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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
Now it's time to put our kick and snare in to give us a little bit more of an anchor with the beat. (music playing) I open up Xpand, and underneath Drums I will choose the Kicks+Snares+Sides menu, which is a nice sampling of kick drums, snare drums, and side sticks. There's my kick drum. (music playing) There is my snare drum. So I'll play these in against the hi-hat pattern that I've already recorded, and I can close the Xpand window, and here we go. (music playing) I expand the screen, highlight my MIDI region, under the Event dropdown menu, I go to Quantize, and I will choose 8th note as my Quantize grid, close that, highlight these four measures that I just played, and take a listen.
(music playing) I'll cut these MIDI regions out, return my playhead to the beginning of the track, and paste, Command+V. And just like I did with the hi-hat pattern, I'll use the Command+D key to just duplicate this kick-snare pattern all the way through the entire song.
Now I'm still hearing a little bit of a drop-out in one of the hi-hat parts, so let's scope this out very quickly. This is easy to solve. We have a 4-bar hi-hat pattern, and beat 1 actually got chopped off. So all we need to do is highlight the last two bars of the 4-bar phrase, Command+C, hit Return to move the playhead to the beginning of the session, and hit Command+V, and now we've restored it. Now I will take these two 2-bar phrases and copy and paste those with the Command+D key.
I'll put the hi-hat back to Small View, hit Return to movie the playhead back to the beginning of the song, and let's take a listen to our beat. (music playing) Excellent! Now I can turn off the Pro Tools Click. Now we'll put Pro Tools in Slip mode, expand the size of the vocal track to Jumbo and start to listen through different parts of the song to see how tight Judy's vocals are against this beat.
I'll start with the first verse and just listen in for a few measures to see how everything sounds. And I'll make sure to put my playhead on a downbeat, not in the middle of a measure. (music playing) Excellent! All of that sounds really tight against our programmed drum pattern.
Now I'll move further into this song here if anything has drifted. (music playing) That somewhere at the end of that phrase felt a little bit late to me. I'll zoom in on it, make sure that this is exactly where that word occurs.
(music playing) Zoom in even closer, and I'll create a slice within my clip, and I'll make another slice here at the end of this section that I'm interested in moving. If you look up here under nudge, and I pull down this menu, Pro Tools is set to a 10-millisecond nudge. I like to use the Plus and Minus signs to move my audio around in situations like this. As you can see, I use the Minus sign to move it to the left and the Plus sign to move it to the right.
So I know that it's a little bit late, so let's start by moving 30 milliseconds to the left, which will be three clicks of the Minus key. Let's take a listen. (music playing) I think you could go a little bit further to the left. Let's try 20 more milliseconds, take a listen. (music playing) Let's roll that back a little bit. (music playing) That feels much better to me, listening on.
(music playing) All that sounds great against the groove. Listening further into the song.
Again, putting our playhead on a down beat. (music playing) Excellent! All that sounds great against the MIDI Groove.
So this is exactly the type of scenario that causes most remixers to walk away and not take part of the project. So I hope that this gives you some hope when it comes to dealing with the remixing situation like this. Keep in mind, most remixers don't know what to do with a vocal that's not in 4/4 time, which is exactly why I give projects like this a chance. The less competition, the better my chances are for my mix to be accepted.