Audience participation effect
I have a macpro, and I am looking to create an audience participation effect to an animation I am working on i.e. the effect is something like one might hear at a football game, where the crowd joins in to the tune being played and sings "we are the champions". So far I have two copies of the song, one is playing 1/2 a second behind the other to help create that echo effect. My situation is, I need to get rid of the instrumentals or, at least minimize them on the latter of the two, I am thinking this will give me the vocal crowd sound echo effect that I am looking for.
Also, I am open to suggestions, if you pro's can think of another way to achieve this goal.
Think about what a crowd sound actually contains; lots of voices that are singing the same words but with variations in pitch and timing.
There are some reverbs in Logic Pro which can get quite close to the kind of roar you get in a sports stadium if you've got voices for it to work on, but you can't unmix a mixed music track.
(N.B. I had a show a few years ago where a bunch of guys started singing "We Will Rock You" at one point, a capella, no music being played, and we still had to clear the song).
There are a few issues with this. First of all, there is the technical aspect; while it is possible, through phase manipulations, to take most of the voice out of many recorded and mixed songs, the opposite is not true. If you want the solo voice, you need access to the unmixed tracks, which I'm guessing you don't have for Queen's catalog. Which brings us to the legal aspect. Not only is it illegal to have any version of "We Are The Champions" in your work without synchronization and performance rights from the rights-holder, usually the artist or his succession, it is illegal for you to alter the finished recorded song (removing instruments) without permission from the owner of the master tracks, which is usually the record label. Also, who holds the synchronization rights can vary from one country to the next.
Now, these kind of chanting things are normally done in walla sessions. That funny name basically means having a few people around a microphone who will chant/cheer/jeer for many takes, with changes in tone and timing and script from one take to the other. We then mix it all up with EQ and reverb to create the illusion of distance and spread. You need a good mic, a non-reverberant room and some good mates who'll go through this (beer and pizza never hurt). There can be quite a bit of involved mixing to do once the recordings are done, depending on what you're looking for.
If the chanting is done in walla, you need the rights to the song only, not to its recordings. Unless you want the actual song to play in the background. Still, it's quite a bit of work to secure those and there is no charity involved in the process; it will probably cost you. Can you take a chance and wing it without rights? Sure. Can I recommend you do that? No way. It's without doubt one of the most watched-out-for songs out there, with cease-and-desist letters already written and waiting for a stamp.
What you're doing now with you half-second delay is putting a constant delay on the exact same sound, which, I'm afraid, will never sound like a crowd chanting. It'll sound like the song going through a guitar pedal board. I recommend a re-think that involves less technical and legal hoops to jump through.
This one has no quick, easy fix and the end results are unlikely to justify the hassle. I'd recommend you look in the direction of library music that permits overdubbing. Or simply a library track of crowd chanting.
Hey, bonjour mon ami, Thanks very much for your in depth perspective, I now understand the legal ramifications. Let me ask you a question, I noticed a lot of pub and college chorals of this particular song on you tube, (it's not we are the champions, I used that as a very relatable reference) And from what I read in your legal perspective is, they could possibly get sued, by who ever holds the rights to the words of the song.
The funny thing is, I was doing this for all my road crew mates, when we have our christmas party down at the local pub.
Guess I will have to think about this, thanks for your help mate
All the best
The words of the song are usually on the same copyright as the tune of the song. Usually. There are many exceptions. It can be a bit of a pain to find these details. A good place to look if you want to acquire rights is with the music editor of the artist. You can usually find that info in the fine print of any record with the song on it.
Of course, there are a lot of unapproved versions of songs on YouTube. Tons of them. Technically, all of them are illegal but since YouTube has a takedown policy, it's them the rights-holders will complain to if they're misguided and don't want a few million more people to hear their song in a format that would never generate revenue to begin with. The number of takedowns is quite low these days, as more people accept the "new paradigm". If videos were on a personal site generating revenue, then the lawyer letters would probably come a lot faster. That's if someone is watching out for that song. Only the biggest, most profitable catalogs are watched in this way.
Now that the context of the whole thing is clearer, the chances of getting into trouble for showing such a video down the pub to mates is vanishingly small. It's probably covered by fair-use provisions in most countries, as it could fall under private performance and satire. While I can't recommend you do it on here, I probably would myself in the same situation. Going though rights-clearing for such a situation is a tad over-the-top. It's your call, really.