Extreme Time Stretching in Ableton

From modifying the groove of a drum loop to producing cool granular artifacts, the ability to time stretch samples is invaluable.  It’s one of Ableton’s most interesting tools for manipulating audio.

Today we’ll use Time Stretching to mangle a vocal sample.  In particular, we’ll be working with a sample from Hip Hop Vocals V1.

Take a listen to our vocal:

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Here’s what it will sound like when we’re finished:

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Step 1 – Load in your vox sample.

Step 2 – Pull up your Sample Editor.

Make sure your Warp tab is highlighted.

Set your Segment BPM to 392.

Step 3 – Choose your warping type.

Texture works well for what we’re trying to accomplish here.

Step 4 – Set your Grain Size and Flux.

Grain Size determines the length of the granular artifacts produced.  Tweak the Grain Size to your liking.  For larger artifacts set a higher Grain Size, and vice-verse.

Flux inserts randomness into the equation.  The higher your Flux value, the more your artifacts will vary in size and therefore rhythm.

Step 5 – Add a transposition.

Adding an increasing pitch transposition works well with time stretching.

Pull up your Envelope editor and draw in a pitch envelope.

Extreme Time Stretching in Ableton

Extreme Time Stretching in Ableton

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Summary

Insert an effect like this before a sick Dubstep drop and your listeners will go bananas!  You could take the effect even further by incorporating some Autopan or Stereo Delay.  Reversing the sample after stretching it will yield some interesting results as well.

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