Tag Archives: acappella

How to Remix with Ableton: Warping an Acapella Part 1

20 Dec

This is the first in a series of three posts about warping acapellas. See the rest HERE and HERE.

The hardest part of figuring out how to remix a track is trying to remember how to spell “Acapella.” Is it Acapella? Or Acappela? Shouldn’t there be two “c”?!

The second hardest part is getting started. And a lot of times, this means warping the acappella from the original track. Even if you are going to be only using a small snippet of the acappella, the vocal is often an important element, since it is usually what lets the average person know that the track is a remix and not a wholly new production.

But warping an acappella presents its own special challenges. While Ableton’s best guess about warping the average track is usually pretty good, the warping of an acappella is almost never correct right out of the box. The reason for this is that acappellas often lack the basic rhythmic elements that Ableton uses as reference points to warp a track, since acappellas are only an isolated vocal track.

So, I’ve isolated two techniques for warping acappellas that have served me very well. One, which you can use with acappellas whose backing tracks are still faintly audible and another for acappellas with no audible backing track. I decide which technique to use based on whether or not you can hear the backup track.

*EDIT* Here’s the acapella that I used in this video: Marvin Gaye-Sexual Healing (Acapella)