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- What is time stretching or expanding?
- Understanding how time stretching fits into the remixing process
- Working in Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, or Reason
- Calculating the tempo of the original track
- Dealing with wet vocal stems
- Importing vocals with the 10% time-stretch rule
- Comparing time-stretched vocals at faster tempos
- Putting a time-stretched vocal in context
- Setting up a session for double-timing a vocal
- Creating a 4/4 remix from a song originally in 3/4 or 6/8
- Tightening up a vocal that drifts from the click track
Skill Level Intermediate
Remixers are frequently faced with different time-stretching scenarios, some of which are easy to handle, and others which are much more challenging. Common scenarios and challenges faced by most remixers are: speeding up the vocals. For example, if I have a vocal that has an original BPM of 120, and I speed it up to 128 beats per minute. Slowing down the vocals, if I have a vocal that's at 140 beats per minute, and I slow it down to 130 beats per minute.
Leaving the vocals at their source or original tempo, in other words, if I receive a vocal that's at 132 beats per minute, and I like the way it sounds then I leave it at that tempo, and I don't need to perform a time stretch on it. Dry vocals versus wet vocals, keep in mind that the quality of the time stretch will be affected by whether or not vocals are dry or wet, meaning that dry vocals have no effects on then and wet vocals might have reverb or delay.
Dry vocals generally yield a better quality time stretch than wet ones, but there is a bit of trial and error here. DAW differences, you'll find as you work from one DAW to another that the time-stretching algorithms are different thereby yielding different results. One DAW may do a better job at slowing down a set of vocals and another DAW may do a better job at speeding them up, one DAW may handle wet vocals better than another. So as with the dry vocals and wet vocals scenario, the same applies for the DAW differences.
The bottom line when exploring the sonic differences between time stretching in different DAWs is that it will take a bit of trial and error. Get to know the tools that you have at your disposal, and if you have the opportunity, spend some time getting to know DAWs other than the one that you spend the most time working at.