Real-time pitch and time warping

Slices can be pitch shifted and time stretched in real-time, with a sound that is reminiscent of early samplers by AKAI, such as the S950 and S1000.

Amongst other things, this sound was popularized by using ultra-stretched, metallic sounding vocals and drum sounds found in many 90s Jungle , Drum and Bass, House, Garage and other EDM tracks. The Woovebox' algorithm deliberately leans into this use of pitch shifting and time stretching for creative uses.

In contrast to aforementioned hardware samplers from the 80s and 90s, and in line with its "doing more with less" goal, your Woovebox performs the warping in real-time, allowing for even more creative effects and - crucially - without "baking" those effects into the source samples. For example, you can dynamically change speed and pitch by means of an LFO (including conditional thereof), allowing the same samples (or parts thereof) to sound differently without the obvious "chip munk" effect or affecting playback speed. This can include otherworldy Window Licker-esque growls, inflections or intonations on vocals, or per-step triggerable metallic / flanger-esque effects of just a few drumloop slices.

A number of examples of time and pitch warping on the Woovebox


Using time and pitch warp

A slice's 'Warp' parameter specifies how - if it all - a slice should behave in response to a programmed step's note pitch and/or length;

  • 'Off'; no special behavior. The slice will play faster or slower depending on a step's programmed pitch. Step length will affect the sustain component of the track as normal.
  • 'Pich'; the slice will a play at a programmed step's pitch, but will always play at a fixed speed. Or in other words, a step's "note" parameter only influences the playback pitch, but not the playback speed. This mode only works if the 'Warp' algorithm is active on a track. Any of oscillator 1's settings that affect pitch will affect the pitch at which the slice is played back, still retaining the same speed. Therefore, interesting pitch effects can be achieved by varying the pitch (for example using an LFO) of Oscillator 1 as the slice is played back. Any of oscillator 2's settings will affect time. Therefore, interesting time effects can be achieved by varying the pitch (for example using an LFO) of Oscillator 2 as the slice is played back. This mode is particularly useful for effecting vocal samples and crazy metallic effects.
  • 'tiME'; when triggered on a step, the slice will a play at fixed pitch (as specified by a slice's the 'pich' parameter), but will play at the speed specified by the step's pitch (where A-4 is 100% speed, A-5 is 200% speed, A-3 is 50% and so on). Or in other words, a step's "note" parameter only influences the playback speed, but not the playback pitch. This mode only works if the 'Warp' algorithm is active on a track. Any of oscillator 1's settings that affect pitch will affect the pitch at which the slice is played back, still retaining the same speed. Therefore, interesting pitch effects can be achieved by varying the pitch (for example using an LFO) of Oscillator 1 as the slice is played back. Any of oscillator 2's settings will affect time. Therefore, interesting time effects can be achieved by varying the pitch (for example using an LFO) of Oscillator 2 as the slice is played back. This mode is also particularly useful for effecting vocal samples and crazy metallic effects.
  • 'Ln.V.S'; Slice pitch is automatically varied so that it perfectly stretches the playback over the duration of the step length("Ln"). No "warp" pitch correction or time stretching is applied; the slice ("S") pitch is varied ("V") to fit the step length time. As a result, the "chip munk" effect will be audible. This mode is very useful for perfectly looping full (e.g. single-slice) drumloops in time with the song's BPM. This mode works even without the 'Warp' algorithm active on a track.
  • 'Ln.V.M'; Slice pitch is automatically varied so that it perfectly stretches the playback over the duration of the step length ("Ln"). No "warp" pitch correction or time stretching is applied; the slice's pitch is simply varied ("V") to fit the step length time. The difference from the 'LN.V.S' mode, is that the slice's playback pitch is scaled in proportion to (e.g. in context of) the full master ("M") sample length. This mode is very useful for triggering sliced-up fragments of drumloops in time with the song's BPM. This mode is useful, for example, to trigger a chopped up Amen break in a Jungle track. This mode works even without the 'Warp' algorithm active on a track.
  • 'Ln.C.S'; Slice time is automatically varied so that it perfectly stretches the playback over the duration of the step length("Ln"). A step's "note" parameter only influences the playback pitch, but not the playback speed. Pitch correction is applied to compensate and is therefore kept constant ("C"). As a result, the "chip munk" effect is suppressed. This mode is very useful for perfectly looping full (e.g. single-slice) drumloops in time with the song's BPM, without changing their pitch (or if desired, changing their pitch independently of their speed). This mode only works if the 'Warp' algorithm is active on a track. Any of oscillator 1's settings that affect pitch will affect the pitch at which the slice is played back, still retaining the same speed. Therefore, interesting pitch effects can be achieved by varying the pitch (for example using an LFO) of Oscillator 1 as the slice is played back. Any of oscillator 2's settings will affect time. Therefore, interesting time effects can be achieved by varying the pitch (for example using an LFO) of Oscillator 2 as the slice is played back. This mode is very useful for perfectly looping full (e.g. single-slice) drumloops in time with the song's BPM without changing their pitch.
  • 'Ln.C.M'; Slice time is automatically varied so that it perfectly stretches the playback over the duration of the step length("Ln"). A step's "note" parameter only influences the playback pitch, but not the playback speed. Pitch correction is applied to compensate and is therefore kept constant ("C"). As a result, the "chip munk" effect is suppressed. The difference from the 'LN.C.S' mode, is that the slice's playback speed is scaled in proportion to (e.g. in context of) the full master ("M") sample length. This mode is very useful for triggering sliced-up fragments of drumloops in time with the song's BPM, all without changing their pitch. This mode only works if the 'Warp' algorithm is active on a track. Any of oscillator 1's settings that affect pitch will affect the pitch at which the slice is played back, still retaining the same speed. Therefore, interesting pitch effects can be achieved by varying the pitch (for example using an LFO) of Oscillator 1 as the slice is played back. Any of oscillator 2's settings will affect time. Therefore, interesting time effects can be achieved by varying the pitch (for example using an LFO) of Oscillator 2 as the slice is played back. This mode is very useful for triggering sliced-up fragments of drumloops in time with the song's BPM. This mode is useful, for example, to trigger a chopped up Amen break in a Jungle track without changing their speed, but allowing pitch to be chosen per-triggered slice.

If using one of the 'Ln.x.x' Warp modes, hold write and turn the value knob to set the audition length. For example, if you are auditioning a 1-bar drumloop sample, set the audition length to 16 steps (one bar) to hear what the sample would sound like over the course of one bar, at your song's chosen BPM.

If the 'Warp' algorithm is active, oscillator 2's amplitude controls cycle length. Varying this length in real-time can create interesting effects such as flangers and other more metallic timbres.

Varying cycle length (as determined by oscillator 2's amplitude), whether static (by setting oscillator 2's level) or dynamic (by applying an LFO, key following or some other control), can be responsible for a number of effects, these include (but are not limited to);

  • delays/echoes
  • metallic sounds
  • robot voices
  • flangers
  • phasers
  • chorus

As said, the Woovebox' implementation of pitch shifting and time stretching, leans heavily into using this feature for creative purposes. As such you are highly encouraged to explore this feature for sound design purposes in addition to their obvious uses.


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Woovebox
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