Quick Swipe Comping in Logic Pro

For achieving that perfect vocal take, Logic Pro has one of the most convenient tools going in Quick Swipe Comping. For example, loop up your chorus and have your vocalist re-sing the chorus section over and over. Logic will automatically begin comping the takes after it loops first time round. Once finished with recording, you can simply click and drag over the sections from each take you want to include, Logic intelligently creates crossfades between takes to avoid any pop or clicks in the audio.

Once you’re happy, clicking on the Region dropdown you can perform a number of functions such as ‘Flatten and Merge’ takes or even unpack the individual takes to new tracks.

Spot Delay FX

A great technique for breaking up and adding interest to vocal chops or phrases is to use some spot delay. Activating a very pronounced delay only on certain words or sections. This can be achieved by automating the delay effect, or creating a separate channel and placing the delay effect on the new channel and drag over any audio you want the effect to sound on. Glitchy and twisted delay FX work well here, vibe dependent of course. Or if there is a pause after the phrase, try automating some delay times for a less conventional sound.

Bus Send Processing

A nice way to control effects applied to your vocal is to sidechain the effect to the vocal itself. Place your vocal reverb on a separate auxiliary channel, set up your effect, dial in a send amount to taste, and then place a compressor on the auxiliary channel but make sure it is placed after the reverb. On the compressor, activate the sidechain functions and direct the sidechain to the vocal. Set up some sidechain compression settings, such as fast attack and release and pull down the threshold until you get roughly -6db gain reduction. Now when the vocal sounds the compressor will duck the reverb effect, meaning it’s much less prominent when the vocal is playing, which will lead to a cleaner vocal mix. This technique also works great with delay effects, creating an almost ‘talk and response’ like

Set up some sidechain compression settings, such as fast attack and release and pull down the threshold until you get roughly -6db gain reduction. Now when the vocal sounds the compressor will duck the reverb effect, meaning it’s much less prominent when the vocal is playing, which will lead to a cleaner vocal mix. This technique also works great with delay effects, creating an almost ‘talk and response’ like interplay between vocal phrases and effects.

Vocal Chops

An excellent technique for creating complex sounding vocal edits is to use some resampling. Take your vocal loop and load it into a sampler, use your Sampler’s slicing feature to chop the audio into slices. Experiment with the various different modes for slicing such as Transients, Beat/Grid Divisions, Equal Regions, Manual). Once you’ve applied the slices, each section of the loop will be triggered by a note on the keyboard. Typically your sampler will apply these slices to your keyboard beginning at C-2 and upwards, taking note of what key range will trigger your slices, you can now play back in vocal chops on your keyboard or controller, and quickly sketch out some glitchy sounding vocal edits.

Once you’ve applied the slices, each section of the loop will be triggered by a note on the keyboard. Typically your sampler will apply these slices to your keyboard beginning at C-2 and upwards, taking note of what key range will trigger your slices, you can now play back in vocal chops on your keyboard or controller, and quickly sketch out some glitchy sounding vocal edits.

Serial Compression

An effective technique for applying compression to vocals is to apply them in serial, meaning one after the other. Rather than using the single compressor for all the work, this technique also allows for more control after each compressor is applied. Some producers will opt to compress by a small amount, eg. -2db to -4db, EQ to re-address the frequency balance where necessary, and then compress again by another couple of db. If you’re using analog

If you’re using analog modelled compressors this is also a great way to add the character from a number of different compressors into the vocal chain. The Teletronix LA-2A is a classic compressor known for its subtle warming qualities. Numerous emulations have been made of this compressor by UAD, Waves, Softube, Cakewalk and more. Essentially known as a levelling amplifier, this is an ideal compressor to use first in the chain for serial vocal compression, levelling off the peaks of your vocal and serving up a slightly less dynamic signal for your next compressor to work with.