Join Brian Lee White for an in-depth discussion in this video Using warp markers to manipulate timing, part of Pro Tools Projects: Time Manipulation with Elastic Audio.
While event markers in a track's analysis view define where and how a region will stretch or shrink and warped at the region boundaries, warp markers are user-inserted pushpins or pivot points that allow you to anchor notes or positions within a region, giving you the ability to manipulate a note or a group of notes timing isolated from the rest of the region. Region warping is achieved from the track view called Warp where I see my event markers already laid out. And the best way to understand these warp markers is as sort of a virtual pushpin.
Imagine that an elasticized region is like a piece of elastic band anchored between two pushpins, one at the head of the band and one at the tail. By moving these pushpins I can stretch or shrink the band's overall size to conform to whatever space I wish. So I can grab the tail and stretch it out or shrink it in like an elastic band. Now, imagine taking additional pushpins and inserting them into the elastic band at different points.
By anchoring the band at points within one could stretch or shrink only portions of the band outside the context of the master head and tail pins. This is exactly what warp markers do for the notes within an elasticized region. I can actually place warp markers within the region and modify notes outside the context of all the other notes within the region. So I can actually change the feel or the timing of just an individual note or a group of notes relative to the whole region.
To insert a new warp marker all I need to do is double-click in a blank space or simply single-click on an existing analysis point. I can also Ctrl+Click on the Mac or Start+Click on the PC. To remove a warp marker all I need to do is double-click or Option+Click or Alt+Click on the PC. Removing a warp marker would remove any warp associated with that marker and return it back to its original position within the region. I find the best place to start with warp markers is by adding them on the analysis event markers, as the transient is a natural point in which the audio can be stretched in the context of other notes or warp markers.
So there's three different styles of warping that you are going to use in Pro Tools: Telescoping, Accordion and Range Warp. Telescope Warp is taking the tail of a region and stretching it out or shrinking it in, thus changing the overall size of the entire region. Now, the timing or the rhythmic integrity is maintained because of all the event markers. Now, an Accordion Warp has a single warp marker placed within a region and by stretching to the right, notice I am only manipulating this half of the region.
The first half stays intact. So I in a sense anchor a portion of my region by placing a warp marker and perform a Accordion Warp here, which restricts the changes only to the last half of the region between the warp marker and the tail. Now my favorite type of warping is Range Warping. Range Warping works by placing three warp markers and manipulating the center marker to change a single note's timing relative to the previous and next note.
You can easily access Range Warp by just holding down Shift when you click to get three new markers. This way you can radically alter the timing of any note individually in a region. So for example with this guitar, if I wanted to change the timing here, I am going to remove all the warp markers that I have created already. I can just select the region and hit Delete to remove all those markers instead of deleting them individually. Now I can place a Range Warp here and move this note to be later in time.
(Music playing) So I started with. (Music playing) And I ended with. (Music playing) So I completely changed the rhythmic feel of that phrase. Now I like to work in Smart Tool mode. When I do this, this allows me to place my cursor to preview different sections of the audio, while still having access to my Grabber tool. So top-half is Selector, bottom-half is Grabber. I also like to work with the Unlinked Timeline and Edit Selection.
So by un-clicking the option underneath the Grabber tool, I can make a context selection using my Grid. So I'll make a one bar selection here. That way whenever I hit Play? (Music playing) It always plays the Timeline and I'm free to go in and manipulate and make selections within my Edit window here without losing that context. It's really important to make these individual note warps in the context of the greater phrase. So you always want to check your work a bar or two ahead just to make sure that fits with what's going on.
Now, groups will warp together. This is really important with multi- track drums. As long as you group those tracks first before enabling elastic audio they will all warp from the same point, maintaining phase coherency. So once you get the hang of adding and manipulating warp markers, I think you'll find that you have a great deal of control over the phrasing and timing of your audio recordings, much like the way you edit MIDI Sequences. I spend a lot of time just fine-tuning the timing of my recordings by warping in very small amounts, really getting the timing by phrase exactly how I want it in the context of the groove and feel of the tune.
This saves me tons of time during tracking because I don't have to beat myself up trying to get perfect timing. I can focus on the tone and the emotion of the performance knowing that I can clean up minor timing errors easily with Elastic Audio warp markers.
- Enabling elastic audio
- Selecting an elastic audio plug-in
- Analyzing regions with elastic audio
- Manually adjusting timing with Warp Markers
- Transposing pitch
- Quantizing audio
- Locking bass to kick drum
- Warping vocals
- Adjusting elastic audio settings