Comping, Schmomping, I Don’t Need No Stinking Comping!

There are many ways to record vocals but there are two major ways, each of which have their proponents.

1) is to record the vocal track(s) and then go back and have the snger punch in to try and fix any areas where the pitch or the feeling or the timing is off.

2) called comping, is to have the singer record half a dozen takes, one after the other, and then listen to each track and choose the great sections from each track and combine them into the final composited master vocal track.

There are pluses and minuses to both approaches:

With 1) it can be hard on the singer because he/she has to have more attention on getting it perfect plus when punching in it’s sometimes hard to get a good continuity of feeling.

With 2) there’s more work involved with comping, especially for the producer and engineer but usually a more relaxed (in a good way) vocal with more continuity of feeling.

I personally often like the comping approach but different producers, singers and engineers have varying views on this. What about you – which do you prefer?

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