Apple’s Logic Pro 8 is a really amazing and intuitive program for recording/arranging audio, and its great comping function is just one example why. This is especially effective with vocals since it can sometimes be difficult for a singer to hit every note and rhythmic value of the melody. With Logic Pro 8, the process has been made much easier on both the engineer and the artist. This also really helps to keep the vibe nice and mellow in the studio.
Start by recording a take of your vocalist. Don’t even start to stress about any mistakes that are made. When this is done, simply re-record over that take on the same track, concentrating on the sections that you think need to be re-done. Do this as many times as you like until you’re satisfied that the different sections from each take will add up to one great take. Now comes the real digital magic, my friends.
With the pointer tool selected, click in the left corner of the track’s region to open the take folder, showing all recorded takes within the track. Then, click-drag over the desired section of each take. As you do this, notice that Logic automatically compiles or “comps” each highlighted section into the topmost region, complete with crossfades. Notice too that selecting one area of a take de-selects that same area in the other takes because only one take can play at a time for each section. Next, drag the end points of each section to fine-tune your selections. When you have all the best sections chosen, click on the arrow in the top right of the take folder to Flatten or Flatten and Merge the comped sections. The Flatten option will turn your selections into a series of regions that are movable within the track. The Flatten and Merge option will create one new region that includes all the chosen sections. Now just push play and watch the surprise on your vocalist’s face as they listen to the “perfect take”.
You also can use this technique to get a killer whalin’ guitar solo, thumpin’ bass groove, or to nail a difficult passage for any instrument. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.