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Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part two

From: Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching

Video: Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part two

Now it's time to put our kick and snare in to give us a little bit more of an anchor with the beat. (music playing) I open up Xpand, and underneath Drums I will choose the Kicks+Snares+Sides menu, which is a nice sampling of kick drums, snare drums, and side sticks. There's my kick drum. (music playing) There is my snare drum. So I'll play these in against the hi-hat pattern that I've already recorded, and I can close the Xpand window, and here we go. (music playing) I expand the screen, highlight my MIDI region, under the Event dropdown menu, I go to Quantize, and I will choose 8th note as my Quantize grid, close that, highlight these four measures that I just played, and take a listen.

Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part two

Now it's time to put our kick and snare in to give us a little bit more of an anchor with the beat. (music playing) I open up Xpand, and underneath Drums I will choose the Kicks+Snares+Sides menu, which is a nice sampling of kick drums, snare drums, and side sticks. There's my kick drum. (music playing) There is my snare drum. So I'll play these in against the hi-hat pattern that I've already recorded, and I can close the Xpand window, and here we go. (music playing) I expand the screen, highlight my MIDI region, under the Event dropdown menu, I go to Quantize, and I will choose 8th note as my Quantize grid, close that, highlight these four measures that I just played, and take a listen.

(music playing) I'll cut these MIDI regions out, return my playhead to the beginning of the track, and paste, Command+V. And just like I did with the hi-hat pattern, I'll use the Command+D key to just duplicate this kick-snare pattern all the way through the entire song.

Now I'm still hearing a little bit of a drop-out in one of the hi-hat parts, so let's scope this out very quickly. This is easy to solve. We have a 4-bar hi-hat pattern, and beat 1 actually got chopped off. So all we need to do is highlight the last two bars of the 4-bar phrase, Command+C, hit Return to move the playhead to the beginning of the session, and hit Command+V, and now we've restored it. Now I will take these two 2-bar phrases and copy and paste those with the Command+D key.

I'll put the hi-hat back to Small View, hit Return to movie the playhead back to the beginning of the song, and let's take a listen to our beat. (music playing) Excellent! Now I can turn off the Pro Tools Click. Now we'll put Pro Tools in Slip mode, expand the size of the vocal track to Jumbo and start to listen through different parts of the song to see how tight Judy's vocals are against this beat.

I'll start with the first verse and just listen in for a few measures to see how everything sounds. And I'll make sure to put my playhead on a downbeat, not in the middle of a measure. (music playing) Excellent! All of that sounds really tight against our programmed drum pattern.

Now I'll move further into this song here if anything has drifted. (music playing) That somewhere at the end of that phrase felt a little bit late to me. I'll zoom in on it, make sure that this is exactly where that word occurs.

(music playing) Zoom in even closer, and I'll create a slice within my clip, and I'll make another slice here at the end of this section that I'm interested in moving. If you look up here under nudge, and I pull down this menu, Pro Tools is set to a 10-millisecond nudge. I like to use the Plus and Minus signs to move my audio around in situations like this. As you can see, I use the Minus sign to move it to the left and the Plus sign to move it to the right.

So I know that it's a little bit late, so let's start by moving 30 milliseconds to the left, which will be three clicks of the Minus key. Let's take a listen. (music playing) I think you could go a little bit further to the left. Let's try 20 more milliseconds, take a listen. (music playing) Let's roll that back a little bit. (music playing) That feels much better to me, listening on.

(music playing) All that sounds great against the groove. Listening further into the song.

Again, putting our playhead on a down beat. (music playing) Excellent! All that sounds great against the MIDI Groove.

So this is exactly the type of scenario that causes most remixers to walk away and not take part of the project. So I hope that this gives you some hope when it comes to dealing with the remixing situation like this. Keep in mind, most remixers don't know what to do with a vocal that's not in 4/4 time, which is exactly why I give projects like this a chance. The less competition, the better my chances are for my mix to be accepted.

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This video is part of

Image for Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching
Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching

32 video lessons · 5939 viewers

Josh Harris
Author

 
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  1. 5m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      46s
    3. Why did we record this course in four different digital audio workstations (DAWs)?
      45s
    4. Using the exercise files
      2m 24s
  2. 3m 4s
    1. What is time stretching/expanding?
      1m 4s
    2. Exploring different time-stretching scenarios in remixing
      2m 0s
  3. 31m 17s
    1. Understanding where to get a capella vocal tracks
      2m 30s
    2. Time stretching in Pro Tools
      6m 44s
    3. Time stretching in Logic Pro
      4m 51s
    4. Time stretching in Reason
      5m 17s
    5. Time stretching in Ableton Live
      5m 16s
    6. Understanding the roles of multiple DAWs in a time-stretching workflow
      1m 2s
    7. Dealing with wet vocal stems
      4m 2s
    8. Choosing the tempo for different styles or genres
      1m 35s
  4. 21m 6s
    1. Importing vocals and using the 10% time-stretch rule
      7m 42s
    2. Comparing several vocal time stretches at faster BPMs
      6m 20s
    3. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      7m 4s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Setting up your session for double timing a vocal
      7m 27s
    2. Double timing the music and then time stretching the vocals to a slower BPM
      8m 54s
    3. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      10m 22s
  6. 28m 53s
    1. Setting up your session to slow down a vocal track
      2m 34s
    2. Calculating the BPM and tempo of the original track
      4m 18s
    3. Time stretching the vocals to a slower BPM
      6m 46s
    4. Comping the time-stretched vocal and the original vocal
      6m 49s
    5. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      8m 26s
  7. 54m 12s
    1. Starting from a pre-existing Pro Tools multitrack session
      13m 34s
    2. Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part one
      9m 55s
    3. Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part two
      7m 37s
    4. Subdividing 6/8 time and changing the time signature to 4/4
      7m 5s
    5. Editing vocal phrasing to work with 4/4 time
      7m 0s
    6. Time stretching the vocals to a faster BPM
      9m 1s
  8. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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