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Studio Pass with Tommy Rogers and Jamie King

Lesson 23 of 32

Vocal Editing with VocAlign

Tommy Rogers, Jamie King

Studio Pass with Tommy Rogers and Jamie King

Tommy Rogers, Jamie King

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Lesson Info

23. Vocal Editing with VocAlign

Lesson Info

Vocal Editing with VocAlign

Like they were going through let's let's pretend we've gone through and track these vocals and we're one hundred percent confident that all these vocals or the best vocals we can get the appropriate vocals for this song once we've established that that these air the the final and best vocals for the song like I said again, I don't do any vocal comping um look, I just tracked this stuff over and over until it's right in there until I feel like, uh you know, it's something I can work with in the mix like I said earlier I usually I'm consciously thinking about, um you know, you know, a am I going going to be tuning these vocals and I'm going to be lining these vocals up and usually the answer is yes let's listen a client with an aversion to tuning or something like that and they want it to be natural on purpose, you know, then obviously that lets me there that we need to really work a lot harder because you've got to get the tuning you have to get the rhythm, you have to get the the tone,...

the pronunciation, attitude, energy all that stuff has to be exactly the way it's going to be, you know? But I haven't you know these tools help you save time and money and save through, you know, honestly too you know tbe eliminate the element of rhythms you can adjust the rhythm to a degree and actually be able to eliminate that you know the you know the intonation to a degree you know obviously you want to sing it close to pitch but it doesn't have to be perfect obviously we have, you know, itunes like in terrorist auto tune uh melody ieds a popular one that I don't use these are tools that allow you to actually just the intonation make the vocal sound a little more perfect you're gonna actually use extreme settings to make the vocal sound robotic or synthesizer like which is a popular thick but I personally you like to use these tools um just to get things a little more in the ballpark pitch wise and send a little more pleasing without sounding mechanical and I'll show you how I do that in a moment but first thing obviously you want to do just like with the you know with the guitars and with the the drums and everything else basically you want to know a strip it and what I mean by that is like any of the bleed any of the the audio information that's not actually you know, intended to be in the mix you want tio actually get rid of so what I do is I just zoom up and I just manually like said I usually perform the I usually keep the breaths on the primary vocals but I delete the breaths on the backing vocals and uh there's a reason for that and I'll get into that momentarily um you don't want to get rid of all the breaths because it's to me it sounds unnatural some people actually do but you know you know breathing said natural thing that happens when you do vocals no if it's there's a really annoying breath or there's a breath before a punchy part and you want to accentuate the impact it maybe you can cut it you know but it's a good rule of thumb just just tio to get rid of all the noise and keep the breaths on the primary tricks and normally when you're starting out you might want to ah listen to it I know what the breast look like like this is noise this's noise this is the breath so if I'm going too fast for you here but these back invokes I'm just going to get rid of the breath these all these I usually pan stereo all these extra layers on you notice I'm just kind of skipping around object is to get all the the noise off the tracks like the rustling of the mike and sometimes you hear leer s and stuff you know paper uh sometimes it gets to be a white noise it looks good to me we're gonna be a little more detail about it but uh yes, so we've gone through all our vocals and we cut out all the noise and this is something I often just to save time multitask while the vocals is tracking, I'll be working on this stuff, lily listening at the same time and you know that way like said there's, you don't think this hey, he messed up just like with the guitars or something like that. You don't think I will hey, hey there's a popper noise in that track when really it's just something on another track. Ah, but again here I'm going to a batch fade a two beginning and insurance and we do a longer fade to make sure the interest is an exits of these uh, these regions were smooth and clean. D'oh do a little longer fifty million the second thing I'm going to do and I did not check to see if they had this on here but there's a plug in called vocal line and we do have it great. This is the pro version. I actually have the project version. This is a fantastic plug in that is a huge time saver, which basically saves the client money but saves, you know, save your sanity as a producer uh, you know, ideally you want to your doubles to be ah, matchup rhythmically and sometimes the vocals tommy did a really good job here, you know it's like starting in stopping it me see if I can find one that's like not exactly on time I think some of these screams yeah, like these right here you got the screens, you see, he stop a little bit later. Um on the screen and this is a tool that can kind of help help match these these lengths of the parts up in stuff again, this is just a tool just like would be detective it works, works perfect eighty five percent of the time ninety five percent of time, but that's a significant savings in time, whatever in the look at the amount of work that needs to be done. But like I said, after I do that I usually do the, uh the vocal linemen you can do this manually, I'll show you how to do that, man you before I get into that. Like I said again earlier, I like the did you design time compressing expansion default let's go back so that's more visual will go back to the screen and again, this is just a mano track, and I'll show you why here, instrument, but you can use time compression expansion, plug