Audition Deep Dive: REMIX – Automatically rearrange any song to fit any duration

11-30-2015

Music is a crucial element for most video productions, supporting the visuals and providing the perfect mood. But our favorite musicians rarely consider the length of our video projects when composing and producing their songs. This means we often need to pay a remix engineer to create a new version of a song, try to tackle it ourselves by finding loopable clips and aligning beats, or giving up and just creating an abrupt fade out at the end of our project. None of these solutions help with budgets, deadlines, or artistic integrity, which is where a new feature in Adobe Audition steps in to save the day.

Audition’s new REMIX tool analyzes your song files, identifying hundreds of loops, transitions, and important segments, and then allows you to quickly remix to any duration. While it’s default settings are often nothing short of miraculous, several parameters allow editors to dial in an ideal new arrangement.

To use Remix in your own projects, drop a song clip into an empty track in your multitrack session. Open the Properties panel and click Enable Remix in the Remix group. Audition will analyze the recording using a combination of beat detection and source-separation for harmonic identification. This process usually takes around 4 seconds per minute of source music, so it should be very fast. Once analyzed, you can type a specific Target Duration in the panel, or simply drag the zig-zag Remix Clip Handles to adjust the length of your clip and snap to length of your video file.

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Almost instantaneously, your clip will be remixed with each transition between two segments of the original song indicated by vertical zig-zags, which resemble splices on old tape or film recordings.  Move the playhead a few seconds before one of these transitions and hit play, listening closely as Audition crossfades over the beat.

For a lot of music, the default results will sound great and be unnoticeable by listeners. But for well-known or dynamic songs, you may want to try a different arrangement. Open the Remix Properties Advanced section and you’ll see a small selection of options that will adjust your remix.

Depending on the tempo and specific nature of the song you used, the duration may not be exactly precise. You could enable the Stretch to exact duration parameter, applying a real-time stretch to the clip for sample-perfect timing.

Edit Length

Edit Length tells the algorithm to favor shorter segments with more transitions, or longer segments with fewer transitions. If your original song changes fairly dramatically from start to finish, shorter segments and more transitions will allow your remix to flow more naturally. Songs with a consistent structure and style may benefit from fewer transitions, keeping any changes to a minimum.

Features instructs the algorithm to favor Timbre (rhythmic elements) or Harmonic structure when making transitions and crossfades. For electronic or pop music, Timbre will make sure the beat stays locked in place. For choral or softer tracks, Harmonic emphasis will help create smooth blends.

Minimum Loop tells Audition the shortest segment you will permit, in number of beats, and can be useful if the algorithm makes short transitions which might be mathematically ideal, but which sound unnatural to our subjective ears.

Finally, Maximum Slack constrains the remix duration to as close to your target duration as possible. If an exact duration is not necessary, adjusting this parameter can make for better-sounding remixes.

We hope Audition’s Remix tool helps you work faster and generate better results for less effort. It might not put remix professionals out of work just yet, but several DJ’s have already told me they’ll be using it as part of their own workflows. I feel confident you’ll make it part of yours as well.

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