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Topic: Comping vocals, any tips?
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Posted On: Oct. 09 2007, 4:37 PM

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I understand the basic pronciple of comping vocals - record several takes on different tracks and then take the best bits from each track and copy them to a new "master" - but was wondering about the best way to actually do this.

Do you copy and paste each bit to the new track, or mute the bits you don't want or is there some better method of doing it.  

Any insights into the methods you use would be very helpful.

Thanks.
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Post #2 Skip to the next post in this topic.
Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 09 2007, 4:45 PM
XonXoff

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One way that I have found successful is to put all the takes into a group.  I then go through the song editing out the parts from the tracks that I don't want - usually by cutting the parts to suit but sometimes using envelopes.

This isn't so great if you want to cut and paste parts from once part of the track to another (eg to duplicate the good 2nd chorus for the bad 3rd one).

I then usually put the effects I want on the group rather than the individual files although doing it this way means I can if I want put some autotune or whatever on the odd phrases here and there.

If CPU/disk becomes a problem I render the group to a new track.

YMMV of course.
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Post #3 Skip to the next post in this topic.
Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 09 2007, 6:29 PM
Bubbagump

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I don't mean to fling poo (some people get very personal about their DAWs. My only point here is that sometimes you need a claw hammer, sometimes a ball peen, sometimes a sledge)... but N-track is not ideal for this purpose. I would recommend Reaper for this even if you do everything else in N and just bounce a finalized/rendered comp track into N from Reaper. The Reaper lanes feature lets you do comp track editing incredibly quickly.
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Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 09 2007, 8:14 PM
DR Jackrabbit

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the question you ask is like asking "whats the best way to make a Martini" you get a million answers and non taste as good as the one you make yourself -

for me CLARITY is paramount - so lets say that out of three takes one is the standout one but still needs a bit of treatment and luckily the other two takes are pretty good as well - before starting any replacement work i would render each take take to a seperate wave file (this way you dont lose anything if you make a mistake as you can aleays recall the original)- so below is the ideal situation - sometimes there are some FUDGES that have to be made to get it to work, but those are usually easy to deal with once youve got a clear picture in front of you -

i take the best take and put that as track 1 -
then i would put the other two takes below it forming tracks 2 and 3 -

now for the next bit i will be using the grid (in my case it ia always ON) for this job i have the grid spacimg set to BEAT and snap to grid is also ON -

i mute tracks 2 and 3, play through track 1 noting the poor spots - then using SPLICE i would cut out the bad bits of track 1 - they have to be replaced so getting rid on them now saves doing it later and if makes the job visually easier -

OK - so i noted two areas of track one that had to be replaced -done the above and spliced out the duff parts - now on tracks 2 and 3 i do the OPPOSITE, i splice out the places that are good on track 1 leaving only the choices for replacement on tracks 2 and 3 -

SOUNDS COMPLOCATED? - NO - look at the screenshot and you will see it is ac clear as day, and so is what comes next

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee177/eurodog6/myscreenshot-27.jpg

all i have to do is to mute tracks 2 and 3 and pull up from the lower tracks a replacement part and drop it into the hole(s) in track 1 - press play, does it match YES leave it there. NO try the other piece ETC - as i am using SNAP TO GRID the parts fit straight in without having to worry about lining them up -

when its right, render and jobs done -

grid settings go down to 128th of a measure so you can really get in there and sort out wvry small areas -

Dr J
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Post #5 Skip to the next post in this topic.
Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 09 2007, 9:18 PM
XonXoff

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Quote: (Bubbagump @ Oct. 09 2007, 5:29 PM)

I don't mean to fling poo (some people get very personal about their DAWs. My only point here is that sometimes you need a claw hammer, sometimes a ball peen, sometimes a sledge)... but N-track is not ideal for this purpose. I would recommend Reaper for this even if you do everything else in N and just bounce a finalized/rendered comp track into N from Reaper. The Reaper lanes feature lets you do comp track editing incredibly quickly.

Got to agree with you there Bubba, I'd do it in Reaper too nowadays but.....
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Post #6 Skip to the next post in this topic.
Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 09 2007, 9:37 PM

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Jeff,

I completely agree with Dr. J here. He is very patient and generous to have given such wonderful advice. The techniques he shares are very common and especially practical. Its also what many the "pro's" currently do. So, you can reset assured that it would be a great habit to do exactly as he mentions.

~Melcon~
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Post #7 Skip to the next post in this topic.
Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 10 2007, 12:20 PM
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Quote: (Bubbagump @ Oct. 09 2007, 11:29 AM)

I don't mean to fling poo (some people get very personal about their DAWs. My only point here is that sometimes you need a claw hammer, sometimes a ball peen, sometimes a sledge)... but N-track is not ideal for this purpose. I would recommend Reaper for this even if you do everything else in N and just bounce a finalized/rendered comp track into N from Reaper. The Reaper lanes feature lets you do comp track editing incredibly quickly.

I will second that!

Yaz

(The 10lb Sledge Hammer works best too!  :) )
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Post #8 Skip to the next post in this topic.
Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 10 2007, 2:41 PM
XonXoff

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Quote: (Yaz @ Oct. 10 2007, 11:20 AM)

(The 10lb Sledge Hammer works best too!  :) )

Yeah, must get me one of those
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Post #9 Skip to the next post in this topic.
Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 11 2007, 1:44 AM
woxnerw

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Hi Gents:
 This is one of the prime reasons that "Rendering Groups" would work so nice with-in n-Track.  

 If, for example you recorded four takes of a vocal track and you want to "PIECE" together parts of the four "Tracks" into one track...  the four tracks would be on the timeline and routed to a group strip..   After editing the vocal tracks to taste you render the group and there you have a completed vocal track with the vocal tracks still appearing on the timeline in case you need to go back and adjust something-or-other in one of the four vocal tracks to fit..  

 There are a bevy of other reasons why "Rendering Groups" would have it's advantages..

    Bill..
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Post #10
Skip to the previous post in this topic. Posted On: Oct. 11 2007, 3:49 AM
Diogenes
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Hi Bill,

Sort of what you describe is what makes the lanes in Reaper that Bubba mentioned so dog gone powerful. Let's take a lead vocal for example but it could be a guitar solo, flugel horn solo or whatever... :)

Insert a Track, assign an Input, Record Arm the track and go. Wanna grab another take? Just rewind to the beginning (or wherever) and click Record again. Do this for as many takes as you want. ALL the takes are there on that ONE track stacked one atop the other in the Z-order. Now choose "Show all Takes as Lanes". BANG! All the takes appear on the time-line. Cut, copy, paste and edit to your hearts content from all the takes. Finally like what you hear? Right-click the track and choose "Render Items as new take". DONE! This and a few other editing features in Reaper have really spoiled this old hack.

I AM NOT dissing n-Track here... put the guns and baseball bats away. I would like to get Flavio do a bit of looking around and incorporate some new editing features into n-Track. This is what the Reaper fellows have done. They took a look at Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, Sonar etc and took the good bits, tossed the bad bits and came up with their own DAW software. It's powerful, EASY to use (if I can get around in the program, anybody can!) and stable as the rock of Gibraltar. Sort of reminds me of n-Track a couple years ago... Now, don't go out and grab Reaper if you don't want or need to. Lobby Flavio to get the new goodies into n-Track! He added EDL support for a bunch of Reaper-ites for Pete's sake! Flav is a big boy... he knows what this game is about...

D - still an n-Track supporter.
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