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Varispeed (How do you) Audio Interfaces
Old 14th February 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Varispeed (How do you)

Hello, I'm a Logic Pro user (or should I say native user) and I am in need to varispeed material. Exactly like a Studer would do. I had a Fireface 400 and it had a varispeed like feature but it wasn't very reliable.

I have no idea how to vari speed in the native world, without Pro-tools VSO capability.
Would I have to get external clock and vari speed the clock. Or do I have to get another sound card, besides my 1010.

What I want to do is slow down and speed up while I'm recording so that there are pitch differences. Also, varispeeding my mixes is also in question.

I know about Pro-tools VSO, RME DigiClock thing where you can vari-speed but you can't record that way, and about changing the sample rate higher than where I'm at. None of these are what I'm after. I'm looking for true 2" tape type vari speed. No Time compression or any plugs.

any help or how to
Old 14th February 2007
  #2
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reaper can do that i think.
Old 14th February 2007
  #3
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Not really a varispeed tool -- more of a pitch/format/transient app -- but might let you approximate it (?):

iZotope Radius
Old 14th February 2007
  #4
Get a cheap MDM like a DA88 or Alesis D20 and use that to clock your system.

Rail
Old 14th February 2007
  #5
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r0ck1r0ck2's Avatar
 

anyone else wanna chime in on this?
Old 14th February 2007
  #6
I don't understand EXACTLY what you mean by Varispeed. Is it like slowing down or speeding up a sound?
Old 14th February 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I'll check this reaper out. Izotope I distinctly do not want any time compression / expansion algos at all. DA88 Alesis makes since, but can't something else do that that has nothing to do with such an old device. I'm thing external clocking device of some sort.

For the what is varispeed question. First it's the ****. Second if you have a song with 40 tracks in it and you want to speed up or slow down the whole song You would simply press on your 2" machine a button that looks like this << < > >> and your entire song will speed up or slow down. And the plus is anything you record in this state when returned to normal speed will have an interesting and pleasing effect to it.

Pro-tools can vari speed but I'm not sure if it actually keeps the effect during recording. But it doesn't matter since I don't use HD3 anymore.
Old 14th February 2007
  #8
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I have Nuendo, and on my list of things to do, I have a varispeed experiment that I keep meaning to get around to with the equipment I have. I grew up with analog machines so I understand the varispeed concept as applicable to tape and countless recordings that have used it over the eons. I THINK the following will work. Maybe some of you can comment whether you think it'll work before I blow an hour trying it.....

Nuendo with Layla3g card. Old Adat xt with a blank tape prestripped with smpte. Hook adat optical out of XT machine to adat optical in on Lyala. For now, leave the Adat Xt machine turned off. Set Nuendo project to be same smpte settings as that found on the empty adat tape.

With the adat machine turned off, start a project and record a few tracks in Nuendo as normal with Layla card as master clock as normal.

When ready to add in a track that I want to record varispeeded, set Layla to pick up adat sync instead of internal clock as master. Set Nuendo to ext sync.

With adat Xt now acting as master clock, and Nuendo syncd, arm a Nuendo track, hit the play button on the adat. Nuendo should start recording. Before or as the Nuendo tracks start playing, activate and twiddle the pitch control up/down buttons on the Adat XT. Turn the adjust to lower values, you should hear the Nuendo tracks immediately pitching downward...just like varispeed on an analog machine. Crank the XT pitch up button, Nuendo tracks should pitch up.

If I crank the pitch control down a few notches, record a vocal track (while listening to the now temporarily slower, lower pitch Nuendo tracks already recorded), then return the master clock setting to internal Nuendo/Layla at playback, I should be able to hit play on Nuendo and now hear the song at normal speed....however the vocal track will have a different quality to it like, say the way McCartney's voice is on Penny Lane because of varispeeding the analog machines.

I could do this for guitar parts and anything else where normal varispeeding would be done. Perhaps even recording a track while someone else jiggles the adat pitch knob back and forth to end up with an overdubbed track that warbles wildly in pitch at playback.

Like I say, I haven't tried this yet, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Any comments?
Old 14th February 2007
  #9
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

I use the Apogee Big Ben to VSO my PT system. Don't know if it's compatible with your setup but works fine here.
Old 14th February 2007
  #10
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you might want to try the melodyne plugin .....

with Cubase this is also possible (it as ha pitch envelope)

Maybe also with the Logic global tracks .....

best
Old 14th February 2007
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

The ADAT DA 88 thing sounds like a viable option. The Big Ben thing sounds best, but I'm sure that Rick is talking about an HD system.

