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Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Lesson 9 of 29

Cut and Slip Drum Editing in Cubase

Joey Sturgis

Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis

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Lesson Info

9. Cut and Slip Drum Editing in Cubase

Lesson Info

Cut and Slip Drum Editing in Cubase

So how do we start to correct this? Well, we're going to go in and start with the very first hit now this this whole take here as as you can see there's no cuts so it's just one that's one whole take he actually performed this all these bars all at once um so it's safe to move this entire we could move this entire thing wherever we want to put it because it won't deviate from the other puncheon's see, now if I start here I want to put that first hit on time with my grid like this and now that's where we're going to base our entire edit is going to come from this starting point and everything we do from here on will be relative to that first hit. Okay? Now the next thing that we're gonna do is go to that we're going to scroll until we get to the next hit and we're going to see if it's earlier late so this look this hit is early because you could see it comes in front of the market right here. So what we need to do is we need to make a cut in front of the hit and I'm gonna hold all and c...

lick like this when you do that it it uh when you have your selection tool here and he hold all and you click it turns it into its sister tool so it's like a multi tool, so wanna click and cut and now I've got an edit point and then we're going to do slipping uh to move it forward, so hold control in ault and then drag it over to the right. Now what that actually did is it repeated a little bit of audio that was behind here, so it would be similar to going like this and then repeating that section right there but with this technique is just a more manageable way of of handling that. So as we push things, it will push the rest of the hits later, but you can see that he still was quite he was rushing apart a bit so as we go, we're going to keep seeing early hits and as you keep pushing those early hits back, you're going to start to get some of the hits are going to start to go later. Let me find a really good one. Another thing you want to consider is what the rest of the tracks are doing because when the drummer's playing he's not always hitting the cymbals and the kick at the exact same time so if you were to let's just pretend for a moment that the symbol hit was here if you made the edit point between the beginning of the symbol and the beginning of the kick drum, you would probably here ah nice little flam in there which would sound nasty so you have to also consider what the arrest of the kid is doing while you're making the edits let me go too let me get a little bit further into the song where this more mistakes um see here he's a really good drummer so it's kind of hard to demonstrate drum editing was a good drummer but uh do my best that's the um do we have any questions while I'm looking for stuff um rickert regarding early drum hits, how do you deal with the glitchy artifacts that wants to know so yeah um so we're using a technique called cut and slip and what is basically doing is it's just repeating audio or shortening audio so like, as I do this, it just repeated this part right here like this part is repeated from here that's what it's doing but here's, the interesting thing about drugs is that they're very burst based um so there's a really loud sound and then it it like immediately dies and decays very quickly so these little tiny edit points that we're putting right before those bursts you can't really actually hear it, so I'm going to show you how just this this to bars and I've edited so far you can hear I'll turn the click off very smooth you can't really tell that there was much editing done um and that's before we've even done any cross fades but you can get away with it I mean, I could probably even move it this far okay, so now you can hear it hear that little glitch that's when you know you're beyond the point that you can deal with andi uh that's when you have to make the decisions like while you're recording this song you need to know was the drummer close enough to the clique that I'm going to be able to edit this because if not then you probably need to re record it because there's only so far you can push a hit before it starts to sound a little glitchy so see as I keep pushing it gets clipped your english um there are some little tricks that you can do to deal with it uh let's just pretend that this was actually this short one thing you can do to make this transition to here is by clicking on this event section and switching to the uh the sizing it's called the sizing applies time stretch tool uh when you click on that, then when you change the size of something it time stretches it so you can I can take this section time stretch of this far and then play it you can't really tell that I did that um I'll even make it shorter try it I can't now started sound a little with a little bit weird, but you can see that that technique will get you by in a pinch especially when something isn't quite long enough you can use the time stretching I wouldn't recommend using the time stretching to shorten anything because in reality you don't need teo like you could make anything as short as you want just by cutting and slipping it back as far as you want, it'll sound natural like this um I want to find a spot where you can see the symbol is way early in front of the hit I'm struggling to find that though here's one okay, so here's the snare hit let's just listen to it so it's when he hits the snare in the china at the same time if you look here you could see the snare hit starts here but the china starts here so if you were to make your edit point you're still in front of the snare but now you're you're behind the china so it doesn't it's not gonna sound good, you're gonna hear a clip here that so you need to make sure that you're you're taking into account that there might be one other thing in front of this and that you make your edit point in front of that and it'll sound like this sounds a little better, less less clammy so that's basically just the that's the two moves that you make um it's it's either earlier late or on time there's don't that's the only three things that could be and then uh that's that's the moves you make you either push it forward or pull it back and you can only push it for you can only move it to the right so far before it starts to glitch and then that's where you need to either used time stretching or re recorded or or sometimes you can even um you can take hits from other places so let's let's just pretend that uh that this hit was like this short and I needed to be twice as long as it is um so it's a snare and a high hat hit so I could go and find another snare and high hat hit like this one and I could just cut it out and then copy and paste it right there and then uh that should sound still should sound pretty smooth way remind you can't even tell that I did that any other questions? Yeah what's the value in editing each hit manually instead of using a quant eyes to like abbott's beat detective awesome question yeah I hate computers they don't do what I want them to do I'm going to show you why okay, I'm going toe just try something that's