Lyrics Problem

• Dec 9, 2019 - 21:35

I'm not posting this in the "Support and bug reports" forum because it's not a software-related problem. That's why it's here.

I'm currently trying to transcribe, by ear, Rockapella's vocal arrangement of "Oh, Pretty Woman" but I'm having trouble understanding what the backup voices are singing lyrics-wise, especially since the lead singer drowns them out occasionally. I've looked everywhere on the Internet for those backup vocal lyrics with no success, and I'm getting very frustrated. Can someone post the backup lyrics for that song, ASAP and by any means necessary? (By ASAP, I mean before this day is over) Thanks in advance.

P.S. Don't try to give me the notes. I can get those easily myself.
P.P.S. Be as accurate as possible with the lyrics. I want the EXACT wording. Anything less than that is a rip-off, and nothing makes me madder than that.


Probably you will have more success asking on a more general music forum. And probably you will have more success asking politely, and perhaps offering something in return. Just some friendly advice.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

When I don't get prompt answers and the Internet (which is supposed to be a way of finding the answer to almost anything) does not have the info I need despite my best efforts, I get frustrated and impatient. This can happen more easily with repeated failures in a row. And I don't always hold it back. If I"m frustrated, I'll let you guys know. The best way to ease that frustration, even if it's not the most pleasant, is to help me with what's frustrating me, and in a timely manner.

There really isn't anything to offer in return that's appropriate for this kind of thing, either.

In reply to by 2142Kitch

Many people enjoy money, just saying - this is the sort of thing people often pay others to do. Or, since you are so good at figuring out melody, you could offer to transcribe some melodies for them. People aren't necessarily motivated by the mere thought of easing your frustration, but they are motivated by politeness and by getting something in return.

But anyhow, like I said, there are places where more musicians are likely to see and be able to respond, so I do encourage you to seek them out.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I have tried at several other places, including Facebook, and have gotten no answer whatsoever, which is worse than what I'm getting here.

Is there possibly a program somewhere that can remove (or lower the volume of) only the lead singer portion of the audio track without distorting the rest of it? That could also help, but I doubt something like that exists. Unless Audacity could do that (which I've never used).

In reply to by 2142Kitch

There are programs that attempt to remove lead vocals through some particular audio trickery, like recognizing that lead vocals tend to be panned dead center whereas other parts are usually more to one side or the other of the stereo mix. It's possible through fairly straightforward techniques to remove audio that is panned center (invert one channel and sum it with the other), and then use EQ and other tricks to cover up whatever other collateral damage may have occurred. Programs like this were common in the early days of karaoke, before karaoke arrangements of songs become so easy to come by. Anyhow, you might try searching for such a program ("karaoke voice eliminator" might be a good search phrase), but I wouldn't expect miracles - and for all we know it may end up removing the backup vocals too on this track.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Another program I might use is Audacity, which I'll have to use for one of my classes next semester, anyway.

I was able to get the back-up vocal lyrics for verse 1, the bridge (the section between verses 2 and 3, don't know if that's the correct term), and most of verse 3. I'm using the 13th track on their album "From N.Y." for most of my transcription because that track's vocals have the greatest clarity of any version to date (that made the bass vocal part REALLY easy), but even then I still can't tell what the 1st tenor and baritone (backup vocals) are singing in verse 2 (some of which is repeated in verse 3). If I can just get the backup vocal lyrics for that verse, I can finish this project.

Since that track doesn't have any beat-boxing, and instead has hand clapping, I'm also using their older version from their "Primer" album, as well as their live version from their "In Concert" album, to add the beat-boxing part to the score.

I'd attach an MP3 file of the first track I'm using if this website would let me, but even if it did let me, the file's too big. Oh well.

So I'm happy your keyboard works as expected ;-). But to be honest: I don't find time to listen to it and to transcribe the lyrics (above I'm not a native speaker ;-). But beside the suggestion to ask it on "" too, I could also imagine to download it as mp3/mp4 file, open it with an application like VLC/MPlayer and slow down the tempo.

In reply to by kuwitt

The main problem with slowing down the tempo is that even if the audio stays at the same pitch, it gets distorted in some other way, which would make the lyrics even harder to hear. And that wouldn't make it any easier. If it came down to transcribing notes that I was unsure of, slowing down the tempo helps most of the time, but not when it comes to making out back-up lyrics.

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