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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.
Ableton Live is sometimes overlooked as a vocal time stretching solution. Over the years, I have mostly used it for drum programming and time stretching loops, which I feel is one of the best programs for working in those areas of production. As I take you through a basic vocal time stretch, you'll notice that the process is slightly different than Logic, Pro Tools and Reason. I begin with a blank session that defaults to 120 beats per minute. And since I know that the Iyeoka vocals is 112 BPM.
I will change the sessions to tempo to match that of the vocal, I import it. And you notice that Ableton predetermines a bunch of these warp markers which we're not going to use. So I will turn off the warp marker feature. And turn it back on, and you notice that all of the predetermined warp markers have gone away. I have the metronome on just to make sure that the vocal is indeed locked up against the grid. And I'll play it from the beginning, and we can take a listen. (music playing) Excellent. Everything sounds nice and tight. Let's move up here around the first chorus.
(music playing) Excellent. Everything sounds nice and tight against the grid. I'll move the playhead down later in this song to the last chorus. (music playing) Excellent. Everything sounds nice and tight against the click track.
Now you will notice down here there's a pulldown menu. I've option of Beats, Tones, Texture, Re-pitch, Complex or Complex Pro. I'll choose Complex Pro. This is very much like choosing polyphonic in the Logic Flex mode and Pro Tools Elastic Audio time stretching algorithm menu. So this is the most detailed and intricate time stretching algorithm that Ableton offers. We've chosen Complex Pro, I'll change the BPM to 128, and we'll take a listen to the 128bpm vocal against the click track.
(music playing) I decided to play the verses in this time stretching scenario since we haven't listened to the verses yet.
I'll move the playhead further down into the song next to the last chorus. (music playing) Excellent everything sounds nice and tight against the click track. Now I'm going to mute out the metronome right now. And just to give you an example of the difference in the time stretching algorithm quality, between Beats and Complex Pro, I'm going to go ahead and play little of the chorus with the Beats setting on for the time stretching algorithm.
(music playing) So you can hear there is a quite of bit audio degradation there. I'll switch back to Complex Pro and play the same section again, and you'll hear a difference. (music playing) I feel that it's important to point out the difference between the Beats time stretching algorithm and the Complex Pro one.
There is a huge difference, and if you happen to forget to select Complex Pro for your vocal, your vocal time stretch will actually not sound very good. What separates Ableton Live from the rest of the DAW's is that it is so heavily used for live performing. Many DJs use live as their DJ program. Having the ability to drop an A capella like this one in the middle of the track or in the middle of a beat or groove that you're putting together on the fly or improvising in the middle of the DJ set, takes the entire live performance to a new level.
And that's really what separates this from Logic, Pro Tools, Reason, and as you'll see in the next movie, Melodyne.
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