How to Stretch an Audio Clip in Cakewalk by Bandlab

There are times when you need to make a sound clip shorter or longer. But cutting it up would do more harm than good.

Thankfully, Cakewalk has a tool that makes it easy to stretch audio clips without changing the pitch.

Stretch Audio in Cakewalk Using Two Methods

There are two ways you can stretch an audio clip in Cakewalk. The first method uses the on-screen interface, while the second method uses a keyboard shortcut.

Method 1: Selecting the Stretch Tool

Go to the Control Bar and right-click the Edit button. Then select Stretch from the dropdown menu.

Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts: 

  • Press T to pull up the Tools HUD anywhere on-screen.
  • Press F8 to cycle through the edit tools (Edit, Stretch, Comping, & Split)
How to Stretch an Audio Clip in Cakewalk

After you’ve selected the stretch tool, you simply drag one end of the audio clip to stretch it.

Note: If you have the Snap Module turned on, your audio clip will snap to the grid.

Method  2: Using the Keyboard Shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + Drag)

You can quickly stretch an audio clip by holding down Ctrl + Shift, and then dragging the clip.

This can save you lots of time from going in and out of the stretch tool.

Note: This shortcut only works if either the Smart Tool or Edit Tool is active. It won’t work if any other tool from the Tool HUD is selected.

How Long or Short Can You Stretch an Audio Clip?

In Cakewalk by Bandlab, the longest you can stretch an audio clip is 400%. The shortest you can squash a clip is 25%. Any longer or shorter and Cakewalk will stop you.

That said, you can “cheat the system” by right-clicking on the stretched clip, selecting “bounce to clip”, then stretching it again.

Why Can’t You Stretch Some Audio Clips?

Sometimes, you might try to stretch an audio clip but can’t. There are two possible reasons for this:

  1. The audio clip in question has either Groove Clip or AudioSnap settings changed. These settings let you slice and loop the audio file.
  2. The clip is actually a REX file (.rex, .rx2), a pre-sliced loopable audio file.

These types of audio clips are programmed to be loopable and snap to fit your project’s tempo settings. Because of that, they can’t be stretched.

Two audio clips in Cakewalk. The bottom is stretched out to 305%.

Applications for Stretching Audio

Time-stretching audio has its benefits. In most cases, the original clip is too long or too short. And in some instances, you can’t re-record the sample.

So you’ll have to stretch it to fit a certain length or tempo. Here are a few applications:

  • Shortening a clip that’s too long
  • Stretching out a clip that’s too short
  • Lining up multiple clips that are supposed to start/end at the same time
  • Shortening voice-over clips to fit broadcast standards

Stretching an audio clip can also be used as a creative tool. Use it to create new sounds, samples, and effects.

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02/18/2024 10:46 pm GMT