another question about tempo automation and audio clip playback

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b086
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:00 am

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another question about tempo automation and audio clip playback

I make DJ mixes that sometimes have big tempo changes. I recently started making them in FL, because I also produce in FL, and I want to spend as much time as possible in the software to get to know it better. Sometimes I want to be able to BPM match, and then beat match, songs. Generally, this is really easy. I set the project tempo to whatever the target tempo of the mix is at that given point with an automation clip, then I fit the tracks (as audio clips in the playlist) to that tempo, and they are BPM matched and everything works perfectly.

Now let's say that I've set the project tempo to 150bpm, and I want to shift down to a much slower tempo -- let's say 95. I want to do this by fading the 150bpm track into an unstructured track with few transient sounds and no rhythmic content. Over the top of this unstructured track I can eventually put something at 95 bpm. Let's say this "bridge" track's BPM is 60bpm. I can drop this clip into the mix, with a global BPM set to 150, and it plays back totally normally -- exactly at the original recorded speed. Remember that I want this 60bpm track to be a bridge to another, slower track, so at some point in the playback of the track, I'm going to use an automation clip to adjust the project tempo. Ideally, I want this ambient, "bridge" track to be totally unaffected. I don't want it to speed up or slow down. I don't want to resample it and change the pitch. And I don't want to stretch it, because then it will be playing at the right pitch, but much slower, and with weird artifacts in it.

As far as I know, in Ableton this is totally possible: I can tell the track not to "warp" and its playback is unaffected. Moreover, the size/length of the clip on the playlist doesn't change. But so far I can't figure out if this is possible in FL Studio. It seems like I have the follow options, none of which is ideal:

1. If I fit the clip to the project tempo and I set it to "real-time stretching", either the pitch (resample mode) or playback tempo (stretch mode) change noticeably when the tempo changes. I don't want this.
2. If I tell FL Studio to ignore the time of the clip, it jumps way forward or backward in playback (depending on whether the tempo went up or down) at the moment when the tempo changes, and the clip changes size -- very bad.
3. I can put it Fruity Granulizer, but then the playlist view shows me only the initial C5 note that triggers playback -- not the waveform. Also, if I move the playhead to the middle of the pattern clip where the track (multiple minutes long) is stored, then there's no playback -- I have to start at the beginning of the clip. I assume, too, that Granulizer affects the sound (it's hard to tell with the track I tested it with, which is good for my purposes I suppose. But still not a good solution I think).
4. I can wait to make the tempo adjustment once the new track is fully in and the old one is fully out. But this doesn't really work, either. Let's say I drop the 95bpm track into the 150 bpm project, and tell FL Studio to make no time adjustments at all. Then I cut the waveform and make a new one that's precisely fit to 95bpm, which enters at the precise moment of the tempo shift. When I get to that transition point, the first clip suddenly becomes much longer, and the two clips play back at the same time, and it's a mess.

Is there a way to do what I'm trying to do, or is it just not possible? I thought of one other solution: totally ignore the global BPM, don't use the grid at all, detect the tempos of individual samples that I want to beat match, and then manually adjust the time setting in the Audio Clip settings, using the "stretch" or "elastique" algorithms, and then just eyeball the waveforms of the clips to get them to overlap for beat matching. Then there are no automated tempo shifts to worry about, and I can individually adjust the BPM of the tracks that I want to match. But I'm too mathematically impaired to understand how to figure what kinds of adjustments I need to make to the time setting of each clip to get them to beat match. Also, when I right-click on the time adjustment setting in the Audio Clip, the option to "enter a value" is greyed out, so I'm not sure if this path is open, either. If someone could enlighten me about that step, I think I could make peace with an existence "off the grid" in the way I'm describing.



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