Favorite method to time stretch part of a cue?

Greets :slight_smile:

So, I have a bunch of cues with live violin players - 26 total. In one of the cues, they went off tempo a bit from the click track for a few bars. They are in sync with one another, but I need to correct the timing of these few bars by a few bpm.

Believe it or not, this is something I have never needed to do before. What is your favorite way - or the best way - to stretch just a few bars? I don’t care about how time consuming it is; I am not after doing this as quickly as possible. I am trying to do this with the least amount of artifacts. What’s the best way to go here, be it something in Cubase, or a 3rd party app?

Thanks in advance.

  • Good old scissors, group editing
  • If not more than 6 tracks, you could bounce to a multichannel track and use audio warp
  • Melodyne on the finished mix or stem

That’s what comes to my mind first.

If you think that the time-stretch is up to the job (perhaps using the elastique setting) then you could adjust all of the tracks in one go… Off the top of my head here’s a procedure:

  • Make sure the 26 violin tracks are not in Musical Mode (i.e. Linear Timebase)
  • Use Time-Warp to warp the tempo map to match their out-of-time playing
  • Select all 26 violin audio events
  • Right click and select Advanced->SetDefinitionFromTempo
  • Answer questions in the next dialogue (if it turns up…)
  • Switch tracks to Musical Mode (dialogue question)
  • Delete the adjusted tempo points that were created by Time-Warp
  • The audio events will now follow the steady tempo

So, what you’re doing is creating a tempo map to match the out-of-time playing. Encoding that map into each of the 26 audio events. Then putting the tempo map back into a steady tempo, at which point all 26 audio events will follow the steady tempo.

You might want to test this on a section of the audio, or clip out (and bounce) just the bit which isn’t in time to make it easier on the processing. I quite often do tempo mapping like this way beyond the end of the project so it doesn’t effect the important part of the project!

But I quite rarely do it on production audio because of the quality drop when using time-stretch… Cut, paste and crossfade is usually better (use auto crossfades to help speed up the manual labour).


Sorry, dont follow.

It’s one track.

Scissors? How? Doesnt that involve slicing the event, which will then introduce spaces here and there?

Have not tried Melodyne yet… you can stratch PART of an audio file in Melodyne?


Ha, OK, one track, 26 violins. Well, still cut/paste, or still time-stretch.

I cut in the middle of notes and use a long crossfade to hide it if the note isn’t long enough. I cut just before the previous note if I can move the note back. Sometimes time-stretching a single note to make it longer, or the tail of a note, or the middle of a note works.


I put the file(s) in reaper, set stretch points, align the beats, render the file back out for use in Cubase. Cubase’s method of minor time alignment is cumbersome as hell.

I’d try using the ‘Free Warp’ tool in the audio editor (it’s in the ‘Audiowarp’ tab at the left side of the page). Don’t know how anyone could describe that as cumbersome -just grab and drag it around as you wish.

Actually, it doesn’t work that way. It deforms along the entire time line. It’s a PITA to keep the audio aligned.

Hitpoints / FreeWarp - If you add two anchor points either side on beats which are in time (by clicking without dragging ) then you can drag inside those bounds without effecting the whole time-line. Or is that not what you meant?


Cant cut paste. I am new to doing this particular thing, but I know enough to know that you cant cut/paste. Time stretch… how? If the track is 24 bars long - how to time stretch bars 9-12 only?

Cant cut. Cutting is out. Do you know what a violin section recorded with hall ambience sounds like? Can not cut.

So I shoudl d/l a competitors product? :laughing: I dont care about cumbersome. Even if it is, it’s probably easier to do it in Cubase, rather than d/l and install Reaper. So, Cubase does this? How? Free Warp as JSQ suggests?

This sounds like what I need. WIll try FW later - thanks!

Watch a couple of vids on YouTube, not that I can suggest any, but that’s how I usually find out the really practical stuff - like which buttons to press and where those buttons are! Useful for building sheds, connecting solar panels as well as cubase tutorials :slight_smile:


Freewarp, will do this … but it is not intuitive nor easy. I pretty much do what you are trying to do all the time. If you mess with it and get it to do it easily, I’d love to hear how.

I find it quite intuitive. When you switch FreeWarp on it on it puts markers on each barline (there may be a preference for this or it may be my particular audio events??), and I delete the ones I don’t want by shift-clicking them. Then I click and drag on note starts (using eye-balling of the waveform and playing/rewinding) to add a marker and drag it to the beat I need it to be at. I may add many of those markers, sometimes one for each note of the instrument if it’s really randomly out of time.

But overall, I prefer my other method where I adjust the click track to match the music first, it seems easier to me…


My problem with that is orchestra tracks have legato passages that don’t detect against the timeline. The manual insertion process disrupts the entire audio event instead of just the event between the markers. Or at least, I can’t get it to work that way.

JMCecil - this is off topic of course, but is it to do with the events becoming musical events but not having their tempo definition set correctly? I.e. once you make an adjustment using FreeWarp it puts the event into musical mode which could radically change the way it plays because it then conforms (incorrectly) to the tempo map? I stand by my use of ‘Set Tempo From Definition…’ to make the clip conform to the current tempo map first, it may solve your problems…

But at the end of the day it’s always trouble when you start tweaking the tempo map to match video cues. I always end up with cues which overlap but are in different tempos, etc. Nightmare. I tend to go with the quickest solution and then bounce it all down as soon as I can! Or work with two projects and copy and paste mixdowns etc.


I get how it works Mike. I’ve spent days trying to get it to work. I’m saying that the “set tempo from definition” does not work with legato instrument passages in my experience. It totally F’s them up. But even using that method assuming it works, is WAY cumbersome on 32 track mixdowns with multiple stems and trying to fight each one individually. The other problem is that when you insert your own markers, it adds it as a “quantized” location. Which kills the timing down the length of the file.

I gave up, and now do this, which literally takes seconds. And, I don’t need a physics degree and decoder ring to do something simple.


This is how freewarp should work. I shouldn’t need any kind of tempo markers, or special mode. Just mark 2 boundary locations and stretch in the middle. It needs to work from the project window as well.

I’m willing to be wrong … VERY WILLING. Please tell me this simple process is doable and I’m just over complicating things?

That movie looks very similar to Cubase to me, adding anchor points and then adjusting the middle. But one thing is that you can’t use those stretching techniques in the timeline directly, only in the waveform/sample editor, which is a pity! However, I sometimes cut up the notes and stretch the resulting events, and I do that on the timeline (using the time-stretch tool). If I’ve got a live concert to trawl through then I’ve got special shortcut keys to speed it up, one hand on the keyboard, the other on the mouse, and it goes pretty quickly - although it is rather tedious!

I’ll be interested to hear from the OP how the time-stretching sounds because I usually avoid it due to the burbling, stuttering or distortion effects…


I’m very interested in Jeff’s take on this as well. Let us know how it goes. All I can say is it DOESN’T work the way the video shows in my experience. Because you have to set a reference tempo or grid, it never works on media without good beat detection. That’s just my take. Again, I’m really curious how Jeff gets along. Maybe I need to take another crack at it.

I say to stay away from timestretch. I have found that your sound will only worsen unless the stretch is very short.

Best to do what you can with scissors (even remove a complete section of the performance if you have to). It’s salavage, it’s not going to be pretty.

I usually start by hitpoint slicing then try to see what is optimal for slicing (eg percussive-like notes). If individual notes are accessible your golden, if not just start muting or cutting areas that are bad…

Also bounce the audio around those sections, don’t try to edit a long piece of audio, break in up into short chunks for this kind of thing.