similar to beat detective where you can ah you know you say hey, I want you to make a cut every time there's a drum hit right? So if you go in here to the hit points and se edit hit points it's gonna put a mark where it thinks every single hit point is now I just clicked at one time I didn't I didn't do anything it's clicked at once and if we zoom in we can already see that look that put the hit point here but my hits actually hear it already made a mistake just in one click the more you use that stuff I think the more mistakes it makes and it just adds up to a big mess here's another one where I thought there were three hits here but there's actually only two and so the advantages that you have control over it it does take a lot more time in a lot more energy because you have to manually fix every single hit but at least you know that you'll you'll be doing exactly what you want to do and not letting the computer do it for you, which I think is very important um one of the things that you'll see as as you watch this course and as you learn more about my process I tend to lean on doing everything manually because I I want to have full control over every single decision in the song I want it move every single kick hit! I want to put every single snare exactly where I wanted to be, um, because I think that ends up making a better product in the end. So let's, go back to the slides here. Classic editing things to consider uh, the snare takes priority that's because of snares, typically the loudest draw minute and it's goingto bleed through every single microphone that you have set up, so you have to kind of you have to kind of let the snare take priority, because if you don't, you're gonna hear a lot of glitches and have a lot of problems. The kick moves can be more forgiving. Let me show you what I mean by that let's go back to the key base so we're talking about keeping everything phase line so every time you make an edit point it's across every single track and you're moving all of the audio all at once now, if you run into a scenario where the kick hit, he needs to be moved because it wasn't it it was hit at the same time is another drum, but it wasn't hit at quite the right moment. You can get it, sometimes you can get away by moving in a little bit let me see if I can find a good one. So here's, I mean here's the snare drum and here's the kick they're not quite at the same time and let's say you wanted to wanted them to be exactly the same time. Um, what you could do is you, khun put, you put the snare hit uh in place first because of that takes priority and then what you can do is you can turn off grouping you want to make sure that you haven't unedited point before the next edit because you don't want to affect all the other kick drums, the song just this one kick so we have an edit point to the left and at that point to the right where the kick drum lives um then you would just turn off grouping and then you can move the tracks individually, so I'm going to take the two kick tracks and just light him up with a snare. Now, if I play that, we should we should notice that it was, uh it was okay, so I can't really tell that I moved the kick individually from the snare and I'll even put the kick like really crazy place, so you could see I actually made it a new part out of it, and you can't really even tell, and if I wanted to, I could even do this so generally, the kick is more forgiving because you can kind of manipulate it separately from the rest of the kick without it causing any issues with the phase like this. Okay, let's, go back to the slides. Um, so keep in mind to cut in front of where you're going to make your edit or where you're at, it needs to be. So if you're hit is early, you need to cut in front of it. But if if you're hit is late, you want to make sure if we go back to cuba's, let me show you if you have hit that's late like this, and you want to move it backwards in into place where this grid mark is, you can't cut on this side, because then it wants there's no way you can slip it into place. You have to give yourself room to make that at it by cutting in front of where you want to move it to way, undo some of the stuff, okay, back to the slides. No win. And when not to edit. Now, this is a really important point to consider, because you might be working with the drummer, uh, in particular, like this, this guy, actually he's he's, such a good drummer, that there's kind of a moments where you don't need to do any editing and you don't want to do unnecessary at its because like in other words, you don't want to read it for the sake of editing if apart doesn't need to be edited than don't do it but if it sounds like it's starting to drag or it's getting a little bit rushed then that's that's a good time toe to use these kind of techniques to fix them and learn to do it by sight and the reason why I say this is because if you are listening to every single ad it you're going to drive yourself crazy you'll also end up taking way too long because that just that one second it takes to listen to a single edit will multiply over the course of the song if you have three thousand edits you're spending three thousand seconds listening to each one so I say try to learn how to do it by sight and understand um where certain beats should fall on the grid and you just kind of learn that over time also practice here training no know when something is off time and you can do that one one demonstration is too ah toe listen to the click and the drums at the same time and try to hear when the click occurs either earlier late or or separate from the actual hit let me see if I can show you all right, so perfect example right here, this is a flan, and the flame is early, and if you actually listen to the click and the flan, they don't quite happen at the exact same time. I'll show you, you can hear hot, it came in before the click, and I'll put it on time and you'll see that the clique in the flamel line up exactly, and you can hear how he started to drag a little bit and, uh, his beets start to fall behind the click, so if you can, if you can practice listening to music with a click, you'll you'll learn a lot about how things shift in time. No, I'll edit this really quick so you can hear what it would sound like perfect. Do you guys, um, do drum editing you goes? I've only worked with many drums so far, so have not. I still haven't really gotten around the drum editing, but I had running an electronic drum set through superior drummer midi style, and I'm going to start messing around with that a little bit. Many is a lot different because you don't have to worry about the audio concerns that you have here, which is like like, for example, this one edit right here if I was to go in and move this like that that would screw up the whole sound because then it would push it out of phase you have to keep all everything all the mikes have to stay uh in phase in order for the sound to be correct now there's some people who will get really crazy with this and like actually edit at zero points you could see um on this kick here zero point is when when the the wave form actually crosses the dc offset so if you do if you actually click this button right here your mouse khun will snap to those moments and you can actually make edit points like perfect like this but in general you don't need to do that because you're going to take once you're done with all this all these