Workshop 6 - Warping in Ableton with Isaac Cotec


Decibel Conference


Lesson Info

Workshop 6 - Warping in Ableton with Isaac Cotec

So we're going to be looking at how we can use warping for sound design and how we can stretch and manipulate things not just to fit the time, but use it creatively to create interesting new ideas and your concepts for we get into that just want to introduce myself. My name is isaac co tech, and I also go by subway equis, and this is me performing actually on the washington coast with photosynthesis a few years ago, and I performed all over the united states, I'm from seattle, I now live in portland, but that's a big part of who I am because I love music that's why I got into this not because I wanted to start teaching people, but because I'd love to make sounds. I love to get a dance floor moving and that's what put me into this whole world? Well, when I first got into this about eight years now, there was no information out there, there was a manual, but it was in german for able to and I was using able to five youtube wasn't really a thing yet, so there was nothing and I was in the ...

complete dark. Luckily, I had unemployment at that time on, I was able to lock myself in a room and just work on things. And it took me about six months to really understand the program and get it completely under control but nowadays with such a huge community things that's a lot easier and what I learned is in about four sessions I could take someone threw able teo and all the basics of it that took me around six months to learn and that's why I started teaching start teaching different musicians and here's a picture of me at control voltage in portland teaching a free class on fast song writing which we're going to go over tomorrow actually and I became an able to in certified trainer down in l a with a built in and I'm one of I think it's eighty or one hundred certified trainers in united states and I'm able to do things like this and shared deep information around the program I also started my own business class track dot org's it's a brand new thing that's going to be launched really soon and it's to help teachers and educators with music technology in schools and colleges so that's another thing I've been working on lots around music and teaching great not just about me let's dive in the information so the scope of this class is we're going to look deeper into warp modes what each one of them are and how we can use them and then also using more moods tomb or a sound not just make it hit fit the timing as well as vocal correction with war markers, creative percussion and re sampling re sampling is a really awesome key for sound design right now let's look at live just a show of hands of the people here who here has opened live and feel like they kind of know it they have a good handle who here is never open live too okay, so the basics of this is we have session view with these different clips I'm going play these clips, these clips air nondestructive in other words, I could have different versions of the same sample and it's not destroying the original sample. I'm not gonna go too deep into the basics, but just, you know, that's what's happening, so if I press enter, I'm going to play this whole room. So this is the original samples at the original timing, not a lot of change here's it beats mode just changing the war moon and notice how I'm getting mohr of an interesting, minimal percussion this's using some interesting re pitch, get those weird sounds and you can see I'm already creating different versions just out of my work notes and here's another one with vocals that's the original here's a re pitch on here is using complex pro and some interesting ways of changing the sound on we're going to go over that of how you can really create interesting vocals and harmonics using wart modes. So now we're not just talking about hitting the timing, but really cool new sounds out of this great. So before we get into this let's, just quickly review what work modes are now, every time you stretch audio, you have toe 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 work boats come in. So in other words, I've got this original sample here and it's not really being stretched at all, but if I stretch it let's say I double the amount of time that it has to play I'm making it twice is long, right? Well, how am I feeling in that information as is I would maybe chop it up and put in the blanks sound, but then it wouldn't quite be what I'm looking for well are different war modes is how we fill in that timing, so if we do beats mode it's going to repeat the beats tones, it fills in more total information and so on were going we're gonna look into that and we have these different modes here there are different war moves for different types of audio, depending on what we want to do or in our case, what we want to creatively do and they're different settings that let us fill in that space in different ways to keep the aspects of the audio you want so beats mode good for beats, tones, tones it's kind of obvious but we're going to review these and then show how we can do some cool stuff uh I'm probably gonna go back to this but I'm just going to read real quick the first one beats mode so beats mode works best for rhythmic dominant music like drum loops or some elektronik dance music so it's really looking into the transients it's really looking into keeping just the spikes of audio just the percussive parts of it this would not work very well for let's say a vocal because you want the sound of the voice the pitch great now let's look in the live sit down for this part right? Great. So first of all we have is a beat here. Very simple. This is a beat I created for one of my projects called silk trap. Now if I double click any clip it shows me the clip you and here I have the wart modes and all this other information I could start changing while the war modes air found right there and we have working on or off we wanted on because we're working it and then we can change the war mode right here as well as the preserve setting stuff like that so if I go to beats a lot of times that's what it's set by default beaches looking at the transient first of all the transient you might see these a little teeny gray lines on the way for might be a little hard for you all to see but there's a teeny little grey marks and those represent transients in other words hits and then we have these little flags zoom in here he's a little yellow flags are the war mode that work markers and I can grab these move him around radical stuff with it on guy could double click to make a new war marker stretch audio start gets really weird really quick that way just undo that cool so now that we have this the first thing we can do is