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Can OTHER DAWS do this? Ableton Live
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composer
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#1
23rd December 2006
Old 23rd December 2006
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Can OTHER DAWS do this? Ableton Live

Ok, not to diss a lead guitar player or anything of the sort, one of the most amazing funtions of live is this, you can lay down a scratch pad, or a complete mix, then slow down the tempo of the track, play lead (if you are not that fast), then speed it back up and there is no loss in sound quality.

I don't know who has tried this but having a few DAW platforms (have a INTEL Laptop), AMD DAW, APPLE INTEL, I have had my share of daws not to mention working in a HD studio where I did several CD's for SONY as well as TASCAM giga and am still part of that beta team, both ACID and GIGA and also helped with the development of marching band music (from a biz standpoint) for Sibelius and Finale, my genere is ROCK.ALT.POP as well as composer (FF trailers) and sound designer with some editing skills (Avid, FCP).

Just wondering if any one knows of any other DAWS that do this as easy as just setting the tempo back and forth for lead guitar tracks. Mind you, the mix in general if slowed down to much does not sound that good, but it allows you to track some leads that your average non-lead player could probably never do.

Thoughts? Besides hiring a union or non-union player

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#2
23rd December 2006
Old 23rd December 2006
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The trick is nothing new - tape varispeed was used by the Beatles and earlier.

Plenty of DAWs can do this - Reaper has a varispeed knob that is as easy to use as a tape deck speed control.

For other DAWs like Cubase, Logic, Protools etc you just have to be a bit clever with timestretching. It's still very easy.

I'm not convinced that the resulting effect is very convincing - it generally sounds like it was speeded up, for some funny reason reason. There's a Red Hot Chilli Peppers song getting airplay at the moment that has a very speeded up riff effect, which I think sounds very cheesy (which was probably the intention).
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23rd December 2006
Old 23rd December 2006
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On the other hand, there is a lot to be said for playing and recording within the scope of your abilities - even if that means leaving a few notes out here and there.

Less is more, as often as not - and if something can't be said or doesn't "gel" with the available resources (including available levels of musicianship), squeezing a bunch of extra notes in is not the answer, IMO.
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23rd December 2006
Old 23rd December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by composer View Post
and there is no loss in sound quality.
I beg to differ.
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23rd December 2006
Old 23rd December 2006
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agreed alex, i am a die hard ableton fan, but i rarely use the time stretching, i'm sure its better for live and dj use becuase it certainly does effect the quaility, at least to me
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23rd December 2006
Old 23rd December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by untitledtopher View Post
agreed alex, i am a die hard ableton fan, but i rarely use the time stretching, i'm sure its better for live and dj use becuase it certainly does effect the quaility, at least to me
Personally, I don't understand how people record with it. The latency has always been horrible in my experience. On my old Nuendo system, I was down to 4ms of latency with Nuendo. The lowest I could get Live! to go on the same system was 22ms. I've tried it on three different systems, and the lowest I could get the latency down to was 22ms, and these systems were FAST. My songwriting partner uses it to record, and the lowest he can get it is 33ms or so! Anything above 10ms or so is completely undoable in my book, so I dunno how people do it...Am I missing something here?
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23rd December 2006
Old 23rd December 2006
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With 128 samples firewire, I have had 3.5msec in/ 3.5msec out with Live 6.
I use Cubase 4 also, but nothing is easier than Live 6 for laying down tracks, looping them, adding in another.
For warping you have to change warp modes--Beats for drums, Tones for vocal/bass, Texture for orchestra/pads, etc. I thought the sound quality was pretty good if you are not making more than a 10-20% change in tempo. I can usually hear the difference with acoustic guitar.
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23rd December 2006
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I've never noticed a latency problem, and I do a lot of midi with hardware synths as well as soft synths, and I've recorded a five piece band in Live with no latency complaints.
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23rd December 2006
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Your latency should depend on the device and driver and not on the software. The host software should just be "hooking" the ASIO driver. Weird.

In any event, Live uses Zplane Elastique, which is a good time stretch (one of the best), but still one that has artifacts. And even in an artifact-free zone (which doesn't exist just yet), you will be time stretching subtle and nearly imperciptible things like the envelope. Sped-up pick attack will always sound like sped-up pick attack. Sped up decay will be a shorter decay. Without some serious tom-foolery, you won't be able to make it sound real.

But, it's a pretty spiffy effect. And fun, when you have a part that needs shredding and you can't shred.

Greg
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23rd December 2006
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Hmm, strange. I've tried it on several machines that have had ~4ms latency specs in other recording programs, but I could never get it less than 22ms on any of them for Live!. Oh well...*shrug*
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23rd December 2006
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23rd December 2006
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If you sync DP to a HD24 via the adat sync cable going to a motu 2408, you can change the pitch on the HD24 and DP will go with it. The HD24 has pitch change in cents, so you can go a half or whole step and not worry about tuning to some unknown pitch reference.
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Last edited by uncle duncan; 23rd December 2006 at 09:55 PM.. Reason: 2408
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24th December 2006
Old 24th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregP View Post
Your latency should depend on the device and driver and not on the software.
It depends on both. It is *how* the software interacts with the hardware and drivers that is important and determines latency - among other things.
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24th December 2006
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Leads are about feel and soul, not speed. Slow it down and you'll loose the feel and the vibe. What a waste of time IMO. Doubt me? Try it with a mid keyboard and a sequencer. Same thing. The feel goes out the window. Sure you can play faster, but so what?? Get someone who can play. For effect it might be cool, but other than that it will sound like a drum part that has been autocorrected to death - no feel, no groove, no vibe.....no good. Of course, that's just my opinion.
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24th December 2006
Old 24th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky View Post
It depends on both. It is *how* the software interacts with the hardware and drivers that is important and determines latency - among other things.
Mmm... to a very limited degree. In theory, you could add all kinds of DSP inside your host, and an inefficient method of writing the data to HDD... so you're right after a fashion.

But there are sufficient APIs that if the developers know what they're doing, and use them properly, you should get a pretty consistent experience in any host. A difference of .5 ms from host to host, yeah... that's plausible. But 17ms of difference? Something is going on, and it's not Live itself.

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31st July 2012
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17 ms seems very high. I easily get under 10 without my computer breaking a sweat.
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31st July 2012
Old 31st July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by composer View Post
[...]then speed it back up and there is no loss in sound quality.[...]
Well, you may be happy enough with the quality, but it does change the sound. Consider that when you speed back up, your transients and sustain/overtones are much shorter. More than a couple clicks and it just starts to sound unnatural, not what you expect the shape of the sound to be.

For the opposite effect, sometimes I'd record the drums with the track sped up - basically up the tempo for the drummer a few clicks. Then returning the machine to normal speed or DAW to right sample rate, it lengthens the transients and the sustain. It of course pitches the drums down a bit too, but is a good trick to get really fat drums. Wouldn't ever be more than a few cents.
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31st July 2012
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A lot of early seventies studio tricks were done with varispeed. Logic has varispeed support. Me thinks this is not Live's strength, rather the easy way to assemble loop-based content and experiment with combination effect modules on top of that.
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