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Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

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Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby maskedwarrior » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:08 pm

Hi. I have a question in two parts. I've recently purchased Cubase 6.5 and remain very impressed with their time-stretching algorithms, however:

Part I:
I've been working on a song and during the process of recording it - after adding vocals / harmonies - I realized it needs to be slower than the tempo I fixed on.

I'm changing the tempo from 126 to 124.5bpm - using a mixture of algorithms, some Elastique Pro 'Formant Pitch', and some 'Time'. 126 - 124bpm is the most I can do it without the vox starting to sound odd - developing a slightly boxy sound.

Maybe I ought to rerecord the whole thing - or at least the vocals - but I really don't want to :) I've put hours into this and I'm all spent. Maybe I'm just being too critical - I don't know how much 'acceptable' time-stretching goes on in the pro / industry world.


So can I ask if anyone has any tips for the best time-stretching in cubase??

Part II:
Also - As I've developed the track I've stepped down incrementally from 129bpm - so one or two instrumental tracks are recorded at 129, some at 127 and most at 126pbm. I wouldn't have chosen to do this, it just happened.

I've had some issues with certain samples not stretching as they should, playing just slightly out of sync, which I've resolved as I've gone along (but which has, however, cost me a few good guitar takes before I realized!). Right now, though, it's been stable for a while and I can stretch it however I like.

But I guess I'm realizing how beholden I am to Cubase and its Algorithms to keep this project useable. How stable is Cubase in this respect? I would hate to come back to the project in years to come and find it a chaotic mess. This is nagging at me.

May I bounce the audio so it's all synchronized together and not reliant on Cubase's time-stretching Algorithms, to use as a backup??

Some insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.
Tony
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Re: Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby maskedwarrior » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:51 pm

Bump! A link might be all I require.
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Re: Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:05 pm

Personally I would re-start, but I understand your lack of desire to do so. It will sound better than time-stretched files.

An alternative would be to leave the track at the original BPM and then time stretch the whole track at the end of the process, which would result in one stereo file being affected rather than multiple files all adding to the potential degraded sound.
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Re: Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby tex » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:19 pm

Are you using other FX than Steinberg's built in ones? Could be that one is not playing ball and either turning off or not stretching (enough).
I'd go with Richie's finish, master and then stretch suggestion.
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Re: Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:26 pm

maskedwarrior wrote:Maybe I ought to rerecord the whole thing - or at least the vocals

Yes. As you're noticing how they suffer. The instruments may be OK.

How stable is Cubase in this respect? I would hate to come back to the project in years to come and find it a chaotic mess.

Coming back to ANY project when the DAW program has moved on by a couple of version is always dangerous! But as long as you have the audio files, they can be re-stretched using whatever tools are available then.

Really, though, do yourself and the song a favour. Re-record, the way you WANT it to go. If there's one particular riff you just can't nail a second time, drop just THAT in. But most of it you'll play better.
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Re: Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:32 pm

When I *have* to time-stretch or pitch shift I try to re-record as many surrounding parts as possible. This can help to hide some of the artifacts. Sometimes I add new un-shifted parts just to help things gel. MIDI parts can help greatly.
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Re: Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby maskedwarrior » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:46 am

Thanks for your opinions. Very helpful in achieving perspective. I may have tidied my midi piano / drum arrangement enough that it can sit a bit faster without sounding awful, so further time-stretching won't be necessary. Hope so. :)
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Re: Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:51 am

Export as WAV files and tidy the whole thing up in Reaper, sync'ing everything together to the MIDI grid. And then don't look back!
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Re: Tips for time-stretching Cubase 6.5

Postby maskedwarrior » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:43 am

I've been trying to preserve the original 'performance' as much as I can, so fiddling less rather than more. Been quite a looong process though.

Nice to know you can manipulate to a grid in reaper. But can't Cubase too or is a better interface in Reaper?
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