Friday Tips: How to Normalize Comped Takes
Comping’s goal is to piece together the best parts of multiple Takes (vocals, guitar, etc.) into a single, cohesive part. This involves Studio One’s loop recording, which repeats a section of music over and over during a looped section. You record another Take during each pass, while previous Takes are muted. Doing multiple takes without having to stop lets you get comfortable, and try different approaches. Once you have multiple versions, you audition and select the best sections.
However, when auditioning the Takes to decide which sections are best, it’s helpful to compare levels that are as similar as possible. Normalization is the right tool for this—but while it’s not yet possible to normalize individual Takes, there’s a simple solution.
- Right-click on the main, parent Track for the Takes and choose Unpack Layers to Tracks (Fig. 1).
Figure 1: The four Takes right immediately below the parent vocal have been unpacked into four Tracks (color-coded blue).
- Next, select all the audio in the new Tracks.
- Type Ctrl+B and then Alt+N. This normalizes all the Tracks.
- Right-click on each Take’s audio and choose Delete (do not delete the Take itself; see Fig. 2).
Figure 2: The Takes have been deleted. The four normalized tracks are below.
- Select the audio in the new Tracks.
- Drag the audio from the new Tracks up, so that they replace where the Takes were (Fig. 3).
Figure 3: The normalized Track audio now occupies the Take Lanes.
- The empty Tracks are no longer needed, so remove them.
- And that’s all there is to it—now you can take advantage of Studio One’s Take-oriented comping tools, as well as the Listen tool (keyboard shortcut 8), with normalized audio.