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Using warp features to quantize audio

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Using warp features to quantize audio

Working with audio files the same way we can edit MIDI data was a dream in the not so distant past. Let's take a look at how you can use Live's warping features to quantize audio and discuss the best method of applying quantization to multi-track audio clips. So setting and moving warp markers can get tedious, especially if you have a clip that needs a lot of rhythm error correction. But audio can now be quantized just like MIDI. Let's take a look how that works. So I've got a clip here on this basic rock track. I'm going to work with that. But before I get started, I'm going to make a copy of it, so I have something to go back to if I don't like my results.

Using warp features to quantize audio

Working with audio files the same way we can edit MIDI data was a dream in the not so distant past. Let's take a look at how you can use Live's warping features to quantize audio and discuss the best method of applying quantization to multi-track audio clips. So setting and moving warp markers can get tedious, especially if you have a clip that needs a lot of rhythm error correction. But audio can now be quantized just like MIDI. Let's take a look how that works. So I've got a clip here on this basic rock track. I'm going to work with that. But before I get started, I'm going to make a copy of it, so I have something to go back to if I don't like my results.

So I'm going to Option+Click and drag that. And I've got 4-bar area that I want to turn into a loop. So before I try quantizing this, I'm actually going to set the outside edges. Remember, you do that by hovering your mouse over a transient marker, and then double-clicking the pseudo-warp marker that turn it into the warp marker, and then simply dragging and letting that snap to the grid. Let me go the other end quickly, and I'll do the same thing. Okay. So when I want to quantize something in Live, I can do that to either a portion of an audio clip or the entire clip.

So for instance, I'll zoom in here a little bit, and we can see that these markers right through here look like they're all behind the groove. So I can make a selection here and drag across there. Let's say I want to do this much. And now I can quantize this by invoking the Quantize command that found by right- clicking on your selection, and then from contextual menu, you can see I've got both Quantize and Quantize Settings. Quantize contains the last settings that you chose when you went into the Quantize Settings dialog box.

So I tend to avoid using the Quantize function and always go straight to the Quantize Settings choice, so that I can see what my Quantize Settings are and make any necessary adjustments. So let's check that out. So currently, it's set to a 16th note, and that happens to be the smallest rhythmic increment that's in this selected clip, or in my selection. So I will leave that at a 16th note. And then I need to choose the amount of quantization I want to apply. Now 100% is going to hard-quantize my selection right onto the grid, and I would like to retain a little bit of that human "imperfection" so to speak.

It just depends upon the context of what you're doing, but in this case I am going to choose something in 85% to 90% and give that a shot. So I'll click OK, and you'll notice that Live put warp markers past my selection. It put one on either edge to pin those areas, so that they wouldn't be moved, and then added a warp marker to everything in between and then snapped those onto the grid. So I can do that with just a portion of the clip, or I can actually do it with the entire selection that I'm working with.

So let me zoom back out. I'll select everything between those warp markers. And this time I'm going to bring up that dialog box by using the shortcut, which on a Mac is Command+Shift+U, or on a PC Ctrl+Shift+U. Again, my quantize amount to set to the smallest rhythmic increment in the selection. I've got my amount set. I'll say OK, and it's now added warp markers to every one of those transients. Let's check out what that sounds like. (Drums playing.) Sound pretty good.

Now occasionally you're also going to want to do this with multi-track audio clips. So I've got the same drum groove here, separated out into individual parts. So I've got the kick, a couples snare tracks, hi-hat, and overhead. So I'm going to flip over to the Arrangement view by pressing my Tab key, and now I'm going to select these clips. You'll notice that after I've made the selection the title bar here in the sample and clips box, down in the Clip Overview area, show a diagonal color striping.

That happens whenever you've got multiple clips selected. Now I've selected all the clips because when you want to fix something in the multi-track-audio-clip situation, you have to do the same thing to each clip. If you don't do that, and you adjust just one of those clips, you're going to move any bleed on that track out of phase with the other clips, and you're going to get some really undesirable results from that. So I've got all the clips selected. You may find that if you want to work with a particular clip because the transient is more visually apparent there, that you'll need to Command+Click or Ctrl+ Click that clip to bring that up down here in the Sample Editor.

