The Fastest Way to Warp a Track in Ableton Live

Warping tracks let’s you easily timestretch tracks for beatmatching, mash ups and sampling in Ableton Live. I find this the fastest way to do it (using Live 8 here) thought I will manually tighten up every 4 bars or so to double check that everything is right.

Drag an audio file (wav, aiff, mp3) into Live, from Live’s browser or directly from iTunes.

Live will attempt to auto-warp the file. If Ableton gets it right, you’re done. If you want to ‘tighten up’ the warping’ or if it just plain didn’t get it right…

2) Double click on the clip…
…to show it in the clip view below:

Picture 17

Then launch the clip (press the triangle). You need to find the ‘one,’ or in this case I’m just looking to warp the file once the drums come in.

For my MP3, I hear the ‘one’ around the -1.2bar. I’ll want to zoom in here, using the magnifying glass above the audio file.

I see the first beat is slightly off. I’m going to double click on the transient above the “one” to create a yellow warp marker (you can double click on a yellow one to remove a warp marker as well).

Picture 2

Picture 19

Right click on that warp marker, and select “Set 1.1.1 here”


This is the hardest thing for any computer autowarping to find. If you guide Ableton to this point, the computer can basically figure out the rest. Now you need to right click again, and select “Warp From Here.”


Live generally gets it right from this point. Let’s turn on the Metronome…


…to hear that the track is warped right. Seems good in this case.

Next let’s turn on the Loop button:


Set the Length to 4 Measures:


And set the position to 1.1.1.


Now we hear a four bar loop. You can click on the word “Length” to snap the view to that loop. Click and drag in the tempo field to change the tempo of your loop.


You may want to play with the warp mode for better sound.


Complex or Complex Pro is good for mixed down songs, Beats is good for drums, and Tones is best for guitar, vocals, piano, etc.

To check the rest of the track and make sure it’s warped right, you want to click on the loop bracket, and using the arrow up and down keys you can hop through the rest of the song and add, adjust or get rid of warp markers.


5 Responses

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