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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
Let's take a few minutes and put our vocals in to bit more context than just a kick drum. I'll add two more audio tracks and again, you don't have to go about doing it the way I'm doing it. I've just been using Ableton so long, that I'm accustomed to using audio even if its single shot audio samples as opposed to using a lot of MIDI. Let's take a listen at some the snare drums. (music playing) I like that 707. I'll drag that in, expand my view and drop that on beats 2 and 4, and we use our Command+D, expand my view.
I'll just duplicate that 1 bar phrase, from the beginning, all the way to the end. And now lasso a larger region to speed this process up. Let's name this track snare. And I would like to add a hi-hat on the and of the beat. Inside our Cymbal folder we have several different hi-hat options as well as crash symbols. (music playing) That will work, expand my view, and let's actually bring that in right at the beginning.
And it will fall on the and of the beat. So 1.3, 2.3, 3.3, we will take a listen and make sure that that's accurate. I'll bring our volumes down. (music playing) It's not. Let's take a look. (music playing) This is where we want it. (music playing) And it'll fall on the and of every beat.
So I can delete these, and let's take a listen to this. (music playing) Good. Good. I'll copy this out so that it's 2 full bars. Trim that back, so I have an even 2 bar loop. Which I can then duplicate. We'll call this hat 1. So let's take a listen to the beat. (music playing) Great, and remember these are just reference drums, they're place holders, we're not committing to a pattern or sounds.
This is just something to give us a little bit more excitement when comes to listening through the vocal from start to finish. Possibly doing some editing, it actually will help you with your editing to listen some sort of groove as opposed to just a kick drum or click track. It's too difficult to determine whether or not a word needs to be shifted between kick drum patterns when you don't have hi-hat or snare drum to help anchor the beat. In addition to programming a little drum pattern here, let's go over to our MIDI track and add a bass line.
Underneath Instruments and then the Analog folder, I have the SynthBass folder. (music playing) That will work for now. I'll move my playhead right to where the first set of vocals enter. (music playing) Those seem to be the right bass notes.
They may not be exactly what the original is doing but they're working with the vocals at this point. And again I'm not coming in to a bass line, I'm just putting in an idea to help me determine whether or not my vocals are sitting in the pocket the way that I'd like them to sit in the pocket. I'll set my playhead at measure 5 and play in this 4 bar bass line. (music playing) Scroll down here and take a look at it.
And we'll notice that Ableton has a Record Quantization setting which I did not turn on prior to playing that beat. So I will turn this on and replay it. We'll set it to 16th notes. One more time. (music playing) Excellent. Trim up this region here.
And as I click and hold here as I highlight this you can see down here in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, I can't move my mouse, or I'll actually lose the visual. Down in the lower left corner where it says 10-Bass Analog Squeeze, you can see the length is 4 bars. So I will duplicate my 4 bar MIDI region. Let's take a listen to the song. There might me a bridge or some section further down in this song that I haven't listened to yet that has different chord changes but I'm not concerned with that at the moment. Again this is simply a bass line and a basic drum beat for me to listen to the timing of the vocals.
(music playing) So there's the spot where the chorus comes or we call that the B section.
I'll need to figure out a different set of bass notes but I'll do that later on. Right now, I've got a nice groove, and if I need to mute the bass out in some sections that's fine I can tell by listening to this first section up until where I stopped the song. That the vocals are sitting nicely against the bass line and the drumbeat. Again some of the timing of vocals is going to be very subjective and what I prefer is not going to be what you prefer but ultimately you need to think about the pocket of the vocals, the timing of the vocals. Things should not sound rushed or too far behind but as long as the vocal performance feels credible against the backbeat in the bass line in the track that you begin to build, that's the ultimate goal of doing a full vocal remix.