Warp Modes


Ableton® Live 9 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Warp Modes

So far, we've gone over the basics of navigation, and we've looked at controlling our timing, really getting everything the lock together and playback. So now we're going to look at the war modes, which is a big aspect of making sure just cause it's locked to the time doesn't mean it sounds really good when it's stretched all crazy like so that's where the word when it's coming. So what? Moz, every time you stretch audio, you have to add information to fill in the gaps or in speeding it up. You also have to somehow warped the sound to fit the new timing. This is where war moves come in now, right before the break, I was kind of explaining that when you have some, uh, sample and you slow it down immensely, you're going to have to fill in the gap with some form of information something needs to go in there. Well, a lot of times the wart modes is how it repeats stuff in there, or if it stretch, if it decides to stretch that one out, that section all the way across, or if it decides to rep...

eat that section or whatever it does to fill in the gap and that's, why we have thes different war modes so they're different war modes for different types of audio the different settings let you fill in that space in different ways to best keep the aspect of the audio that you want so we have beats, tones, texture and so on and we're going to go through all this stuff so here's a list but let's ah look at let us look at an example in able to do that all right? So the first thing we're going to look at is beats mode so let's say we have this beat way, way more trapping work gangster today. All right, so so I have this sample just so you know, right down here this segment you can sixty five is what it was originally so if I turn this down, start us on weird a little bit because it's stretching me well I have these different most here and pete's mode is obviously what you use with a beat now even right now it's kind of stuttering sound so I'm going to explain why that is and what's happening here so beats mode is listening to the specific transient so it's looking at this way form and it's saying all right there's a hit here all I care about is that hit I don't care about the tone, the texture like the painting of any I just care about the fact that there's a hit there and I want that hit to always be in that same spot on the time line no matter what tempo were at that's what beats mode cares about because of that it has all these different settings over here the preserve settings off what it does to fill in that information what does it do in between those transients? Those hits well right off the bat it could try to preserve the transients which is what I was talking about the hit or it could preserve a specific um fixed timing so like sixteenth no it's thirty second notes and so on so it'll always try to keep whatever is that the sixteen? No, I don't ever really use that because the power of able to it is that it looks at the transients and that's fantastic so I just use transient mode so it looks at the actual hits but if you ever wanted to just keep like sixteenth notes or eighth notes or the bar you could always pick those I like transience so how it feels and that information is determined by this little feature here so we have uh ford and stop foreign forward and forth and back in other words right now it's said it ford and back so if I play this whenever there's a transient and there's the next transient needs to fill that in it's going to play a little bit of itself forward and back that's where we're getting that weird stuttering sound because it's repeating itself now if I turn this way down you can hear filling in with that stuttering back and forth now if I choose back and forth forward it grabs that transient and then just plays it see how they would like a jew dutilleux it's going did it did it did it did it did it did it that's just four four fort now granted if I was you know this is at sixty five ppm if I go to seventy it's going to sound great I'm just showing the extremes of these so that you know if you have a vocal that sounds all stuttering oh it's in beast mode or whatever but if you're in beats node and you're set pretty closely original timing like even its sixty like I can't I can't tell the difference it sounds pretty good just in the extreme cases doesn't become obvious you do have this other setting no which is foreign and stop which generally my favorite so this one I will play it now let's slow this down immensely basically it's playing that transient whatever the transient is stopping playing the next transit so because this is a pretty clean beat it's sounding really good even when it's super slow because it's filling in the silence with silence because it's a beat it doesn't need to fill it with anything else um now there's this other important setting so I'm going to go back to the original setting speed of this which is sixty five so it's playing way have one other thing here in our preserve setting which is basically like it to k amount so right now it's playing one hundred percent of that transition to the next transit between transients plays all the way through but if I change that amount it's going to bring down the volume to whatever I want so let's say I go to know how it since minimal now because now it's only playing like the very beginning of that beat provide open it up it plays the full transient now I might be able to find a better yeah this might be a better example so I go to beats go to hear sounds way more minimal and then it kind of open it back up on plame or mohr of each transient there's a really awesome way of like let's say you have a sample with way too much reverb you can actually use the beats mode if it's a something with strong transients or or hits in it you can actually start bringing down the amount making it more more minimal that kind of gets rid of the river tale or take anything turn it the super micro percussion which could be a really cool added texture to your music so granted these things are designed to I have everything fit together but they could be used creatively they can be used in a way that takes advantage of it and turns in a whole new way of manipulating your sound I love beats mode for that it's really fantastic. Um another thing to keep in mind is it's on lee really looking at these transients right? Uh it's basing the playback so wherever it saw that transient if I double click and write a new war marker it acts like a transient so now let's listen so I can actually come in here and I can create like new percussive patterns by just drawing in those new transients so you can hear those stutters grand if I open it up nothing really but if I slow that down I can kind of play with the pattern and create cool new things so that's why I love beats mode awesome if anyone has questions on these particular modes while we're going through it feel free to ask them because I'll just move on to them to the next one's cool. So now let's look at the next mode so we've talked about preserving beats having them kind of stay no matter what our time is now let's talk about something that has a different quality like so this is more of like a melody right has some type of pitch to it well, what we'd want to pick his tones because tones mode is looking at me just move this we have more area so it's on lee really paying attention to the tonal quality the pitch of the thing well how is it going to fill in that information beats move we know it fills in with silence are repeats itself if you're paying attention to the tonal quality what you're going to want to keep is that tone and repeat the tone not necessarily a transient but just the pitch so that's where our green size comes in I'm going to show an example of turning this way down so kind of still has a stuttering sound but it it's trying to keep that that pitch our grain size is what affects it so the green size is basically saying how big of a chunk of the original sample is trying to repeat so if I go a smaller it's a little different and if I go really big bigger has kind of morbid wobbling kind of movement we're smaller gets more pitch oriented so if I turn this way down see it's like a tone almost but if I turn this up it's kind of a weird wobbly noise so that's what our pitch does our grain size now if I'm pretty close to the original like this says it's ah one hundred eighty but if I go toe like even like one fifteen it sounds pretty good if I go speed up slow down it sounds really good until I'm like, I mean, half the speed and still sounding decent is pretty good. So what if I put this in, like, let's say, beats mode, I'm just gonna change. These settings were quick. Now I'm creatively using beats mode, but it still sounds weirder than if I had it in tones. Mode sounds much more like the original, so that's tones mode. Uh, and then we'll look at texture mode, which is very similar, so texture