Compiling Vocals


Flawless Vocals: Recording, Editing & Mixing


Lesson Info

Compiling Vocals

If you're all right with that, alex, I want to go through and I want to comp this vocal real quick so we can make sure it's good just so that it makes more sense in the class and then we'll move on to the chorus layering of course and stuff, so by comping, I know I keep using this word comping I mean, compiling the vocals so I have five vocal takes here will go through and kind of analyze smaller chunks I had him seeing the whole verse because you don't want to sound like a robot punching in parts here and their rhythm is all about the spaces, you know, like if you if you've ever I mean, if you ever even read any kind of music, you know, rhythm is all about where you're not playing and that's the same with vocals onda natural feeling rhythm has natural gaps and natural stops if you're stopping every time you do a sentence or like three words, you're going to have a way different stop than if you pause to take a breath or to go in the next part and it never sounds natural the punch in r...

eally small parts over and over and we'll do some punches and kind of get into that too, but I just want explain why I'm compiling the vocals, why I'm comping the vocals is because I have these five takes but I want to take my favorite parts from each take and like I said make the altar take so I'm actually going to put this on the last play list of six and I'm gonna make a marker here that says oh six was freaking cool I'll put an exclamation mark because I really like that take so that kind of set sets the precedents for me so I'm gonna listen tio take o six first and I'm gonna take this off of record so we don't get feedback from the bank and I like to listen with a little bit of leading that's how you're going to hear this way lash down but teo teo remember why ah ah pretty cool take I'm listening back and I'm feeling like even though things were pretty compressed there's some little details when I mix I'm going to compress more and there's a little details I'm not hearing so real quick I'm just gonna throw a plug in on here to really smash the vocals just for listening back just so I know I'm not missing anything is the worst thing is alex goes home label wants the record and I have like this weird sound on in the middle of a word that is only coming out because it's mixed ready now and the vocals are loud and compressed so was going to use this good teo teo aman why ah ah ah ah plug ins little finicky when we do that one more time and I also want to kind of make sure that when the plug ins on it's about the same volume as when it's off so I'm not messing with all my volumes and getting confused because volume affects how you perceive things and the more you start changing volumes a ton if you're constantly doing it trying to balance two different ways hearing things what though you're just going to start to get you're going to start to favor one way or get a little loss two down for me okay so now I'm gonna listen to this a little more critical and decide what I do and don't like so this is teko six point six vocals one downspout teo shots you remember wait ah wei ah that's pretty cool take um I'm still gonna listen to the rest in case there's something I'm forgetting about that's really cool one thing I notice is the why is just a hair flat the slide is just there's something that's not perfect so I'm gonna mark that I'm a right why with a question mark because the words why not like I'm being condescending but why uh yeah but uh so I'm gonna make a market there andi I also felt way ah wass ah ah that oh, that uh type of sound is cool but I'm I'm curious if there's a better one on another take so that's something I'm gonna mark wasn't too as I listened back um I just want to hear this section one more time okay, so that was me just going through what I thought was my favorite take let's go back to the beginning and we're just gonna listen to each one and see if there's anything that sticks out in certain ones that air better than the other way around teo you remember wait, wait why was ok, but as you can hear that that was your first take um it doesn't have the character or the emotion that you that alex naturally developed by doing it once and they're like, okay, yeah now I know what I need to do see so you can hear that I'm gonna say that why is kind of cool, but everything else didn't really fit the tape because it was just a warm up basically well, so thiss mark a little bit oh, another thing you can do in pro tools if you're in grid mode and you want a lock to the grid most of time hold apple down and are sorry command I've been using maxence like ninety for so so call it the apple key yeah hold hold command whatever keys next to the space bar using pc and you can click anywhere that's all I was trying to get it, you don't have to be on the grid, so I'm on the grid no matter where I click hold command and that's great for editing and tracking at the same time, because if you're tracking, you normally just wanna land on the grid, so you're like just hitting a beat and you can just roll it's quick and it's comfortable, but if I want to get down and just hear this little piece of this vocal, I can hold command and click on it that way, you don't have to come up here and go like shuffle grid slip all that stuff, and I know all day w's have some sort of, um, control like that, so I'm gonna label this why I'm gonna write markers are really important because you can't