in to manually line it up like the end of this you've got to be careful that there's not more notes I better listen to this to see if I'm stretching the correct portion because obviously if you he stretched it from the beginning it's going to do it's going to mess up your rhythm of this information this is on now now this is off so listen to this just real quick so this is a screen track eyes this is all one pitch I could take this whole piece and stretched that and all these rhythms still stay in the ballpark that's the you know, the manual lining it up now like said with vocal line you could actually you can get a lot you know, it's actually a lot more detail than you can actually ever get with a manual vocal lineman or whatever because it I mean it get a line of your breaths everything I think this was designed originally for like both voice overdubs for like movie audio stuff like so you have some bad, you know, dialogue with noise in the background you want to redo the vocals and like to get it exactly in time they developed this, I believe, and they just realize that would work well from music audio too, but all you gotta do is a guide and dubbed these I don't know what most of the stuff does because mine doesn't have um but I would just assume it's I usually use the default setting on the vocal on project so I'm assuming this is gonna work the same but I will take the guide let's let's say we listen to our primary vocal and we're going to say ok you know all these ah all of these times and rhythms are are good and I like it let's pretend like tommy you know um tommy saying this and it was like you know, behind the beat or something you know significantly normally I would listen to this is you know I consider this vocal kwan ties ing but basically said it's putting the vocal intent and I just nudge it off time on purpose but I would normally listen to it make it pretty crazy say that dude doesn't have any time in what's a very yeah I literally just physically move it or you can set you a nudge and just nudge it until it sounds in time and it it sounds time probably close to weigh in but it's a normally I would double check all the primary vocals to make sure the timings were correct before I start this local line product you know of course if I tracked the vocals you know I usually have a mental database and like ok then always good you I actually like I kind of fix some of this stuff as I go along so I don't have to worry about thinking about it later if I noticed like hey came in a little light there and you khun like I said, the big difference between guitars and bass and drum quantifies it you can't really just look at you can't look at thea at the transient and match it up with a click or the drums all always because like I said, this constant sound or plus of whatever would be you know needs to be early to sound right? So you know you can't really go through and just like gridded out or used, you know, be detective or anything like that cause it's uh you really just have to rely on here and what sounds natural like said if you look at that you would think hey, this is coming in early but it's really not because the actual you know, downbeat of the word is actually here some uh so basically, like said, the only way to qantas vocals just to do it manually and its and hopefully not as mrs syria I mean, I've done a lot of records and, you know, with bt bam you have you need both qantas qan ties the drums or track the drones really solid to a click and then like I said, the uh so all that all the time when we do track vocal so thomas got a good since the natural rhythm so he can actually scream do the screams and the singing on time whatever but likes that everyone's well I'll get a band or a vocalist who ah you know has you know has difficulties with rhythms patterns you know and I've had bands where I've had to go through and um you know kwon ties the whole thing it's almost every phrase you know that's not obviously not idea and it's usually not something you would even notice live so it's a little ahead or behind but on the record you want to be in the pocket you know it sounds better ah but you like a setback to the vocal line I just grabbed the guy we're going to say this is going to be our guide it's the perfect suddenly capture that here's that and we want this to match that so let's click our dubbed button capture spot and it in theory lined it up perfectly here's before you could say this is a little after years now it's like right on it it's great to know there's different settings on here I know you can you can make it sink harder or softer depending on you know I usually leave it on the standard the default setting sounds really good to me it doesn't sound too tight yeah you know I would just go through the whole um record with our dubs for those you washing like said these these double vocals we're going to use those in this record, whatever, because this it was just kind of how we did it on the record. You sounded cool. Have that natural course, but a lot of times I would not necessarily have I'll have a double just as an extra. Um I'm sorry. This is a demonic but I have a double whatever. Just to serve as an extra take just in case it in tune up writer there's ah, pronunciation. Like sometimes people were pronunciation like the end of the word if it's like and then the words sometimes that's not his is defined as that may be another take and sometimes you need the more defined so you can take it from the other take even though you're not using it in the mix it's about as far as I go with confidence tighten up the ends here this important would do and this is good to have the same starting point. So it's, part of why I do this after I I do the whole noise stripping thing. Yeah, just it works better started here, but does this one starts here? Pure duh spot. Every time you get pretty fast, food got to be careful. One thing I forgot to do that I normally do is, as I say, even unedited version except for it, just like I was discussing with the drums for anything that you added heavily, just save an unedited version. Just go ahead and do that just in case, because every once in a while, these poor ganz and sometimes you're you