Making Composites of Your Home Recording Tracks

By Jeff Strong

Composites are a synthesis of the musical tracks you have recorded. If you used your digital system to record several versions or takes of a part onto different tracks (also known as virtual tracks in some systems — tracks hidden behind a main track), you can use the editing function of your system to blend the best parts of each performance into one perfect track.

Take, for example, a lead guitar part that may be used throughout the song to act as a counterpoint to the lead vocal. Now assume that you weren’t sure when you recorded the part what you wanted to do for each phrase. In this case, you would have recorded several versions of this guitar part onto different tracks in your system (or onto several virtual tracks of one track).

To make a composite track of the best parts of your various lead guitar takes, choose the parts that you want to use and move them all onto one more track (assuming that you have another empty track or virtual track to put them on). Keep in mind that you need to move each of the good parts one at a time because they’re each on separate virtual tracks.

You can move your guitar parts in one of the following ways:

  • Click and drag your selection to the new virtual track.

  • Use the Move function in your recorder to simply move the part from one virtual track to another.

  • Use the Cut and Paste functions to cut the part from one virtual track and paste it to another.

When you’re done assembling all the parts of one track, such as the lead guitar track, you can make adjustments to volume differences between the various assembled pieces using the Normalize or Quieten functions.