Faster Vocal Comping

Pro Tools has a feature where the user assigns a 1-5 rating for takes, and an option to then only show takes with a 4 or 5 star rating.
Currently I assign a rating in the track description, and after I go through the good ones again until I arrive at a comp I’m happy with.
I’m wondering if there is a way to speed this up, the ratings PT thing sounds cool in terms of automatically cleaning up the lanes, not sure if something along the lines exists in Cubase…

I wanted to know your opinions, or methods and techniques to make life a little easier when your going through 15-20 vocal takes, or guitar solos.
Your input is appreciated


It’s a great feature in Pro Tools, I agree! I prefer Cubase comping overall, but this would be a very welcome and massively useful addition.

Not nearly as cool as that sounds, but one thing you can do is assign a different color for your rating #1-5. At least they will stand out visually, a big help compared to all the same color.

I´m a big fan of colour coding events (green = good, yellow = ok, red = no)
This is also a good way to handle comping takes, of course.

+1 for Protools rating feature.

Thanks to Alexis and Centralmusic for idea that saves time and paperwork/filing.

Thanks for the input.
The coloring definetely has helped! …a great bit of advice :slight_smile:
Is there a way to hotkey a few colors? Just to be super speedy on the keyboard instead of (what i do now) reaching up for the color tool scroll menu near the top of the screen and selecting a color.

You can hotkey colour selection using the Project Logical Editor and Key commands like this…
(making a new PLE preset and Key command for each colour)

KC-colorize audio.jpg

I feel the comping tool is fantastic,you can get edits done super fast

But this is a classic example of where a ‘smart’ tool would make it even better.
You can switch between the scissors and take selection hand with key switches but it isn’t very elegant.
In fact having a separate take selection tool isn’t very elegant in itself.
A ‘smart’ selection tool which switched functions depending on what part of the waveform your pointer was over would be a real workflow enhancement.
In use its a B - could do better I feel…!

I’m a little confused about what you wrote. There are no scissors involved at all when I use the comp tool. At what point are you using scissors?

And the tool does switch functions depending on what part of the waveform the hand tool is hovered over, to at least some degree (at the edge of a segment it turns to a double bar so the edge can be grabbed and dragged).

I don’t think anyone is arguing that point, though. This feature would be a fantastic and highly useful added addition to the generally well-thought-out comping system in Cubase.

There are scissors - you hold down the option key. They let you do a single cut rather than highlighting a region which does two - one at either end.
The problem is both of these create edit points across ALL takes, and I find that this often isn’t what I want - I just want to cut up a single take which requires me to go back to the normal scissor tool.

Cutting across all takes presumes that all performance are pretty similar. For vocals in a song that may be so, but for an instrumental solo section it more than likely won’t be.

Look - I’m not saying you cannot comp with this tool, I’m just saying it could do with some refinement.

Ok, th for explaining your workflow.

ulesto, thank you for the great advice! :wink:

When I want to get perfect comping results, I always do the following steps:

  1. Cut all the takes into pieces (by musical phrases or grid)
  2. Listening “horizontally” to every take in Solo mode and color the events with rating “Good” or higher — in yellow
  3. Cycle every cutting range (or wider, it depends) and listening “vertically” to every yellow event in the range. Color the events with rating “Very good” or higher — in green.
  4. Comp, trying to gather more “greens” in one line every time (to avoid a billion cuts in result)

All these take a time but the result is worth it :nerd:

P.S. I think Steinberg should implement a smarter comp tool, taking into account all our wishes. Switching between 3+ tools during comping is like a hell :imp: