Before you start recording vocals

Last update: April 5th 2019

Want to share your singing skills on social media? Then you’d want to learn about Logic. In this tutorial, I’ll be explaining what you need to prepare before you start recording your vocals.

Import Music To Logic Pro X

Music and vocals are recorded in separate sessions. Obviously, you bring together when you record your vocals. If you’ve created the music yourself in another session, you will bounce that into a WAV file. However, if you download instrumentals from website, you most likely get to work with an MP3 file.

In Logic, you can just drag and drop your music onto a track. To create a new track, just click on the + (plus) in the left corner. You can just leave the default settings as is, but turn of Recording Enabled. You won’t be needing to record on this track, because you’ll place the music here. Then, just drag and drop your music file onto the track and wait for the import to be finished. This doesn’t take too long. You can then move the file to the beginning of your timeline.

Get On The Grid

Logic has a really cool grid to work with. If you use this, it will make your life so much easier, because you can use the grid to correct any timing issues. This is especially of interest when you record with multiple vocals or background vocals. Basically, you can get them to sound really tight this way.

In order to get on the grid, you need to know the track’s beats per minute and apply that to the session. By default Logic sets a session to 120 bpm.

How To Detect The BPM (Beats Per Minute)

When you use instrumentals made by others, you probably don’t know what the BPM (beats per minute) is of the track. No problem though. Logic can try to measure it for you. It’s not a bullet proof method, but it comes close enough.

Select the track that contains your music file and go to the mixing panel. You can see this on the left of your session, or open it up the full panel with Command+2 (I would imagine this would be Control+2 on a Windows computer, but I don’t know).

  • Click on Audio Effects to access the plugin menu.
  • Go to Metering
  • BPM counter

Screenshot 2014-10-06 19.55.33

Once the metering is turned on, playback the track. Don’t play it from the intro, if the intro is slower. You want to find out the BPM of the majority of the track, so pick a hook to play.

A pop up appears and you’ll get values in a few seconds:

This beat it 100 BPM

This beat is 100 BPM

Adjust The BPM Of The Session

To adjust the BPM of the session, double click the value of BPM at the top of your session. Change it to your new setting and the grid changes accordingly.

Screenshot 2014-10-06 20.10.19

Align Files

Even though your music file is at the start of the timeline, it doesn’t mean that your beat is aligned with the grid. Find the down beat of your song. This is the first beat that starts a loop within your music (assuming you’re making pop music). Move all files (on all tracks, if you are using more) to have the down beat align to a whole number. If you’d be working on music, you could now loop the whole section between whole numbers and it should loop perfectly:

Screenshot 2014-10-06 20.27.30

You’re ready to go for recording your vocals. Just create a new track and start adding your singing.

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