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Recording Rock Vocals

Lesson 14 of 26

Editing Overview

Andrew Wade

Recording Rock Vocals

Andrew Wade

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Lesson Info

14. Editing Overview


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
3 Soundproofing Duration:24:20
4 DIY Acoustics Duration:12:34
5 Signal Chain and Microphones Duration:21:12
6 Preamps, Compression & EQ Duration:23:20
7 Working with a Vocalist Duration:36:53
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Editing Overview Duration:34:31
2 Fades and Basics of Melodyne Duration:13:53
3 Editing Female Vocals Part 1 Duration:27:39
4 Editing Female Vocals Part 2 Duration:09:51
5 Editing Vocals with VocALign Duration:17:34
7 Editing Screaming Vocals Duration:28:18
8 Vocal Effects Part 1 Duration:33:20
9 Vocal Effects Part 2 Duration:32:18
10 Intro to Mixing Duration:18:07
11 Mixing Softer Vocals Part 1 Duration:32:42
12 Mixing Softer Vocals Part 2 Duration:14:21
13 Mixing Screaming Vocals Duration:32:11

Lesson Info

Editing Overview

Well, I want to start by actually talking about what you guys were commenting on a lot I want I want everybody to understand that it it's not about like, tricking someone to get your way. The most important thing to think about is, um well, not to think about, but the most important skill that you could ever have is knowing what's good like knowing what the best thing is, and sometimes that isn't your idea and some of you might think, it's your idea, you might be attached to something, but there will be circumstances where you do have more experience and, you know, because you've done it over and over and over again that a certain thing doesn't really work with audiences and another thing might, and so somebody might be making a decision that's detrimental to their career and to your own. So when you're faced with those kind of situations that's when you kind of want to do it it's not like uh when you're a producer, you have ideas and it's your way or or or or no or nothing, but when y...

