Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching

Importing vocals and using the 10% time-stretch rule


From:

Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching

with Josh Harris

Video: Importing vocals and using the 10% time-stretch rule

During this chapter, I'll be using Ableton Live on the Mac platform for the demonstration. The menu choices and keyboard shortcuts I'll be using are for that DAW and platform only. If you are using a different DAW or if you're on a different platform, obviously you'll be using different keyboard shortcuts and menus but the remixing concepts will be the same. If you need a refresher on your DAW of choice, please seek out the Essential Training title for that DAW on the online training library here at lynda.com. Additionally, you can reference the chapter in this course, where I do you use your DAW for the demonstration.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      46s
    3. Why did we record this course in four different digital audio workstations (DAWs)?
      45s
    4. Using the exercise files
      2m 24s
  2. 3m 4s
    1. What is time stretching/expanding?
      1m 4s
    2. Exploring different time-stretching scenarios in remixing
      2m 0s
  3. 31m 17s
    1. Understanding where to get a capella vocal tracks
      2m 30s
    2. Time stretching in Pro Tools
      6m 44s
    3. Time stretching in Logic Pro
      4m 51s
    4. Time stretching in Reason
      5m 17s
    5. Time stretching in Ableton Live
      5m 16s
    6. Understanding the roles of multiple DAWs in a time-stretching workflow
      1m 2s
    7. Dealing with wet vocal stems
      4m 2s
    8. Choosing the tempo for different styles or genres
      1m 35s
  4. 21m 6s
    1. Importing vocals and using the 10% time-stretch rule
      7m 42s
    2. Comparing several vocal time stretches at faster BPMs
      6m 20s
    3. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      7m 4s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Setting up your session for double timing a vocal
      7m 27s
    2. Double timing the music and then time stretching the vocals to a slower BPM
      8m 54s
    3. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      10m 22s
  6. 28m 53s
    1. Setting up your session to slow down a vocal track
      2m 34s
    2. Calculating the BPM and tempo of the original track
      4m 18s
    3. Time stretching the vocals to a slower BPM
      6m 46s
    4. Comping the time-stretched vocal and the original vocal
      6m 49s
    5. Putting the time-stretched vocal in context
      8m 26s
  7. 54m 12s
    1. Starting from a pre-existing Pro Tools multitrack session
      13m 34s
    2. Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part one
      9m 55s
    3. Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track, part two
      7m 37s
    4. Subdividing 6/8 time and changing the time signature to 4/4
      7m 5s
    5. Editing vocal phrasing to work with 4/4 time
      7m 0s
    6. Time stretching the vocals to a faster BPM
      9m 1s
  8. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching
2h 51m Intermediate Jun 28, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Josh Harris demonstrates time-stretching techniques in four of the major digital audio workstations: Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Reason, and Ableton Live. Josh covers the basic time-stretching treatments, where minimal tempo adjustment is needed, and then moves into more difficult territory—remixing at a much slower or faster tempo than what the original tracks were recorded at—where time stretching is pushed to the extreme. Another technique shows how to create a composite vocal from multiple time-stretched tracks. Each lesson employs real-world musical examples to clearly show where each time-stretching technique is useful and how the results of time stretching affect the sound of a song.

Topics include:
  • What is time stretching or expanding?
  • Understanding how time stretching fits into the remixing process
  • Working in Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, or Reason
  • Calculating the tempo of the original track
  • Dealing with wet vocal stems
  • Importing vocals with the 10% time-stretch rule
  • Comparing time-stretched vocals at faster tempos
  • Putting a time-stretched vocal in context
  • Setting up a session for double-timing a vocal
  • Creating a 4/4 remix from a song originally in 3/4 or 6/8
  • Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track
Subjects:
Audio + Music Music Production Music Editing Remixing
Software:
Ableton Live Logic Pro Pro Tools Reason
Author:
Josh Harris

Importing vocals and using the 10% time-stretch rule

During this chapter, I'll be using Ableton Live on the Mac platform for the demonstration. The menu choices and keyboard shortcuts I'll be using are for that DAW and platform only. If you are using a different DAW or if you're on a different platform, obviously you'll be using different keyboard shortcuts and menus but the remixing concepts will be the same. If you need a refresher on your DAW of choice, please seek out the Essential Training title for that DAW on the online training library here at lynda.com. Additionally, you can reference the chapter in this course, where I do you use your DAW for the demonstration.