If you aren't let me know, but also I'm talking about a Native situation not TDM.

If Big Ben can varispeed on its own that is the route I want to go.

An Adat machine I'm not willing to get into. First how do I sync the Adat to my rig without light pipe. Which I don't have.

Can I get spdif on adat to be the master clock. I don't know why I'm even writing this.

I won't be getting an Adat or DA-88
Old 14th February 2007
  #12
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrygates View Post
The Big Ben thing sounds best, but I'm sure that Rick is talking about an HD system.
Yes, I use a PT HD2 Accel system. I'm not sure what the difference would be with a native system. The BB has a VSO setting on the front panel that allows for varying the clock output which my PT follows. Very much the same as on a 2" machine (the 2" capstan motor following a variable oscillator instead of a clock of course). I only use it in playback.....now that I think of it I've used it to do overdubs to a VSO'd track ......but I'd have to double check that...pretty sure though. Anyway, you'd have to check to see if your system would follow a variable clock and I believe there is a limit as to how far it will allow you to VSO before it rejects the clock. On my system it will go about + or - 12% (a whole step) without any problem.
Old 15th February 2007
  #13
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

Serato Pitch 'n Time has a varispeed function. In the audiosuite, lower half, those two arrows... click to the right twice.

you can d/l a 30 day demo on their website.

--jon
Old 15th February 2007
  #14
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I just tried a variation of the varispeed idea I mentioned a few posts earlier and it works just like the tape machines many of us know. I realize that since I use Nuendo and Echo, it's not going to apply to Logic users, but maybe this info will help someone somewhere.

I recorded a few normal tracks in Nuendo set for internal sync, internal Layla card #1 (of 3) as master clock. Then, with an old adat xt hooked from it's optical out to the optical adat in on the Layla, I switched the Layla control panel to adat clock as master. I left Nuendo settings alone. I then started the Nuendo song playing, hit the pitch up/down buttons on the adat xt (didn't even have to have an adat tape running) and the Nuendo tracks pitched down or up while playing in response to the adat xt buttons.

With the pitch quite a ways down, I overdubbed a vocal track. Then hit stop, switched the Layla control panel back to "internal", hit play on Nuendo and my vocal overdub now had that higher-pitch quality that occurs when recording an overdub with tape pitch control on....which I could've been taken to chipmunk-land with a far enough push of the pitch during overdub. I'm not sure how far I can push the pitch extremes. Maybe I'll try that tomorrow.

I also recorded a Nuendo pass with the adat xt pitch shoved way up which also resulted in the overdub track playing back like tape would... with my overdub in a lower register against the normal sounding original tracks.

The only potential downside (maybe) is that I was trying this experiment based on 44.1 and 48k sample rates. I'd have to do some thinking about how to do this when working at 96k.

I was also going to try a route with the 9 pin adat sync out of the xt routed to a MOTU Digital Timepiece, and then feed that to all the other machines to see what happens, but I ran out of time. I especially wanted to know what happened when that adat xt signal is translated into word and distributed by the Timepiece. I get the feeling I would not longer get the pitch ability, but I'll have to try it and see.
Old 15th February 2007
  #15
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larry...
in reaper (cockos.com) is a simple slider. for speeding up or slowing down a mix.
look in the mixer view on the left. (note PC only.)
i did it the other day. wanted a complete mix sped up just a little.
so i set slider to 1.013. very easy. is this what you mean ???
also in powertracks that i use from pgmusic.com are features for
audio time stretch n pitch shift....
here is an explanation from the user manual i got with the product.
hope this helps.(again pc only.)
..........................

With PowerTracks Pro Audio you can now change the speed and pitch of
audio. This new feature allows you to permanently change the duration and
pitch of individual audio tracks, or change the speed and pitch of the entire
PowerTracks Pro Audio mix.
If an audio track has been inadvertently recorded too flat or too sharp, you can
easily modify the pitch without affecting the track's duration. If the duration of
an audio track is incorrect PowerTracks Pro Audio 10 can now change the
tempo of an audio track without affecting the pitch. Tempo can be adjusted
from 1/4 speed to 4X speed. Pitch can be adjusted +/- one Octave, in one Cent
increments (a Cent is 1/100 of a Semitone).
These features are also useful for learning your favorite up-tempo song. Load
the file and play it back at half speed. If the song is in the key of F but you
would rather learn it in Eb, transpose it down 2 semitones and continue playing
at half-speed. As you master the song, you can gradually increase the tempo
until you can play along at full speed.

