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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
As you can see, I made quite a few edit points to my audio clip, and while I might be sitting in beat against my MIDI drums, I'm not 100% sure that my phrasing is accurate. So I need to give myself a little bit more of a musical context, and I'm going to create a bass line. So I'll create a Stereo instrument track using Xpand, and I'll just select any kind of bass. We'll do a Fretless Bass, that's fine. We'll record enable the track. (music playing) Excellent! I'll give myself 1-bar pre-roll, and I already that this song is in G-Major, so I pretty much know in my head a bass line that will probably work against the vocals, if not all the way through the song for most of it.
But I'm interested in coming up with an 8-bar pattern that I will paste throughout this entire sketch arrangement, and then I'll go through and listen to the vocals against the 8-bar arrangement to make sure that the phrasing will work in a remix context. (music playing) Quantize my bass line to 16th notes, put Pro Tools in Grid mode, and trim off the unnecessary space here in the region on either side, giving me a perfectly edited 8-bar loop.
I'll use Command+D to duplicate all the way through the song. So let's take a listen to the first verse, in the first bit of the chorus, and then I'll move to further in the song towards the end, because it's the ending that I'm very uncertain about the phrasing. (music playing) I heard a MIDI note that didn't sound quite accurate there, let's take a listen to that very quickly. (music playing) Quickly edit that, double-click on the region, pulls up our notes, and we can see that this last note, let's take a listen. (music playing) That fixes it, we'll quickly repaste, Command+D, and that should fix it.
(music playing) Excellent! Everything is in time, so let's move ahead. We'll actually bring that back up to big again. Let's move to the back part of the song, especially this end part where the phrasing, it may work, it may not work, I am actually not very sure.
I'll play right before the loudest part of the vocal at the end of the song. (music playing) Excellent! That seems to work really nicely.
Now we're already at 128 beats per minute, but let's say that you'd like to do a remix at maybe 134. Well, let's go ahead and use a great command in Pro Tools, Opt+Shift+3, which creates a brand-new clip, and it consolidates all of our edit points into one continuous audio file. It actually writes a new file on the disk. Now we click on the last to go audio, and this is a monophonic vocal, so I'm going to select Monophonic and just see what kind of a time stretch that gives us, and put this on Ticks.
I can manually select my Tempo by going to Window > Transport, I'll choose 134 as a destination BPM. I'll play to track from right before the first verse. (music playing) I can already hear some audio degradation right there on the word I'm supposed to know.
Let's solo that out and take a closer listen. (music playing) Okay, so before we change our Elastic Audio setting, let's change our BPM back to 128, which is where we started, close the Transport, and we'll select Polyphonic for our Elastic Audio Property, reselect the Transport, type in 134 again as our destination BPM, and let's just listen. We don't even need to listen against the drums, we know it's in beat.
(music playing) Cleaned it right up. So even with a dry Mono vocal, selecting Polyphonic in the Elastic Audio Properties menu will yield the best time-stretch results. Let's scan further into the song and take a listen and make sure that there is no audio degradation. (music playing) Let's put this in with the drums.
(music playing) against a click, but the band drifted from the click.
We weren't sure of the BPM of the original version, we bounced out the vocal, we Excellent! So it was a long road to get to this point. We took a song that was cut bounced out the click track from the original multitrack session, and with Pro Tools' Tap Tempo, figured out what the BPM was at the original session, then went ahead and programmed a MIDI drum pattern that emulated the pattern that the drummer was playing, then we were able to lock the vocal up against that drum pattern which gave us a vocal that was against the Grid but in the time signature of the original version. Then we had to negotiate a 6/8 time signature to a 4/4 time signature, and then we edited the vocal to fit into a 4/4 time signature.
So all of our efforts from the last several movies have yielded this well-edited vocal against a kick drum and a hi-hat pattern, and now we're ready to begin building a remix.