Suppose you’re working on a project with loops, and the tempo of the loop that you are using is different to the tempo of the project that you are working on. If you go forward with this same loop without adjusting the tempo, your song might not sound very nice.
You need to correct the tempo, stretch and join according to the song and make it sound better. Cubase's AudioWarp provides you with a solution to fix the loop automatically or by manual methods.
AudioWarp to the Rescue
AudioWarp is an editing tool that helps you to match your loops to your project’s tempo and beat using automation or manual setup. Using this feature, you’ll be able to fix loops and also add swing effects and other effects to loops.
If the loop has straight beats or clear beats, you can use the Musical Mode to fix the loop automatically. Musical Mode allows you to stretch and cut down the loops to fit the project tempo automatically. It uses real-time stretching to lock the loops.
If you want to change the tempo of the song later, you can change it and the loop will automatically adjust to the new tempo. You will not have to worry about matching the loop to the tempo again. This way, you can concentrate on creating music and worry less about fixing music.
In order to activate Musical Mode, double-click the loop and select the AudioWarp feature in the Inspector of the Editor window. Activate the Musical Mode by clicking on the Quarter note symbol.
You can also activate it from the Pool window. Open the Pool window from the Media menu or press Ctrl-P. Here, select the required loop from the Audio folder. You can activate the Musical Mode by checking the box under Musical Mode. This will make the loop playback at the specified tempo of the whole project and it will change according to the tempo changes made in the project.
After processing the loop through the Musical Mode, if you feel that the loop is not sounding how you want it to sound, select the manual mode for correcting the loop.
Editing in Manual Mode
The Manual Mode is very useful if you find that the automatic matching does not sound satisfactory or if your loop is too complex to be matched automatically. In order to active the Manual Mode, open the loop in the Editor by double clicking the loop and activate Manual Adjust from the Definition menu in the Inspector. You’ll also have to set the grid for your project according to the beat. 1/4 to 1/16 is pretty much what you need for editing simple loops or moderately complex loops.
Once you’ve activated the Manual Mode, listen to the loop and find the start of the bar. Go to the start of the loop and put the cursor over the loop, the cursor will change to a green color and Set Grid Start option will appear. Click and drag it to the first beat of the loop and keep it there. Now the loop will start playing and the Grid will have started from the place that you placed the green cursor.
Move on to the next beat. Listen to the loop and find where the next downbeat is. Once you’ve found that, Control-click on the grid and set the Stretch Bars to the downbeat. Now the second bar is also set. All the grid positions will automatically move according to the new setting. If you feel that some bars are not in the right place, you can adjust the grid to fix it. If the beats are not in the right place, select the grid for the beats and drag it to fit the tempo and the timing.
See what each function in the grid does and how it affects the loop. The first one that you notice is the Set Grid Start. It is usually seen at the start of the loop. You can drag it anywhere to mark the beginning of the loop. This means that the loop will start playing from the location that you set up the Set Grid Start marker.
Adjust Beat Position is the next one that you might notice. It is blue in color and will help you to change the position of individual beats. This will not affect the surrounding beats if they are locked. This function helps you to fix timing problems or non-alignment of the beat to the grid.
Stretch Bars is used for setting the start of the next bar from the beat positions. You have to select it using the Ctrl key and click on the bars. The marker will change to red color and you can move it around to fix on the position of the next bar. All the surrounding grid positions will be adjusted according to what you set here.
Stretch Previous/Move Next is usually shown at the bars. You can move it around to set the position of the next bar. The marker would be in a pinkish color. The rest of the bars and the beats will be changed accordingly.
In this tutorial, I’ve shown you how to correct timing problems and to enhance loops to stay on time. With AudioWarp, you can also change the feel of the loop by adding Swing and grid effects. If you feel that the loop is not in the right lock, you can either use automatic or manual correction methods to make the loops sound perfect.
So the next time that you are doing a remix or redoing a song and find that the loops are causing you trouble, correct and fix them using AudioWarp and make the song sound more solid and tight instantly.
Remember that you can always reset the loop in case you mess up something and want to start from the top again. Use the Reset option under AudioWarp. With this knowledge, go on and make all your loops and samples stay perfect in time and make your music awesome.