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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Oct-18 > EXPLORATIONS IN TIME AND PITCH IN CUBASE 9.5


In the second of our series focussing on Cubase’s audio manipulation capabilities, Adam Crute takes a look at time stretching and pitch shifting




Last time we focussed on how project tempo impacts on the parts and events within a project, and whether they lock to the tempo or are independent of it. As part of this we looked at how to use Cubase’s Sample Editor to create ReCycle-style ‘sliced’ loops. This approach to manipulating the pitch and timing of audio, whilst still valid and relevant today, is very much rooted in a time when processing power was a fraction of what we’re used to now. So, this time around, we’re going to look at the alternative approach, namely time stretching and pitch shifting.


Time stretching works by either repeating or removing patterns of samples from within a digital audio stream. Pitch shifting uses much the same technique to modify pitch without affecting timing. This processing can create all sorts of undesirable sonic artefacts, but as available processing clout has increased, so too has the complexity and quality of the time-stretching techniques or algorithms available.

With most algorithms, the processor will constantly adapt the patten of samples that it removes or repeats, to suit the characteristics of the material being processed. The results can be so good that any artefacts are nigh-on imperceptible, even when significant adjustments are applied. While there was a time that such advanced processing was the preserve of dedicated plug-ins and hardware, Cubase now comes with such tools built in.

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About MusicTech

Over the past 20 years the internet has transformed the world of music-making. Sharing our works-in-progress or collaborating with people around the globe is but a click away. But what if you've never done this before? Assembling the correct tools to begin doing this easily is the bedrock of this month’s cover feature, where we highlight the essential techniques, tips and resources to start composing in the Cloud. Elsewhere this issue, we speak to video game composer Jesper Kyd, whose impressive credits include many key games in the popular Hitman and Assassin’s Creed franchises. Kicking off our review section, we bring you an exclusive look at Yamaha's new MODX 6 – and discover it to be a wonderfully featured instrument that innovates on many levels. We also have our usual plethora of tutorials covering all the major DAWs, an essential guide to mixing that deconstructs that most crucial of processes, helpful gear-guides and more. I hope you enjoy the issue.