ou're working with somebody else, especially when they might be talented what's you may have an idea and you may be jumping the gun by trying to force your idea what them realize their own vision first, then decide if you actually do want to continue but teo push your idea on them if it is indeed the better idea it's not just about tricking someone to get your way I hope you guys completely understand that it's only in those certain circumstances that you would use that uh witchcraft with me isn't more building anesthetic for your studio I mean, one of the comments was really doing it for each session and that seems like even more of a difficult task to be able to create that environment in each one but I mean aesthetic as opposed to getting your way right, right, right. The most important thing is what is the best try to become a little bit detached from if there was some kind of tension or if there was an argument or something that get detached from that think of in the long run what's going to be the best choice that's what you're looking for so sometimes you do need those tools to get to that point and you you do have to get through people's egos sometimes. So just so we're all clear and people don't think that I just trick everybody that comes in here well in my studio not here uh anyway, so today we're getting into stuff that can make or break your songs uh which is pitch correction and, well, here's the roadmap here, mel a dine and pitch correction editing singing vocals were gonna edit screaming vocals on group vocals were going to go through vocal effects and prepped for mixing and then we're actually getting it into mixing so uh hopefully it goes well, I think it will okay, so let's first talk about editing so this screen right here is like if you are going to take notes or photos or screen caps, you need this list because this is the list that you had it in if you want a completely professional result I always do it in this order because it is the best way I don't even think it could be argued like for anybody that is in this industry that does this kind of stuff this is the best way to do it first we start with, um taking out salt wanted to may or may not be able to be switched whatever something might be switched off but um wanted to depending on whatever and we'll get into that because I'm actually going to do this stuff for you just so you're not look, you know list um you're gonna cut the silence sometimes there will be just be, you know, big spaces between words and in the song that were doing there actually is the spots like that so we will be take cutting the silence um you don't want to just cut out every single breath that you come in contact with but there are some that you do want to cut and there's gonna be a purpose for that and I'll talk about that um to nudging left and right to smooth at it so between takes sometimes I'm sure you guys noticed from yesterday cameron uh between some of the takes you could hear the edit and you don't you don't want that so sometimes what is leading into the next edit is off maybe maybe it's late and then the other one is early so what you want to do is kind of move those so there in a natural transitional state and we'll get into that so after you do that you want to uh you know make sure that sounds as natural that can without doing any cross fate you can't just rely on cross fades uh so if you track properly you can actually do these things um so after you get that in the right spot you'll do a cross fade there's a bunch of different types of cross fades uh some are good and some are bad and I'll talk about the different types um number four is optional you group tracks and create an alternate playlists if you're not confident in your editing skills I kind of I kind of did this um no you just make other tracks to throw the original tracks on it or save them in a folder or whatever but, uh what I do I'm I've done it for so long and I'm I'm very confident that I we'll be fine with my my editing so I don't do this but if you're unsure I encourage you to do before um then we're going to send to melody line and we're going to use melody line this is gonna be via melody in bridge which comes with melody in studio um to me miller line is the number one pitch correction software that is available right now uh and I will get into that when we actually do that and why um so then it's number six you actually melody line and correct the timing within melody line and I'll give you tips on that how to do that right and wrong they sent it back to pro tools um via melding bridges it's cool because it's just a naughty matic feature you don't have to there's no work really involved there. Um now this this is kind of I think this might be pro tools specific because it has a scent to pro tools option in melody line so if you are using um something else logic or uh uh program like that you may just have to use the standalone melody I nap uh to do the kinds of things that we will be talking about today there are alternatives and I'm sure a lot of people are thinking that well I do it this way I do it that way there are very, very good reasons to do it the way that I'm going to explain today uh some shortcuts and uh, things that might save you when you really messed up tracking or somebody that and then we're gonna vocal line we're going to get into that some people might not have any idea what that is then the last step it's always gonna be the last step you might do eight again but nine listen your ears are going to be your best friend for this make necessary changes and then maybe revoke align if you have to do that so number nine is just going to like very fine editing so I always go in this order just by default I don't like look at this list this is literally like the most logical and best workflow for getting a professional it'll sound so I hope everyone takes that in memorizes it and understands it after today okay? So let's get right into it uh this is what we're doing we're going to be preparing for pitch correction and I'll show you we'll talk about energy and cross fade so we're in the session take it slow, which is ok, which is uh this is these air jessica's vocals if you weren't here with us yesterday she tracked this song live and we're going to actually work with these vocal takes um and luckily we don't have too many edison here really so it's going to be easy for us but when you do other things like uh maybe screaming or something where you have to punch it a lot it becomes a little more of a challenge and uh we will probably demonstrate with the next song because we did do screaming all right, well here we go so I'm just starting here by uh I don't want to just go back to this starting by just cutting the silence anything that uh doesn't need to be there this is a really handy shortcut if you're on a mac it's option shift scroll wheel and you khun this is I guess protocol specific um but itjust zooms you in so you can really see uh what's going on in the tracks so I'm looking here at the very beginning uh just so you guys are aware these uh, purple tracks here we're all jessica and then the red one here is um was was the scratch vocal that actually sent out to her so you can see when you zoom in that there's a breath right here it's a very prominent breath and that's the kind of breath that you would want toe leave in I don't see jessica having a breath at the beginning there let's actually listen to this okay, so actually, this is a great example here. Um, you guys might not be able to hear that, but what she's doing is taking a really long breath before it, which is actually not ideal to start it's sort of awkward it's, like, uh, whenever a vocalist is starting a long phrase, they take a bigger breath sitting, they can get more out. But whenever you're going between words between phrases, going to short breaths, so to me, when I hear this, how did she is it's almost like she's just preparing for along parts, not it's natural, but it's not don't interrupt you? I wonder? I mean, how often does that happen? Does that is that pretty much every time where you're where you're dealing with vocalists? Do they mean, is it? Is it pretty common to do some people actually have the ability to, you know, cut that out or in the editing process is I mean, that is kind of one of the main, you know, of the many things you end up doing? We've ever seen a video called chocolate rain? Um, yeah, good moves away so he can breathe. Okay? And, uh, that's so see, well, the thing about that that's actually a good exam. Well what that guy's doing if you haven't seen the video it's a it's a it's a guy who turns his michael turns his head away every time he's breathing in so it doesn't pick up on the microphone okay, now that would be the equivalent of like cutting out every single breath which is not natural sometimes you you