3 ways to change the tempo of a music or audio file with Protools

3 ways to change the tempo of a music or audio file with Protools

Today I want to explain how to slow down or speed up a song or audio track with protools. There are 3 ways to do this.

The first is a dynamic method, which will allow you to change speed even while you are working and can be applied to your song’s tracks. On the other hand, it is a static method, you will change the tempo only for a certain track and not be affected by the tempo set on the timeline. Finally, the third method will allow you to quickly change the tempo without controlling what the final BMP is. Let’s see them better.

1) Change the tempo with elastic audio

The first method we will see is certainly the most creative and dynamic one in music. You can change the tempo of the single track and the tempo of the whole song, consequently modifying all the individual tracks of your project. I find this method very useful when you are in production and, for some reason, have decided you want to change the tempo of the song. The procedure is as follows:

First of all, import your song or audio file. If you don’t know the starting bpm, you will have to find it. I use the ear and the click to find the time.

Once the file is imported, set the original bpm on the protools timeline

Now activate the elastic audio. If you don’t know how to do this, read my tutorial on how to use elastic audio

Now, at the point where you have activated elastic audio, look on the left side and click on the smaller icon, the one that resembles a clock, then, from the drop-down menu that opens, click on the “Ticks” option (See image under)

At this point, to change the tempo of the track, all you have to do is change it on the timeline.

You can apply this process to all audio tracks in your project, so every time you change tempo on the timeline, all tracks will change accordingly.

2) Changing the tempo with the “Time Shift” tool

This method is much faster, but it allows you to slow down or speed up the tempo on a single track only and does not affect the entire project, as the method we saw above can do. It can be very useful if, for example, you need to change the tempo of an entire song or a single audio file. Here’s how to do it:

From the top menu of protools go to “Audio Suite”

Now navigate to “Pitch Shift” and open the “Time Shift” tool

Select the track you want to edit and, on the time shift tool, set the original BMP on the left and the desired final BMP on the right, then click on “Process” at the bottom right.

Now your audio track has changed bpm. The process is not reversible, except with the “undo” option. To remodel the time, you will have to redo this process.

3) Change the tempo with the TCE function

Finally, I would like to conclude with one last very simple method, which allows you to change the tempo of a track. This, as anticipated above, does not allow you to calculate the final bpm. It is a method that can be fine if you have to make a rough and fast modification or a modification made because, for some reason, you want to have a file that is different from the ‘original. To do this, you need to do this:

Go to the protools tools menu (the one where you also find the pencil, the hand, the magnifying glass, etc.) and activate the “TCE” function, which you can find by pressing and holding the tool immediately to the right of the magnifying glass. At this point, all you have to do is move one end of your audio track to change its tempo.

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