effect.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:42 PM on June 28, 2011

I wonder if Pogo's stuff meets your criteria? He remixes movies and video games and other things like that into techno-esque songs.
posted by brainmouse at 3:42 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

(er, jinx -- that 2bucksplus youtube link is a Pogo mix)
posted by brainmouse at 3:43 PM on June 28, 2011

Ladytron's Seventeen is pretty processed.

Daft Punk's Harder Better Faster Stronger is too.

I suspect you can find similar tracks in both of these bands' catalogs, but those are the two that stand out.
posted by Gilbert at 3:44 PM on June 28, 2011

Imogen Heap's beautiful "Hide and Seek". Or is that too filter-y for you?
posted by Specklet at 3:45 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: How about cut up rapping? Amon Tobin's Verbal comes immediately to mind. So do a bunch of tracks from Prefuse 73's album "Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives" (e.g.)
posted by aubilenon at 3:47 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, whoa, The World Famous, how could I have forgotten the Butthole Surfers (yeah, I know that's Ministry, but Gibby is singing).


posted by Gilbert at 4:00 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: An Fohmhare is my favourite Orbital track of all time, consisting of completely chopped-up, unintelligible female vocals. It builds so beautifully, and the chorus is mind-blowing.
posted by hnnrs at 4:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Are you familiar with The Knife and Fever Ray? All sorts of vocal processing going on there. Here are a couple songs:
Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart
The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health
posted by wondermouse at 4:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

My mind's blanking hard on this one right now but a good place to start is obvious stuff like Shpongle, Beardyman and Cassetteboy.
posted by turkeyphant at 4:28 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: Coil's "Disco Hospital" is a great one. You might also enjoy Ween, although a lot of what sounds like processing is in fact just Gene Ween doing what he does.
posted by contraption at 4:37 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: A lot of the tracas off Skinny Puppy's Greater Wrong of the Right use processing on the vocal tracks. For example, Goneja, (jittery, glitchy) DaddyuWarbash (theremin-like vocals on the chorus)

Also seconding just about anything by The Knife/Fever Ray. Silent Shout is a personal favorite of mine.
posted by lekvar at 4:43 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Radiohead's Kid A is nice.
posted by Decani at 4:47 PM on June 28, 2011

The Avalanches, especially "Frontier Psychiatrist."
posted by hermitosis at 4:55 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've flagged a few initial items for further, and wider, reference points. (Unfortunately...nothing I don't already know/own yet.)

To reiterate, though, slapping a distortion/smoothing filter(or whatever) on the vocal track and then leaving it there like the Ministry or Ladytron examples is not what I'm after. Check out the other tracks; there are things being done to/with the vocals, with intent.
posted by Su at 4:59 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: This Shinichi Osawa remix of Clazziquai's "Prayers" uses the vocals as another instrument in the mix, both processing and mangling them (compare with the original version of the song, it leaves you wondering how Osawa got from here to his remix).

Ram Rider is another Japanese DJ who does remixes involving heavy processing and mangling of vocals, although his more recent stuff doesn't seem to go as all out (check out his remix of M-Flo's "Love me after 12am").
posted by needled at 5:09 PM on June 28, 2011

Anything Mike Patton.
posted by humboldt32 at 5:17 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh yeah! I just remembered Matmos's rendition of Cockles and Mussels. Seriously!

Also: Überzone's Dreamtime probably fits this and is gorgeous.

(Also if you want more cut up hiphop stuff Machine Drum has also done a ton.)
posted by aubilenon at 5:57 PM on June 28, 2011

Bon Iver. Also if you aren't opposed to more concert type music, Scott Johnson and Steve Reich (different trains, especially, also its gonna rain, come out).
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:08 PM on June 28, 2011

Front 242's Animal (Gate) was what I immediately thought of. That album (Evil) OFF is full of this sort of processing (a little chop editing, and what sounds like when I fucked up the phase controls in audio production class), as well as many of the remixes.
posted by klangklangston at 6:21 PM on June 28, 2011

Björk's Medúlla.

The Threshold Houseboys Choir.

Nymphomatriarch? Herbert's Bodily Functions?
posted by mkb at 8:42 PM on June 28, 2011

Little Fluffy Clouds
posted by pompomtom at 9:32 PM on June 28, 2011

Like humboldt32 said, anything mike patton really. Perhaps in particular Adult Themes for Voice:

The 34 tracks aren't considered singing in any conventional sense, as they consist mainly of Patton shouting, screaming, clapping, squeaking and moaning. These elements were then spliced and edited in a fashion that resulted in a dramatic ebb and flow of bizarre, albeit organic sounding compositions.

And there's always Dub FX :P
posted by palbo at 4:23 AM on June 29, 2011

Dance and DJ snobs may wince at this, but Skrillex uses chopped up vocals in Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. Actually it's pretty neat at the end when it goes from chopped and mixed vocals to straight vocals, because the shift feels seamless.
posted by owtytrof at 8:56 AM on June 29, 2011

Best answer: For fuck's sake, people. O Superman.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:19 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

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