What's the best mode to warp full tracks

I hear confusing advice: either Beats in 1/4 setting or Complex mode..

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maomao 5 years ago | 0 comments

16 answers

  • longjohns
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    3 answers
    19 votes received
    9 votes

    The answer is a frustrating one:  use the one that sounds best and which causes the fewest problems. 

    The best warp mode in terms of Ableton's function is probably Beats mode.  This will be neutral when used at natural tempo.  (see the Audio Fact Sheet).   For music heavy on straight rhythms, without a lot of complex harmonic content, it could sound pretty good too.

    Repitch will give good sound quality, but of course with a pitch difference when leaving natural tempo.

    Tones and Texture are modes worth trying before moving to Complex or Complex Pro.  

    The Complex modes can offer better sound than the other modes, when used on clips with a lot of different things going on..  BUT be careful when using them, because even at natural tempo, they will produce artifacts in the audio output.  For this reason it's not advised to use Complex or Complex Pro as your default warp mode.  If you do so, you run the risk of incorporating distortions into your clips, when you resample, render, or consolidate.

    5 years ago | 0 comments
  • DJVespers
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    8 votes

    I typically use Complex for full tracks.  I find Beats mode leaves very noticeable artifacts when the track goes into a breakdown and the main percussion drops out.  From my understanding Complex Pro is only beneficial when transposing a clip quite dramatically.  Normally Complex will suffice quite nicely and is a bit lighter on resources than Complex Pro.  I rarely transpose whole tracks anyways.  Hope that helps.  Cheers!  

    5 years ago | 1 comment
  • freddyfrogs Ableton Certified Trainer
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    5 answers
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    6 votes

    I think "beat" is not the right mode for whole tunes as it create audible artifacts.

    Most professionals will use re-pitch for their DJ mixes as this reproduces what a vinyl does. It is the most "neutral" mode since it mimics what sound actually does (i.e. faster= higher pitch) This is the mode where Ableton's algorhythm doesn't affect the sound so much! It is the closest to the original quality of the file.

    I always advise to use Complex pro if one doesn't want the pitch of the file to be altered with "re-pitch" but this adds a lot of CPU.

    5 years ago | 1 comment
  • lo.key
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    6 votes received
    3 votes

    it comes down to what you're doing with the audio. I tend to do a lot of doubling of bpm to play tracks at halftime, and the mode i use for this tends to vary depending on what i want to achieve. Beats is great for getting syncopation to basic rhythms, especially if you play with the placement of warp markers so that the tail of a hit gets cut and stretched.

    I use the texture mode as my default, as i for one like a little grain distortion.

    Repitch is great for production, where you arent making bpm changes in a song. But i don't care for it when 'djing' whole tracks

    Complex just doesn't sound right to my ears a lot of the time.

    Pro i quite like, but you need to tune the parameters for each song, to capture the dominant frequencies properly.

    5 years ago | 2 comments
  • Acid303
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    11 answers
    13 votes received
    3 votes

    Does traktor degrade the sound too?

    3 years ago | 0 comments
  • javierlorenzo86
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    2 answers
    1 vote received
    2 votes

    I've been DJing with Ableton for the last 3 years, and I preffer beats mode, but I'll tell you that it's very important how well you warp your tracks. Another thing that most people don't pay attention are the parameters from beats mode. By default, preserve is set in Transients, but with some tracks it sounds bad, it ruins the kick sound. Depending on the track I use Transients, 1/32 or 1/16 as value for preserve.

    As many said Re-Pitch is a very reliable mode, but it will affect the pitch as you change the tempo.

    5 years ago | 1 comment
  • nebulae
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    11 answers
    57 votes received
    2 votes

    If I'm creating a DJ-Style mix in the arrange window, I'll often take the mix-in and mix-out parts of a song and warp them to whatever sounds best, which is often Beat mode. I'll split the song so that once the mix has occurred, the main part of the song is either not warped at all, or has the least intrusive warp mode.

    So for example, say I'm mixing out a track, and the last 4 bars are basically beats, I'll split that section of the track, warp the mix-out as beats, smoothly mix in the new song, and then try not to warp the body of the new song. 

    5 years ago | 0 comments
  • daprofessor
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    2 votes received
    2 votes

    First of all excuse my English. the reason I use beat (for electronic music bootlegs I for example) is because keeps transients well (1/4, 1/8) In some styles the kick drum is very important, in my experience complex and complex pro destroys the punch of the drums. 

