I have some old demos I did many years ago on 4-track tape. I've digitized them but now I'd like to bring them into a DAW (FL Studio) and rework them. (Processing the audio, adding new parts over the top etc.)

Because they were on tape, the timing varies a bit so the recordings can't just be overlaid with new digital tracks.

Obviously FL does time-stretching / pitch-shifting. But it seems to just be from one overall speed to another.

So are there any tools that help "quantize" an existing, slightly irregular recording?

What I'm looking for is something where I'd be able to import an entire track as a WAV. Then place it against a timing track, adding markers at crucial points so the software can warp the audio-recording to fit the timing-track, stretching / shrinking / pitch-shifting each section as appropriate.

I assume something like this must exist, but I don't know what to call it.

  • 2
    Cubase's feature 'Audiowarp' can do this sort of thing. There are actually a few timing manipulation tools in Cubase.
    – n00dles
    Jun 25, 2015 at 20:46

4 Answers 4


You can use Sony - Sound Forge for precise pitch-shifting with curves if your problem is a problem with the tape recording speed. To note that pitch-shifting if no time-stretch is added to it doesn't significantly alter your original sound quality it will only change the tone.

Steinberg - Cubase's tool seems pretty accurate too.

Also, Ableton - Live and Bitwig have a really good and intuitive warping tool. I don't know for Bitwig but for live an auto-mode is also available with different algorithms.

Now it's a question of work method, needs and tastes.


OK. I found the answer for FL Studio. It's called "playlist warping" :


Cubase (7+) contains a pretty impressive tempo detection and correction feature. It lets you correct a recording done without metronome:


Just my $0.02, but any recording that's been put through a pitch/time algorithm starts to sound strange in a hurry.

There's nothing wrong with recordings that don't conform to a robotic metronome - in fact the very "feel" of much live music is derived from subtle changes in tempo and, for want of better terminology, "groove" within the already-changing tempo.

If you're after something that sounds nice at the end, it would probably be sensible to record against the tempo/groove of the original recording as opposed to attempting to process the "feeling" out of it.

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