Soft field recordings sound weird when warped

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
jtenney
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:11 am
Location: Lafayette CA USA
Contact:

Soft field recordings sound weird when warped

Post by jtenney » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:05 pm

Hello all--

I am returning to Live 5 after an absence; now once again I dream of doing pieces improvised rather than "composed" (I've been working in Reason for years). I'm getting deeper into Live than ever before. I love it!!

Question, though. A lot of what I do is rooted in using field recordings as beds, adding music, sfx etc. I'm finding that with the softer beds, the act of warping is significantly changing the sound. It adds weird high sounds, kind of like a flange that doesn't sweep; in the physical world, it reminds me of holding a seashell up to my ear. You'd think that a professional musician like me could come up with a better way to describe it, but...

It has gotten better since I use the repitch setting, but it's still very much there. I guess that ideally I'd like to be able to loop the beds without any warp at all, but unless I'm missing something (which is very possible), that can't be done.

Anyone have any ideas of what's going on, or if there's any way around it? Thanks!!!

later,
John
www.soundclick.com/johntenney

iMac G5, Reason 3.0, Live 5, Peak 5.01 LE, mp3 Trimmer, Finale 2006, various VSTs, Yamaha PSR 170 keyboard (cheap midi controller), Evolution UC33e (not so cheap midi controller)

dj superflat
Posts: 1279
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:31 pm
Location: leadville, CO

Post by dj superflat » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:32 pm

not very helpful, but this has been frequently discussed (the man himself weighed in on why warping does certain things to sound). i, too, am frustrated by the need to use warp even were you don't need it (just looping). but you can get around that by cutting and pasting or by leaving warp off and playing into arrangement triggering scenes repeatedly as you go (assuming all loops are same length).

Johnisfaster
Posts: 7251
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:34 am
Contact:

Post by Johnisfaster » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:33 pm

using follow actions you could loop it without warping it.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

b0unce
Posts: 5379
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:16 pm

Post by b0unce » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:40 pm

There's no quick-fix solution...

for a start, you could try just warping the silent pieces (if there are any); of course you'll need to lock the warpmarkers surrounding the audio that isnt silent FIRST.

which will leave you with longer silent pieces, which you may not want....you'll have to get creative and put some more recordings in place to cover these blank spots

basically if you want to keep the fidelity of your field-recordings, you'll need to cut things up (not warp them) ...this way you can space things out etc.


when you're at the stage of putting your field recordings down, you should seperate the segments into different audio clips (unwarped) and make sure global quantization is off, and that the audio clips arent loops...so that they'll stop when they reach their end. make sure you're in record mode, session view, and then launch each clip at the appropriate time. Then render that session.....and you have your new field-recording audio file.

theres more then one way to skin a cat.....but warping your field recordings is gonna suck, unless thats the sound you want.
spreader of butter

jtenney
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:11 am
Location: Lafayette CA USA
Contact:

Post by jtenney » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:42 pm

Hey John and Superflat--

Well, the beds are of all different lengths, since they aren't tied to any kind of quantization. But doing copy-paste in arrangement view sounds like a possibility. And setting follow actions sounds like it could work well, since I cut the beds in an external editor to loop seamlessly. Thanks for the fast comments!!

later,
John
www.soundclick.com/johntenney

iMac G5, Reason 3.0, Live 5, Peak 5.01 LE, mp3 Trimmer, Finale 2006, various VSTs, Yamaha PSR 170 keyboard (cheap midi controller), Evolution UC33e (not so cheap midi controller)

dj superflat
Posts: 1279
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:31 pm
Location: leadville, CO

Post by dj superflat » Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:23 pm

i like using follow actions for this, but find it somewhat frustrating because it only works once i have song structure down and thus know how many bars of what i need where (the math can get marginally irritating with loops of different lengths).

jtenney
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:11 am
Location: Lafayette CA USA
Contact:

Post by jtenney » Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:35 am

Johnisfaster, I'm getting frustrated trying to loop my unwarped clips with follow actions. It's weird what happens. The length of the loop is set for the number of seconds, follow action is "play again," with probablility of 1:0 so that it will always happen. The file plays once, then the clip slot arrow is pulsing on and off, there's silence for the length of the file, THEN it plays again. I admit to having trouble with getting my mind around follow actions in general, but I thought I could do this. Anything you (or anyone else) can suggest?? Thanks!

later,
John
www.soundclick.com/johntenney

iMac G5, Reason 3.0, Live 5, Peak 5.01 LE, mp3 Trimmer, Finale 2006, various VSTs, Yamaha PSR 170 keyboard (cheap midi controller), Evolution UC33e (not so cheap midi controller)

Johnisfaster
Posts: 7251
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:34 am
Contact:

Post by Johnisfaster » Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:09 am

I'm not 100% on how follow actions work myself but I can get them to do what I want most of the time. I would set "play again" on both the right and left side of the follow actions thingy. and then set any number for both sides as the ratio doesn't really matter since both sides do the same thing.

yeah?
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

jtenney
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:11 am
Location: Lafayette CA USA
Contact:

Post by jtenney » Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:44 pm

John, I do exactly what you say (it's what I was doing before) and I get the same thing: nothing. Well, SOMEthing, in that the arrow in the clip slot starts pulsing as soon as I launch the clip, then stays pulsing while the clip plays, goes silent for the same amount of time, then plays again, etc. WEIRD. Help!?!

later,
John
www.soundclick.com/johntenney

iMac G5, Reason 3.0, Live 5, Peak 5.01 LE, mp3 Trimmer, Finale 2006, various VSTs, Yamaha PSR 170 keyboard (cheap midi controller), Evolution UC33e (not so cheap midi controller)

btovsky
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:00 am
Location: brooklyn, ny
Contact:

looping with follow actions

Post by btovsky » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:29 pm

after a lot of hair-pulling this is how i end up doing this:
- i edit my field recordings and other non-rhythmic material in a sound editor (i use peak pro) and cut it to the nearest beat (using bars/beats as your ruler as opposed to smpte or samples.) this gives you the info you need to set follow actions to the right number of bars.
- additionally, i will if needed crossfade my loop so that it loops seamlessly. while it's a major PITA doing it this way - why oh why isn't there just a "loop" button? - once you get into the workflow it's pretty easy, and it works flawlessly.

i wish there was a way of displaying the bar/beat length of a file, though this would be of limited use, since live can't deal with small fractions of a beat in follow actions. editing the clip to a bar/beat is the best solution i've been able to figure out.
cheers
bruce

Hyperion
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:05 pm
Location: Rotterdam
Contact:

Follow action

Post by Hyperion » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:16 pm

Image

Here I have an unwarped sample which always (chance is 1:0) plays again (arrow underneath) after 65 bars. It takes a while to set the end time exactly where you want it.

Greetings
Last edited by Hyperion on Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
I don't chat.

Angstrom
Posts: 14704
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Post by Angstrom » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:22 pm

Here's a nice quick solution that doesn't use those damn annoying follow actions
  • drag your ambient loop in, set the clip on Pitch - warp - loop
  • IMPORTANT BIT : take a look at your main project BPM, copy that number into the little clip BPM box for your ambient sound.
  • set the loop braces to the start and end, because they have probably moved about.
  • you should now have a loop which is glitch and artifact free.
the reason you get horrible noises normally is because live tries to find an 'original bpm' for the ambient clip, normally this is completely useless. So, manually setting the clip bpm to the same as the project bpm effectively says "dont try to stretch it"
All the warp modes other than pitch will introduce artifacts of one kind or another , but pitch mode is transparent when it is at the same tempo as the master. Actually beats should be transparent when tempo matched too, but repitch seems like a lower cpu option.

works for me anyway. :)

Post Reply