    For the breakdown i use complex, it works well for me

    3 years ago | 0 comments
  • Davemarch2
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    2 answers
    3 votes received
    2 votes

    I am baffled why Ableton is not able to come up with an alogriddim like Traktor... so you can DJ with Ableton without degradation of sound.etc...  If ableton could come up with a system like traktor.. and i could lay down tunes in the arrangement window and mix with the mouse etc... that would be epic to make mint as mix's.... but the ableton system seems so complicated for such a simple task... come on guys! sort it out...

    6 months ago | 0 comments
  • edm Ableton staff
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    14 answers
    40 votes received
    1 vote

    I find Beats works best for smaller shifts and instrumentals. If I notice artefacts it's (normally on tracks with vocals or when I'm warping a lot) I find Complex Pro best, but it will use up much more resources I find.

    5 years ago | 0 comments
  • Tarekith
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    8 answers
    33 votes received
    1 vote

    Is the audio fact sheet still correct that beats mode is neutral when used at the source tempo?  I thought that the new options in Live 8 beats warping cancelled this statement since it's been shown that sometimes the audio doens't null anymore?

    5 years ago | 4 comments
  • Hermanus
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    18 answers
    46 votes received
    1 vote

    I used a lot beat mode but after a while it's not the best when you move bpm in a set.

    Now I set repitch as default because when I record some audio I know it has no artifacts. 

    If I have to play with it, then I often switch to complex or texture.

    Complex is the simpliest, texture the finest in terms of control.

    5 years ago | 0 comments
  • Acid303
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    11 answers
    13 votes received
    1 vote

    Why can't I choose HQ Mode & Complex Pro by default in the live preferences menu?

    4 years ago | 0 comments
  • Navarre
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    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    If you're warping quantized music, like modern electronica, beats works well. I don't hear too many artifacts. I like to play a lot of disco, early 80's funk, and boogie, which often isn't quantized, and beats sounds awful on much of this music. You can hear unattractive grain artifacts that garbles speech and is pretty noticeable. You might also get clipping distortion as the crossfades between transients causes overlapping in unpredictable ways, sometimes causing a lot of clipping and generally trashing your music, causing it to sound very harsh in the higher frequencies and lacking in lows. You can remedy this by turning down the clip volume, but then you have to worry about maintaining an even volume across your set. Complex or Complex pro sometimes works, but you still run into clipping issues. Repitch is most reliable, but if you have a mix of repitched and pitch-locked warping modes, you won't really know what keys you're mixing into if you mix harmonically.

    Ultimately it's up to you. When people say "Do what sounds best," just listen for 1. Graining artifacts, which sound fluttery and garble speech especially, 2. clipping artifacts, which you can see on the fader meter or by using a limiter which will register very obvious gain reduction, 3. tonal balance in the song - are the lows, mids, and highs relatively balanced compared to the unwarped version of the track? for the the 3rd issue, I usually have two copies of the song in one track, looped at a busy part of the song. One will be warped, one not, with the master bpm at a neutral native bpm. I'll try different warp modes and A/B the two clips to see what preserves the bass and punchiness, then weigh this against issues 1 and 2. I'm still trying to master this, so take my advice with a grain of salt. This is just what I've learned myself. All the best.

    4 years ago | 1 comment
  • 3enj4m1n
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    2 answers
    2 votes received
    1 vote

    For DJ work, I have only tried complex pro, re-pitch and beats.

    Complex pro is good for general purpose mixing but it degrades the high frequencies, even at the original tempo. You have to just get used to it. Plus the CPU on your laptop will get very hot once you start playing more than 4 tracks simultaneously due to the extra load.


    Beats mode avoids the loss of high frequencies and gives the best transient response. Minimal electronic music sounds best in this mode. On the downside, beats does slice up the audio into noticeable chunks which gives sustained elements a 'quantised' quality. This is really noticeable on sustained bass notes during break-downs and ruins some material completely, even with moderate tempo changes.

    Re-pitch is the best audio quality but you can forget harmonic mixing in this mode. You're back to the days of vinyl. Some styles of music won't suffer much, others will sound out of tune during cross-fades. You'll have to choose your set-list carefully to avoid clashes.

    3 years ago | 0 comments
  • risome1
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    9 answers
    9 votes received
    0 votes

    Complex pro and only use wav or aiff format

    4 years ago | 0 comments

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