remember everything helps things go faster, you can look back, even if you're like three days later, you're like, oh, actually, I don't like that word. You can look at your markers and be like, oh yeah, this one is cool to let me check it out, and then you don't have, like sometimes our vocalist will take, like, forty takes of the same part when I have a lot of time to work and I really want something specific going through that more than once is absolutely terrible and daunting, so I'll go back through it once, make all my markers, and I'll never go through all of them again because it just takes too much time and it kind of makes you not care about the emotion you just start getting too analytical so markers are good, so I'm writing, why point no one cool, actually. Alright, good that's. Good, alex. And we'll listen through point out too. Teo stone smooth. Why that's? Why? I was actually kind of cool too. And these sections, they're a little less sliding. They're kind of cool, though, so I'll just keep that in mind the different kind of cool. So, uh, point on two different but cool, just typing what I'm thinking, um, and also you can hear in this take this pretty cool, as we mentioned before, warming up the vocal a little bit, you normally would never play that back. And I'm sorry that I put you in that position, but doing things like that, I mean, you know, listen, how much better the more natural the first line is, and it gets better with it takes compared to the one where he didn't do that, teo. Well, for the first few words and that's not what you want, you don't want a punch in uncomfortable locals on glad you caught that on dh that's you know, part of being an experienced studio musician is, you know, knowing all those tricks too, but so then you go back on teo so that was the one where you I thought about the wrong lyrics for a second, so we're not going to use that beginning even though it's better than the first one, so let's go on to take three so down teo starts to remember a while that take was good, but it didn't really capture what I was wanting and he came in a little sharp yeah, well, pity the one thing that was kind of cool with this words airiness the amount of abroad oh is pretty cool so real quick since I'm kind of that caught my ear, I want to hear the take I really like and see what dry sounds like on that I don't like you like that one as opposed to geo longer one yeah, I don't know I don't really have a preference again. I think I kind of like this older one because this one lebron was a little slow and it makes it sound pitchy instead of broadway oh three oh three who like the va brought almost cuts your voice out like the word dry yeah, it kind of represents the work so I want to keep that cool so in keeping that this will be the start of my cop and cutting it out selected it and then I had a command x which cuts in most any kind of program and then command v to paste it now something that I think it took me a little while to figure out when I was younger and getting into calming vocals um there's two ways to go about it in one way I think is wrong one we think is right you might think why do you cut? Why wouldn't you just copy and paste again if you have forty vocal takes your flipping through and you well, it's kind of tight isn't something you talk about later but you have forty takes your flipping through number twenty three you want to cut out or you want to take one word and you want to put it in the main track and that's only what you take from the whole take if you just copy and don't cut when you go back to that like ten minutes later and you're like, did I try that one or not? You're going to be like wait is this you're looking at the region name and trying to figure out which one was which if you just cut it you flip to take twenty three and you realize, oh, yeah there's a cut that's the one I used for the word a or the h and the beginning of heck, you know, little things like that. Another thing you could do, like if you are taking forty takes and you decided some point, you want to double the vocals, which I'll get in two and if you don't know what that is, I'll explain it if you accidentally taken take that, you copied and pasted instead of cut, cut and you try to double it up all of a sudden you have one word that's crazy loud because you're using the same take on both tracks and I'll explain why on that, but so just keep in mind when you're comping vocals cut, don't copy and paste yeah, just cut him out because then it kind of leaves a roadmap for what you've used and having used already in the main vocal. I like that dry, so since I'm going that far, I'm leaving this selected actually going to go take six my selection stays there if you hit apple e it cuts it now I can select this section because six six was the one I really like the whole thing of now I'm gonna cut, so if you saw that I went there, I slept in the same amount that's that's exactly what it was cut out of the other take some of inverted take this one put it up here and when I drop it in it goes right toward the other take goes and that's a good thing teo to kind of keep doing because if you have little breaths they often are in the same spot but if you like like if I'd just cut it to here or if I'd cut it to here you cut into the word or you might cut out of breath and it's just easier to keep things fluid like that and even down the like if you have a little bit of mike noise and it cuts out is going to sound weird um take six there I'll take this