Whatever your studio setup may be like, everything in it serves a specific purpose and is intended to be used in a certain way, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. For the first part of this series i’m going to cover Software and ways of using it outside its intended purpose. For my examples below, i’m going to be using Ableton Live, but most DAWs can be used for this.
Processing Artifacts and Feature Imperfections
This has always been one of my go-to uses for Ableton Live: The Warp Settings. The intended function here is to give you a variety of algorithms to choose from in order to get the best results when warping audio. Like most software this has its limitations and can only deliver results up to a certain level of quality, which is why it’s great to exploit this feature for all the wrong (right) reasons. In my example below i’m going to use a simple vocal:
Then apply the following settings:
As you can see, i’m time-compressing the vocal to to the lowest possible setting of its original BPM using the ” :2 ” button. Now you want do consolidate this clip (select and press Ctrl+J on PC or Command+J on Mac). Next, we’re going to time-stretch our consolidated sample as much as possible using the ” *2 ” button. For my example, i’m using the “Complex” algorithm:
Now i’m going to consolidate and stretch using this method until i get a result i like:
Looping & Stretching
Another interesting way to use this is with a looped clip. Remember that the warp settings cannot be automated, so it’s best to record your audio to another track as you tweak the settings. (If anyone knows of a way to control the Ableton Live warp settings, i’d love to hear from you in the comments). Here’s an example where i’ve placed my clip in session view and then stretched the sample as much as possible using the texture algorithm. I looped a short section and then recorded me playing the clip while turning the “Grain” and “Flux” settings up and down:
Check out Part 2, where i’ll cover how to use a feedback signal as a way of creating sounds.