Six Lesser-Known Chronotron Tricks

Chronotron is rich in features that allow you to tweak your media clips in all sorts of ways. This post describes some of the app’s lesser-known tricks to keep in your repertoire.

Transpose Without the Chipmunk Effect

When audio material is pitch-scaled by a significant amount, the vocals start to sound unnatural, resulting in something known as the Chipmunk effect.

With Chronotron you can make transposed vocals sound more natural by enabling the Format Preservation option, as shown in the following demo video.

This works best with pure vocal tracks, but as you can see it works surprisingly well with mixed material, too.

The Anti-Karaoke Effect, or Center Channel Isolation

A simple yet effective method for removing vocals from a stereo recording consists on subtracting both channels, taking advantage of the fact that the singer is often mixed right at the center of the stereo image. A lot of apps can do that and Chronotron is no exception.

However, a lesser-known – and neater – trick is to do the opposite, that is, isolating vocals by extracting the audio content that is common to both channels. The video below shows how to use the Solo Channel function to either remove or isolate the center channel when playing stereo material.

The result naturally depends on the way the recording was mixed.

Play Multichannel Audio Files

Remember the DVD-A vs. SACD format war? There used to be a time when multichannel audio was regarded as the future of music, but history took a different turn (unfortunately, some will say).

If you happen to have multichannel WAV or FLAC files, you should be aware that Chronotron can play them! As you can see in the demo video below, channel isolation becomes child’s play.

Fix Audio/Video Synchronization Issues

A video clip having a slightly out-of-sync audio track may not be particularly annoying when watched at normal speed. However, slowing down the clip also causes the audio/video synchronization gap to increase proportionally to the tempo scaling factor. This can become a big deal, for example, when you’re trying to figure out the exact fingering of a fast guitar solo.

As you can see in the below demo, the Video Delay control allows you to perfectly synchronize audio and video so it looks right at any speed.

Use Calculations for Tempo and Key

In the Tempo and Key pane there are input boxes that allow you to enter the desired tempo and key values directly, like 0.5 or 50%.

A good thing to know is that you can also enter formulas there, so for example, if you want to change tempo from 140 BPM to 80 BPM, you could just enter 80/140.

More complicated formulas work too, like 0.5 + 0.2 + 1%, which would result in 71%.

In addition to the above, the Key input box also allows inputting a number of cents by prepending the amount by a sign. A cent is defined as a 100th of a semitone.

As an example, typing +120 results in pitch being scaled by 120 cents up (i.e. 1 semitone and 20 cents up).

Oops? Don’t Panic! Click the Revert Button

Suppose you have been working on a long playlist, setting parameters for each clip and so on, and by accident you open a new media clip that replaces the whole playlist. Oops.

Don’t panic! Clicking the Revert button – the one close to the Undo/Redo buttons – or pressing Ctrl + Shift + Z will get your original playlist back. See how it works in the following demo video.

This function may also come in handy when performing A/B comparisons.

What do You Think?

If there are other Chronotron functions that you would like to see covered in detail, or if you have your own tips and tricks to share, please don’t hesitate to let me know by posting a comment.

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