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Megamixes - Warping older tracks, staying in time?

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:57 pm
by buckman
So I've been an Ableton user for a few years and love it. Still on 9.7.7 on Mac.

I am looking at doing some old school Megamixes especially disco and funk from the 70's and early 80's and as we all know (that million dollar question) they are not locked to a metronome, as they drift due to live drummers.

I did briefly try Mixmeister but i found it horrible and no-where near the flexibilty of Ableton in terms of keys, chopping up loops, samples, BPM etc.

I have gotten really good a full song warping on todays, house and techno in Live, and am really fast, but this baffles me a little when it comes to older stuff.

So I place the 1.1.1 on the first downbeat, and 'set 1.1.1 here'.

I usually "Warp from Here (Straight)" but this seems to drift?

What is the best way to warp for very slight fluctuating beats, (as well as) tightening up by eye and hand with yellow warp markers?

This seems to take me ages, as a 12" disco record could be 8 minutes, but I have to tighten every 8 bars! so its taking me ages - and THEN, it still jumps here and there due to the warp markers tightening up the beats?
I even selected a section of the track in the edit window, dragged over it and CMD+U to quantize it, so it had hundreds of yellow warp markers, on each bar - but again this fluttered around on and off the beat, which i suppose is understandable?

(a) Is there a simple way to do this, maybe with a different "Warp from Here (ie: start at 126bpm) or "Warp 126.0BPM from here) ? or warp as a 128-bar loop??

(b) Leave the full tracks as they are on the timeline unwarped so they just play, but only warp the last ''mix-out' points so they are in time with the next track? This would leave the original track alone (and not get the fluttering of warping) but not so great if I wanted to backbeat a solid loop all the way through a 10 minute mix to keep continuity and flow, as some megamixes do :(

Any help would be great! especially others who maybe have to warp and mix older dance / disco tracks

Re: Megamixes - Warping older tracks, staying in time?

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:40 pm
by Angstrom
the info you need is here: ... d-warping/

Section 9.2.1 Tempo Leader/Follower

The clip that is the current tempo leader will play as if warping was off, but with one important difference — the rest of the Live Set will be warped so that it plays in sync with the current tempo leader.

Re: Megamixes - Warping older tracks, staying in time?

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:58 pm
by buckman
thank you Angstrom!

This is interesting! So is it saying that you only need to warp one 'leader' track, really well? and the others follow?
(I haven't personally heard of this setting tbh)

Do you know of any real world examples of this or youtube videos to explain what it means? as this sounds like it could be the answer?

Thank you!!

Re: Megamixes - Warping older tracks, staying in time?

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:30 pm
by Angstrom
You need to warp the main track well. Even if it sounds like crap as you add and adjust markers. Just warp it to a simple beat, or click. Get it warped to the beat, but sounding terrible!

The critical part is that when you put this track in arrangement this option is available. When activated the clip will play back as if it is unwarped, that is, the tempo will fluctuate and the track will not exhibit warping artifacts. It will sound unwarped. It will act as the tempo master for everything playing at that time. So a break or bassriff will follow the wobbly human tempo.

Re: Megamixes - Warping older tracks, staying in time?

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:16 pm
by buckman
Right so you mean like this :

So if I have one track that is the master tempo, it means I can put a loop underneath and the loop follows all the tiny movements in the tempo which is good for back-beating a 'wobbly' live track.

But what about when I mix into the 2nd track that is also 'live' do I then set that track to 'master' ?

Can another full song, slave to the master of the 1st song so that you can tightly mix the ends of 2 tracks that are 'live' together?