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Tutorial: Create vocal slowdown effects in Logic

Here’s a quick and easy way to produce a popular vocal effect in current music production – the momentary vocal slowdown

Listen to any mainstream radio station with a playlist comprising Top 40 songs and within 15 minutes you will probably have heard a vocal slowdown effect. Sounding like a sharp decrease in the pitch of the vocal with a slurring sound, this kind of effect is en vogue right now among pop, dance and hip hop producers. There are a number of ways to achieve this, from automating the pitch parameter of Apple’s AU Pitch plug-in to using specialist vocal manipulation tools like Antares or Celemony. However, perhaps the easiest way for Logic users is to make use of a little-known feature in the software that can produce a superbly satisfying speedup or slowdown in just a couple of clicks.

1: Select victim
In your project, zoom in on your target audio region. Here we have two examples of a vocalist singing the word “Go”. We’re going to slow down the second one.

2: Make a gap
With the Scissors tool, cut the region after the phrase to process. With the Pointer tool, make a gap by drawing the bottom-left corner of the next region

3: Make a fade
Select the Crossfade tool and draw a fadeout across the second “Go” by dragging from left to right across the word and releasing with the cursor in the gap.

4: Open Inspector
Click the ‘i’ button to reveal the track Inspector. The upper part of this, the Region Parameter box, contains the fade parameters for the fade you just created.

5: Select slowdown
In the Region Parameter box, click the triangles between the words “Fade” and “Out” to reveal a hidden pop-up menu. Select the Slow Down option.

6: Check it out
The crossfade portion of your region should now be shaded orange. Press Play to hear your edit and audition how well the slowdown works.

7: Change the shape
Using the Crossfade tool, reshape the curve if necessary by dragging it left and right. You can alter the shape, but not the start or end points of the curve

8: Numbers game
This number refers to the length of the slowdown. Lower values make the effect shorter, effectively moving the start of the slowdown curve nearer the region’s end.

9: Delete fade
If you need to start again with the curve in a totally different position, simply hold down the ‘Alt’ key and click with the Crossfade tool to remove the fade.

Click Image to Enlarge