How To Comp Vocals

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Learn how the professionals select and seamlessly edit vocal takes

A flawless, one-take vocal performance has become increasingly rare these days.

But that's not a problem, this is why every modern DAW allows all of us producers and engineers to meticulously edit together any number of takes into one perfect performance.

Vocal comping is the art of both selecting and then combining multiple takes of any vocal or instrument into a single, ultimate take.

In this tutorial, Grammy winner Fab Dupont walks you through the entire comping process and shows you how to:

  • Balance technical perfection with artistic expression, maintaining the "feel" of a track while also maximizing the precision of the performance
  • Sort through of dozens of takes without losing track the best ones
  • Know when to pick a winner and move on with life instead of endlessly deliberating between nearly identical options
  • Nudge and drag out edit points to create seamless and imperceivable comps
  • Quickly assemble comps using the tools at hand, in this case Avid's Pro Tools playlist view and promote button/shortcuts

Whether you're a Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase or Studio One user, learning how to effectively comp vocals together is an essential skill every engineer and producer needs to master.

Download the exercise files to practice comping the same vocal tracks Fab used in the tutorial. Inside the .zip file you'll find the Pro Tools session file as well as the consolidated wav files to practice comping with any DAW

Exercise files
Equipment & Software
  • Avid Pro Tools
  • Antares Autotune
  • Sonnox EQ
  • Bomb Factory BF76
Featured Music

"Words to Say" by The Arrows - iTunes or Spotify

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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


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What do you have to say?
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2022 Jan 01
I think of comping as putting a singer's best foot forward. At the time they recorded the track, that was the least amount of practice they'll ever have singing that song. By the time the record releases and they are performing it to people who know the song, they'll have had time to perfect the performance. Give them a little help to make the record spectacular.
2021 Oct 10
Fab i love u
2020 Dec 02
Thanks, that's very useful!
2020 Jul 07
Great vid as always. The breath leveling is awesome. Taht's what bothered me always on those old 90's Europe rock records
2019 Oct 30
Great video and really enjoy your expertise @Fab!
2019 Mar 22
First off, thanks so much for this video- it's extremely helpful! I have one question about rating the takes- after listening to the same lines multiple times, how do you make sure your rating system stays constant?
2019 Mar 21
Comedic as always Fab! J'étais mort de rire. The video really highlights what we do-- to present the best and to build a system that is quick but results in vibey/emotional music. A la prochaine.
Fabulous Fab
2017 Aug 04
@beschornermusic: People have been comping vocals since before it was easy to do. track to track, tape machine to tape machine, using H3000 harmonizer pitch correction to fix the ugly stuff. I guarantee you Sting comps vocals, Amy comped vocals, everyone comps vocals. And you can HEAR when they did not. It's blatant. A record does not have to be a documentary unless that's your goal. It can be a movie. That's fine too. That said Will Knox's first record were all single takes. Same for Cyrille Aimée's last two records :-)
2017 Aug 04
Such a great video. A good idea for perfection. Fab, do you have recorded a singer that sings perfectly from the start to the end? Sometimes as a listener you have that idea, that there are many singers that sing always perfect (for example Sting or Mrs. Winehouse). Or is it only imagination?
2017 May 15
Hi fab, how would you integrate the use of pitch shiting software like melodyne in your editing process. (I'm sure this is not necessary in this case) . I know that you treat the question in another video that I have seen and It seems that it would be even more laborious to insert it before comping . But if If you think that the singer has a good vibes while being slightly detune on an audio segment, How would you do in pratice ? Your videos really help me to progress ! Excuse my Anglich, Merci beaucoup !
2017 Apr 23
Hi Fab! when you said "100 samples is a good value to start nudging stuff around", that would be at which sample rate? I'm guessing it's 44.1kHz but I want to be sure... Merci!
Fabulous Fab
2017 Jan 13
@smoniz1972: Never unless I need to send it to someone else. Singers WILL change their mind. It's a rule.
Stephen Moniz
2017 Jan 12
Fab, after completing a vocal comp, do you ever consolidate the track? Thanks
2017 Jan 05
Wow... amazing how there's always something else to learn! I already knew how to vocal comp but you STILL blew my mind with this tutorial. Especially your little tidbit about the gain reduction of the breaths!!!!! Great tutorial man! Thank you!
2016 Dec 26
Fab, you're a great teacher! Just natural. I could watch your tutorials for your sense of humor, alone. Keep up the good work!!
2016 Dec 08
Very helpful and very well explained!
2016 Dec 07
Great as always! As a singer I can relate to not enjoying my self when someone is comping my takes haha
2016 Dec 03
Great video, thanks a lot. I very much recognize the point about the difference in live vibes and experience versus listening to a recording. So I am all for editing! And from my own experience I can add to that that I play much better live than in the studio, red light fever! It feels much different when it is a one off performance for an audience versus something that is going to be scrutinized in the studio and published on spotify for all eternity and afterwards. So editing/comping is a way of coping with the red light syndrome (studio nerves)!
Gaetan F.
2016 Dec 02
I love that king of short tutorials ! Awesome one !
2016 Oct 19
Excellent. I wonder if it wouldn't be convenient also to quickly rate each take right after recording it. Or, if one sucked, would you rather delete it immediately?
Sara Carter
2016 Oct 06
Very good, thank you
2016 Sep 24
Wow. Honestly I just want to say that this service is incredible. The amount of "realness" that I've found in these videos that you just don't get anywhere else is amazing. Being so open and honest about how the singer will feel about this process, how to deal with clients... These videos are more than just mix training, they're about how to be a professional. Truly stellar job, guys. Couldn't be happier with my subscription to the service so far. Really makes me feel like I have real, actual mentors rather than just some random guys on the internet.
2016 Sep 22
very cool! merci Fab :-)
2016 Sep 17
Awesome! Thanks Fab!
2016 Sep 17
Fab you are the perfect storm of the technical, artistry, and the ability to teach. Thank you!
2016 Sep 13
So important to know , thanks for your time Fab
2016 Sep 10
Such valuable information, thank you Fab! I love the philosophy too:)
2016 Sep 08
Thank you thank you! Never knew about ratings before...just saved my week from going through 17 takes on each of several microphones!
2016 Sep 08
Excellent Fab, I really never work with comping a vocal, thanks for the tutorial, learn a lot.
2016 Sep 08
Another Awesome Video! Thanks Fab!
2016 Sep 08
(At 24min) PREACH!!!
2016 Sep 08
really informative and cool stuff. Thank you!! Best regards from Chile.