It’s common for folks to get stuck on warping acapella tracks (solo vocals). The obvious problem with acapellas is that there is no easy time reference such as drums to line up with the beat time ruler. However, given that acapellas are typically from sequenced music with a steady tempo, it’s often easier than you think to get them warped and ready to go.

The key part of the process is, of course, determining the original tempo of the song. Sometimes this is really easy…

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…and sometimes you have to figure it out yourself. The easiest way to do this is to use the original version of the song. Warp it, and see what value you end up with in the Seg. BPM box. 

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Now, switch over to the acapella. Assuming it’s properly prepared, all you should have to do is park the start marker at the very left edge, and bang the BPM into the Seg BPM box.

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When I say properly prepared, what I mean is that the acapella track should line up with the original song exactly. For example, if the vocals don’t come in until 16 bars into the song, there should be exactly 16 bars of silence at the beginning of the clip.

Unfortunately, this sometimes isn’t the case and you’ll find yourself having to do extra work to locate the downbeat. More on this in the next tip.