h a l f b a k e r y
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This is a performance art concept. It would be a familiar song; maybe a christmas song. The performer starts by humming at the microphone. After a minute of this you hear her humming start again as the first time is played back. Accompanied by the recording of herself, she now makes different sounds.
The third iteration contains the first and second, and so on. Then backing vocals. Eventually she gets to the lyrics and sings them, adding harmonic parts and countermelody as the whole song builds up. Trick 1 is that even though it is looped it is also mixed; not all parts remain at the same stage volume she sang them. Trick 2 is that the microphone is tightly directional and records only the live vocals, not recording the previous ones as they are played again together.
The song seems done but at the end the whole thing she has just made is played again. She sings a different song in a different key over the top of it - maybe a Beatles song? - and it matches.
I can imagine this so clearly I wonder if I have seen it done.
I think whatever song you choose, it will sound better with multiple person's different voices, not just one person attempting different voices. [Vernon, Dec 13 2015]
Variation on the theme
Can multiply a voice more quickly this way, although the tones would stay the same. [Vernon, Dec 13 2015]
Similar sort of thing
Is this roughly what you meant? I'm not sure I understood your last paragraph though. [EnochLives, Dec 13 2015]
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||This has been baked even before the invention of audio
||Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" is structured almost exactly this
way. On the one hand, it's a very compelling tune; on the
other hand, it's *very* repetitive. So you've got a trade-
off: every part you add is one more repetition, and adds
to the length of the stage performance.
||So if you wanted to get something with the verse-length
and part-depth of, say, Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be
Happy", you'd need a very patient audience.