accidentally just mess up something, you know, let me just throw it out here for now needed to save its, you know, you could create the extra playlist or just throw it out to the side or save a whole another pro choice position, but whatever you know, so you could if you mess up something or something gets messed up or lost in the mix, you can quickly just grab what you need. That's, where we left off, and I recommend doing this ah, before vocal tuning, and I will show you why momentarily, particularly for unison. Doubles makes it quicker because you can copy the, uh some of the vocal tuning commands over. I'm almost done, so I'm going to finish this out. So is this something to that you would usually have your brother do? Here's justin, do I have before something you like to normally we'll see part of the thing and I didn't do it here just because they want to confuse people like that. I mean, a lot of times of me telling me I'm sure you see me I'm out what he'll be tracking or taking your radio real time yeah, you know I'm like, hey, let me just vocal two knees right quick while where he's going over these lyrics or and sometimes you're sections where you're like, I'm not really quite sure if that's going to work and he'll kind of get it more in the ballpark of how it would sound on the actual record yes, so we could work, which is great because you know, you don't want to spend a lot of time doing something that's not gonna work right? So he'll get in the ballpark and you can kind of you know their decide what you want to do with the part you know, I think it's important to say I'm makes us like it saves time for the client and it's more inspirational listen, teo and like said, you kind of get an idea of what's going to work or not, you know, like I've had, you know, there's the engineers who, you know I've recorded to pass and they don't worry about it you're getting, you know, getting good sounds good mix anything it's like yours, like I hope this is going to sound good in the final product like I don't know like you got a completely trust a guy and he doesn't do a good job but it's like we've kind of had that experience with god think of it as an engineer's producer it's kind of you know, I I do you know ask people to trust me on something something was just too time consuming tio like the drone kwan tai zing thing you know we can't you know I'm almost there qantas a song for two hours just to make sure it works you know that you know a lot times I know it's going to work or whatever so I just asked people in some instances like that I'm like you just kind of got to trust me like it's going this is actually it's going to be great I think early on it might be more difficult once you establish a career and reputation like it's something that I think a lot of the editing aspects of recording a lot of times I think people take it personally like it hits on their ego oh yeah and I think it's important to know that it's not you know an engine is not saying that what you do is poor if you have to make a little tweaks here and there because it's you know a lot of the records back in the day that they had the time you know, there's rumors of, you know def leppard songs where they spent like weeks on a verse you know that you can't do that anymore you can't you don't have the money you don't have the budget or anything it is not necessary yeah I wouldn't want to do that that's basically you're ruing literally of section for days and they didn't have these tools you know that's that's one thing that I feel like as an engineer and as a producer myself I try to use these tools responsibly I'm not using these tools to help people cheat per se uh you know I want to you know basically use these tools to save time and money in the studio and get that more slick produce product that a lot of people would one expect but the same time I'm trying to do it responsibly I'm not going tune tommy's voice of two pitches he can't ever hit are you know you know you know pitch down you know you know lows that you can't ever scream you know it's like that it's just to me that's going to four with the technology there's always the live show I think people if you can't do what you record you can't play live unless you fake it which people do but you know I think that schools and affect you know sometimes every once in a while I'll pull you know it was somebody said hey I want a kind of a vocoder type vocal you know, so there's there's you know there's bending of the rules here and there and things like that but like I said, well, I think we mentioned yesterday and we never will probably talk about the business discussion is that you know, rock and metal has traditionally been a performance based art and I think it should be that I think that's where the money is obviously nowadays you know, for the artist his perform shows so you need to be good for formers and you did write a record that represents your performance you know, I think you know, some people obviously don't care about that newt is right they want to do it just they're focused on just a good quality record and composition things like that and there's nothing wrong with that but I just think in terms of ah you know in terms of actually making a living doing music I think is a big consideration something you know I honestly like and when record bands and this is skipping way back are either far ahead or way back in the discussions but always tried my hey what your goals you know, if I don't know who the ban on you guys you want to do this for a living or you want to do this for hobby uh you guys you know are banned or you're gonna performance stuff a lot I tried it and it helps me, you know, helps dictate how I approach, you know, the recording, the production, the editing, mixing and stuff like that, some of the stuff, you know, you know, some of this stuff might not be an issue for guys like I'm never going to play this. I just wanted make this stuff in my head on, you know, like, hey, let's, do whatever we gotta do. You wanna do that quickly and efficiently? Uh, yeah, I think that was all of the vocal alignment. If you guys noticed, look at the screens now. Well, just that quick. I mean, it's, just like right on time.

