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  • quillpearson

    If I load an MP3 into Ableton, then warp it using this method, and then save it and export it so I can use it in another program, say Traktor or iTunes, have I lost any sound quality in this process?

  • Luigi

    Your method is good, but not very accurate. I do it precise, with a standard deviation of 0.01. Example: If a track is 110 bpm at the end brings me out 110.01 or 109.99!!
    Best Regards

  • aem

    thank you guys so much for this

  • Xian

    Thanks so much! This video got me to speed with Warping! Big help! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! 🙂

  • u can simply wrap it a s a complex pro mode thats it ! it goes automatically !!

  • Would love to see an post on how to warp “Transition” tracks so that they can be added to a mix.

  • What Ableton DJing concept do you need to learn more about? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll write up the highest voted ideas! ” 
    I would love a walkthrough on Isotonik Studios’ “Isotonik 8”. I’ve read the manual, and watched the vids, but it’s really-really cryptic imho. It looks like an awesome m4l device, but it’s truly daunting.

    • Darren E Cowley

      There’ll be new guides to Isotonik Nine coming soon!

  • 808junkie

    anyone know the purpose of the asd.mp3 files?

  • DJ KIO

    What I’d like to know in the next article is how an Ableton work flow works. If I’m mixing vinyl or on my NS6 the flow is pretty straight forward: Near the end of one record or music file at moments when there is a change in the song you mix in the new record or music file. In arrangement view I make mixes in the same way. So how does a DJ work flow work in session view? If you prepare your full set at home and put all clips in place, then I would find that pretty boring on stage. I mean, just pushing the next button on a Launchpad so the next clip starts to play seems to be a very boring on stage experience. Plus you lose the ability to adjust your set to the crowd, which with a traditional work flow is not a problem. Do you drag clips into session view on the go? Please enlighten me on how this work flow works because I like the creative options in Ableton, I just don’t get how to use it in a traditional, two channel DJ work flow. I don’t see myself pushing buttons on Midifighter, since I’m not a controlerist, but the traditional mix one record into the next kinda DJ.

    • Dathunderthighz

      Like you, coming from a traditional 2-4 deck setup using vinyl/CD/mixer song selecting and beat matching on the fly background (and no, I am not THAT old!! LOL), I find it confusing to wrap my head around a session workflow. With the arrangement view, obviously you could do your entire set pre-programmed, but wtf is the point in that!? Talk about being locked into a set, not to mention boring as hell. I’m used to showing up at clubs with nothing more than a backpack with vinyl, CD’s, USB stick and headphones and not knowing what I’ll play until I see what the atmosphere is like. Anyway, back on topic… I’ve yet to try it, but would think warping tracks prior and having them all neatly labeled and easily accessible, setting up your virtual decks as channel 1/2 (etc.) and then putting a gain volume + 3 band EQ (+ FX etc.) plugs on each channel to control the freqs/transition when mixing in/out of songs would be the answer… but then I guess you’ll need to figure out headphone routing (left ear/right ear and/or full mix) for cueing while monitoring live playing songs, either route each channel out to a hardware mixer, midi controller with EQ knobs/volume fader (again assigned to the track plugs) or keyboard shortcuts to make it all work properly? Maybe I’m over thinking it, I dunno… seems like a big hassle more than anything. I’m interested in learning more about this type of setup/workflow simply because I can see the possibilities to take my DJ sets to another level. Maybe somebody who actually did/does DJ in the traditional sense can chime in and convince us this is the way forward 😉


    muy buen metodo pero concuerdo con Frederik 

  • maomao

    nice article. 

    I’d add this: in my experience, the best sound is achieved by using the “Beats” warping mode, set to 1/4 notes rather than Transients, which distorts the sound as soon as you play clips at a different tempo than the original

  • Dj Ch3

    Also a great way to remember all the lyrics to old songs 1 bar at a time lol
    “My name is Humpty…..”

  • For a less tedious approach, I like to insert markers at the beginning of each new section (verse, chorus, etc) and go from there. I often find that I don’t need to put more than a couple of markers in between sections, even on very loose tracks. Of course, it all depends on how precise you want to be.

    • Oscilllating Frequency

      i agree, this also allows for the above mentioned “groove” to not be destroyed. This sort of tedious warp marking is only truly necessary for remixes and cross-over sections

  • First of all, awesome. You’re warping my favorite song for your example which made watching this even more enjoyable. Second, very good. I used to do this exact same thing when I used Ableton but less anal retentive. I would always regret this while live.

    Needless to say this tedium is why I left Ableton for Traktor.