half of six and this is basically going to be my template and it might cut a little bit more of this out so it's mostly take six with one word from take three and that this is comping what I'm doing right now is compiling the main take so now it's listen before because we didn't listen to that, but I'm confident that three was cool on the word so teo remember while teo teo like that we might actually ended up with a better one that was one of mark before what I did like on that take shots tio man huh? Size why but it's cool it like it has character to it I like that so I'm gonna write down point for tre oops try two why excellence ex allegiant screen's a little farther than on easter fumble fingers alright take o five so down shots tio wait ah ah it was kind of cool let's hear how those sounds I'm takes six again ah no I'm gonna make the grid have more subdivisions this owes a little ahead and sometimes if things rule of time that kind of affect how you perceive and I have a fueling brothers of so let me just shuffle it back and I'm using the plus and minus to adjust the region and then let me put it on the good takes so I can hear it in context this is teko five that I've just cut into the main comp let's hear about that five that's kind of cool right so let's hear six again double check one here one more time go back to five and you'll find yourself doing this really got to make sure that was five one year six one more time I'm sure ah I think I kind of like six you like six looks a lot like the and lands right on the snare sounds really natural so we tried um it's still good I'm gonna put that actually is going to put that back on take five case I do decide to make it double since we didn't use it now we still have a couple words we need to address so this might seem kind of dancing but it really is worth it and when you're doing it yourself it's a lot more fun than watching someone do it but like anything down teo shots tio remember ah like this probably better ah, that was pretty good so cut it out kind of cool but it doesn't fit the song was cool slides yeah, so let's try five ceo when I cut out just a second ago versus six. Yeah, five definitely move that has the right amount of slide on its good contacts museum and did it feel just a hair brushed compared to the rest was gonna shuffle back a little bit ah ah ah ah with the vibe yeah, kind of cold don't be afraid to shuffle locals around just a little bit lawyer tracking make sure everything feels right. What else did I mark? Why it's find the best way ah, I actually thought that four remember you remember this is taken for that was the main shots tio remember? So what like that this man remember? Remember I like that one. Yeah, if you like yeah, yeah, it just feels a little more forceful so as you can see, we're build a super take down teo teo member while ah ah and as you can hear as ago as it's going through everything I've cut because we took the same amount of the take over and over pretty close to each other it almost cuts in into each other really easily you know like I hopefully when you hear back you're not hearing any cuts or like oh, that sounds punched in you're just hearing like a smooth vocal that every time I add something the idea is for it to sound better and better intelligence is the perfect vocal so I have two questions for you alex and it's always good to like discuss this stuff with the singer because obviously you have what you want to hear but sometimes there's something that the singer wants to hear that you're kind of overlooking or you know if something's likes like this word let's talk about what like the crazy vibrato has a cool field you like that or do you want to try to get one that's more smooth I like it yeah kind of has an emphasis to this school and again that's like you know that's not necessarily flawless at the core but to me it's it's perfect at the same time so that's it cool and then the other thing you know what I'm thinking you can do that better yeah it's not bad but I don't feel like it's quite on par with the risk we do a couple more takes of just uh seoul divides and go into town and just seeing like flashed out so it has the forest far as you want to go so I've already got this on the main playlist so I'm going to leave it and start recording on a new play loose my monitors well try that first line a couple more times just because it's you know it's got to be perfect it's gonna be awesome and you know you're warming up let me give you a little more leading so you don't you're not like going straight from the warm up into the into the part teo teo well yeah it's sounding cool obviously that was kind of a warm up tate let's do another I totally made a mistake there that you never want to do I'm punching in after the start which is fine but you actually tried to warm up and I didn't have you punched in so we didn't hear yourself and I heard that and then the warmup got kind of weird so that also didn't help so learning learning by our mistakes my mistakes ready and I'm just gonna record over that because I wasn't teo teo I'm liking that now do that sounded really cool let's do one more ready uh teo teo I've got kind of flat okay ready yet? Tio tio spartan tio let's listen back to that are you feeling good about it or you want to talk about it? Listen on let's just go back to seven because that's where we started on the new ones teo seven way tio a little flat on divides and the first part was like a little too head voice for me it was like that smooth froggy