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Time-Stretching Loops in ACID Pro 6

Making the rhythm section play double time while the overall tempo stays the same
Mixed bass loops on same track, one at double time.
Now for the bass. The loop I was using for the rest of the song sounded too stilted at double time, so I chose a new loop that worked better. Since ACID Pro 6 can mix different loops on the same track, I painted four bars of the new loop right into the existing bass track. This saved the trouble of opening a new track to alter the loop's parameters. I quickly changed its Number of Beats parameter from eight to four, and as with the drum loop, moved its Timing tightness and Stretch Spacing from 16th notes to 32nd notes.

On playback, the four bars sounded as though I'd hired Metallica's rhythm section. It was a thunderous accompaniment for the soaring guitars, which were playing at their normal time.

But if you paid attention at the beginning of this article, you'll recall that there's one more thing to do. The guitars worked really well in this arrangement, but I wanted to to extend and fade them out across the next four bars, leading into the second verse. This would help tie things together in the transition back to the normal drums and bass tempo.


But it didn't sound so great at first. The solo guitar loop was basically a string bend with a fast strum, and it repeated twice during the double time break. Having it play the same riff a third time as the whole song changed back sounded a little artificial. So, with the rhythm section resuming its slow pace, I decided to try this third guitar riff at half time. This involved the same procedure used to double time the drums and bass, except this time instead of halving the Number of Beats, I doubled them. The quick funky string bend was transformed into the sound of a dying dinosaur -- which was exactly what I had in mind. For good measure, I applied volume and panning envelopes, indicated by the blue and red lines in the image below. 

Clip at bottom right is playing in half time.

Then, because I had copied that section of the guitar solo loop onto a new track to edit its beat properties, I decided to create a harmony with two guitars. I copied the new half speed guitar back to the original track, and on the new track I increased the pitch by three semitones. Then I had dying dinosaurs in stereo. Perfect!

Below you can hear the whole mess. It's actually a 30-second MP3 clip, with the last two bars of the first verse leading into the double time section, and then the next four bars with the bass and drums at normal time as the half time guitar fades out. All of it was created with the loop collection that's included with ACID Pro 6.

  Click link for audio sample:
doubletime.mp3


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Related Keywords:ACID Pro 6, time-stretching, loops, ACIDized, drum loop, tempo, double time, Stretch, Beats

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