Quick Tip: Vocal sampling and re-sampling in Logic Pro

We show you how to turn a vocal line into an intriguing playable texture in Logic Pro X.

Vox Sample/ReSample 2-1

Beyond effects processing, vocal sampling is a fantastic way to explore idiosyncratic sonic territories. Chopping up an audio file and scattering the slices across a mix is a common technique found in dance music, with variations in pitch and rhythm. Logic Pro X‘s samplers can make this a breeze, offering scope to find loop points and single one-shot notes into sustainable textures that can play chords and create unexpected ambience around a lead vocal. Here’s how easy it is.

Vocal sampling and re-sampling: step-by-step

1. Take a whole section of your track into your sampler. Initially, this will mean that the whole phrase can be triggered from a key note, meaning you could play it back higher or lower than the original recorded vocal file.

Vox Sample/ReSample 2-2

2. You’re looking for a shorter section, however, based on one sustained note. Move the start and end points until you find a promising fragment of the vocal that you’d like to manipulate. By setting Snap to Zero-X, the start and end points lock to zero-crossings, preventing the click sound that’s heard when you interrupt a sample mid-waveform.

Vox Sample/ReSample 2-3

3. Zoom in on your isolated section. Set up a forwards/backwards loop around this short part to create a sustained texture, and use a short crossfade to smooth it out. Now you have a sustained sound you can play across the entire keyboard range.

Vox Sample/ReSample 2-4

4. Your vocal loop probably sounds a little sharp tuning-wise. Use the pitch section below the sample area to adjust its core pitch. Add up a short glide time to add a touch of portamento, and engage the pitch envelope.

Vox Sample/ReSample 2-5

5. Add some unpredictability to your looped texture by setting up a random-shape LFO set to 16th notes, and route this to the filter cutoff. Choose a 24dB/octave filter, engage a little envelope-shaping and drop the cutoff frequency so that it can be modulated.

Vox Sample/ReSample 2-6

6. Keep shaping your texture within the sampler and, if you like, introduce more effects. We recommend running your vocal-chop texture through Sugar Bytes’ Turnado. If you create a new texture you like, you can always resample it.

For more Logic tutorials and workshops, check here.


Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.