So now I'm looking at snare track. Again, I want to fix this one transient, but I don't want to change the location of the transients to either side of that. So to do that, I need to hold on my Command key on a Mac, or Ctrl key on a PC, and hover over the associated transient marker, and when I see the pseudo-warp marker appear, I can double-click and turn those into warp markers. Now if I move this one in the middle, it won't affect the location of these other two. Now as I move this, you should see the results on all of the clips.

As you saw, they all snapped onto the grid. So now you know how to quantize audio clips and fix rhythmic errors in multi-track audio files. Now there's no reason for your music not to groove.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

69 video lessons · 17160 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 8m 43s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      4m 30s
  3. 12m 59s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      3m 54s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      3m 31s
    3. Optimizing performance
      5m 34s
  4. 35m 42s
    1. Understanding Session view
      8m 7s
    2. Working with Live browsers
      5m 3s
    3. Working with Live clips
      7m 57s
    4. Understanding clip properties
      7m 52s
    5. Working with Live scenes
      6m 43s
  5. 28m 16s
    1. Building Live Sets and projects
      4m 25s
    2. Learning Live file management
      4m 2s
    3. Exporting content from Live
      7m 32s
    4. Importing and exporting Live Packs
      3m 17s
    5. Searching for and auditioning clips
      4m 58s
    6. Setting up frequently accessed folders
      4m 2s
  6. 23m 3s
    1. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 51s
    2. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 32s
    3. Working with alternate MIDI entry methods
      6m 49s
    4. Using multi-output virtual instruments
      5m 51s
  7. 24m 26s
    1. The MIDI Editor
      4m 49s
    2. Quantizing MIDI data
      6m 6s
    3. Advanced MIDI editing
      6m 49s
    4. Setting up groove in editing
      6m 42s
  8. 9m 18s
    1. Preparing to record
      5m 0s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 18s
  9. 22m 37s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      3m 41s
    2. Recording in Arrangement view
      3m 51s
    3. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 21s
    4. Reworking clips
      9m 44s
  10. 27m 57s
    1. Understanding Live's mixer
      12m 38s
    2. Using sends and returns
      3m 47s
    3. Building headphone cues
      3m 49s
    4. Grouping tracks
      7m 43s
  11. 43m 14s
    1. Working with effect devices
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 14s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      7m 28s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      8m 18s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 22s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      6m 56s
  12. 15m 37s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      8m 38s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      6m 59s
  13. 25m 24s
    1. Building automation patterns
      8m 44s
    2. Editing existing automation information
      5m 3s
    3. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 10s
    4. Understanding the power of clip envelopes
      7m 27s
  14. 20m 17s
    1. Understanding the basics of looping
      6m 54s
    2. Creating tracks that loop smoothly
      7m 50s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 33s
  15. 17m 47s
    1. Using the computer keyboard to control Live
      6m 39s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      4m 36s
    3. Using Live's instant mapping feature
      6m 32s
  16. 10m 44s
    1. Exporting audio
      5m 37s
    2. Freezing tracks
      5m 7s
  17. 20m 45s
    1. Building with the Impulse virtual instrument
      11m 35s
    2. Working with the Simpler virtual instrument
      9m 10s
  18. 36m 22s
    1. Overview of Live racks
      10m 13s
    2. Combining instruments and effects into a single device
      8m 22s
    3. Adding effects with Drum Rack
      11m 28s
    4. Assigning rack parameters to macros
      6m 19s
  19. 13m 53s
    1. Setting up ReWire with Pro Tools
      7m 3s
    2. Setting up ReWire with Logic
      6m 50s
  20. 33m 43s
    1. Preparing audio clips with the Warp tool
      14m 31s
    2. Triggering clips using follow actions
      8m 9s
    3. Using Live as a sound source
      11m 3s
  21. 7m 21s
    1. Working with video files
      7m 21s
  22. 37s
    1. Further Recommendations
      37s

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