edits that you've made, you're going to take him and turned them all into cross fades which will help smooth out all the little spots show you what I mean so yeah now all that it's they this take right here fades out while this take fades in and then you can't really tell that you made these these cuts and I'll show you how to do that a second all right? So once you let's say you've taken the whole song and you've edited every single part, the very last step is to do the cross fading I'll show you how to do it so what what you basically do is you select your entire song all your ed it's like this and then you go up here to the nudge um toolbar and there's all these different ones where you can if you click like move left it moves all the audio to the left like this if you could see that and then if you do it on a microscopic scale so if I do like a one hundred twenty eighth note and I do trim left that gives me all these little overlaps so all these overlaps are basically cross fade spots so if I had x key now all those overlaps have turned into cross fades and it batches so it does it for every single thing you have selected now with drum editing on the the cross fade that you use matters a lot because if you use the wrong one you're going to be able to hear every single time hits one of those cross fades you're gonna have like this little volume duck so in order to uh fix that you press x one more time and it gives you the option to change what the cross fade is and I always recommend doing the equal power cross fade because in my experience it sounds the best I'll show you that I'll see if I can show you the difference so here's equal power cross phase and then let me turn it into regular cross fades really hard really subtle to hear the difference between the two um see if I can make it even worse okay, that night could start to hear it yeah here about that is so if you've got that lenny if you got that equal power cross fade you're never going to hear that just smooth as butter cool. Um let's go into wait do we have any more questions before I move on? Yeah do you always lock on the grid or do you leave some wiggle room maybe eight to ten milliseconds to keep it sort of semi natural I think what I like to do is if I am working with the drummer who I think has like, you know, really good feel I'll tend to only make edit points a certain certain bar markers and what I mean by that is like I might take this if you look on the cube a screen here I might take the first kick hit and and that's the downbeat and then I might skip like four hits and then go to the next downbeat and see if you still on time ok? He is someone's going to leave it go to the next four beats okay now it's a little early so just push that back we'll turn this off okay and then I'm gonna just leave his you know his groove his vibe until I get to the next bar and uh a lot of times that works really good um and then of course if you run into if you see something that's really off like for example, this this bar marker here and this hit there's a lot of space in there that we need to correct so you make you make the corrections when they're necessary but you don't make a correction every single time and and that will help you preserve the feel of what the drummer was doing and that makes it sound more human and less robotic and stuff and it kind of depends you know, if you're working with the band that has a lot of syncopated like layers like say you're adding like high hat layers and progressive elements, then you really do want to be like exactly on time because if you're not, things start to flam it and, uh get kind of sloppy yeah when you move the kick by itself, won't it sound off in the overhead and room mikes that's a good question? I don't know if you guys could hear it, but I was trying to demonstrate that when you do move it, uh it doesn't it is the least forgiving hit it's the least forgiving drum now in some scenarios and maybe even in some rooms you might have the kick it's so loud that if you did move it you would notice like it would flam really bad, but like in this particular recording, I can move the kicks pretty much wherever I want, and you'll never know, but I can show you how how it could end up sounding really bad. So if you look here, we've got a snare hit and then two kicks afterwards and that symbol is ringing out over top of it. So if I was to take just one of the kick it's and move it independently from the performance like this, you can hear that that spot where the kick used to beacon kind of here like a little thump. I don't know if you can hear that or if I like, just take the kick out completely, hear how there was almost like a ghost note kick their theme that's I think that's what he's asking about like, how do you know? What do you do with that? A lot of times, my answer is really simple. You just you're not gonna be able to tell once you add the guitars, so I'm I'm gonna put some guitars in and show you what I mean. So now you can't hear where that thump wass so lets a lot of times you can get away with things like that. If you are in a situation where you know you can hear it and it's coming through and it's bad and you don't want it to be there, it might just be a matter of going and finding a better hit like I said before there's a lot of times where you khun khun literally just cut entire hits and like, drag it into place like this and just completely replaced the hit with a different one if you don't have any hits to replace it with it's always a good idea to record your own drum samples from from the actual set up before you start and then you can like utilize those by rip you can replace certain hits and stuff. Okay, one more question sure, how do you deal with flam sze snare and kick at the same time? It doesn't always seem to be perfect in time and punchy together, so how would you tackle that? So you are going to run in cem into some scenarios where, for example, the drummer might hit the snare drum and the floor tom at the same time, but they're not lined up close enough and when you hit when you hit those kind of scenarios there's not a lot that you can do when you're editing the classic way the reason why is because you have to keep all of the tracks together, so um now, when it's a kick in the snare like he mentioned, you have a lot more freedom and you can move him around so you could see this this kick it actually happens before the snare hit, so what I would do is I'd move it so that now the snare hits on time the kick it's still off time with snares where I wanted to be. And then I turn off my grouping and and I move my kick separately one second, I'll do it right. And then when we play that, what does it sound like? I can't even tell really? Because it's so minor it is what it is like before and after, uh, see if I can find see this guy's a really good drummer. So there's not a whole lot of very, uh bad examples in here. Um, but what I find is if it if it's kicking stare at the same time, you can move the kick. You put the snare on time and leave that in phase with the rest of the tracks and then move the kick independently by itself. You can get away with that a lot more than you can trying to adjust the snare to the kick, and then if it's ah, if it's something where it's like tom related you're kind of just shit out of luck. You have to hope that you've got a sample that you recorded, that you can just paste over top of it.

