Time Stretching In Reason 6

With some excellent 3rd party time-stretching algorithms available is there any need for DAWs to provide their own? Mo Volans investigates time-stretching in Reason 6 and shares his excitement!  

Although Reason users were previously able to utilize the audio editing and time stretching capabilities of Record, everyone now has access to these great features in Reason 6. There are two different ways you can apply time stretching to your projects and we'll explore both methods here... 

Stretching Individual Regions

During mixing sessions it's quite likely you are going to come across audio parts that have been recorded at a different tempo from your current project. In the past this may have meant that you couldn't use the audio, or a complex time stretching process would have to be applied. In Reason 6 adapting these files to your working tempo is extremely straightforward.

Simply grab the end of any audio clip, hit the Option key and a small clock icon will appear: this signifies that the time stretch mode is activated. You can now adjust the length of your clip as you would normally but the change will now result in time stretching (or compression). 

Pre-stretched region

Pre-stretched region.

And after a long stretch is performed

And after a long stretch is performed.

You might find that adjusting the snap value here is a good idea as this means you can stretch your trimmed loops to exact positions, creating perfectly timed parts at your new BPM. So far I've found this stretch method to be more or less bullet-proof and the quality is great.

Stretching Entire Projects

Reason isn't just capable of stretching individual parts; it can actually stretch many parts at the same time. In actual fact you can stretch every part in your project by simply adjusting the master tempo.

This works in realtime and there are no settings or adjustments to be made. In all honesty this is one of the best time stretch algorithms I've heard yet, and even at changes of 20-30 BPM the results are really good.

Simply altering a project's bmp will stretch everything within it!

Simply altering a project's BPM will stretch everything within it!

Try it on some of your current projects; I'm pretty sure you'll be impressed. It's worth remembering that it's not just time stretching that takes place here but all your edits, MIDI and timed effects also remain locked firmly in place. This is something that some other DAWs are not so good at when adjusting the master tempo.

One of the Reason 6 demo tracks at its original tempo:

The same track a full 20BPM faster!!

When To Use Time Stretching 

So you might ask: when do we need to use all this time stretch tech? Well, I find that I use it most when remixing. When a project is delivered to me I can import all the audio into Reason 6 and change the tempo of the whole thing in just a few clicks with very little degradation of quality. 

This really allows me to do two things: I can hear the parts at different speeds to get an idea of how my mix is going to work and I can actually re-export the audio if needed and end up with an edited, perfectly time stretched file.

Of course there are a million other uses for this, you can speed up or slow down your band's new recording or even change the tempo of tracks for DJ-ing or live performance. Whatever you use it for, I can pretty much guarantee the results will be solid.

Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More


yann rezner
that song sounds so much better 20bpm faster @_@ !!

i've done things like that in the past using logic but it's good to see reason is now capable of such advanced audio manipulation
wow thats sounds great you can barely tell its been stretched

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