........................
all the best.
Old 15th February 2007
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the last guy who posted. You're a cool dude I can tell.

What this is boiling down to is that I will have to get a sound card that does lightpipe.
Get an ADAT machine. Make Logic slave to that. varispeed done. I'm sure there will be problems, but at least I'm there.

The rest are not really what a 2" machine does.

Thanks guys.
Old 15th February 2007
  #17
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r0ck1r0ck2's Avatar
 

wait...what about this big ben option?

don't you fear the stupid adat?
Old 15th February 2007
  #18
oh, ok, I know what you mean...
I did this a few years ago, but didn´t know it was called ´varispeed´.
Well, I can´t help much without talking about pitch/time comp stuff...
Good luck!
Old 16th February 2007
  #19
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Hey Everyone-
Me too- the 2nd biggest thing I miss from the 'ol tape machine is vari-speed! (The
first is of course how it sounded and easy it was to record without latency!)

In Sonar I tried to slave it to the Midi Time Code (MTC) from a Fostex VF-16 (a desktop digital multi-track with vari-speed) and it would chase-lock it sort of... not too great sounding but the recorded track on playback WAS in tune and sounded OK far as I could tell. All you need is a midi cable!

So my suggestion is to try to use MTC from an inexpensive stand-alone recorder like a desktop all-in-one multitrack/mixer, (lots of 'em have pitch control)- and try to get your DAW to chase that, use it as the clock source.

I am really greatful to find this thread (linked to from a Sonar forum thread) because you've all recommended several ideas I hadn't even thought of- like, duh, try a software program!

Does anyone have tips for getting Sonar to chase an inexpencive clock source? What's the cheapest good variable speed clock... any recommendations? I'd really appreciate finding that- miss my VSO!!!

Thanks-
Evan

www.evanandnature.com
Old 16th February 2007
  #20
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The primary issue here is that there are two basic ways to achieve "varispeed." One way is to do it in entirely in the digital domain, which requires digital resampling (like the various pitch shifters.) This is done entirely in software (no idea if anybody actually has software that you can slave to a knob like an analog deck.)

The other way is to vary the DAC clock rate as you're converting to analog, and then to resample the analog back to digital at the standard rate. This requires a DAC that supports variable external clock rates, and a piece of hardware that will generate arbitrary word clock frequencies. Additionally, the software may have to be aware of this as well, since some are smart enough to sense that the rate at which the samples are being clocked through the DAW doesn't match the nominal clock rate configured in the application. Oftentimes the DAC hardware has limits as to the variability of the external clock frequency as well, particularly units that try to reduce jitter by using an internal clock that is disciplined by the external clock input. So even if this method works, there may be limits to how much you can vary the playback speed.

The second method is most like the traditional method of varying the capstan speed, but it is also more difficult and expensive to achieve.
Old 16th February 2007
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkatz42 View Post
The primary issue here is that there are two basic ways to achieve "varispeed." One way is to do it in entirely in the digital domain, which requires digital resampling (like the various pitch shifters.) This is done entirely in software (no idea if anybody actually has software that you can slave to a knob like an analog deck.)

The other way is to vary the DAC clock rate as you're converting to analog, and then to resample the analog back to digital at the standard rate. This requires a DAC that supports variable external clock rates, and a piece of hardware that will generate arbitrary word clock frequencies. Additionally, the software may have to be aware of this as well, since some are smart enough to sense that the rate at which the samples are being clocked through the DAW doesn't match the nominal clock rate configured in the application. Oftentimes the DAC hardware has limits as to the variability of the external clock frequency as well, particularly units that try to reduce jitter by using an internal clock that is disciplined by the external clock input. So even if this method works, there may be limits to how much you can vary the playback speed.

The second method is most like the traditional method of varying the capstan speed, but it is also more difficult and expensive to achieve.
You hit it right on the head. By what you're saying a FF400 does what you're speaking about in your second example. Problem was it was reliable past a semitone or something like that. My other option would be to get a Big Ben or something vari-speed the Big Ben itself then have logic and my Delta 1010 chase that. Problem with the Logic software is that it's not smart enough to realize and stay in sync with a signal that isn't what the software says it should be. So Logic may never be able to do this ever. I don't know. Any developer out there. Make a program / box / whatever that gives us the vari-speed exactly like a true 2" deck back. That program / box / whatever would be a studio essential. "Hey do you have that box that makes stuff faster" I can hear a lot of people asking that if it existed. Not Timecompression expansion either. That sucks. I mean everything gets sped up or down. The effects also. With time compression just the main audio source is sped or slowed and this doesn't necessarily affect EQ curves, compression rates, delay tails, reverb units and such. Vari-speed please come and save me.

