I’m a classical musician playing with the demo version of Cubase. I never used any DAW yet, so forgive my very basic questions - but I didn’t find any accurate answer in the web or YouTube. Also forgive my English, I’m French
What I want to do is to be able to “fix” minor interpretation issues using multiple takes of the same piece. I’m doing a lot of early music and some instruments are sometimes hard to manage – some notes are sometimes too high/too low, some chords sound not good, etc. In my idea, the easier thing to do would be to choose the “best” take, then search for the mistakes in this take and “replace” them by fragments copied from other ones.
I don’t have any kind of “home studio”. Usually we’re just using a Zoom H4n to record us, and we got a new WAV file for each take we make. As a result, I cannot use Cubase “cycle recording” but have to import manually my takes in the project (it seems the way to proceed !). Moreover, each take - while sharing the same tempo - have it’s own slight tempo variations, which seems to introduce some complications in the usage of the “Comp” tools.
Which methodology would you use ? The “Lanes” features would be ideal to compare and create the perfect take, but it seems that using takes not perfectly temporally “aligned” defeat its purpose. In this case, copying and pasting parts from/to the different takes seems the only way to proceed. But is there some smart tools that would help me to know the best location where a take can be cut for instance, or better, something can locate the same global “fragment” of the sound in the alternates takes to perform the replacement?
I’m not sure that Cubase is the best tool for me… I mean, it seems a superb piece of software but I won’t use all the MIDI features and so on. I just want to do sound editing. Maybe I should use a “lighter” product?
it seems to me that you have considered plausible options and I think you are basically on the right way with your reasoning. If the individual takes have been recorded freely without any reference track or metronome then you cannot use the standard Group Editing for comping. I would suggest you to cut each take into individual musical phrases or segments. Then, you can select the best take for each phrase and compile the resulting “perfect” take from this selection. This approach is viable, however, you will have to glue the individual phrases very carefully in order to preserve the correct timing between phrases.
If you do not plan to use VariAudio then Cubase Elements will be sufficient for this task.
Yes this is good advice. Keep in mind that when you are comping audio like this that the Audio events you are editing in the Project Window are more like windows (not the computer kind) that let you see a section of the underlying audio file. This means that when you ‘cut’ a part into two the audio file is not split - so if you don’t get your edits in exactly the right spot it is easy enough to fix. So if you accidentally cut off the very end of a line for example, you can select the right edge of the audio and drag right to include the previously deleted audio.
Some things to keep in mind.
If you overlap Audio on the same Track they will cross-fade.
You can fine tune position, length etc of a selected part using the Info Line.
Use Track Versions (if available in Elements?) so you can try different edits & have a totally clean copy, if not available copy tracks and keep a clean copy around.
Change your grid from bars & beats to hh:mm:ss since that’s what you are really working in.
There is a section in the Ops Manual on comping the perfect vocal you should look at even though it isn’t a perfect fit for your situation.
Oh and once the dust settles & you have some time try playing around withe the midi and virtual instruments - you might become enticed.