How Grammy-nominee Michael J Moritz Jr uses Revoice Pro 4
“It blew my mind” – “That was crazy” – “Game-changer” are just some of the soundbites from Grammy-nominee Michael J Moritz Jr when discussing Revoice Pro. We interviewed Michael ahead of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on his lessons when working with vocalists remotely and how Revoice Pro played a crucial part in fixing vocals in post.
Michael J Moritz Jr is an Emmy and Tony winning theatrical producer and Broadway music supervisor, who has worked on musical theatre soundtracks and critically-acclaimed pop records for most of his career.
Due to the current era of travel restrictions and remote working, Michael now faces many new challenges recording and arranging music when he’s not in the studio with the performer – most of all the timing issues when you have several dozen vocalists. He told us;
“It's like recording 50 people on 50 different interfaces all into the same computer, and just try to manually clock them all – because we have no real way of knowing if the artists were really sitting back, or if they were on top of the beat. I think even more importantly, we lost the ability for a group of singers to breathe collectively… because everybody's at home.”
Here's one of Michael's remote sessions which features Revoice Pro 4:
Michael had to sometimes rely on his production toolbox to fix these timing issues in post. Like many producers and engineers before they discovered Revoice Pro, Michael tells us he was far-too-often fixing the timing of several vocal layers in a choir manually which is a slow and tedious process. This led Michael to question;
“How in the world can I get this done better and quicker… and really the quality issue was significant, especifically with sync. Even the best singing groups I was working with aren’t quite where you want them in regards to timing, and the tools I was using were very tedious and took a long time… so then I went on a deep dive and found Revoice”.
Revoice Pro offers a lot more than just advanced time alignment; it can also perform pitch manipulation, such as vibratos. In the broadway space, a vocal is arguably the most important entity on the track, so when you are able to elongate a vibrato whilst retaining its authentic, natural sound – it can be a gamechanger.
“I’ve never seen such a great way to redraw the rate of vibratos. That, in my business, is huge because I do a lot of Cast albums and Broadway stuff. It's all about the vocal, and Revoice Pro’s ability to maintain the singer’s natural rate of vibrato – it's crazy.
Editing vocal inflections like vibrato, was new territory for Moritz, but after using Revoice Pro once, he told us that, in the world of theatre music production, this advanced processing power on a huge stack of vocals was “amazing”. In a nutshell, the APT (Automatic Performance Transfer) process in Revoice Pro 4 allows the user to automatically transfer the performance characteristics, such as pitch, timing and levels, of ‘good’ audio (known as the ‘guide’) to one or more audio signals (known as the ‘dubs’). More information about Automatic Performance Transfer can be found here.
Michael told us how he could have saved time and money on a project if he’d known about Revoice Pro earlier:
“Two weeks before I found Revoice, we had to re-do a vocal on a duet with two girls. And one of the girls stopped six counts before the other girl, and we tried stretching it and that didn't sound right. So it's either we have to take the other girl back, or I have to just squash it. I just had to re-track it but I could have easily fixed that with Revoice.”
Moritz’s DAW of choice is Nuendo by Steinberg due to the good handling of several hundred channels, to which Michael said;
“[Revoice] was able to integrate so great… at first I wasn't quite sure about the Link feature, but then as soon as I got that up it all just worked.”
As many Revoice Pro users will know, there’s a lot of advanced features with endless vocal editing possibilities. Michael admitted:
“I don't think I've hit 50% of what the programme can do. But boy, the stuff I needed to do. It did very quickly. I was really surprised at how robust the interface is – I was thinking this is not a plug in, this is this is a whole environment here”.
Listen Stephen Schwartz's Snapshots below, the album for which Michael received a nomination for Best Musical Theater Album.