Old 02-14-2020, 06:45 AM   #1
buckman
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Default Stretch Markers to beatmap old songs?

I am looking at doing a remix of old tracks in Reaper, a little like Ableton does, but know Reaper has better functions as a DAW for most things.

So I import a song from the 80's that drifts..

1. I get a rough tempo on the Reaper project that i think the track is in, ie: 105bpm

2. Set my Grid to be 1/4 notes

3. Go to Dynamic Split. Set Split points 'At Transients', and Reduce Splits, until i see the marker splits at each bar.

4. Press the "Add Stretch Markers" to add to the song/audio

5. Then Right Click Song (audio file) and go to Stretch Markers > Stretch Markers in selected items > Snap to Grid

This then quantizes the downbeats to the grid so its locked to the project tempo.

I am sort of 90% there, but some bars are too quick and too fast, so it jumps, as its quantised but skips. If i go any higher with the grid or quantize it snaps mid-bar item Stretch Markers to bars? (if that makes sense?)

Also whats the best Project Settings, 'Default Pitch Mode' for full songs? Mine sound a bit 'warbly' on the best Elastique Pro mode?

Anyone any experience of beatmapping, DJing and beatmatching older tracks?
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:37 AM   #2
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I've done it a few times. I think when you're 90% there with the automated way, there's no way around doing the other 10% by 'by hand'.
That's my experience at least..
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:51 AM   #3
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A way that might help, (if you're desperate to pin an existing, human, tune to the grid) is to first chop the tune into sections (like 4 or 8 bar chunks) and see if they'll stretch nicely to (however many) bars on your grid. So with the heavy lifting done over longer sections, you should be able to make smaller (and less glitchy?) per-bar adjustments w/ stretch markers.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:14 PM   #4
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Thank you, but i did want to keep them all as one, as i am engineering a mix of these older funk classics for another DJ.

I am so close, as I am using Dynamic split, (creating Stretch Markers) the overall project grid, (either 8th 0r 16th) and then quantising the Stretch Markers to grid.

It just jumps in very few places and i cant seem to even manually move them to the right place?
So its a bit hit and miss?
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckman View Post
It just jumps in very few places and i cant seem to even manually move them to the right place?
I guess I don't understand what you're trying to do. Thought I did. Sorry. Maybe the tune's *too* funky
What is it?

(Of course, if you work on cut sections, you can stick them back together again.)
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:41 PM   #6
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i've done a lot of this in the past when working on mash-ups & remixes and i find it much easier to do it all manually rather than using dynamic split to do it automatically.
I chop it into sections as JRK does and stretch to fit - most of this i do with visual cues of looking at the waveform and seeing where the beat is. I use stretch markers a little bit if there are areas that are madly wonky, but having worked mostly on funk & disco with reasonably consistent beats i've found that i'm just as quick doing it this way and dynamic split is an unnecessary distraction.
Everyone's different though, so whatever works for you.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:43 PM   #7
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i don't see the benefit of "keeping it all as one" either? You can always render it to one file afterwards?
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:05 AM   #8
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You can try Sonic Visualiser

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread....63#post2142463
I'm adding Sonic Annotator command line to ReaTrak so it will do it all automatically from an audio item, so it can get tempo map and chords as well.
There's also Script: ReaTrak set tempo mapped items in selection to constant tempo.lua
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:47 AM   #9
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Sonic visualiser looks great! Is it easy to download and implement into Reaper 6?
I have the sws installed.

My way of doing this as in the op, seems to be good and working for 90% of the time.
I think the problem is quantising to the grid, so when I put ¼ grid on and snapped stretch markers to grid the downbeats were fine. It’s the mid bar stretch markers that were snapped to either side and on the bar as the quantise wasn’t fine enough to the grid.

I then set the grid to 1/64 to move any fine parts that “jump” but still can’t drag them back to were they should be?

So it is a good way of working but the last 10% seems off.

If I can get this tidied up then I’d make an action/macro to do all this automatically?
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:27 AM   #10
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Hi,
And you may be killin the funk:-)
Best to make a tempo map..then you can quantize if you want.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LugNut View Post
Hi,
And you may be killin the funk:-)
Best to make a tempo map..then you can quantize if you want.
Ok is that not what I’m doing? Making the tracks lock and quantise to the project tempo and grid?

I would be interested in how you or any other Reaper users would attempt a DJ mix with some “wavering” tempo and bpm ?

I think if done right, Reaper could do his better than Ableton and even quantising the Stretch Markers to
Grid (which you have to do manually in Ableton live )
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:39 AM   #12
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There's two things going on here.
1. The OP seems to be about conforming a recording to the grid. Stretching / squeezing the item in one way or another.
2. Tempo mapping is about conforming the grid to the recording (usually by placing a load of tempo/ timsig markers)

MusoBob's ReaTrak stuff helps make (2) simple. It's great. But the tempo varies as did the original. It doesn't force the tune to a strict tempo. If you want to fit another recording over/alongside the first, you'll have to perform (1) on the second item. Now neither of them are at a strict tempo. and the second has been stretched to fit the first.


