I discovered a great method for warping tracks in Ableton Live. Note: I am still using version 7 of Live. I have yet to upgrade to 8 so this method may or may not be efficient in v.8. I only say this because I'm not familiar with Live 8's warping engine and if it's different or better than that of v.7. Anyway, here ya go.
I am assuming that most of you will be warping various electronic genres of music. I know for a fact this method works well with 4/4 beats. I'm sure it would be more difficult if you were trying to warp a Nirvana song or a Rolling Stones song from the 70's. But for most newer electronic tracks, this method is the shizzz!
1. Load the track into Live. It will most likely look like this if "Autowarp" is turned on.
Now what I normally do at this point is find the first downbeat(the first kickdrum hit) Zoom in as far as you can and set warp marker 1 (yellow) here. Make it as precise as possible.(This is very important)
Also turn on the metronome while performing this operation. It helps when you can hear if the beats are lined up as well as see it.
After you find the first kickdrum and set the yellow warp marker at the beginning of it, right click,(ctrl-click-mac) on the marker and select "warp from here (straight)."
Push "spacebar" with the metronome playing to hear if sounds right. It should!
Now, scrub through the track listening at different parts, making sure everything is lining up correctly.
In my experience, many techno(electronic) productions are warped damn near perfectly at this point. But to be sure I always follow through w/ this next step, just in case.
Zoom out and go to the end of the track. This is where the "different" in this method comes in.
I spent forever warping tracks from left to right. Usually needing to set a marker on every 4 bars, sometimes every bar! I used to dread warping because it took forever. But when I discovered this method, warping became kinda fun.
Anyway, go to the end of the track and find the last kick-drum hit. Actually, it doesn't need to be exactly the last one, but close to the end.
Now, without double-clicking move the closest warp-marker to the beginning of the kick-drum hit. Once you get it lined up just leave it. DO NOT MAKE IT YELLOW. JUST LINE IT UP AND LEAVE IT!
Now zoom back out and scrub through the track again. It should be good! And that's it!
In essence this method is just good ol' fashioned time stretching, but it works beautifully!
Warping, a task that used to take 15 min or more now takes about 1 min.
NOTE: I mix live at clubs all the time and this is how I warp most of my tracks.
I perform the procedure described then click "save" in the clip view. My library of warped tracks are seperated into folders by genre and BPM. I simply drop em' in and get my mix on. Hasn't failed me yet. So as far as I can tell this method works.
I mix Electro, Fidget, Minimal, Tech-House and this works for 98% of the tracks I warp.
I say this because there are some tracks out there that simply CANNOT be warped perfectly!
If the BPM changes during the track it may be difficult to warp.
Depending on when the track was produced and what was used to produce it.(Soft-Ware, DAW, Hard-Ware Sequencer, Synth). The song could be on time or severely out of time by nature.
Also, I don't put too much emphasis on warping every track "perfectly."
I like my mixes to have a "human" feel to them. But that is personal preference.
So try it out. You may find that warping is no longer the chore it once was.
HAPPY MIXING!! : )