Great thread guys.

Dkatz you have to elaborate on how to achieve vari-speed now with what you were sketching out.

Thanks
Old 16th February 2007
  #22
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I've never tried any of the software solutions except for random things like making an entire mix faster or slower, time stretching etc.

I'm perhaps wrong on this, but none of the software solutions mentioned will let you jack down the pitch of your 26 existing daw tracks ...to say, 3 full steps down..and then let you overdub a single vocal track while listening to those slow/low pitch tracks....and then let you play the tracks back at normal speed....making the track you just overdubbed (only) sound like the Chipmunks.
Am I correct on this? And I mean as a realtime way to record. Not in terms of having to do an edit session later on one single track to time stretch it etc to a chipmunk double speed sound.

Not that you would want to sound like the chipmunks on a track, but the ability to do this realtime kind of varispeed is vital for flying in old out-of-tune tracks from outside sources to lay them in with existing daw tracks....or for recording your voice so that on playback, it's tonal quality is like say what Prince has done for years. Or the Beatles before him.

In my experience, this real-time type varispeed can only be done via the method I described a few posts back with Nuendo/adat as an example, or by use of something like a Big Ben etc.

By the way, after success doing varispeed with the adat xt/Nuendo a couple of days ago, I did try this using only midi time code. That didn't work. If I feed mtc to Nuendo (with Nuendo slaving to mtc), Nuendo will adjust for speed from the master...but not pitch. At least in the test I did. Which defeats the purpose.

I still have to experiement with how far I can adjust the adat xt pitch here. There was a point the other day where I had Nuendo running so slow and low pitched against the clock, that my overdub tracks had some crackles/pops. I'll have to see what the useable pitch range parameters are.
Old 17th February 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I'm perhaps wrong on this, but none of the software solutions mentioned will let you jack down the pitch of your 26 existing daw tracks ...to say, 3 full steps down..and then let you overdub a single vocal track while listening to those slow/low pitch tracks....and then let you play the tracks back at normal speed....making the track you just overdubbed (only) sound like the Chipmunks.
Am I correct on this? And I mean as a realtime way to record. Not in terms of having to do an edit session later on one single track to time stretch it etc to a chipmunk double speed sound.
In theory this could be done, but it would be computationally expensive (having to crunch all of the tracks through the SRC algorithm) and it's also destructive (unless the software kept the original tracks on the side and restored them at the end.)

However, to do what you describe using the clock rate hack would require running both the DAC and the ADC at the nonstandard clock rate, so now you need to have two pieces of equipment that will tolerate it.

It's interesting that the vendors have all pretty much dodged this. Maybe it's actually hard to do well or something...
Old 17th February 2007
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkatz42 View Post
However, to do what you describe using the clock rate hack would require running both the DAC and the ADC at the nonstandard clock rate, so now you need to have two pieces of equipment that will tolerate it.
if you have PTHD and a sync I/O, you can easily switch the sync internal clock to VSO (variable speed oscillator) and slow/speed tracks as you describe.

--jon
Old 17th February 2007
  #25
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I've got Logic Pro on a Mac Pro clocked to a Big Ben, and even with "2 Pro's" you can't do something as simple as varispeed,.

Logic freaks out the second (picosecond?) you touch Big Ben's varispeed control, making it pretty much useless.

One kludge I've used for 'tape like' effects in the past is to take an entire rough mix and load the wave into the EXS24 sampler. Then use pitch bend (or pitch envelopes) to bend the whole mix up or down the 'ol skool' tape like way. Pitch shifting with a sampler sounds different than tape of course, but better and more 'hands on' than most of the digital algortithms. I don't necessarily mean 'better' in the scientific quality sense, of course. Just more fun. More fun = better in my studio.

Old 18th February 2007
  #26
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Before I got the Nuendo/Echo/adat xt varispeed successfully happening the other day, the thing I would do to get the effect was to sync an analog machine to the daw, pipe a ref mix of the song from Nuendo over to the recorder, turn sync off, and then overdub whatever varispeed thing I needed on the analog machine, using the recorder's pitch control while listening to the ref tracks. Then turn off the machine's pitch control, sync the recorder back up to the daw and fly the varispeeded track(s) back into the daw. Should be able to save lots of time now.