  • djbells

    After warping, I like to set a one to two bar start loop right before where I want the track to drop in or sample in. Previously it was set at the beginning of the track, and i then I had to wait for the intro to past, which can decrease the energy.

    With all tracks, I use the least amount of warp markers to let the song drift (a bit), without getting to out of sync and still keeping the natural groove. However, some songs still need to be warped to death.

    Thanks for the video and notes

  • Posibleformula

    What is the reason my warped track is a different bpm in another software? If the track is 70 BPM in Ableton, it is 140 BPM in Traktor.

    • DJelixeR

      140 bpm and 70 bpm are in a way the same beat. dubstep for instance is usually considered 140 bpm with a 2×4 break or kick snare drum break where the kick is on the one and the snare on the 3. if you made a track at 70 bpm with a kick on the 1 and 3 and a snare on the 2 and 4, you would have the exact same beat or tempo, just counted differently. 2×4 and 4×4 are the same thing just in different lengths.

      • Posibleformula

        The track’s BPM was around 74 before it was warped to 70. After exporting it from Ableton, any BPM analyzer think it is double the speed.   (Traktor, Mixmeister). 

  • Djsteve

    Nice – just getting started transitioning to Live and this will come in handy. 

  • it’s odd to see this article because there was one posted a couple of years ago adressing the same issue. and the solution was much simpler. It basically consisted of warping the intro (or mix-in point) of the track and the outro (or mix-out point), saving those as seperate clips in your session view, whereas the bulk of the song remains with its groove intact.

    • Karlo Cleto

      I hear you, but the example here illustrates an extreme case, wherein you could mix in a song, originally of a constantly drifting tempo, at any point, any time you wanted. You could just warp certain sections of a song if you just wanted to mix in and out of those specific points. But if you want to be able to drop in the song at any point and do some on-the-fly mashes and remixes, you’ll need to have the whole track warped. The idea here was to demonstrate how to warp drifting tempos- it’s up to each DJ to decide how to adapt all these techniques to suit his/her own style of mixing- which for me is the best part of DJing!

      • Apoplexia Music

        yeah, good point. i do this with older tracks too and ultimately, i’ve never noticed a big difference, especially when mashing, for instance, Clear by Cybotron with a more recent breaks track or something

    • Mrrawuk

      I saw something on youtube that took the first part of the intro and pretty much worked spot on for warping in less than 2 mins, the method here is way to long.

    • Marqjune770

      you cant warp the mix in point without warping the middle. If the tempo fluctuated it would throw off the end point!

      • mellonhead

        Putting pairs of warp markers at the beginning and end of areas you don’t want affected will keep them in place. For the mix-out, just find one spot near the end that happens to fall on or near the actual downbeat. Warp the rest from there and it’s done!

    • DJ Margrave

      You can decide how much you want to ‘quantize’ the groove by the number of warp markers that you set. Keep in mind that you aren’t looking to warp away the groove, you are looking to make the tempo consistent. If the drummer was able to stay in the pocket without the slightest tempo change, you wouldn’t need warp markers.

  • Funkyou

    Fakin the funk

  • Wow, this method of warping entire tracks with drifting tempo is overcomplicated. While that number of warp markers is totally unnecessary when it comes to dj’ing and standard beatmatching, it “kills” the groove of the song as well.

    How I wish that ableton would allow users to run clips as masters instead of slaves of the BPM, like it’s possible to do in arrangement view. Well, hopefully it’ll be added in version 9.

    • John


    • ben101

      +1 to that

    • Karlo Cleto

      That’s definitely something I’d like to see as well. I went with a rather extreme example in this tutorial specifically to demonstrate how a track with a constantly drifting tempo can be warped for a DJ set. This way, you’ll be able to drop in the song at any point, and jump around the track while keeping perfectly in beat. Of course, you could choose to simply warp your mix-in and mix-out sections, or maybe use larger loops when warping. 
      I don’t warp most of my tracks this way myself- I usually just have a handful of warp markers for most songs. Whichever way you want to warp your tracks, the same principles apply. In the end, it all comes down to a DJ’s own mixing style and preferences!

    • ToOntown

      That’s typically why I’ll warp to the nearest 1 rather than each 16th note.  You can preserve swing and “the human element” of a groove when warping a track if you just lay off the idea that you have to have perfect quantization on it. 

      But this is the whole reason why I warp tracks, so that I can syncopate beats with multiple samples. If I “over-warp” it then it pretty much guarantees that I’ll be able to mash it up with any kind of electronic beat. Otherwise I’ll just drop the original track without warping it at all.