[linux-audio-user] loop creation under Linux

derek holzer derek at x-i.net
Wed Jan 14 15:01:02 EST 2004

OK...drifting back on topic [slowly....]

noname wrote:
> I came across some posts about gdam when I was looking for a Linux 
> alternative to Ableton's Live.  Some of the posts talked about time 
> stretching, but I can't remember if gdam has time stretching 
> capabilities or not.  Website: http://gdam.ffem.org/

Gdam [if you can get it running stable... currently it is totally broken
under Gentoo] has a very nice DJ-style "pitch control" for modifying
playback speeds. But it still alters pitch, so it is not technically

Personally I find Ableton the most bone-headed software ever made! In
blind taste-tests, 9 out of 10 electronic muscians who have been making
tracks longer than 6 months can spot a piece made in Ableton, simply
because it is only good for one thing: time-synching whatever kinds of
loops you throw into it with a lockstep four-to-the-floor beat. Beyond
that, it is a creative cul-de-sac. </rant>

> Does Csound offer time stretching?

Yes, and so does PD. Look for an external called Syncgrain(s?) on the
net, by Frank Barknecht, which offers a granular synthesis approach to
changing playback speed w/o changing pitch. My own PD abstraction
Particle Chamber [also based on granular synthesis] can also do similar
time-stretches, but is made more for creating abstract sounds and textures.

> On Jan 14, 2004, at 5:23 PM, Glenn McCord wrote:
>> Is there a loop based editor similar to Sonic Foundry's Acid either in 
>> existance or under development? 

Many sample editors [Audacity, Ardour and Rezound, probably also Sweep,
and also Ecasound] can change the playback length, but I am not sure if
they all do this independent of pitch. Ardour in particular uses a
library which is quite effective at time-stretching independent of
pitch. Check the archives of this list for a thread called "stretching
sound" for more details.

>> What I'm looking for is Acid's ability 
>> to stretch/compress loops depending on the metronome therefore being 
>> able to take any loop and use it to any metronome speed. 

AFAIK, there is not something which does this in such a "user-friendly"
fashion as Acid. That said, I would also like to take this opportunity
to dish on Acid a bit as well ;-)

Seriously, though... back in my cracked-software-days, I spent some time
playing in Acid. I found the arrangement possibilities alright, at least
if you were into breakbeats and such. But its *worst* feature was its
time-stretching algorithms, which would hopelessly distort any sound
with even the most minor adjustments without a *lot* of tweaking around.

I often found it was better to set my tempo, figure out how long my bars
needed to be and time-stretch the samples in a sample editor with far
better time-stretch algorithms. If I were doing breakbeats now, I would
probably experiment until I found a tempo I was happy with, use Ardour
to time-stretch, and do my arrangements in Hydrogen. A two-step process
[no pun intended!], but one that would probably give pretty good results.

>> I read Acid 
>> is a failure under wine.

Wine is fine, but lysergic acid diethylamide is quicker.
Hardee-har-har... :-)


derek holzer ::: http://www.umatic.nl
---Oblique Strategy # 93:
"Into the impossible"

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