[Supplemental] I would typically use tempo mapping when I'm adding parts over something that was recorded previously by someone else, without any kind of click - so I might get drum tracks and some other stuff, but to simplify matters later I want to be able to add stuff that's quantised so I'll make a tempo map from the drums (or if the drums are a too ropy, from some kind of rough mix, patched up with clicks) We've even built a whole new version on a tempomap made from a rough as f. practice room tape that had (what was judged to be) a good feel, replacing all the drums with programmed stuff, and re-recording all the other parts.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrk View Post
There's two things going on here.
1. The OP seems to be about conforming a recording to the grid. Stretching / squeezing the item in one way or another.
2. Tempo mapping is about conforming the grid to the recording (usually by placing a load of tempo/ timsig markers)

MusoBob's ReaTrak stuff helps make (2) simple. It's great. But the tempo varies as did the original. It doesn't force the tune to a strict tempo. If you want to fit another recording over/alongside the first, you'll have to perform (1) on the second item. Now neither of them are at a strict tempo. and the second has been stretched to fit the first.


[Supplemental] I would typically use tempo mapping when I'm adding parts over something that was recorded previously by someone else, without any kind of click - so I might get drum tracks and some other stuff, but to simplify matters later I want to be able to add stuff that's quantised so I'll make a tempo map from the drums (or if the drums are a too ropy, from some kind of rough mix, patched up with clicks) We've even built a whole new version on a tempomap made from a rough as f. practice room tape that had (what was judged to be) a good feel, replacing all the drums with programmed stuff, and re-recording all the other parts.
Yes, you are correct, with my Original post.

I maybe coming at it differently (and wrongly) as I come from Ableton mostly but have been using Reaper for certain projects over the past 4 years. And Reaper maybe is better suited, (but not obvious) with this kind of thing?

Some of Reaper's features for this look very promising, but as mentioned, I maybe coming at it backwards, hence the question on how you Pro's would attempt this.

I just want to 'quantize to grid' the slightly varying non-click track music from early 80's to a strict tempo so that i can mix the ends in a DJ mix as well as maybe put loops over tracks to beef them up a little?

(1) So would this be better that the tracks snap to a grid and tempo ie: 105bpm so that the project tempo is the 'Master' ?

Or...

(2) The tempo and grid snap to the songs' tempo so it wavers over a bar, like 105.45bpm, 106.32bpm to keep it all in time, so that the SONG tempo is the 'Master' ?

(I did think with this 2nd option that the 'wavering' tempo might make rigid loops over the track, and the next 'mixed in' track, waver and wobble too?)

So I do have options on what would be best, but to be honest, its about how i go to do this, as the (2) option, I have no real idea on how to do?

Thank you for all your help so far.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:06 AM   #14
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So if i put stretch markers on the transients in a full song, how do I get Reaper to create a tempo map so it locks to the track?

Would this be the best idea? or would snapping the track to Reapers solid tempo be better in the long run when doing a DJ mix?
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Old 02-18-2020, 02:16 PM   #15
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If you've got tunes running over / alongside each other, *one* of them (at least) is going to have to conform to a tempo that isn't it's own original tempo.
Or if you want the transition to happen without any tempo change.

Whether it's best to force a tune to a strict tempo or to have reaper follow is an aesthetic question. Only you know that.


So, if you want to make the original recording conform to a strict tempo - i.e. to reapers grid - it will need a certain amount of stretching and squashing.

The best way I've found to do this (it's not something I need to do often) is to cut the original into chunks, say 4 or 8 bars or whatever sensibly sized musically significant units. You *may* be able to get away with dynamic split for this. But if you can do it by ear / eye / hand, it's probably going to be quicker.

Then take these chunks and stretch or squash them (ie on windows that's holding Alt and dragging the edges of the item) until they fit an appropriately sized space on your grid. Use snapping. Butt them up against each other. Probably in the original order, but that's up to you.

So, now you've got all the chunks approximately fitting your grid (at least the start and end fit perfectly - provided you cut them right )

Have a listen - it may be that this is good enough.

You may want to get into the subtleties of crossfading the joins - but provided your join is right on (or a tiny bit before) a beat, you'll never hear it. If you split by hand - go for "previous zero crossing" and get rid of the tiny fades.

At this point, any stretching has been spread over the whole (4bar or whatever) section - you may find that artefacts are negligible. We can hope.

If there's beats inside those chunks that aren't sitting on the grid and they bother you - then you might want to get into stretch markers. This will always take more time, effort (and markers) than you think. Also, note that it may be that right on the transient is exactly where you don't want your stretch marker.


It's possible to over think this. You only *need* to do anything so that the transitions work. What would a DJ do? It's not hard.


Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:18 AM   #16
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Right, yes I am just thinking if Reaper is easier to warp/stretch full tracks, better than Ableton?
Maybe I am wrong and Ableton is the way to go?

I didn't really want to chop up songs into loops, and would prefer to keep them whole, like in Ableton, so that I can move them around quickly, as I am engineering for another DJ, and working fast.

The basis of these videos, making a mash-up in Reaper, are great, as the tracks drift, and with some actions and Macros he seems to get these tracks locked to a fixed Reaper BPM.

Maybe I should study these better, as I get used to Reaper 6.0.
I know Reaper can do a lot of this, and the thing is, that in Ableton, you need to still need to manually 'move' warp markers when things drift which can be time consuming.

From what I gather from Reaper, and these videos, is that you can get actions and macros, that are carefully set up, that will do all this for you. (even the timing issues that he fixes here by hand in the videos), so that although it may take some time to all set up, Reaper maybe quicker in the long run with importing older 'drifting' tracks and snapping them all to a BPM.

https://youtu.be/TeeeYsV14JU

https://youtu.be/vgkqcoH3VHw

Now that i've found these again, I will study them and see what he is doing in terms of mixing, and stretch markers to make any 'drifting' track sound smooth, and to a fixed BPM.
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