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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.
Over the last several years, Logic has quickly become one of the most popular DAWs for remixing and creating electronic music. Much like Pro Tools, it has an elastic audio type feature called Flex mode. So I begin with a blank session, and I'll import our Iyeoka vocal into the audio bin, Simply Falling, 112 beats per minute, and I will change the tempo of this session to 112, drag the vocal out into the Arrange window, close the audio bin and expand the size of the vocal a bit so I can take a look at what is going on.
The metronome is engaged, and I'll play the vocal just to make sure that everything is indeed locked up against the click track. (music playing) Excellent! Everything sounds to be locked up against the click track. Let's scan further into the song.
(music playing) Excellent, and as we scan further into the song around the bridge section, we'll take a listen there and make sure everything sounds tight against the click track. (music playing) Excellent! Everything sounds nice and tight against the click track.
So over here where it says Audio 1, you'll notice there is a triangle. I'll click that, and you'll see a pulldown menu. Underneath Flex mode, you see it's set to Off, and much like Pro Tools with elastic audio, I'll choose Polyphonic to give me the best possible time stretch. Logic is analyzing the waveform, and all I have to do is double-click on my Tempo change it to 128, go back to the beginning of the song, and let's take a listen to it with the click track.
(music playing) Excellent, I'll move up here further into the song near the first chorus. (music playing) Excellent! And I'll move further down into this song just to make sure that everything, again, is locked up against the click.
I always like to do this just to make sure that nothing has drifted during any sort of time-stretching process. (music playing) Excellent! So everything is indeed locked up against the click, and much like Pro Tools, I'll now mute the click track and take a listen to the vocals by themselves just to hear if there is any sort of audio degradation in the time stretch.
(music playing) It sounds very good, and much like Pro Tools, you'll hear slight audio degradation in certain words, but it's nothing major, nothing that a little bit of chorus, reverb, and delay won't help massage, and when the vocal is actually placed in a final mix, none of these idiosyncrasies will jump out.
As you can see, flex mode works in a similar fashion to Elastic Audio, but do keep in mind that every DAW's time- searching algorithm operates a little bit differently, thereby yielding slightly different results. I don't think that one DAW's time searching algorithm is necessarily better than the next, but you will hear differences from one to the other.
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