Class Description

Joey Sturgis is the producer behind some of the biggest names in metalcore, including Asking Alexandria, Of Mice & Men, and I See Stars. His style is one of the most sought after sounds of the last decade and in Studio Pass he’ll show you how he produces it.

There is no magic bullet to Joey’s sound. It’s simply the combination of a million little decisions that add up to something incredible. In this class – for the first time ever – Joey will demonstrate his entire process: pre-pro, engineering, mixing and mastering, from A-Z. 

You’ll learn:

  • Writing and arrangement tips that take a song from good to great
  • Recording, editing, and mixing tips for guitars, vocals, bass, drums, and synths
  • How to get stuff to sound loud, super clean, and tight

Joey is a hands-on engineer – he’ll talk about how he works with bands to develop their writing and ideas so they are working with the best possible raw material. He’ll show you the specific signal chain he uses for mixing guitars, vocals, bass, drums, and synths. And he’ll give extra focus to vocal tracking, editing, tuning, compression, and effects.

If you want to transform your recording and engineering process, don’t miss your opportunity to learn from chart-topping metalcore producer, Joey Sturgis.

Class Materials

bonus material with enrollment


What is Vocal Production

Autotune Pitch Correction Modes and Tools

Understanding Pitch Graphing

Timing and Quantization

Vocal Mixing

Separating Lead & Background in Mixing

Mixing Harmonies & Adv Production Technique

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I have been following Joey's work since the early Prada days... This is one of the best discussions any producer has ever contributed to digital audio. I love the amount of transparency. He simply reveals everything and guides you on a very wise path on how to become a in-the-box producer like him! Turns out, the answer is -- a ton of hard work! Plus, this has to be the best use-case on his own awesome and super-affordable plugins. I have watched almost every popular producer/engineer workshops and have also sat-in on Eddie Kramer, Alan Parsons and Quincy Jones producer workshops and believe it or not... This is the best one yet.

Adam Train

I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of the bands Joey records. The only reason I bought this class was because I enjoyed the Periphery one so much. Joey takes modern production techniques to the absolutely extreme. He takes punch-ins and editing to a level where it's not even funny any more. If you're looking for tips on recording and mixing in general, this class is not for you. If you're looking for editing tips to see how far you can possibly push the strive for perfection, this is pretty spot on. If you're a beginner, don't take this class to heart - Joey's workflow is borderline psychopathic - go and get the Periphery session instead. If you've been recording for a while and you're looking to see how far editing can take you, it's worth a look.

a Creativelive Student

Easily one of the best investments I've made. There is so much information here that you'll have to watch it multiple times to really catch everything. Looked up to Joey Sturgis for a long time and this is literally a dream come true to get a behind the scenes look into his talent. He delivered the material in a very understandable fashion and was extremely clear with all his examples. I love creative live =)