Hey folks! There have been a number of requests for some warping tips. Well, here they be.

First off, let me say that (like most things) there is no one “right way” to warp your audio files. There are different methods, many good ones, and the best one is usually determined by the type of audio you are working with. There are, however, certain principles to be aware of and a few things that I’ve decided are best practices. Try it out and see what you think.

Live treats short audio files (like drum loops) differently than long ones (like entire songs). Longer audio files present different warping challenges. Music recorded by live musicians may have tempo fluctuations, or a song might have an ambient introduction before the beat comes in.

Ableton has a technology called Auto Warp that tries to handle this sort of stuff automatically, and sometimes does a pretty good job of it. However, I recommend that you turn it off. You’ll still use Auto Warp – you’re just going to invoke it manually, rather than letting Live use it automatically for your long audio files.

Head over to your preferences screen and turn Auto Warp Long Samples off:

Picture 44

The reason I suggest this is that Auto-Warp often makes small errors. Its not that the errors can’t be fixed – it’s just that it takes less time and is less confusing to do it somewhat more manually, and get it right the first time.

Up next: nail down the downbeat.