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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.
I remember using Reason back in 2001 for the first time when it was only version 1.5. I always hoped that they would eventually add audio as a feature to the program, and when Reason 5 came out several years ago, paired with Record 1.5, my hopes were answered. Now with Reason 6, Record 1.5 is disappeared, and we're just dealing with Reason on its own. So I have a blank Reason 6 session opened, and this particular DAW operates a little bit differently than Logic and Pro Tools when it comes to importing audio.
Since I'm using Iyeoka vocal that's at 112 beats per minute, what I'm going to go ahead and do is change the BPM of this session before I bring the audio in, and I'll import the audio file, and we choose Iyeoka - Simply Falling, we open it, and there it is. Reason operates in this fashion. You need to set Reason's BPM to match the original BPM of the audio file that you're importing. This way the audio file analysis takes place upon import of the audio file.
So, I set the BPM to 112 prior to importing the audio, and now I'll turn on a click track and just take a listen to the vocal to make sure it is indeed locked up against the click. (music playing) Excellent, everything sounds nice and tight, and I will move the playhead up to right around the first chorus.
(music playing) Excellent, and we move the playhead further into the song. (music playing) Excellent, so everything sounds nice and tight against the click.
Now I will return the playhead back to the start of the song, and much like Logic and Pro Tools, all I need to do is choose my new BPM, and I'll bump this up to 128, the click track is still on, and let's take a listen. (music playing) So far so good. I'll move the playhead up towards the first chorus.
(music playing) Okay, that sounds nice and tight against the click. I'll move this up closer to the end of the song. (music playing) Excellent, I'll return the playhead to the beginning of the song.
So I'm deliberately playing the vocal in the same spot of the song in each of these different time stretching instances between the different DAWs on purpose, because I like you to take a listen to the difference in the quality of the time stretch from one program to another. I went ahead and muted out the click track, and I'm going to move the playhead up to the first chorus so we can listen to the vocal by itself with no metronome in the way. (music playing) Very similar to Pro Tools and Logic, slight audio degradation on the time stretch, we are going 16 beats per minute faster than the original BPM.
But again, nothing that's too major to be covered up when you actually place this vocal in your final mix, and you do some treatments to it. So you can see--again, I said it in the last movie, and I'll say it again in this movie--differences in the time-stretching algorithms between the programs, not necessarily better or worse, just different. If you happen to work on more than one DAW, and you actually happen to have more than one installed on your system, I encourage you to think about actually time stretching the vocals in a couple of different DAWs and then bringing them into the DAW of your choice, putting them side by side. You might find that you like one over the other or you might find that the difference between one and the other is so minimal, it doesn't really matter which DAW you're using to time stretch your vocals.
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