Time stretching/warp one live vocal performance onto another

I’m looking for the simplest method to match the TIMING of one live performed vocal to another. Neither were recorded with a click track, so the tempo varies quite a bit between the start and end of the tracks. I do not want to warp the entire performance, but simply bring in a better performed instance of the live vocals.

Am I missing a basic functionality?

I have looked at Time stretching, but this seems to require opening up the clip and editing it individually. It is important that I can stretch the second performance too closely match the first

NB: When I do the same using video in Premiere Pro, I found a very straightforward method that works very well (though it is a bit time-consuming):

  • Place both tracks in parallel in the timeline
  • Cut both tracks at multiple corresponding reference points (downbeats, snare hits, etc)
  • Stretch the beginning and end points of each cut of the second track to match the first, using snap to perfectly match to the cuts in the reference track.
  • The number of cuts needed depends on how much variation there is between the tracks. The more cuts, the more precise the match is.

Unfortunately, in Cubase 5, the snap function seems to only snap to the grid, and not to the beginning and ends of samples. Because of this, I must do all of these stretches visually, which is imprecise and results in artifacts. Of course, I could crossfade between the beginning and in points of the clips, but this seems like a clumsy solution.

Thanks very much to anyone who can help with this. This must be a very common task, and I’m surprised that I am struggling with it. Maybe I’m just missing basic something here…

Randy

Well, I’d say barring the snap problem you have a reasonable way of doing it there. I only know the Pro version, your version may differ, but Snap can be changed to Events rather that Grid… Top right of the Project Window, Snap Type, next to Snap On/Off.

Also you don’t need to open the event to time-stretch (not on the Pro version anyway!). Just swap to the time-stretch tool and stretch the event on the track. With Snap set to events it will snap just as you want.

Other than that, I can’t think of a quicker way of doing it in Cubase. There’s a tool called Vocalign by another company which is good at this sort of thing but it’s not cheap.

Mike.

I was about to suggest that the Cubase 8 forum is not the best place to ask Cubase 5 questions, but then I noticed you made the same question in the Older Versions forum. That should prove more productive.

They have a free trial, you could sign up and trial it on your project, you may find you like it enough to buy it.

I have its big sister, RevoicePro, it saves so much time doing just that sort of thing it’s amazing. Much recommended.

Take a look at this video for Revoice Pro 3.2 and it’s capabilities: http://www.synchroarts.com/videos/revoice-pros-manual-tools-for-fast-time-and-pitch-correction

And how to use Revoice Pro with Cubase: http://www.synchroarts.com/videos/beginners-guide-for-using-revoice-pro-with-cubase-nuendo

Thanks for your reply. I didn’t see it until now. Well, now I have Cubase 8.5 now, and can accomplish this cut-both-tracks-at-the-same-event-and stretch-the second-to match-the-first, but this still seems horribly inefficient. This just requires a lot of cutting and snipping the tracks. I have VariAudio now. But I still can’t seem to just open the two track in the same window and align one visually against the other. I feel like I’m just missing something really obvious.
Thanks again for your help.

Thanks. I have 8.5 now and am still looking for simple way to deal with this.

Thanks for this. I guess I’m looking for a simple way to just correct micro timing issues, as opposed to matching the general flexing BPM of the song

Maybe this thread will help?

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=80503

Time for a feature request: Inline editing for audio as well as midi. I.e. editing audio in the project window. That would sort out what you need. Or to be able to open more than one audio file in the editor (and group edit them as well!!).

Having just had to do quite a bit of vocal aligning for some BVs and I found that the best way of doing it was to Edit the audio using freewarp in the audio editor, and at the same time eyeball both the reference track and the warped track in the project window so I could make them align together. The upside of this is that you can easily visually check the alignment in the project window, but the downside is you then have to ‘slide’ the warp points in the editor and guess where to move them to. But it can be done like this fairly quickly and easily once you get going.

Mike.

A few potentially helpful ideas above, but just to clarify re: Revoice Pro - correcting microtiming issues is the main thing it does (it also does tuning and doubling and other things, which I think is what separates it from its little sister, Vocalign).

For example, you put up a lead and background vox, and tell it to adjust the microtiming of the BV to match the lead.