I suppose that's always an option for Logic users (albeit not a very exciting one) if Logic won't take the external pitch control.
Old 18th February 2007
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeBasement View Post
I've got Logic Pro on a Mac Pro clocked to a Big Ben, and even with "2 Pro's" you can't do something as simple as varispeed,.

Logic freaks out the second (picosecond?) you touch Big Ben's varispeed control, making it pretty much useless.

One kludge I've used for 'tape like' effects in the past is to take an entire rough mix and load the wave into the EXS24 sampler. Then use pitch bend (or pitch envelopes) to bend the whole mix up or down the 'ol skool' tape like way. Pitch shifting with a sampler sounds different than tape of course, but better and more 'hands on' than most of the digital algortithms. I don't necessarily mean 'better' in the scientific quality sense, of course. Just more fun. More fun = better in my studio.

Yeah I was thinking about buying a Big Ben, but with a fireface 400 I noticed that as soon as I started to pitch the fireface 400 Logic would tell me that it's expecting 44.1 but getting something else and would not function properly. So I'm starting to think let Logic go because I've outgrown it. Maybe I'll only create in it or what ever but it can't even follow variable clock. & it has the name Pro in it for 1000 dollars.

The question is that you have Big Ben right?

As soon as you VSO your Big Ben Logic doesn't work properly. Meaning you can't vari-speed even with Big Ben, meaning any solution here mentioned would not work with Logic at all. I sold my Pro-Tools HD3 so that's not an option and I'm not willing to go back there either. Nothing to gain from it. Except an empty wallet. Unless you have a few 100 000 or a couple million dollars, with a steady income. Yeah right.

Soon as someone figures out a solution for Logic, which I'm lead to believe one will never exist let it be known.
Old 18th February 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Before I got the Nuendo/Echo/adat xt varispeed successfully happening the other day, the thing I would do to get the effect was to sync an analog machine to the daw, pipe a ref mix of the song from Nuendo over to the recorder, turn sync off, and then overdub whatever varispeed thing I needed on the analog machine, using the recorder's pitch control while listening to the ref tracks. Then turn off the machine's pitch control, sync the recorder back up to the daw and fly the varispeeded track(s) back into the daw. Should be able to save lots of time now.

I suppose that's always an option for Logic users (albeit not a very exciting one) if Logic won't take the external pitch control.
Yeah, I think that it's interesting that the vendors have dodged this... maybe it IS so hard to do in the computer because of it's clock set up that the only way to go in practice is to just copy some tracks onto a format that'll let you vari-speed, do your work, and then chase-lock and transfer the tracks back to the DAW later.

It's just such a bummer and a major loss in recording technology step backwards-wise.

Does anyone know of ANY program that has a global vari-speed?

thanks-
Ev
www.evanandnature.com
Old 18th February 2007
  #29
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mr. moon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evansmalley View Post
Yeah, I think that it's interesting that the vendors have dodged this... maybe it IS so hard to do in the computer because of it's clock set up that the only way to go in practice is to just copy some tracks onto a format that'll let you vari-speed, do your work, and then chase-lock and transfer the tracks back to the DAW later.

It's just such a bummer and a major loss in recording technology step backwards-wise.

Does anyone know of ANY program that has a global vari-speed?

thanks-
Ev
www.evanandnature.com
I believe Reaper actually has a global vari-speed, as you're requesting. I just took a project with 15 audio tracks, turned the global playback speed at .75 (of course, "1.0" is normal speed), created a new audio track, recorded a vocal take on the track, returned the project to normal speed, and whammoo!! Instant chipmunk voice on the track I just recorded, as the track I just recorded was sped up when compared to the other tracks.

That's what you were looking for, correct?

-mr moon
Old 18th February 2007
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. moon View Post
I believe Reaper actually has a global vari-speed, as you're requesting. I just took a project with 15 audio tracks, turned the global playback speed at .75 (of course, "1.0" is normal speed), created a new audio track, recorded a vocal take on the track, returned the project to normal speed, and whammoo!! Instant chipmunk voice on the track I just recorded, as the track I just recorded was sped up when compared to the other tracks.

That's what you were looking for, correct?

-mr moon
Yes that's exactly what I'm looking for Mr. Moon.

Isn't reaper only windows. I will get it though if it can do that. Which truthfully doesn't exactly help me. Since I want to do this with an entire mix up and running. But I guess it's the best bet for now.
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