mode is a great example. Rain. Uh, this is actually recording. I did. It is really crazy thunderstorm here in seattle, when I lived over on lake washington and, you know, the quality of rain is that it's, random it's not hitting on time, there's no. Tonal quality none of that, the only thing that a texture has that it wants to keep is maybe the fact that it is random, it became less random that could become stranger, so texture mode is keeping the randomness and keeping it fills it in by repeating chunks of itself just kind of like tones. Mode was but there's a slight difference. Let's, turn this way down and speed so as example way have grain sites, so green size is the same thing as before it's taking a chunk and it's repeating it. One of the cool things about this grain size, though, is it goes from super teeny toe really big. So if I go huge, I'm getting that repeated pattern. Now, if I go small basically turns into a tone because it's, we're talking about granular synthesis at this point because it's taking a teeny little to sample size and repeating it, and they were also getting a note out of it. But if I go bigger, I'm like increasing that kind of wobbling, repetitive noise. So if I'm going really small in green size it's no longer a random longer texture that's where this comes in flux so flux basically is going to grab a random samples all over the place and fluctuate them so I turn that up knows how it's kind of no sounds more random quite like rain because we've gone from one sixty two twenty p m that's a gigantic jump but if I play with these green size is a little bit play with flux still strange, but if I get pretty close to sixty pretty good turning faster sounds good it's a pretty good warning note for this type of sandwich so that's texture mode again great for textures random things, rainwater, wind stuff like that ah then were moved into re pitch now re pitch is similar to vinyl djs now if you're a final deejay and you're playing it and also you slow down the playback it's going to lower the pitch well, that's what reap itched us so let me put it to the original seventy now if I'm taking my global bpm and lowering it strange so the thing about pitches how we hear things is movement in the air right? The slower something moves lower the pitch, the faster it moves, the higher the pitch now if you play back a song and you're slowing it down by just literally slowing it down you are also lowering the pitch because that way form is now getting slower and slower which is lower and lower and pitch now when you're in re pitch mode there is next to there is no artifacts there's no artifact to it and all the other ones you could hear like theirs weird little wobbles their strange change especially when we get extreme now in re pitch mode there is no artifacts at all the only problem is if you change your bpm you've changed your pitch which is very hard to do musically so I hardly ever use re pitch moved some people use it for their live sets stuff like that it can be a cool effect if used properly but that's what it does there's no settings it's just you lower the pitch you I mean you lower the speed you lower the pitch great so let's go to this next one which is a full track this is an original track of my own move ahead like that all right, so in this track I can't really use deeds because I have harmony and melody I can't use harmony melody because then it wouldn't pay attention to beat so what I use is complex complex mode means a complex polyphonic report uh rhythmic harmonics off the whole track something that has multiple elements is why use complex and you'll notice there's no settings well this was a crazy I don't know why I decided to learn this but I learned that the algorithm they use is called the elastic algorithm it's like a very specific mathematical way of looking at music and automatically stretching and moving it to sound good the automatic it reads it uses this algorithm and says this is how I'm going to play it back it there's no setting to it at all this is good for any deejaying full track stuff like that now as an example let's take this beat let's take this one now slow it way down let's put it in complex no it sounds weird it's got a weird stretch that's because you're actually hearing the algorithms which could be cool if used an interesting weird ambient ways but like it's strange sounding and that's the thing about that's why you don't use complex mode on a beat if you don't use it on ability because it's just not very good at that it's very good and a full tray now when you play a full track though it's just so slow now if I turn this way down just start sounding weird so complex is really great at what it does if you don't stray that far from the original bpm I would say like ten at the most but even that starts to stretch it so if this was sixty I can go down to like seventy ish or even up is better it can probably go to eighty and be fine but just know that there are some limitations it does start sounding weird after a while the next one is complex probe now complex pro is basically just a updated version of complex it's choose that here my wart moods if I use complex pro it's better what it does it's just an updated algorithm but it is more cpu intensive so you might want to keep that mind but you do have to other settings you might notice that show up here when I use pro now if I play this let's see the original bpm is around okay? We're closer stop movies nothing's happening I've never understood these for a while I was like what have these choices but I don't do anything that is because this updated version of complex pro is specific to a human voice and on lee when it's transposed that's the only time we get to use this but it's really cool when you d'oh so here's an example I'm going to go in complex the original one right I'm gonna go to minus five all my transpose here in the sample so now that it's a minus five turn let's hear what that voice sounds like a very weird right now very human kind of go sleek now let's hear what happens when it putting complex pro transposing it but it still sounds realistic ish wait till she comes back now put that complex totally different right? So what it's doing is it's grabbing the human vocal and warping it in a totally different way to try to keep the natural quality of it could be really cool in synthesis or what I like to do is layer vocals we'll have like different versions of the vocals and pitch them up and down and then change these settings and complex pro and get really cool harmonic effects um so as an example I'm going to put this back to minus five and in complex pro so are two things here basically for man I like to view it as from male to female on and you can kind of pick in between depending what you want so it's grabbing basically that part of the human voice if it's a male it's lower female tired on an envelope is how quick it's grabbing that that ring so higher sounds a little worldly a little strange in the middle is generally pretty good. I don't really move that much yeah once I learned what those did and then I could transpose and keep the vocal range, it was really awesome super fund in your own production awesome! So questions from you guys or from online about the different wart modes why we have them what we do with him? Yeah yeah I got a question about the complex pro um, so is generally used for vocals. Do you have any examples when it's not used on vocals? And it sounds really good? Or yes, so, uh, it is like complex in the way that is used for full songs, right? Full elements, but creatively, I've used it for a lot of stuff. Um, creatively, I've used it for vocals, doing that multiple layer thing, but I've also used it for like, synths. A great example of that is, let me see if I have where what? I have it current project, maybe I'm just trying to find like, ah, all right, so, um, I'm just going to duplicate this, so I have this into and you played it now if I take this one on and I put it in complex pro complex and I bring it down by let's, say, twelve that's a certain quality to that, but if I bring it to complex pro on aiken record that movement, especially finding something, and then I'd record that where that's totally different quality than it gets more more obvious than mohr, extremely good, complex pro so it's like a new way of synthesizing um that's very unique to the program, but that's the only other way I would use it, yeah, other questions, awesome. So, here's, just a outline of what they are. Kind of. I've already told you what they were, but we have beats mode, great for beats, tones, anything with a pitch for total quality texture mean, that keeps the special quality best for field recordings. Re pitch mode just lowers the pitch, committed this speed or raises, and then you have complex and complex pro, which is better designed for full tracks and complex prose. An updated version. That's, more cpu intensive that's, good for transposing something with the vocal.