if we play this we're hearing it pretty much as is but then we have these preserve settings so preserve khun b the original timing which uh sorry preserve you have the different timing here which would be have to be we have fourth one a sixteenth whatever it might be or my favorite one is transient so transience is those little grey marks right? Well if I said it's a transient it's looking for all those little hits and then the next thing is I have these different settings so to make a super obvious I'm going to slow this way down a little too knows how it's kind of wobbly now because it's filling in those gaps of information with repeats of that hit that's because this little setting we have there it plays the transient forward back forward back forward back until the next hit that's what? We're getting like a boom boom but I have different settings here I can go forward and forward it's similar sounding but it's not quite as wobbly because now it's just kind of repeating a little tail end of that transient over and over again this becomes obvious the slower I make it a little too slow it's just repeating it over and over and over to the next this might be why if you have full track and you play it and it's got this weird little glitchy sound in it that's because it's a beats mode it annoys me is so much when I'm hearing like uh my friends play music and I can hear that they have this sacks part in some trap remix and it has this weird little stutter in it because I know that's beats mode and I know they just picked the right mode it would sound way better so now you guys know if you ever get that weird little stutter something just change the mode but when b it's right last one is play stop so it's playing that transient stop and it creates silence this is really good for beats it's going to really have the same quality of the b just spread over time but what's really cool is this next setting which is the transient envelope and the transient envelope is basically saying when I see a transient I'm going to play it one hundred percent all the way through until the next transient well, if you change that I'm going to go to the original bpm here that's right up at the top right next the tab so the original samples at one thirty no playing now as I move this it's kind of like an envelope it's making it mohr and mohr of a smaller playback of that transient so it's kind of cutting off the volume and we can get really intricate little percussion out of this out of anything so original this is actually a really awesome way of getting rid of river you have reverb tails and some beat some sample that you don't want they should change that transit amount you get some really cool stuff out of it that's great way know how to play with this beat how to make p sound good but what else can we do with this? And this is when it gets really fun because we can start creatively using these transients so I have this pad here playing, playing all the way very simple pad right very weird sounding well once if I want to turn this in this some interesting little percussion that kind of rises what I can do is I can create mohr little war markers so I'm just gonna write he's in real quick I'm just double clicking to create a little wart marker all right so you just do this all right just more more just for handed at this point and you'll get the idea from that so now if I play it right now the reserve setting theo nothing's changing but now if I change it again to the place stop and then move that down we'll start getting this you start getting cool little percussions out of something as a pad really nice little additive feature she could do with that or you can just turn a simple cord into a repeated little beat pattern by doing this to great way of creating new percussions so let's see uh okay let me just start off should be deleted all right now there's other things you can do with this to like let's say I have this pad pat sound right not all that interesting well I also have this beat what happens if I could take the rhythm of that beat and put it into the pad this is where groups come in I'm not go super deep into groups because that's a whole other subject but if I just have this and a two finger click on mac or right click on p c I can extract groups what that does is it reads the file and it sees where all those transients are and it makes basically a middie file that has though there's little parts I can then dragged that same groove onto my pad and implement that exact same rhythm so this little button here in a little wave that we have on the side but click that like like that open it has my guru's which right now is just this one click dragon on the fade pad and it's there well we have to do a few settings real quick we can turn up the quant ization one hundred percent so it's going to quantifies this pad compared to the rhythm of the other beat so that turned up timing's great I'm not going to mess with velocity and now if I hit this button commit it creates all his little wart markers for that for that pad so now if I play this thing tio change that envelope you see what's happening here trans and writes come on I don't know why it's not working right now always works well I could do the same thing let's let's try it again from this one so I'm going to drag this beat over into that pad and I commit it we'll see all those new war markers what's going on it works I swear I don't know why it's not working we actually this white able to awesome because my laptop wasn't working for this, so I'm using a brand new laptop brand new push right now flawlessly I started up these projects, but I'm missing something, so we're not hearing that tried out it's very easy to add these percussions onto your onto your sounds then once you have that you can put on a play other beats and then keep those same movement on your pad compared to a different kind of create a cool new polyrhythms it's really fun way of using it so what? Let's move on from a beats note, but the very basics of this is with those transients we can create new rhythms with our little transient markers really awesome technique so again, we're not just fitting the time they were using it creatively, it's now we're gonna look at textures so I have the sound thisa regular crash, right? So right now we're going to create a really interesting riser from this sound using some different war moz, let me clear up some windows face the first thing we're gonna want to do is use re sampling now tones and textures can add a powerful arsenal to your sound design. To do this, we must use a re sampling track lives master output can be routed into an inn divisional track and recorded or re sampled re sampling could be a fun and useful tool as it lets you create samples from whatever you're