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There are a number of different ways to make audio slow down. I'm talking about sound that slows (and pitches) down to a stop, much like if you were to stop the motor on a record player without lifting up the needle.
It's a lot easier to do now with elastic / flex audio. Do you use these or do you have a different way of doing it? What have you found to be the best sounding method? Have you had success with lower sample rates?
Digidesign's Vari-Fi does two things and two things only: Emulate a record or tape deck slowing down or speeding up. Although it's a one-trick pony plug-in, I find it's super useful for quickie "bullet time" effects or just to spice something up that maybe isn't doing much for me.
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I use Ableton Live for all my envelope controlled pitch and time shifting. It's a pain to shuttle files back and forth between Ableton and Pro Tools but I find Ableton's time stretching algorithms to be way better than PT elastic time and I'm still using Live 6!
georgi.m raises an interesting question. Should slowed down time be represented by lower pitched sounds or is that anachronistic now? I'm fascinated by how cinema has created its own self referential reality and how the hallmarks and standards of the lexicon are largely the result of out dated technology. Slow motion sounds pitched down because that's how we've heard it done in countless movies and countless movies have done it that way because for a long time that was the only way to do it. Reminds me of the story about a girl who asks her mother why she always cut the pot roast in half even though the pot was big enough for a whole roast. The mother answered "because that's how my mother taught me to do it". And why did her mother do it that way? Because she had a smaller pot.
Could slowing things down and pitching them down at the same time get you in trouble with the digital generation? The casual young viewer/listener would ask "why did the pitch go down? it sounds funny.."
Much as i love analogue sound, I'd be very interested if sound slowed down without the pitch going down and without the effect being too "digital". All in sync to picture. I'd certainly try elastic before reaching for pitch.
Are we at the point where DSP allows for "fluidity" while "preserving transients" at super high quality?
I was reading @Tim's post for the virtual internships and he has a wonderful point of view: slowing down time "means we have more time to hear the details"... and of course I thought of this old thread!
If I'm in another environment like Reaper I can either automate the playrate, In reaper and any other hosts I can always automate a pitch plug-in, I could use a sampler with a pitch wheel as well or if I have a lower bitrate file and I want it to try and stay as clean and alias free I will use an analog tape style delay and sweep the feedback and delay times.
There are definitely many ways to skin this cat but Vari-Fi and Delay plug-in's are my favorite. Vari-Fi because it's precise, Delay because I might get some awesome unexpected results.
I mostly use Vari-Fi as well, but sometimes use Elastic Time set to varispeed to experiment with settings across multiple tracks - just enable elastic time on the tracks and drop the tempo to lower the speed. The only thing to watch out for there is that if any of your tracks are set to ticks rather than samples, then they'll all move on the timeline to match the tempo which probably isn't what you want.