From Armin van Buuren's MasterClass

Vocal Session, Part 2: Comping

Once Josh has finished singing, it’s time to “comp” his vocal performance. Watch Armin’s veteran ears and musical instincts at work as he and Josh select the best parts of each vocal take.

Topics include: Comping

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Once Josh has finished singing, it’s time to “comp” his vocal performance. Watch Armin’s veteran ears and musical instincts at work as he and Josh select the best parts of each vocal take.

Topics include: Comping

Armin van Buuren

Teaches Dance Music

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- So now Josh left the vocal booth. He's here with me, and we're going to comp the first verse-- the first takes of the first verse. And I just want to have his opinion as well. I think it's important to know if he's happy with the recording that we just did. So what I'm going to do now, if you're OK with that, I'm going to go over each individual line, and play all the lines to him. And then we can both pick our favorites. And sometimes it means that he has a different favorite than me, and then we go into a discussion. So I'm really curious to see what he thinks of his vocal performance. So the first line in the song would be here. It's-- "she woke up in the morning" is the first line. So the first take was here. So I'm going to select the first take. And then I'm going to send it-- I'm going to send this to the stereo output for the moment. JOSH (ON RECORDING): (SINGING) She woke up in the morning. She woke up in the morning. She woke up in the morning. She woke up in the morning. She woke up in the morning. - One more time, first take. JOSH (ON RECORDING): (SINGING) She woke up in the morning. JOEL: Second take. JOSH (ON RECORDING): (SINGING) She woke up in the morning. JOEL: The third take. JOSH (ON RECORDING): (SINGING) She woke up in the morning. She woke up in the morning. JOEL: Do you have a favorite? - I don't know. It's between one and four for me, I think. - Really? - One's a little more subtle. Yeah. But I do like four. - I think the timing on three was good. - Three is also-- yeah. Two was definitely the one I don't like. - Two is the one you don't like? Why you don't like it? - Play it back. JOSH (ON RECORDING): (SINGING) She woke up in the morning. - That "C" on "cup" is so aggressive. To me, it has no feeling. (SINGING) She woke up. It's like a violent awakening. - OK. So your favorite would be one or four. JOSH (ON RECORDING): (SINGING) She woke up in the morning. - It's more subtle. - Yeah. - It feels like an opening line. - It's that morning. (SINGING) Morning. JOSH (ON RECORDING): (SINGING) She woke up in the morning. - This feels a little bit lazy. Laid back. Too laid back. - Mm hm. - So again, we were right. The very first take was the one. So for the first line, we've just selected the very first take. So that's going to go up. So I've selected this, and now I'm going to go to the second line. Again, first I'm going to play the very first take, which is this one. So I'm going to select this. Vocal comping is a very personal process. It is really what makes you an artist. And I think it's always very important to do it together with the vocalist, because he or she probably knows her voice the best. But I'm also knowing, as an artist, what I'm looking for, what kind of emotion I want. And I think you also have to take into account the meaning of the lyric, how you want that to come across. And somet...

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Every week, Armin van Buuren puts 41 million listeners into A State of Trance on his radio show. In his first-ever online class, the platinum-selling DJ breaks down his hits and builds a track from scratch to show you how he produces, performs, and promotes dance music. You’ll learn his technical process for using samples and plug-ins, mixing, recording vocals, and how to DJ a set. Your crowd is waiting.

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Armin is an amazing teacher and it was great to get some inside views into his creative process. Very inspiring and informative.

Wow... that an inspiration Armin is. I've been in a slum the past couple of years when it comes to making music. I needed something like this to help turn the page and start a new chapter.

Firstly, I will be re-viewing many sections and details of the class. As an established recording artist of a different genre, It was none the less very relative, inspiration and entertaining as a set of lectures. Thank you. Valor

Amazing DJ and a true inspirational guy to learn from. Thanks Armin your music and radio show is the best! If I can learn one skill from your motivation, positivity and talents then its a privilege to get that class info! Having fun and producing your passion is truly a blessing to do!

Comments

Kenneth S.

With all of the everything in this lesson to note, it's the bit about making an agreement with a singer before you get started. I very very helpful item later on, but it puts everybody on the same page and removes future issues. I like that...

Dale H.

I find it really interesting to hear what the unprocessed vocals sound like compared to the finished product. The impact of the doubling, reverb, and other effects is really noticeable when A/Bing this lesson to the finished product!

Thiago

Amazing class on attitude in the studio with the musician. I remember the first time I recorded someone singing and now I see I had the worst attitude. Now I think I learned how to be nice and to create a good environment in the studio.

Szymon W.

I would be interested in seeing how this tune has been made more than the trance stuff. I'd love to see the songwriting and coming up with ideas more like this.

Rafa M.

I personally have no problem with autotune, unless it is used to compensate for someone who doesn't sing. But, let's face it, not every singer (even if trained) sings perfectly, so it's fine to add some slight autotune to fix some notes. Also, it can have creative uses as in Daft Punk's second album

Keegan D.

I agree that having the vocalist's opinion is crucial because he/she knows their voice the best and if you're trying to choose the right vocal takes for the track, you're just going to be guessing and the track won't have the same feel as you'd probably like it to have.

Mark S.

For vocals I like to use Melodyne 4 Editor - It keeps a natural feel even with some major fixes.

Eric

I didn't know that Logic could do all those takes on the vocals and then help you with comping!

DeWayne A.

This has been eyeopening for me. Having used many different software packages since the early 90s I can see that I need to spend more time learning Logic's advanced functions. I've always been an instrumentalist, and I really want to start learning how to record voices. My children are starting to gravitate to their areas of music and I want to be able to guide each. Of my 5, I have 3 singers, two composers/producers, one songwriter and two multi-instrumentalists.

Team Asota Music A.

i have many time wave tape from artist and she return me sometime by track for better Vocal , my next productions by Vocal will only into my studio record . 1 of all all is live reocrding the Vocal can after self saying ok we let stand this part ! Is really easy when you have a good Vocal , by Internet and by Facebook i have many Vocals test not all have really my Tune found into my productions ! Not way i am make a bad track this not she found not the key and she singing to long parts i like Artist what have profi like feeling by Singing great productions and i love we armin me look into eyes i have see armin is a full profi by Music Happy Asot Day Trancefamily and dont miss Armin next day at 8 pm by #asot854