VariAudio tutorial?

I have a solo harmonica track that I’m building a song around. It changes tempo a bit and I’d like to adjust those sections that are out of time with VariAudio. In one late night session I found a tutorial that explained the process very well but I didn’t bookmark it. Any help greatly appreciated.
Maybe Audio Warp is better for this?


Audio Warp would do the job. VariAudio is more for the vocal tuning.

Thanks, Martin.

Okay. I’m a rank beginner in Cubase. The manual is not doing me much good in this process. Let me try this again. I have a harmonica track that is played with no breaks. In other words, it’s a continuous wave form, fairly rhythmic, but not in time in some places. I’m trying to time warp it so it is pretty much on the beat. How do I do it? Step 1, Step 2, etc. Thanks. At this point it is the only track…solo harmonica, right? I’m putting tracks over it. There is no click. It was not played to a click. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

If you look at the waveforms in VariAudio, more likely than not you’ll be able see changes in the shapes that correspond to note changes. When you enter Segment mode you’ll see that sometimes VariAudio will match up the segments with the note changes well, and sometimes not so well.

For the times that VariAudio doesn’t line up the segment boundaries with the note changes well, you can cut, drag, and glue the boundaries so they wind up matching well.

Then go to the tuning mode (sorry, I forget the name, you can get there by hitting tab from the Segment mode), and when you drag the boundaries left/right, you’ll actually be stretching the notes, so you can drag them to be right on the beat if you like.

This should get you at least 75% of the way there, with some peck and hunt needed to get the rest lined up.

Lots of others programs can do this as well, I use RevoicePro a lot (love it!), I’m sure there are many others.

Hope this helps, come back with more questions as needed!

PS - I’ve never done this with harmonica, only voice … good luck!

Thanks, Alexis! Will work on it today and let you know.

If it’s only a timing issue then Audio Warping (or slicing) can, as you suggest, sometimes work quite well too. Often I’ll start by doing a bit of warping, it’s usually quicker to correct timing on whole phrases with warping, and “Audio warp Quantise” can be a quick fix on some material. Then I bounce the selection to get rid of the resulting warp markers, and move to variaudio for tuning and further tidying up of the timing. I find Variaudio great for getting the individual note lengths, onsets and note ends right, but warping good for getting the note positions/general timing right, if that makes sense.

Neither process is always free of detectable artifacts though, so it’s worth experimenting with both to get the best results. I always duplicate the track I’m going to work on and then work on the copy, so if it all goes pear shaped I still have the unedited original so it’s easy to start again from scratch.

Thanks, Ian. Yeah, I really have no idea whether this will work, (and still sound okay) but it’s a beautiful track, so worth the effort.

I don’t know what you are trying to time to, but the other option is to extract the tempo map from the harmonica track itself. Then have your project follow that.

Great suggestion, JMCecil!

Blacklab,make sure you choose the best Time stretch algorithm, IIRC it might be something like “Monophonic Musical” (i.e., not poly, and not “Lo-Fi Practice Quality” or whatever they call it). If they have Elastique Musical might try that as well … for harmonica I’m not sure whether “Elastique - Formant” or “Elastique - Time” would do better … but presumably one of these many options will sound noticeably better than others (and if it’s just a few tens or hundreds or milliseconds time stretching involved, none of them will ikely sound horrible).

My two cents … again, I’ve never done that for harmonica, but I record that every now and then, so will look forward to reading about your experiences!

Thanks, all. Great suggestions. JM, I have tried having the project follow the track’s tempo…works okay, but not the affect I’m after. I did Warp Quantize which worked very well in terms of tempo, but certainly degraded the sound. Because of all of this, I’ve come up with a new approach to this album track, and I thank you all very much. Will mess some more with Elastique, etc. to see if the formants aren’t so weird and will let you know.

extracting tempo would not affect the harmonica track at all, it only affect the other files.

Right. Thanks, JMCecil.