WATCH TRAILER

How To Comp Vocals

Pro Video

34min

(39)

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

Fab Dupont
Exercise files
Chapters
CLICK_HERE
Transcript
CLICK_HERE
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 a Grammy winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of pureMix.net.

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 been nominated for Grammys 6 times, including two Latin Grammys and has received many other accolades around the world, including Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards and US independent music awards.

Credits

David Crosby

Queen Latifah

Jennifer Lopez

Mark Ronson

Les Nubians

Toots And The Maytals

What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
Alex94120
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 !
cesarks
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.
smoniz1972
2017 Jan 12
Fab, after completing a vocal comp, do you ever consolidate the track? Thanks
jjramos_210
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!
NovaiSound
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!!
soundspace2001
2016 Dec 08
Very helpful and very well explained!
viccieleaks
2016 Dec 07
Great as always! As a singer I can relate to not enjoying my self when someone is comping my takes haha
martijn_2m
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 !
pumafred
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?
Cuemix
2016 Oct 06
Very good, thank you
SkywayTraffic
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.
ralpherick
2016 Sep 22
very cool! merci Fab :-)
mataran
2016 Sep 17
Awesome! Thanks Fab!
aitanlevy
2016 Sep 17
Fab you are the perfect storm of the technical, artistry, and the ability to teach. Thank you!
Lowesoundmusic@icloud.com
2016 Sep 13
So important to know , thanks for your time Fab
composermikeglaser
2016 Sep 10
Such valuable information, thank you Fab! I love the philosophy too:)
keithce
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!
pearlpassion
2016 Sep 08
Excellent Fab, I really never work with comping a vocal, thanks for the tutorial, learn a lot.
mrshelbywhite
2016 Sep 08
Another Awesome Video! Thanks Fab!
cenglish222
2016 Sep 08
(At 24min) PREACH!!!
rickdrumss
2016 Sep 08
really informative and cool stuff. Thank you!! Best regards from Chile.
pmlogin