want to hear that breath um and there are times when you don't need breaths there are times when you do need breaths this right here it doesn't matter as much and I'll show you guys where there's an emphasis on uh were natural breaths like absolutely have to be there and when they don't this one to me is unpleasant so it's getting deleted I don't like it there uh usually I have to consciously tell a vocalist how to do a breath or something that, um all right I'm gonna mak e a preface is again I usually is pc so a lot of these shortcuts are like backwards and the buttons are kind of weird so you'll see me just fumble around for a little bit but ok, so I'm going to also talk about some cool shortcuts when you're editing vocals because this could get very, very time consuming um now there's a few ways that you khun do the fades you can either do it as you go like what I just did were hit f but sometimes you have a lot of work to do I mean, we don't have that much to do here but um they fear in pro tools and this is a protocol specific shortcut um there's this I don't know if you can see where my mouse's over here but this tiny little icon enables you to do these quick key shortcuts so if you have this this little guy over here is yellow then you can actually do these these quick little shortcuts like f well we'll apply a fade um and this at this particular fate is it is a very standard just a linear fade you can choose different types and right here just for this specific case the leaner fate works fine. Ok, so, um let's move along and you can also add breaths I won't actually show you how to do this if you do listen to this and you don't like the way it sounds out of breath you can add a breath from like another section like say here could drag us over a few he wanted a breath you would take that cross fade out but I will say for pc users there's a really awesome shortcut to get rid of all fades um it does not exist on the mac at all in any form um it's you hit fault and then e f and d and it will just get rid of any faith? So if you've done a whole bunch of phase in there all I could maybe the wrong fades or the wrong length or urinating drums for instance on you put a bunch of cross fades on and slowing down your session or something I don't know for whatever reason you just want to get rid of them you just hit ault then you had e than f nd you don't hit him altogether use all eat ft that shortcut does not exist on the mac okay, so for someone I'm going to demonstrate later I'm just going to take that fade off for now because I'm gonna show you a shortcut to do ah bunch of between these words I can I can see that there's a big enough gap here that it's safe to cut this space out sometimes whenever you get pretty close it's like the end of her note goes right into a breath right there so uh, take so uh if you did cut that out, you would be cutting out something that is natural and that is also good. Uh, I mean, this is natural and good is what I'm saying and when you take that out it's pretty unnecessary, especially for the stealth music now this here it doesn't match up we're actually going to use on ly one of these three tracks that you're seeing in the final result but we're gonna edit all all three of these for now okay uh so for for melody line and for uh vocal line later we're going to edit these um see how I can explain this well, I did cut out this silence between all three but what I want to do is edit these so there's the same amount of silence after each word because we're actually going to stretch some of these or shorten these and whenever if you have different length space after the word it could become problematic for the steps were doing later so all this stuff matters and will save you time if you do these things right first also here's the biggest mistake that I hear people make whenever they're editing vocals whenever I get sessions from other bands umm let's listen to this breath really quick was talking about breaths here it's again now if you're listening at home, maybe I can turn this up that breath is cutting in sounds like almost like she's catching her breath or summit is absolutely unnatural now whenever you're applying have heavy a compression like when you're doing screaming and stuff, these breaths are going to be clear as day so you need a cut it out but sometimes you actually don't want to cut it out um so be let's say the take for whatever reason is just cut off like that you could do a fade it's good that makes it sound like a shorter and natural breath at the same time. So if you something strange happened during tracking you can actually just take care of that right away however luckily way have the breath actually we'll probably keep it a little bit shorter like that. Okay, so here we are here's another take uh where you can see she ended her word whenever if you weren't here for yesterday whenever you do tracking between whenever you actually do a punch and you want them toe lead in fromthe last focal and then lead out to the next vocal even if you're not recording it because what happens is uh whenever you actually do it correctly you get all the information you need to make natural sounding edits so what we have here is you can easily see the end of the last word the breath here and then beginning of these words now for whatever reason at the end of this take it only it stops here we don't have any more, but luckily we let in and we let out so we have this breath and were able to we're actually able tto cross fade it so it sounds natural on lycos aye burning so I mean this is soloed and you still can't even tell that there's uh fade there, but we're actually and take that fade off for now um we got more dead space here there's ah let me show you guys a cool shortcut actually and so in general I'm wondering are you when you're just first getting into the editing are you basically looking for all the spaces and trying to clean out as much of the negative space and just create negative space as much as possible? Yeah sometimes especially with these more delicate songs some of the characters on the pre amps of the microphones are whatever like there may be a hiss just just a little bit and sometimes you may not want that um so it's good to to clear these silences sometimes they will shift and you just hear their clothes or something and you can't see it but it shows up and whenever you do this it's just it's like well hey we don't need this silence and there there may be weird noises in there like I know where all these words are and I know what should be there so it's it's important to be familiar with with what should be their etcetera and what you know like what what a breath looks like looks like she took a pretty long one here so um yeah this is a shortcut s so you don't have to go through all these I'm just getting really into detail with this stuff just so you guys really understand these concepts this is called strip silence it's also protocol specific um and what it does is uh it'll actually cut this stuff out for you you just set the threshold um you kind of have to mess with it here uh usually that have the if you guys want a starting point what? The settings actually come up when you hit command you brings up strip silence so anytime you bring it up it's usually in settings that aren't actually very helpful so if you do want a starting point this is pretty uh pretty good starting point you want the strip threshold at around, you know, forty uh two thirty or so if you're doing vocals um again you will have to adjust these but this is a good starting point minimum strip duration you're gonna want really low I mean, you could almost have that at zero I you know, I maybe put in a liston than twenty and that's uh that's not really necessary at all for what we're doing so that's a good starting point there um the star pad as you can see it uh well, this you can see it moving it it shows you where it's actually going to cut it. So if you do have a breath, you just move it out and it will just automatically get those breaths because usually the threshold that you have it set at will probably cut the breaths out automatically. So if you have a long session, you don't have a lot of time to release spend doing this, and that usually is the case, especially when you're doing a lot of work and you're mixing a full length and you get sent hundreds of vocal tracks. It's really going to eat up your time? So you need these shortcuts, you need a quicker way to get this stuff done. So, um, I don't I don't know if there is an equivalent to this in other programs, to be completely honest, it's not the same as a noise gate, because a noise gate doesn't have first since the pad before it, um, and it also doesn't do this doesn't do a physical at it, uh, of of the thing. So if you if you did have let's let's, pretend we just used