Learn about how to enable Elastic Audio on a track and how Elastic Audio analysis work. Explore how to conform clips to the session tempo and how to recognize warped clips.
- [Narrator] The Elastic Audio feature in Pro Tools enables you to easily manipulate the timing of the audio in your session to make quick corrections or to beat match the audio to the session tempo. Here I'll discuss the basic processes and demonstrate how to conform tips to the session tempo. I'm working in the Off To Work session, and I've imported a couple of clips that I'd like to try out as looping patterns for this piece. First, I've added this bit of conga percussion, and I'll place that at bar three.
But it's clearly at the wrong tempo, as this should be a two bar pattern. So to match the clip to my session tempo, I'll enable an Elastic Audio processor on the track using the Elastic Audio plug-in selector, here at the head of the track. Pro Tools comes with four realtime Elastic Audio processors: Polyphonic, Rhythmic, Monophonic, and Varispeed. And one render only processor, called X-Form. Each of these processors is tailored for different kinds of source material.
Polyphonic generally works best for material that has multiple voices or blends of several instruments. Rhythmic is good for percussive material. Monophonic is designed for use on vocals, bass, and other monophonic instruments. While Varispeed is designed to link pitch and timing changes. So, as speed increases, the pitch goes up, and as speed decreases, the pitch drops. This can be useful for designing sound effects and other creative purposes. X-Form provides high quality advance processing and it usually provides far superior results, but it's Rendered Only, meaning you'll have to wait for new files to be generated, and it can take quite a long time to process.
So I recommend working in one of the other processors while you're arranging and experimenting. You can always switch to X-Form later, if you need higher quality audio for the finished product. So I'll use the realtime Rhythmic processor here. And now you can see the processor is active on the track. Each of the realtime processors can also be used in Rendered mode, by clicking on the plug-in selector a second time, and choosing Rendered Processing down here at the bottom of the menu. You may need to do that if your computer is having trouble keeping up with the realtime processing load.
When you first select an Elastic Audio processor on a track, Pro Tools analyzes the audio on the track to detect any transients in the clips. Detected transients are tagged with event markers. And we can see the event markers that Pro Tools has added by clicking on the track view selector, and selecting analysis view. And I'll zoom in on that so we can see a little better. The vertical black lines at each conga hit are the event markers. Pro Tools uses the markers to determine the native tempo and bar beat duration of the file if possible.
If the tempo detection is successful, you can automatically conform the clips to your current session tempo. I'll switch back to wave form view and demonstrate. Here I can simply right click on the clip, and choose Conform to Tempo on the popup menu. And the clip has automatically resized to a full two bars on the track. Let's take a listen to confirm the change. (music playing) And I've enabled loop playback, so we can also determine whether this will work as a looping pattern, and it sounds like that'll work just fine.
Once a clip has been warped with Elastic Audio, a warp icon will display in the upper right corner of the clip as shown here. So that's the basic process for conforming an imported file to your session tempo. Start by selecting an Elastic Audio processor for the track, Pro Tools will then analyze the file and add event markers. Then right click on the clip, and choose conform to tempo. If the Elastic Audio detection has been successful the clip will automatically resize to match your session, and a warp indicator will appear in the upper right corner.
Be sure to listen to the warped clip, to confirm the results. If everything sounds as planned, you're good to go. If not, you may need to do some manual work with Elastic Audio. I cover details on ways to manually warp audio later in this chapter.
- Starting a new session
- Customizing settings
- Optimizing the performance of Pro Tools
- Importing loops and tracks
- Working with meter changes
- Recording multiple takes
- Changing the track timebase
- Editing MIDI clips
- Warping sound and tightening rhythm with Elastic Audio
- Using the Smart Tool
- Color coding tracks
- Editing on the grid
- Working with AudioSuite plug-ins
- Working with sends, plug-ins, and master faders
- Working with track subsets
- Finalizing and exporting media