listening to in live and you can immediately integrated so in other words, if I come here I'm gonna insert any audio track then in my iose my in announce if I pick re sampling it's going to record anything I hear through the playback so if I solo something it's going to just record that if I'm hearing multiple things that will record that will turn record on and if I do this you'll see that it recorded that sample now this is important because we're going to modulate this morph it change it we want to be very quick this is the power of a bolton I'm just going to keep changing things and recording it with re sample over and over and over first thing I'm gonna do is control their options all right so I have this sample I'm going to double let's just triple the size theme right off the bat we're getting a change well that's because we're in tones mode so tones mode is trying to grab just the tonal character of this sound well if I tripled the size it's gonna have to fill in a lot of information well what it's doing is it's grabbing the same tone over and over and over and over and repeating it that's why we get kind of same wobble sound that we were getting it beats mood because it's repeating but the difference here is I have this grain size which lets me decide how much how quickly it's repeating so let's put that way down now we get this kind of weird almost tonal quality because it's repeating little parts this is pretty much the beginning of granular synthesis it's just repeating over and over and over but once if I come in here on and start big and get smaller, I begin to get this new texture out of it so I'm just gonna record that real quick great we're gonna keep expanding off this idea over and over and over to create a new sound well know I have this let's put it into texture mode so texture modes a little different because texture mode is paying attention to the spatial and textural quality of the sample so let's say a river or wind the key to those things is that there ever changing a river never sounds the same the wind never sounds the same it's kind of randomized so that's what we're paying attention to in this war mode and we also the reason I like it is we have a bigger grain size from two hundred sixty three to two so very small have tio increase in size two very big but again increased way could start getting some cool things there well the last thing we have is let's say we have a green size of two that is a teeny teeny little increments being repeated but our flux is basically adding random ization so let's go to zero in flux weird so it's repeating in creating a tone but if I increase the flux zits basically grabbing random pieces from other parts of the sample to create something that would be more natural granted in this case we're not going for natural we're going for really strange morphed sounds so what I could do is I'm going to go for a very small flux and I'm going to do the same thing I'm just going to record myself moving this now you might ask yourself why don't I just automate that well this is one of the very few things you cannot automate within a bolton which is kind of annoying I mean it makes sense because why would you start changing that if you're just playing a vocal but when you start getting weird effects yeah I want to modulate it do stuff so I just have to record it each time all right so I'm gonna record theo grabbing in the reef sample track theme that sounds kind of getting bigger and it's wobble long summit is going to do that little pro tip is you have uh let's see fades I'm just going to fade that like this to kind of make it a smaller sample phillips here that you can't even see in that way for that we're getting new textures out of that right little repeats and stuff like that well, let's just take this first of all, the original intention of this is making a cool riser so I'm going to reverse it there's something about a missy elliott song some joke I should make about that but here we have it reversed its gonna rise it's gonna open do interesting things with texture mode put in texture again and I'm just going to like click transpose you go into angelo's click here that's not put volume I want clip transpose I'm going to create a falling down sound one more come on there we go and then if you hold c it's option on mac then you create that curve so we're hearing different changes in those texture moves on then it's gonna have this falling and then your big dub step trap comes in it's crazy all right, so that's cool well let's take this another step further and then I'm going to show the other one so I'm going tio command put this up here just real quickly I'm going to go back tio my trans suppose I'm going to go up curve this time and I'm going to go with let's just do texture double the size things get a little crazy double clicking to delete those little markers come on way go scroll up! And here we are gonna have a big brain sex now because I'm doing this is that come on, skip ahead in the track I have one raising while the other one is going to start falling way we're getting kind of a really interesting texture out of that, right? Well, I'm just going to mess with this just a little more and then re sample it all right? I'm gonna insert doubleclick a new audio track and set it to re sample so I can actually grab that second sample and then I'm just going to recorded so it's recording into that re sample track one going up, one coming down and if I wanted tio change those grain sizes cool. So I have this new sound just for example, I'm going to reverse this and let's hear that original again, you can see I've done a lot with that sound new interesting shapes, movement and that's the key to cool risers and sound effects is new new types of movement in modulation and just gives it character great cool and the last thing we're gonna look at is vocals that time is running short something to be quick on this one, but I have this local just now complexes great complex is for any harmonically a rhythmically complex sound it's mainly designed for a full track so if you ever have a deejay track or something like that some people say use beets mood I don't agree because I don't find a lot of music is just straight beats the whole time you know, just paying attention to transients I think complex is a a better way of doing it it's an automatic algorithm if I pick complex I don't have to do anything it's just it's done right it's called the elastic algorithm you wouldn't believe how long a research to figure that out but uh it sounds good I'm going to change the bpm sounds pretty good, right? Just great. Well, what happens if I transpose this? I'm gonna transpose this down by five let's make it really obvious, very weird sound right? Just I've never met someone