Exactly aligning vocals with the beat in the mixing proc



I'm a 17yr old guy who produces rap beats/instrumentals and is trying to get involved in recording. So my "studio" is just my computer and a mic I bought at radioshack. I'm not trying to hit professional quality, but the closest thing to it...

I'm asking what can I do to make sure I get the vocals aligned exactly (or almost-exactly) with the beat if I play the beat on one computer and record on another computer and then mixing them on one computer?

I have some friends who wanted to put down some tracks to some of my beats. So I grabbed Cool Edit 2k with the 4-track studio plugin from a friend.

The problem I'm having is that the noisefloor on my computer is very high, so I do the recording on my laptop, which has a considerably lower noisefloor. Then I transfer the recorded vocals to my main computer and insert them into an empty track in cool edit, and the beat is already in its own track.

Now since I'm using 2 different computers, it's hard pushing play on one and record on another at the exact same time, especially since my laptop is a Pentium with win95 and my main computer is a 500amdk62 withwin98. So I just press record on the laptop, then a few secs later I press play on the PC.

Then, by ear, I move the vocal track in cool edit left or right trying to put it on beat, but I'm never going to get the exact spot since I'm always going to be milliseconds off.

This really even isn't a computer problem; I guess I just need to know some techniques/tips on how it's done in an actual studio. thanks.


Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2002
St Louis
What are you using to produce your beats? If you have a MIDI interface on your computer, you can set the drum machine/sequencer to receive MIDI time code or beat clocks. When you start record or play on the computer the beat would be in sync with it.