Harmonizing Vocals with Spectral Resonator


In this lesson, we’ll learn how to synthesize vocal harmonies for your vocal track using Live 11’s Spectral Resonator audio effect.


Spectral Resonator is an extremely versatile device introduced in Live 11. It allows for some very cool spacey resonance effects. It offers MPE support and just like Corpus, Spectral Resonator has a sidechain midi function, with which we can easily feed MIDI Clips from other tracks in your project. This makes it a perfect tool for some vocal processing fun, and that’s what you’ll be getting into here!


Check out this video below and feel free to follow along with a vocal track.




Based on this, I encourage you all to try these ideas out:


  • Start with some vocals, if you don’t sing or have any vocals lying around, pick any free acapella tracks you can find just a google away. Listing some here:

                   1. Ghosthack Acapellas 

                   2. Looperman Acapellas


  • Use the convert melody to a MIDI feature and use that on a Spectral Resonator to harmonize in the key of the original vocals.

  • Use existing chord progression (MIDI) on a project to trigger Spectral Resonator on your vocals.

  • Use the MPE features - Go to note expression tab on your melody clip and try out some fancy bends, while you hear how the vocals sound through the spectral resonator.

                  Link to the Pitchbends lesson video is here



Hope you enjoyed the lesson! Look forward to what you create. Don't forget to let us know your thoughts or questions regarding this by replying to this post.


Happy learning!



Srihari Swetharanyam 1 month ago
Amazingly cool. Lot to dig deep. Thanks Nikhil ji.
Nikhil 1 month ago
For Sure Srihari ji ! Do join in for our open workshops, where we walk through interesting stuff like this live :)
Rahul Gowda 1 month ago
Nikhil 1 month ago
Thanks Rahul! Give it a go, let us know if got any questions.
Simon 1 month ago
I'm going to try this with my wife's vocals.
Nikhil 1 month ago
Haha! Yes its a great way to give her voice that daft-punk touch when she's yelling at you as you record her :p just kidding!
Simon 1 month ago
pretty sure she'll beat me silly. She's been complaining i spent way too much time on music now 😂
Nikhil 1 month ago
Haha, compose a tune for her. Or better, tell her that's why you picked this new skill to begin with!
Simon 1 month ago
haha thanks mate. it's a nice way to butter up to her but i think she'll see right through it
Rishikesh Sharma 1 month ago
Hey I was just trying this out but I can't find the scale feature on my piano roll. How do i enable it?
Nikhil 1 month ago
Hey, which version of Live are you using? This feature will not be present in Live 10 and older versions.
Rishikesh Sharma 1 month ago
ah ok. I have live 10. I'll try Live 11 trial version first and then maybe upgrade.
Nikhil 1 month ago
I see! you can download like 11 trial from here - https://www.ableton.com/en/trial/
Rohan D 1 month ago
Are you using a plugin to convert the vocals into midi or is that a built in feature in Ableton live?
Nikhil 1 month ago
Hey Rohan! It is a lesser known built in feature. Right click on any audio clip in Ableton Live and you'll find multiple options to convert it to MIDI for different results :)
Rohan D 1 month ago
That's really cool
Rohan D 1 month ago
I tried this on something I'm working right now. Thank you so much for sharing this. Found new ways to write melodic parts.
Kavish 1 month ago
Damn cool trick Nikhil sir. Can't wait to try this out. Are you using your own vocals in this video?
Nikhil 1 month ago
Hey yeah, haha. It's my voice from one of the recent tracks I've been working on.
Kavish 1 month ago
Did not know you were a singer also. :D Do you have other tracks released where you've used your vocals?
Ratheesh Varma 1 month ago
Brilliant video Nikhil. I always wondered how artists do these kind of effects on their vocals. Looking forward to the Sunday workshop to discuss this in detail.
Nikhil 1 month ago
Yeah, we'll see you there! it's gonna be fun. we're going be walking through these ideas there for sure!
Ratheesh Varma 1 month ago
Great workshop Nikhil
Sachin Thomas 1 month ago
Really cool video sir, thank you for sharing.
Nikhil 1 month ago
You're welcome Sachin! glad you find it helpful
Sachin Thomas 1 month ago
I tried this out over the weekend with some free samples I got online. It was so much fun!
Clark 1 month ago
I thought vocoder and auto tune was the only way to get vocal samples manipulated to sound like Daft Punk or T-Pain. This plugin seems to have more edge and flexibility over the others though.
Nikhil 1 month ago
Definitely, this audio effect has its own flavor while achieving similar effects :)
Clark 1 month ago
How different is this from using auto tune on your vocals?
Nikhil 1 month ago
Plugins such as Autotune, and Waves Tune directly manipulate vocals in real time to achieve realistic pitch corrections. They don't need external midi files. They're not built in with Ableton Live, so you've buy them separately.
Clark 1 month ago
Got it chief! Thank you
Rahul Verma 1 month ago
Damn! I need to try this out. How different is this from using a vocoder on the vocals?
Nikhil 1 month ago
When we do something similar with Vocoder, it uses an external audio track as a carrier. Sound of the synth affects vocals. Whereas spectral resonator uses just the midi clip as the side chain input to affect the vocals. The sound of that midi synth or instrument does not matter.
Rahul Verma 1 month ago
Oh wow. That's pretty cool
Spinny John Stanley 1 month ago
Seems there is a lot to dig in, just this one pugin.
Nikhil 1 month ago
Yeah man for sure!
Shruti Ghoshal 1 month ago
This is so cool! You mentioned to make the vocals consolidated? What exactly does that mean?
Nikhil 1 month ago
Consolidate basically means to glue selected multiple clips into 1 single clip. I say consolidate here because if you have multiple clips you'll have to rightclick each one and convert to midi and they'll all make separate clips, which can be a hassle to work with!
Shruti Ghoshal 1 month ago
Got it! Thank you :)
Sooraj 1 month ago
Crazyy!! The spectral resonator is easily becoming one of my new favourite Ableton plugin. So versatile and the creative possibilities seem endless. Great exercise Nikhil.
Nikhil 1 month ago
Thanks Sooraj! Yeah, still on a quest of figuring what else we can do with this one! very fun to play with