with that voice and it could be cool that can be used you hear this lot trap and different electronic music but this is where complex pro comes in complex pro is an updated version of complex and it's specifically designed to deal with transposing of the human vocal range that is and on ly works when you have transposed it if you don't transpose it's pretty much same thing just a little better version of complex but let's hear this I'm gonna put it in notice how much more natural grand it's still a little weird but it sounds much more like a human vocal then I have these two settings here I have for man's, which I like to think from mail two female just playing with that could be really fun and I had envelopes which is basically how quick this happens, how quick it pays attention in the booth usually I like about it great, right? Well, once if I start playing with this a little bit more harmonically I'm going to command e shrink that I just duplicated that vocal so I have one it made negative five let's make this wondrous regular then we have a court basically thiss becomes very similar to a vocoder in a lot of ways way awesome. Well, the real key here is when we start shopping things up control e I'm gonna delete that I'm just going to play with this real quick I mean leap these elite that duplicate command e most favorite hockey ever and I'm going to put this one up tio let's say three so now we wait I just come in here I'm going to chop things but the key is now that I have that complex pro I could do really interesting things with the movement of that vocal like even just changing the four man on one part someone change option e no command he cut that I mean change that format and I have this just little modulations of the sound what's so of that and then here put it up. Well, subtle, right? But this is what really creates interesting movement when you're done with this. Teo teo let's do something like put this up by seven. I'll delete that one for big wass just well, I'm gonna just fast forward to pretend this is a cooking show, right? I've showed you like I put up all the ingredients and lay it all out cool boom! All of a sudden I have a klipsch great actually love occasion. So here's an example of something I just chopped up yesterday that's quite all right, the key issues a little bird. Sorry. Let me fix that real quick. Just so that was just playing with the same sample chopping it up using complex pro and different things. One thing you'll notice is this last sample this one is in complex because sometimes you want to have those really interesting kind of sounds out of it that seem unnatural, but put this in complex pro ah, a little more natural but complex a little more dole sounding and sometimes you just want to do that. Um so that was me just shopping up. It was different moments, so let me look over and here I will review these different modes that we talked about oh, I didn't show you what I'm just going to show you this real quick let's say can even just do with feet if I have this loop it granted beats mode would be a better mode for this sound, but once if I put in the repin tch well re pitch is a lot like vinyl in the way that if I slow back slow down the playback I'm slowing down the pitch I'm re pitching the sound and the nice thing about re pitch is its nondestructive this has to do with the basics of sound but let's say we have a wave that's going really fast the faster the wave is going, the higher pitch it is well, if I slowed that down and made the pitch go slower, it could be the exact same way form and if it's slower, it's lowering and pitch so in this way re pitches nondestructive all the other ones you've noticed weird little changes right? Like little stutters or something changes in the sound quality re pitch slowing down everyone okay from the base you know it's just going to change the frequency of it so let's go back to eighty on there and just so you know, I didn't show this earlier if I put it in complex any sound complex and I'm gonna turn it way down it definitely you can start hearing the algorithm that's why you might not use complex if you're really stretching something far because it begins to sound a little strange granted you might want just like this totally stretched out sound but if you put in beets it's similar to more similar to the original ending complex works begins to stretch so let's review this real quick we've got beats mode which is what we just looked at and beats mode is really good for great rhythmically dominant music, but in using those transient and war markers we can begin to get a new type of beat specifically the preserve mode. Then we had tones and textures I really see these a similar tones is really good for any total quality let's say a synthesizer or a base something that's very simple even model phonic is better for that than texture mode is anything that has more spatial quality great for field recordings but both of those playing with that grain size is what gives us a really cool new sound. Then we have re pitch mode which just slows back slows it down like final changes. The pitch we have complex and complex pro so complex is a warping method specifically designed for accommodating full compositions, combining the characteristics covered by other modes so it works it looks at the beats, it looks at the the the tone and all that stuff and automatically does it complex pro is a little more cpu intensive, so if you have a gigantic deejay set, you have everything, said his complex pro. You might run into a problem, but otherwise is very similar complex, but this is really good for transposing tracks of vocals. Uh, if you take a track like let's, say a full finish track with a vocal in it, you can also use it in complex pro and transpose, and you'll notice that the human vocal range sounds a little bit better. I don't have an example on this computer of that, but you can play with it so that's a run down of all these different modes and how we can creatively use it. And I hope that after this class, at least you all when you're making music and I hear your new trap remix of some famous funk song, and it doesn't have that same glitchy repeat in the saks sound or whatever it drives me crazy. You can't listen to it, but you can make all these cool, minimal percussions and all these different sounds using these different modes.

Class Description

The Decibel Conference is three days of panels, workshops and other events that runs in parallel to the Decibel Festival. Now on its 12th year, Decibel is one of the nation's longest-running and most respected electronic music festivals, and CreativeLive is proud to partner with Decibel to produce the 2015 Conference. For details on the schedule and content, please visit the official Conference page.