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In this course, author Josh Harris demonstrates constructing a remix using only a pre-existing vocal track as a starting point. The course shows how to time-stretch vocals, offers suggestions for establishing a musical direction, and explains how to audition and layer Apple loops. The course also covers programming beats using synths, generating vocal samples, arranging the remix, and creating master-quality final mixes.
While the last movie dealt with placing a misaligned vocal over a kick drum, I'm actually going to import the proper vocals that were sent to me that I know line up over the kick drum. I open up the Audio Bin by hitting the B key, underneath Audio File, I choose Add Audio File, and I'm going to choose this vocal which I know is at 112 beats per minute. Drag it onto the Arrange window, close the Audio Bin by hitting B again and just to double check, we will play this audio file over our kick drum.
(Music playing) And actually, let's scan up into the song a little bit further. (Music playing) I'll even go to the very end to make sure that nothing's drifted. (Music playing) Okay, so we're in excellent shape here.
We know that this vocal is actually at 112 beats per minute. It is lining up over our kick drum at 112 beats per minute, and now I will set up Flex Mode which will actually analyze the audio file and allow us to change the session's BPM on the fly. In other words, once Flex Mode has analyzed this Audio File, I can pick a new tempo and the file will change and be exactly on beat with the kick drum at the new tempo like it is right now at 112 beats per minute. So, in the Inspector window, I'm going to click on the second arrow and you can see the Flex Mode is off.
I will choose Polyphonic. I highly recommend choosing polyphonic for all vocals. Rhythmic deals with more drum loops, Monophonic might be something like a baseline, but for vocals, I always choose Polyphonic. Flex Mode has analyzed the file and all I need to do now is experiment with a couple of different BPMs. So we are at 112, let's just choose 120 just to hear what that's starting to sound like, and again, I'll go into the meat of the song here. (Music playing) Okay, so the vocal is still locked up over the kick drum.
I prefer the BPMs of my remixes to be in the 125 to 132 range. The reason that I prefer the 125 to 132 BPM range is that I generally work on full vocal remixes that are geared towards mix show and radio. They're also played in the clubs, but generally these are the types of remixes that I work on. Now by no means are you forced to use the same BPMs that I'm using. But I do think it's important to think about your audience here. If you're looking to do a club remix and you know that the DJs who will be playing your remix play records that are in this BPM range then it doesn't really make sense to do a remix that's at 98 BPM.
So I'll actually go ahead and bump this up to 125 and again, I want to listen to the meat of the song. (Music playing) And again, just to be thorough, I'm going to fast forward up to the end of the song to make sure that nothing has drifted. (Music playing) Excellent. So every theme sounds fantastic.
The vocal sounds good at this tempo. I wouldn't push it too much further, it's important to sit with the vocals at different BPMs and listen to them, just a vocal over a kick drum, and find any areas of the song where you might hear what we call artifacts. The voice starts to sound a little unnatural. I think it's extremely important to spend time during this part of the process. Once you commit to a BPM and you bring in audio files and you start to build your track, it's not impossible to change the BPM later on down the road, but it certainly is a lot easier if you're able to commit to a BPM at this stage of the game and I highly recommend taking the time to listen to the entire song all the way through to make sure that you are 100% certain that this BPM will work for you.
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