Vocal chops are at an all time high in popularity with DJ'S like Martin Garrix, Mesto, DJ Snake, Diplo, Skrillex, and many more executing them at a very professional quality.
Today I aim to teach YOU how to vocal chop like a pro without sounding like everybody else.
The way we are tackling this is via a sampling technique that is found in Ableton easily, but a bit difficult to master.
I promise you though if you invest time into this, you will be vocal chopping to the top of the charts in no time.
VIDEO Version of this article
Step 1 Pick Your Vocal
Having a huge acapella collection is awesome for this, as vocals will be the ingredients to creating amazing vocal chops.
I'm also not talking about those generic vocal shots you can find in vocal sample packs.
For this method to work we need full vocals that present a phrase, and end the phrase.
For this tutorial I will be using this vocal.
IMPORTANT: make sure to know the scale of your vocal as it will only work with tracks written in that scale so for instance if the vocal is in A# Minor your track has to be in A# Minor.
IMPORTANT #2: make sure the vocal phrase is short and to the point as long phrases will not work in this technique and will only stump you further.
STEP 2 Transpose Vocal Up 1 Octave
In this method we will be using Abletons Transpose feature here to get the vocal sounding cartoonish like this.
GOOD PLACES TO TRANSPOSE TOO Remember the new KEY AND SCALE
12 st = 1 Octave
7 st = The 5th Harmonic Note of your vocal
3 st = The 3rd Harmonic Note Of Your Vocal
Make sure to be using complex pro for a smooth effect.
Pull back on the formant for a cartoonish effect.
My vocal sounds like this now and I will hit COMMAND+J To consolidate it aka Bounce it out.
IMPORTANT: make sure TO CONSOLIDATE THE VOCAL AS not doing so will make the next step worthless.
STEP 3 Slice Vocal Track To MIDI Slices
This is where this technique shines as we are now going to slice our vocal track into various small slices that ableton will input into a drum rack for us.
Right Click On The Vocal Sample and Select Slice to MIDI TRACKS
Here I RECOMMEND People pick 1/8th to 1/4th Notes as this will make the samples long enough to get the full benefit of this technique.
You will now be greeted by a MIDI TRACK like this.
Delete all the midis so you are left with a blank midi page.
Step 4 Develop YOUR Vocal Chop Loop
This step is the most difficult as it will require you to really work at getting an awesome vocal loop.
Now if you've noticed we are not doing the generic route of using a vocal chop to make a melody as anyone can do that. We are using a Kanye west style sampling route to allow us to get unique vocal chops like Martin Garrix and Mesto.
This is how mines look after toughing it out to make an awesome vocal loop
*MIDI Length matters here as the longer the midi the longer the sample will play.
* make sure not to worry much about the timing of the sample as we will fix this in the next step
*if you get stumped on the vocal chops chill and come back to it later.
STEP 5 Finalize Your Vocal Chop Loop
Vocal chops won't always sound perfect some one of the cool things we can do is alter the starting point of the vocal chop by going into the drum rack and double clicking on the slice we want to edit.
By double clicking this will pop up.
Here you can switch the starting point and end point with the arrows located in the simpler.
You can also go into the control section and transpose each sample if you choose to.
After all that my vocal sample loop sounds like this
Making Vocal Chops is a task that requires skill and patient to execute in order to sound like Martin Garret, Marshmello, Skrillex, Jack U, and anyone else you can think that uses them.
This method we learned today gives us a unique approach to vocal chops that allows us to create really unique vocal chops the only problem is that it does require some time.