And I'll show you the basic Remixing Tools and Techniques for that DAW and then return to this movie and go through this chapter's concepts with the techniques appropriate to your situation in mind. We begin with the blank session in Ableton Live. I already know the BPM of the song because the engineer was kind enough to put them in the title of the vocal stems. Let's take a look. We have Lead and Background vocals WET and DRY 104 beats per minute. So we already know what the BPM of the song is lets change it here in Ableton, and let's bring the original version in.

So we can take a listen to it, I was given an MP3, and I'll drag it into the Arrange window, but again, turning my volume down because I don't know how loud this file is. We'll turn off Warping feature in Ableton so that we're just listening to the MP3, and start our song pointer at measure 1 and take a listen. (music playing) So you get the idea, now we can actually clear this out of the Arrange window we wont need it, and I'll turn this to none. Before we import the vocals, I'll take a moment to bring a kick drum into the session.

And I am able to access the kick drum I'll show you where this folder lives, inside Lives Library folder, we have a Samples Folder and a Waveforms folder, a Drums Folder, and a Kick Folder. So here are some kick drum samples that come with the Ableton live Sound Library. (music playing) I like the way this kick drum sounds. So I'll bring this one in, drop it at measure 1 and distribute it on each Quarter note of the measure.

I can highlight one full measure and use Command+D and Copy and Paste throughout the song. We'll take it up to about 105 measures, that should be plenty to put the vocals against it. Let's label this track. And now let's return to Browser number 2, Ableton has three browsers here. As you can see. We'll return our song to measure 1, as well as our review.

Let's create, and we'll create another five or six tracks of audio because I'm going to bring in both the Wet and Dry vocals. First we'll bring in the Dry Lead Vocal, and as I import each audio file, the very first thing I'm going to do is turn off the Warp feature in Ableton. Ableton likes to calculate the BPM of the audio files that are being imported, I turn off the Warp feature.

I now highlight the track up here in the Arrange window, and I hit Command+J, creates a consolidation, and now Ableton creates a new Waveform overview with a warp marker beginning truly where the audio file begins. And as you can see, our Segment BPM is at 104 beats per minute. I'll select Complex Pro because I know that, that will give me the best possible time stretching algorithm option, when it comes to speeding up the vocals.

So we have our Dry Lead, now let's bring in our Dry Background vocals, and we will do the same thing. Turn off the Warp feature, grab this handle, slide all the way to the left, go back up to the Arrange window, hit Command+J and consolidate. For those of you moving from Ableton 7 to Ableton 8, you'll notice that this warping engine is quite different, and it might take a moment to get used to some of its new features. And I'll label my tracks as I bring them in to avoid any confusion.

So Lead_dry and BG_dry. Just to make sure that both of these are sitting properly against the Grid, we can see that they are actually the same size, go up here to the end and both them end and exactly measure 105. Next I'll bring the Wet vocals in, disengage the Warp feature slide handle all way to the left, highlight the track, hit Command+J. And while it's calculating it won't let me name the track while it's consolidating.

We will name this Lead wet, and finally we'll bring in the wet background vocals. Excellent. Let's label this track, BG Wet, and we can see that all of the audio files are the same length which is the way they should be because they were all bounced out starting from the same place from the original session.

So the files themselves are all the same size in terms of megabytes. I'll bring the volume down because again I don't know how loud these are, and we're going to take a listen to the Wet vocals first, so I'll mute these out, disengage this tracks. Our kick drum is in, and before we listen to any audio I want to take a moment to explain what we refer to in remixing as the 10% Time Stretch rule. It's a rule that surfaced years ago when time stretching applications and software and even some hardware didn't have the algorithms that they have today.

In other words, we were much more limited back then in terms of how far we could stretch a vocal. I like to think of the 10% Time Stretch rule in this fashion, if the Source BPM is 104 beats per minute, take 10% of that number, which is roughly over 10, so we can start by adding 10 BPM and taking this up to 114 beats per minute and listening to what that sounds like. You're generally safe with time stretching in either direction, when you're applying the 10% time stretching rule.

Once you get outside of that number, it's possible that you'll start to hear some degradation in the audio.

There are currently no FAQs about Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching.

Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked

Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.