a noise, kate, this is what it would look like, this is what you would get, it would just cut out, and then suddenly what you have to do is cut out the silence, and then you have to apply the fates, so you're it's actually kind of especially if you have a breath sounding strange, you will have to go in there, and you will have to edit it if you use the noise gate, so to me that's one advantage of using the strip silence instead of a noise gate also a lot of noise gates if you have the noise gate on the actual track ah lot of them have a problem with late and see and um unless you have you got to make sure you have delayed compensation turned on I'm pretty sure there's a uh I'm sure there's an equivalent of delay conversation in other audio programs were kind of just sinks everything up to the same amount of latent see every track has the same amount of leniency, so if you're tracking sometimes like what I like to do is track and edit at the same time like I kind of like to do it as fast as I can I will save me work for later like I'll go through these I'll go through the first few steps first on maybe not get to the rest of them maybe get to the rest of them later but it's always in this order when I'm doing saying so maybe I'll just do like one through three wall in tracking or maybe just one into and then go back and do the rest so it's it's all about uh saving time really because the more work we can get done that sounds excellent the better amen andrew, I strip sounds of something I haven't quite used before but we have a question from the internet from stricken rock star asking have you ever used wave lab for your editing process and is it acceptable for someone to use wave lab know I have actually know anything about it great well true answer uh so sorry no problem yeah, there could be alternatives and if you're understanding these concepts that's what I want to drive home uh for my work flow and on pro tools this is the right way to do it so if you understand these concepts why you don't use a noise gate why I'm using strips silence if you can find alternatives that's great because you'll be able to do these same things and used these same concepts and save time in the same way you're still doing the same thing that I'm teaching but it just has a different title for instance so if you're not a pro tools there may be some other thing where that does the same type of thing as strip silence um actually I think new window and q base might have something equivalent now I'm thinking about it I saw my good friend dan corn if who uh built my compressors for me in my studio uh he uses new indoor q base and he was doing the same same thing so I know that there exists alternatives to this ok, so and this is invaluable here zooming in it be easy to be zoomed out me like okay, well, you know these these end over here will you zoom in? You just cut off the end of her vocal you know? So I've been doing a long enough that I know that I'm not going to make a mistake like that but you know, if you're just starting out getting into this really heavy editing, you might not want to uh you might want to do the, uh, step numbers for where you save on alternate playlists or or put these all on a different track okay, so uh I'm just not going to strip silence for us today, but that's basically strip silence the end pad obviously is opposite of the start padd it uh it just changes were the end understand? Yes, s o does the strip silence? Does it have a fade built in our you know, you still have to put the fates and write I do ok and I'm going to go over fades but there's a really awesome fast way to do that that's why I'm not putting these in as I go because normally I would be flying through this and then I like, I'll just fly through this and then I just do fades but I'm taking my time so you guys understand on these concepts and why I'm doing what I'm doing so luckily this is an easy vocal track so I can devote you know this kind of time to explaining all this stuff okay, so like again we have the same amount of silence after the track uh same thing here now if you want teo I mean I can see like whenever I look at these things I know what is a breath and what is the sound of what is a a mistake I can tell when I look at it you might wantto actually listen to these tracks while your editing um and we have quite a day from vocal here will show how to fix that I'm interesting thought we have tracked that again could be wrong whatever anyway let's continue this gap I'm not clearing out because it's uh it's another and the end of the vocal into the breath now whatever you're doing on one track especially if you get doubles should be the same on all three tracks because it's going to cause problems with you later when we actually get into melody line uh okay that's the end of the track there so, um I really need to talk about nudging she did a really good job so I didn't do any nudging here here's an example um so where's the nudge in pro tools and there again there's an equivalent to this in other programs uh this is a really simple function but what I like to do this isn't the best example of this. Let me just show you what it is. Uh you, khun, you can move hopes. Which was ok on pro tools for mack it's control plus or minus on the numeric keypad. Hopefully you have a numeric keypad. We're using pro tools. Um, so you can move as you see. Here, you can move it over just by just a little bit. Now, if it's just a vocal by itself like this, I wouldn't actually use it. I should probably go to a spot where you would want that more thin right here, but, uh, if you see up here in the top of pro tools, uh, this little guy here says nudge usually the settings, I have it on our zero zero uh zero. Thirty. Um, so just move it by small increments, but let's say we find a spot. This is usually only for, um, between puncheon's, not just the vocal. Okay, so if you will see here, uh, we got you can see the different sounds here are off from each other. Now, from my experience, I'm going to assume that this should be on that line this guy should be on this line, this guy should be on this line, um so what I would do let's say this was let's let's pretend this is a punch in here and I want these two to match up a little bit better I would nudge it over like this and what schools that keeps the edits and what's also cool hopes is especially in pro tools it keeps the fades now I don't know about you guys but whenever I edit and I have fades and I'm like oh man, I want to edit that you'll usually like move it over and then your fates are messed up and that's a huge problem in pro tools so um this is an invaluable tool I encourage you to we're goingto probably have a better example of one to use this because right now it might kind of seem like pointless um but yeah good yeast basically spice a couple points and then nudge the center part there how did you actually execute that? I was watching what you were doing but I didn't catch the key commands I wish oh yeah the key commands on pro tools for mac is control uh yeah, that means control I guess uh yeah. So control plus or minus on the numeric keypad? Yeah, I don't know why it's anna pero shift sixes and apparel whatever under their overlays for your keyboard from pro tools mac and pc that makes this whole process a whole lot easier is that correct um I don't know I have these all my muscle memory honestly uh and that's why it's kind of hard on this keyboard because some of the buttons air kind of swamped and somewhere not swamped so it's not like this button is always that button it's like sometimes this button is that button it just it doesn't make sense like you have the apple button on here about on windows you have a windows button and I use that button but it's not for the same things that the apple button is for and I have a control here but then the command the apples usually control it's pretty so just so you guys understand like what like bashing these buttons and nothing happened that's why it's very confusing to switch over and very versed with the windows version of the shortcuts so yeah, that is control plus or minus on the keypad please just take note of that because we are going to get into that later and you'll be like, okay it makes sense that you would use it in this scenario right now it doesn't really seem like you know why wouldn't I just move that over so let's uh just take a mental note of that for now okay? So very cool we got our edits here um a nice little shortcut that you'll see me use a lot I uh on mac the shortcut is that means option slash holt uh, f and that centers whatever I'm working on it's, just a shortcut. I wil I do a million times, so, like, if I want to get to that and just see that see this all f this brings, it makes it is biggest possible on the screen for me. So just a nifty shortcut, I that I found.

