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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
In addition to working with a vocal that has to be edited to sit tightly against the grid, there is also the challenge of adapting it to a different time signature. The original time signature of the song is in 6/8, or at least that's how I'm perceiving it. The case could be made that it's in 12/8, but there are some gray areas when it comes to time signatures, and some of it is subjective. But at the end of the day, we know that we want our remix to be in 4/4 time. So how do we get there from either a 6/8 or a 12/8 time signature? One way is to listen to the track and find the slow to count.
I'll play the track from the beginning and count in 6. (music playing) 1-2-3-4-5-6 1-2-3-4-5-6 1-2-3-4-5-6 Or if I was to make the for case that this was 12/8, I'll count in 12. (music playing) 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 So again, it's subdivisions and more subdivisions.
As we listen to the hi-hat pattern, listen to where the accents are falling, that's giving us our slow to count. (music playing) 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. Let's go ahead and put a ride cymbal in. I'll create an instrument track, and I'm going to play the slow to on the ride cymbal.
We'll Option+Drag over Xpand, go into our Drum menu and select Rides. (music playing) Excellent! So now I'll record a ride cymbal and play in slow to count. (music playing) That will work for now. I'll highlight the MIDI region and quantize it.
Quantize it to corner note, put Pro Tools in Grid mode, and take a listen to our 8-bar pattern. (music playing) So the ride cymbal is in there. Let's change our time signature to 4/4. Underneath Window I'll choose Transport, and we'll go from 6/8 to 4/4, close our Transport, zoom in our Ride Cymbal track, cut it, Command+X, paste it at the beginning of the song, and you'll notice that the ride cymbal is falling every third quarter note.
(music playing) And as you can see, our Loop Range was only 5 bars and 2 beats. That's why it sounded funny when it cycled back around. Now I'll zoom in on the hi-hat track and take the first two hi-hat notes and copy and paste them so that the accent is been played every quarter note of our new 4/4 time signature. We'll solo out the hi-hat track.
(music playing) You can hear the accent is falling on every quarter note now. So let's put in a kick drum that lands on every quarter note. I'll just play this in, and before I do that I'll copy and paste my new hi-hat pattern throughout the entire song.
I'll mute out the ride cymbal for the moment, and I'll delete this kick drum from the 6/8 time signature. (music playing) Recording in our new kick drum. (music playing) Highlight the MIDI region, quantize it to quarter note, zoom in on the kick drum and cut it, move it so it starts at measure 1.
Let's also copy and paste this all the way through the song. So now our drum pattern is a kick and a hi-hat pattern in the new 4/4 time signature. (music playing) I want to go one step further and add a snare drum so I can accentuate beats 2 and 4 in each measure. Create a new instrument track, copy over Xpand, and I'll re-title this kick because it's just the kick drum now.
New track will be snare, and we're already set up in the Snare menu. (music playing) I'll now record the snare drum. (music playing) Highlight the MIDI region, quantize it to quarter note, let's expand it, roll back to measure 2. (music playing) I'll just take the first bar. There are some velocity issues in the second measure, paste this, paste it for the entire song now, shrink it down.
Now we have a better groove, kick, snare, and hat from the beginning. (music playing) So before I even unmute the vocal, let's quickly recap what we did here. We had a song that was in 6/8 time, or some could argue 12/8 time. We took a moment to feel where the accents were in the 12/8 or 6/8 time. Then we adapted that slow to count and thought about it in terms of 4/4, and that's how we arrived in this time signature.
Remember, we haven't changed the Tempo. The BPM is still 128, we started at 128 in 6/8 time, and we're still at 128 but we're in 4/4 time. In the next movie we'll listen to the vocal, and you'll notice that there are phrasing issues that we'll need to deal with, because now we are in 4/4 time.