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Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch

From: Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

Video: Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch

Elastic Audio in Pro Tools refers to both Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch. I'll explain some of the concepts here, and then lead you through some exercises to experience the power of Elastic Audio. I'll start with Elastic Time. Elastic time analyzes audio regions for transient events--like drum hits or guitar chords--and enables you to conform those events to the session's tempo, a quantization grid, or manually use the Edit tools in Warp view. Let's try it out. First, I'm going to zoom in on this drum loop that I've got.

Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch

Elastic Audio in Pro Tools refers to both Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch. I'll explain some of the concepts here, and then lead you through some exercises to experience the power of Elastic Audio. I'll start with Elastic Time. Elastic time analyzes audio regions for transient events--like drum hits or guitar chords--and enables you to conform those events to the session's tempo, a quantization grid, or manually use the Edit tools in Warp view. Let's try it out. First, I'm going to zoom in on this drum loop that I've got.

It's a reggae beat that I have imported, and you'll note that it's not exactly four bars. So I want to use the Time Trimmer tool and extend this out, so that it's exactly four bars. Now I'm going to go over to the Time Base and change this from Samples to Ticks, and I'm going to enable Elastic Audio. I am going to come down here and choose Polyphonic. As soon as I chose that, Pro Tools, behind the scenes, analyze the audio waveform for its transient events.

In the drumbeat here, it's pretty easy to pick them out. Okay, let's have some fun. First, I'm going to play this back at the original tempo, and then I'm going to try out a bunch of different tempos, and you're going to notice how the loop conforms to each tempo. (Music playing.) Let's try a different tempo. I am just going to double-click on this Tempo event, and get the Tempo Change dialog open up, and I want to type in 130 as the new BPM.

Now, you notice the grid got a lot closer together, because the tempo is much faster, and the beat automatically conformed to this new tempo. Let's hear what it sounds like. (Music playing.) All right, let's go slower this time. I'm going to go down to 70 BPM. (Music playing.) All right, let's undo these tempo changes back to the original here, and now I'm going to switch over to Varispeed.

Now, Varispeed links the time and pitch change together, like how a tape machine would react if you sped up or slowed down the tape. Let's try these same tempo changes and hear the different sounds, 130. (Music playing.) Notice that the pitch changed, and it went up, because we got faster. We'll undo that, and now put in 70, and we should expect this to be lower in pitch. (Music playing.) And indeed it was.

I am going to undo that. Now, let's look a little closer of what's going on with Elastic Time. Let me go to the Track view and choose Analysis, and I am going to zoom in a little bit more, so we can see what's happening here. The white lines that we see here are analysis markers on all of the transients in this beat. And now I'm going to switch back over to Polyphonic for this application. So we can actually click and drag to reposition these markers if we want.

However, Pro Tools actually does a really good job of analyzing these. We probably don't really need to move them. Let's switch the Track view now to Warp, and we'll see the warp analysis here. We can double-click to make a warp marker, and since we've got this on grid, if we start sliding these things, you'll see that they will conformed to the grid values. So I can literally move these warp markers, and they'll align right with the grid.

And this is a great way to be able to move pieces of the waveform and align them with the tempo grid or with any other audio event. I've used warp markers like this to align all kinds of parts: base parts, drum parts, vocal parts--you name it. Just double-click and create warp markers that lock to the grid, and then you can move around any of these little pieces to totally line up for performances with the grid. Let's go back over this menu here. When we look at this menu, we can see that Pro Tools is processing this track in real-time.

Now can be demanding on your computer, especially if you have a lot of tracks that are Elastic Audio-enabled. If we switch this to Rendered Processing, that creates a temporary file, and it isn't real-time processing anymore. And this will save us a lot of processing power for your computer. You can always go back to real-time if you need to. Just click it like that. Let's look at one more thing related to Elastic Audio. If you go to Setup > Preferences and in the Processing menu, we've got this Elastic Audio section, and we can choose what the default plug-in is from any of the four.

We can choose a default input gain. I wouldn't mess with that. And you can choose to enable elastic audio on all new tracks. Now we would leave that unchecked as well, because it can lead to adding a lot of unnecessary processing power that's taken up by the Elastic Audio processing. Let's move on to the other half of Elastic Audio: Elastic Pitch. So I am going to zoom out all the way, and I'm going to start looking at this track right here, the acoustic_guitar track.

So let's transpose the pitch of this region. I'm going to play it back first so we can hear the original pitch, and then we'll get to the Elastic Pitch. (Music playing.) So let's go over here and choose Polyphonic, so now Elastic Audio is active on this track. And you should note that Elastic Pitch does not work on monophonic Elastic Audio files.

So we can't use Monophonic here. We've got to use Polyphonic. Let's go up to Region > Elastic Properties, and that's going to open up this Elastic Properties window. We can choose which region we want to apply to, and down here is where the Pitch Shift is. Let's click and drag. I'm going to Pitch Shift this up one whole step, or two semitones. Now, I am going to hit Play. (Music playing.) And we've got real-time pitch shifting with Elastic Audio.

Obviously, you can change the Pitch Shift by any value here, and we can use cents too, if you need to tune it. Close that up. And if we want to we can go up into the Region menu again, and choose Remove Pitch Shift, and that will get rid of that pitch shift. So now you know how to use elastic pitch to transpose audio regions, and how to use Elastic Time to conform performances to a new tempo. It's really amazing the power that you have over audio regions in Pro Tools with Elastic Audio.

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This video is part of

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Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

106 video lessons · 11333 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 13m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 6s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 18s
    5. Using the exercise files
      3m 3s
  2. 31m 3s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 50s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 1s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      4m 13s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      5m 52s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      1m 38s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 43s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 33s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 40s
  3. 42m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      3m 11s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 36s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 13s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and buses
      3m 58s
    9. Selecting an I/O Settings file
      4m 12s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 46s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and keyboard focus
      3m 19s
  4. 19m 31s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 22s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 1s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 46s
    4. Importing session data
      3m 44s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 44s
    6. Importing video
      2m 54s
  5. 1h 0m
    1. Recording audio
      6m 14s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 0s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 25s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 29s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 3s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 17s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 52s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 17s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 19m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 3s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      8m 16s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 41s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      2m 46s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 28s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 9s
    8. Arranging regions
      5m 33s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 8s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      7m 22s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      4m 50s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      2m 52s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      6m 47s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      4m 13s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      8m 37s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      7m 38s
  7. 19m 27s
    1. Working with region groups
      6m 39s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 30m 47s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 7s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 13s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 37s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 7s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      5m 44s
    7. Using step input
      4m 14s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      2m 52s
  9. 54m 25s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      9m 47s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      8m 17s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 13s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 35s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      3m 49s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      3m 53s
  10. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 56s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 11s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 49s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      7m 21s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      3m 58s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 26s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 2s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 0s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 58s
  12. 1h 33m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      7m 53s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 11s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 25s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      13m 27s
    7. Adding depth effects: Delay and reverb
      12m 45s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      4m 14s
    9. Bouncing down a mix and making an MP3
      5m 44s
    10. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 36s
    11. Mastering a session
      7m 35s
    12. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      4m 52s
  13. 10m 6s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 42s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 32s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 22s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 22s
  15. 52s
    1. Further Recommendations
      52s

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