Warping Background Vocals to match a lead vocal?

Just wondering how others are achieving this in cubase? Ideally I would bring up both the lead vocal and the backing vocal I want to sync to it and just manually use free warp markers to bring them in line. However since there is no ability to free warp in project view I’m wondering how others are doing this? Is there a multi-lane view in the Audio Editor i can access? Not meaning to compare but a load of other DAWs are offering warp or stretch options in project view, surely steinberg have a graceful solution for this too?

Any help appreciated!

In Cubase 6, I do this the same way you do it… but what I do is set up the sample editor and the project editor to be side by side. I zoom in very close on the project window at the area I want to warp (because I can see all the parts in context there). Then I use free warp in the sample editor to warp the event. It then updates in the project window as I do it, so I can match it to other parts doing that. You can also use Variaudio for this purpose, but see below for its shortcomings.

In Cubase 7 they’ve added another way to do this that to some people might be easier. :slight_smile: Cubase 7 allows you to have multiple events open in the sample editor at once when using variaudio. Once all the events you have selected for editing are analyzed with Variaudio, you can see all the events you want to edit on top of each other. (Note this ONLY works with the Variaudio tab–not free warp). So in Cubase 7, you can use Variaudio to create and fine tune the segments, and then warp them using the other selected events as a guide in the same variaudio sample editor.

To be honest though, I’ve gotten so used to doing it the first way, it’s still faster for me. Using Variaudio to do horizontal (time) warping requires that you really do some detail work to set up the pitch segments exactly how you want them BEFORE you do any warping. But in free warp, because I know what I’m looking at, I can just quickly create warp markers exactly where I want them and move them accordingly.

That all said, with my particular projects (which often involve recording up to 24 different tracks of myself in order to create a choral effect), I’ve almost been able to improve my recording process to the point where I don’t need to do any warping at all. A good thing because… warping vocal parts is tedious and boring work, and it doesn’t sound as good. That’s neither here nor there though, sometimes it’s unavoidable, and that’s what the tool is for. :slight_smile:


I have downloaded the demo of this product in the anticipation it will do just as you describe. The youtube vids blew me away with how good it is … and how EASY it seems to use (just about 1-click, as I recall).

Haven’t unpacked the demo, when I do I’ll post back, but posted this in case you wanted to check out the youtubes. Let us know if you try it out how you feel about it!

Thanks -

Hi Mr. SLD Music - if you ever get a chance (I know how busy you are, if you are making things like that excellent Control Room Tutorial!), if you could post a screen shot of how you have those two editors set up I’d be very grateful - thanks!


Thanks for watching!

Ok, it just so happens that I already have a video that sort of shows my warping procedure. You can see it in the first 5-9 minutes or so of this video:


This video is part of what will eventually be a “making of” series of videos, and they aren’t public yet because I’m not finished editing them. (I’m really still on the fence about whether anyone would be interested in them in the first place, which is part of what’s taking me so long :slight_smile:). Anyway, since this is a “making of” and concentrates more on my process of making a particular song (no matter how ugly it got) and less on the “teaching people how to do stuff”, I really go through my warping procedure pretty quickly here. You should get the idea though.

This is done in Cubase 6.5.3. As I said, I could also have done the exact same thing with Variaudio, but free warp is faster and more manageable for me in this context.

Thank you, SLD Music!

My workplace in it’s wisdom blocks utube, so I’ll check it out tonight.

You are really putting together some good stuff!

Best wishes,


Thanks for the input guys. I was also doing it with two windows (the sample editor and the project window) before so this isn’t really ideal. It’s more of a trial and error approach and quite cumbersome to manage scrolling in two windows. As for Vocalign…Windows 95?! when was the last time they updated their PR let alone their software? $400 is an incredible amount to pay for that… I guess i will just open the files in Reaper, warp them in project view and then export them again.

I thought I remembered it was closer to $200 … maybe a different product in their line, or maybe I read it wrong. Anyway, I’m gonna try the free trial - if it is really as good as the utubes suggest it is, I would pay close to $200 for a 1-click solution. I’m not engineering for Abbey Road, so if it’s not perfect, that’s OK by me, the time saved is more important to me.