TAPE-STYLE VARISPEED

Cool, thank you. If Izotope also has a “spin up” to complement their spin down, that’s what I’ll use next time. Or Glitch 2, if it’s also free.

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Well, when I lower the tempo in Logic or Reaper the pitch will leave untouched. I do not know if there is a “real tape style” option which will alter the pitch as well…

Just lowering the tempo is of course more complicated for audio but I quess easy for midi… However -it is extremly helpful to track short complex part - or maybe only practice them.

NO, just changing the tempo in Cubase will NOT do it. With midi, ok… with audio - well, then it starts to get complicated in a bigger session with lots of events & edits.

AND it usually not that easy regarding the tempotrack. Some folks might have a fixed song tempo but my clients including myself usually have complex tempotracks with lots of different tempi and lots of metric changes.


I can just dial a knob in Logic or Reaper and the playback speed (of the full song, of everything) changes. Not more and not less. We need that in Cubase.

If you place all the audio in musical mode (Pool > select all > Musical Mode), do you get the same effect when you then adjust the tempo (in the Tempo track, or the CTRL-T tempo editor)?

Or do you have to select all the audio and Set Definition From Tempo (from the Audio > Advanced menu) first?

depending on some details (placements on the grid, “initial” tempo embedded in the audiofile (as you can see in the pool regarding “tempo”) this procedere might end up with a big mess…

I do it like this often when tweaking preproductions, when trying to find the right tempo… here it is the best idea to bounce all the events first in the place were they are… then open the pool and select all files, click in “set tempo to musical” - then they will playbacked according to the changes in the tempotrack… this is, as I mentioned, a possible scenario in demos/preproduction were you might have to deal with a limited amount of events/tracks…
That way you can fiddle around finding out a proper tempo for individual parts etc…

What we all want is just changing the global tempo with a jog wheel - keeping for instance 120bpm but speeding it up by 10% or slowing it down by 5% - with all the project UNTOUCHED… so you can just reset that jog wheel at any point and everything will playback at regular speed again.

Playback of what?

Cubase Pro 9 has tape-style time stretch.

Thats something completely different and has nothing do do with the Varispeed thing :slight_smile:

I should clarify…I’m not sure you understand my application.

I AM trying to use this just like a Tape Machine.

Not trying to do a Tape Drop FX.
Not trying to time warp every single audio file in my project, record something, then un-warp every audio file back. (would also include converting any Midi files to audio first)

I record my ‘Actual’ Synths using Audio channels. They are hardware synths.

I slow the entire track down to something like -5 semitones or -12 semitones. Play the part on the synth -5 semitones or -12 semitones as well on the keyboard, then speed it all back up. (works cool sometimes the other way too) In the same vein of the piano part on the track ‘In my life’ by the Beatles if you ever heard of them :wink:

*I actually switched to Logic 9/X and used this for a few years solely because of the Tape-Style varispeed and 1 or 2 other features. It’s really important to me and part of my workflow.

Now sometimes I will have a Piano or Electric Piano or other World Sound as MIDI in my project since I don’t have space or own these instruments. What is great about the Logic X varispeed is that it pitches these down as well during varispeed.

Playback of what? And if it’s completely different, please explain.

What’s the purpose of doing this?

For synths… it’s mostly a trick of being able to play it fast enough, but still be human and have a groove. (Makes it kind of sound like early electronica BBC, not the new crap). Sometimes the sound will change (if it has alot of contour and vibrato, but otherwise sometimes cant hear a difference)

For most other stuff, it totally changes the timbre of the sound.

This is basically 1 of like 3 total FX possibilities the Beatles and other bands from back in the day had. It what made Sgt Pepper and those types of albums sound different. Otherworldly timbres all over that.

well, these time stretch options are more or less for editing events - for fixing performance as well as for creativity etc.

The varispeed we are talking about is some kind of a “master speed override” which enables us to playback the full project (incl EVERYTHING) in a different speed - when tape machine style then with altered pitch as well… This can be useful for:

  • creativity/sound (like digi001 described)
  • for recording complex stuff in a bit lowered tempo (not always a good thing to do but sometimes it can be handy)
  • for recording vocals which are a bit out of range of the singer (just record it slower/lower - often just a bit does the trick)

all these things were some kind of “butter and bread” in days of tape recording - they had basically nothing but THIS was possible :slight_smile:
In our case we basically have everything - but this is not possible :slight_smile:

in my case there is another kind of use:

  • for practicing new material, I am a drummer, I often have to play fast and complex stuff, maybe prior to recording it… so lets have the playback 20% slowed down, learn it, practice, now only 10% down… practice… then regular speed, practice and record it.
    I tried to use Logic on my macbook for this but it is too complicated/time consuming to transfer all the stuff from Cubase to Logic… and I still do not have a clue about using Logic :slight_smile:

Are there Varispeed free plug-ins high quality enough to be used on exposed solo vocals?

when this was made with “sample rate” adjustments it will sound really good. Or when you use a tape machine for this :slight_smile:
Of course at some point you will hear artefacts from formants etc which are sounding not natural anymore when changed in pitch…

If you just change pitch OR tempo there will be processing involved which will alter the soundquality.

Exposed solo vocals are often tuned with Autotune/Melodyne - so I would say: It is just “a bit” it might be fine and not too much audible - if you change pitch too much… well… you know.

If it is truly just a speed algorithm then it comes down to only how fast the 1’s and 0’s are being played back. There is no artifacts or loss of info like the time-stretching stuff. (It’s like playing a 33rpm record at 45rpm if you know what that means) No digital artifacts.

There is some slight housekeeping like anti-aliasging filter maybe to avoid any issues, but overall its a dead simple algorithm without degradation of the audio. You could easily use it on a vocal without hearing any issues. (In extreme cases it might make them sound like a Chipmunk or an Alien due to the change in timbre, but not a ‘digital’ artificial chipmunk or ‘digital’ artificial alien.) if that makes any sense :open_mouth:

Got it, thanks. What are people using instead (free being better)?

Not free, but apparently Reaper has Varispeed control right in the Transport Bar! ( https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/tape-effects-reaper - with vid!)

Also - can this be true … someone on the web said that Cubase 5 had that built in. If true, do we still have access to Cubase 5?

I couldn’t find any links that were working for truly free VariSpeed.

Anyone else?

[EDIT] But wait, I am confused - doesn’t Elastique Tape mode already act as VariSpeed, as at 3:25 here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7qAZXb-u5Q&list=PLA4861934DF55C11A ?

I’m not sure what you mean or understand your question?
Basically any free audio editing program will probably have it. It’s not some magical algorithm, its literally playing the bits back faster or slower.
But the point here we are trying to make is we want it included in the transport bar and convenient to use in our projects like Logic or Reaper.

Do you have a free audio editor? Audacity?..(If your looking for it, it just might not be called exactly ‘Vari-speed’). In Audicity it is called ‘Change Speed’.

I have Cubase.

My questions were:

  1. doesn’t Elastique Tape mode already act as VariSpeed, as at 3:25 here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7qAZXb … 34DF55C11A ?

  2. Is this true … someone on the web said that Cubase 5 had that built in. If true, do we still have access to Cubase 5?

  3. Thank you for pointing out that “Basically any free audio editing program will probably have it”. What are you personally using to get your VariSpeed done? Anyone else?

Oh you are asking for like a VST insert?

No i dont think it is possible that way due to the nature of slowing or speeding time.