thinks it was close that's cool but I don't think that's quite right so this take o night teo I hit the pitch on the end of the pier seven again soon so how's the divides on nine like the little space that devise it's kind of cool sets up was on key to yeah so yeah that one sounds cool let's hear the original divides way interesting similar but interesting so I'm starting to hear that old take more something you kind of choked on the words too that's a pretty good until my soul drop that in there teo that cool and then I thought maybe I heard a double s on soul so let me zoom in and make sure that the slight difference and take isn't creating a weird sound it looks like it's not but I do want to hear the difference between these s is and I get super analytical like that so so so s is actually just kind of sticking out to me again instead of the d s sir there's gonna cut it apple e cuts and pro tools and they have clipped gained down here which is a volume of the region I was in turning down a little bit because I don't want to think about it or focus on it some are okay a little bit louder but that one was just rubbing me wrong on dh want this full breath in the beginning so get a full breath and kind of fade in the room noise so down teo shots tio remember ah ah ah I feel about that I'm pretty good about it yeah, I mean, if we had put all the time in the world, I'd do a few more takes and yeah from there but you know, with our limited time I think it sounds sounds cool. Yeah, I feel the same way I like them I think sounds pretty awesome so let's say that a cross fade these because they're all just straight cuts and pro tools the way I like to do multiple cross fades and everyone has their own thing is open up be detective, which is apple eight on the ten key and I have my faith actually usually set around four and there's a button there, so when you open it up it shows the different when you first opened up beat detective if you haven't before, it'll probably come up with this don't worry about that for faith's just goto edit, smoothing phil and cross fade right there and said, your cross fades however you want for always sounds pretty incognito to me and then he hits smooth and not only does it cross fade everything let me undo that human so you can see this is non cross faded and you can see here I have this little gap which I can't really hear it but you wanna cross phase to be safe hits smooth and across fades and this is great for any instrument um I'll do that we'll see another cool thing that be detected does which is why I use it let's say when I cut I didn't keep that congruent cutting things so this one is kind of like this um this one's like this obviously that sound so then you go back select a mall but you may not notice that you did that or it's just that you've done it multiple times and you don't want to zoom in and try to fix it I'm zooming out to select a zoom back into show you once again there's that gap hit with that it's moving him filling cross fade press smooth and it takes the beginning of this region and slides it back next to this one which it's actually a little more handy with other types of edits but it's still good with drums and that's just why I tend to do batch fades which is like multiple faith at the same time with be detective because then it just eliminates any chance of that the tapping said, I'm going to go back to how it was because I don't like where that region's live, but as a general rule of thumb be detective for batch, fate is really fact. What is this is something I cut out? No. Yep. Okay, so see there's something that I cut out and when I bash did the batch fade? It didn't brought up something I didn't want, which is maybe do you want that that, uh, makes you makes you look a little closer, annie, do stuff like that too? So I'm gonna keep that back to fading gonna fade all those then we have a verse and that's I mean main vocals for the verse of pretty much done I'll do some or editing later and we'll touch on that but that's how you get like, you know, that's that's the basics of getting a really good taken and how you get there comping is really big for me like I don't want a punch in little things. I just want to take all my favorite parts of all my favorite takes and, like, upset him a bunch of times at this point, making a mega take on debts to take that everyone hears a ziff there was only one take ever taken uh, where's there was another word

Class Description

Not every vocalist you encounter is going to be great, but when you do get a strong one in front of your microphone, you better know how to record them. Kris Crummett will show you how.

Kris has worked with some of the biggest post-hardcore/rock bands of the last few years; Issues, Sleeping With Sirens, Dance Gavin Dance, Jonny Craig, Alesana, and more. Throughout this course, Kris will use the actual Pro Tools sessions from Issues' self-titled album to teach you his unique approach for tracking, editing, and mixing vocals.

If you are looking for a fresh take on recording and mixing vocals, this course is for you.


Tyler Little

I'm recording with a simple solo usb mic pre into ableton, and mixing entirely ITB - but I still found this course very helpful. I was skeptical when I saw how young Kris was but the dude obviously lives and breathes music and he answered a lot of my questions. Audience participation was helpful sometimes, sometimes not. Overall, a lot of content for pretty cheap. Would watch more from him. Thanks

Elise Nicholes