Class Description

Every great rock song starts with a stellar vocal. Get ready to learn the fundamentals of recording rock vocals from Andrew Wade, who’s worked with A Day to Remember, Motionless in White, and dozens more.

Andrew will cover everything you need to know about recording, editing, and mixing vocals for modern rock songs. You’ll learn about mic selection and positioning, key mixing techniques, and the secrets of time and pitch correction. You’ll also learn about how to work with each individual artist to get the sound they want.

By the end of this course, you’ll be fully equipped to work with a variety of male or female vocalists to get the results you need, from screaming to cleans and everything in between.



This is a superb course, was full of great informations and it has inspired me a lot. Learned alot of things, thanks to Andrew for this great presentation and sharing his knowledge and experience with us, also thanks to the people in the audience for bringing up good question and to the creative live team for making this happen. I really hope Andrew will come back to Creative Live someday, perhaps with a full course especially about working out and creating vocal harmonies :-)

a Creativelive Student

Absolutely essential information in this course. Very in depth. Even if you went and interned at a studio with a reputable producer, it would probably take months to absorb all the information so cohesively laid out in the course. I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking to properly record their own vocals, or for anyone looking to record other bands (whether in a bedroom, or a million dollar studio). Loved watching, learned a TON (learned a lot of great pro tools shortcuts as well). Well worth the money. Thanks for doing it Mr. Wade.