Class Description

Get an inside look at how things run in the studio with Tommy Rogers & Jamie King in this Studio Pass.

Tommy is the vocalist for the progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me and has worked with Jamie to produce most of the band’s albums. In this class, they’ll share their signature approach to production and detail the process they used to record Tommy’s latest solo album “Modern Noise”.

Both Tommy and Jamie aim to track songs that sound organic and real. In Studio Pass: Tommy Rogers & Jamie King, they’ll show you how things should run in a studio to get a final track that sounds like the band on their best day, but not over-produced.

You’ll learn about the role good pre-production plays in getting the best sound and what you should do before you ever set foot inside the studio. You’ll learn about the recording process as Tommy and Jamie track drums, bass, vocals, and guitar for a song from Tommy’s solo album. They’ll also deconstruct Pro Tools sessions and talk about how performance impacts the final arrangement.

If you want to learn how these guys work in the studio, don’t miss your chance to hang for two days with Tommy and Jamie and get a behind-the-scenes look at their process.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Jamie King - Tommy Rogers - Gear List.pdf

Jamie King - Tracking Template.ptf

bonus material with enrollment

Tommy Rogers and Jamie King - Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Zachary Towne

Thanks for two outstanding sessions. Tommy, Jamie and the Creative Live folks really did a great job elucidating the studio recording process for producing honest, listenable, and powerful rock and metal recordings. I particularly appreciated the individual treatment of each instrument as well as how they all integrate into the mix. I found Jamie's methods to be straightforward and effective and I'm really looking forward to applying that to my own production.

a Creativelive Student

Another well done class from Creativelive. A glimpse into the daily life of a pro musician and pro engineer. Some great advice, tips and tricks that anyone can use to make better music. Was hoping they would get more into the business side of things, they did briefly discuss it towards the end, however a more detailed, longer discussion on the topic would have been good. You do learn some cool ways to record and mix. Some of these are obvious, some not so much. I am sure that for most people you will get something of value from this class.


This was an awesome 1st half of the course! Jamie touched on so many things that I've always had questions about in the production environment. I can't wait for the second day! This course is a MUST HAVE!! I will be purchasing it soon!! Many thanks for the Livestream!