Class Description

Ableton® Live is a powerful tool for producing music and taking your music from the studio to the stage. Learn the best way to work with it in Ableton® Live 9 Fast Start with Isaac Cotec.

Isaac will teach basics of mixing audio and using Live for live performance. In this class, up-and-coming producers with develop a solid foundation for working with Live. You’ll learn about:

  • Recording/editing original or arranged music
  • Sequencing techniques with MIDI
  • On-board effects within Live as well as working with virtual instruments
  • Creating beats with Live
  • Using Ableton® Live for live performance
  • Time stretching
  • Importing audio and adjusting time and tempo
Ableton® Live 9 Fast Start with Isaac Cotec is perfect for established musicians wanting to expand their digital possibilities, or for the beginner who wants to start creating music with Live.


Malcolm King

Hello, Firstly gotta thank you for your great tutorials, and sharing the knowledge of making music; then I wanna say, I bought the Ableton Live 9 tutorial package, but I didn't heard or better say understand some of Mr. Cotec's words; that's why I wonder would you please send me an English subtitle of his excellent teaching? I will be much grateful for this. Best Regards, Malc

Claudio Martins

Great start course! And Isaac is a super-teacher. Many lessons and great tips. This the first time Im really learned how to handle Ableton!

Michael D Flash

It was great i was a total novice and helped what he showed