Stretch music tracks: awesome euphoric music with PaulStretch

Date: 17 Aug, 2010
Posted by: admin
In: hints & tips|linux, open source & software|pictures, music, video: multimedia

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Paul Stretch is a piece of open source software capable of extreme time stretching a piece of music. It creates amazing euphoric style music from the most mundane of pop. Here you’ll see samples and a howto to get your started stretching your own tracks.

Paul Stretch download

stretched Bieber song on SoundCloud

stretched Bieber song on SoundCloud

Howto make your own Paul Stretch tracks

Thanks to Nasca Octavian Paul and some experimental 800% stretching of music tracks a new music genre is being born. Or that’s the buzz as I’m writing this. Alternate link for stretched Bieber song originally on SoundCloud.

Paul Stretch software itself is solely for extreme stretching of audio tracks, it adds some smoothing algorithms to turn what would otherwise be lumpy mess into what can be a most amazingly euphoric sounding seascape of musical symphony.

Justin Bieber? For real?

Sometimes verging on cacophony but overall sounding like a back drop of long echoing female-vocal calls with synth like cymbals and crashing waves Justin Bieber’s “U Smile” at 800%. You can try it at SoundCloud where this 35minute track is being featured.

Make your own stretched audio tracks

Download the software from SourceForge and run it on MS Windows or compile it yourself for Linux, run your favourite track through at up to 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) times elongation.

Other information about Paul Stretch extreme music stretching software

Running under windows

You can run the compiled binary file under win32 just download and extract it from…/

Paul Stretch running under WINE on Linux

Paul Stretch running under WINE on Linux

Yes it works with WINE on Linux based distros, at least it did for me on Kubuntu 10.04. Indeed I’d recommend running it this way unless you’re prepared to get your hands dirty in code getting it compiled for yourself.

Compiling PaulStretch yourself

Not recommended. I’ve had a quick go, I’m out of practice but it’s certainly going to be more than the old configure-make-install mantra that I grew to know so well under Slackware all those years ago.

From the readme.txt :

Copyright (C) 2006-2009 Nasca Octavian Paul, Tg. Mures, Romania

Released under GNU General Public License v.2 license

This is an experimental program for extreme stretching the audio.
– audiofile library
– libvorbis
– fltk library
– portaudio library
– libmad (for mp3 input)
– not required, but you can use the FFTW library

This algorithm/program is suitable only for extreme stretching the audio.

There is lot room for improvements on this algorithm like:
– on sharp attacks to make the window smaller and larger on steady sounds. This avoid adding constant sidebands on steady sounds and smoothing too much the sharp sounds.
– even for small window, the sidebands produced can be lowered (how?)

If you’re on Ubuntu or similar apt-get can install the necessary dependencies with something like

sudo apt-get install libaudiofile0 libvorbis0a libvorbisenc2 libvorbisfile3 libfltk1.1 libportaudio0 libportaudio2 libportaudiocpp0 libmad0 libfftw3-3 fluid g++

.. and you should be good to go and compile the software. Change to the extracted directory of files and run the appropriate shell script,

~/Applications/paulstretch-2.0$ ./

If you’re as good at this as me then it won’t work. But you know, all the best!

Running PaulStretch

It looks a bit clunky but the basic effect is obvious – choose File > Open from the menubar. Then select the track you wish to stretch, I tried Billie Piper’s “Walk of Life” chosen for having short changing notes at the start and not having a heavy beat or long intro – I think MP3 or WAV input should work. This Billie Piper worked really well (first 5 mins of stretched track on SoundCloud).

Billie Piper “Walk of Life”, 8x stretch, 5mins by musicalicious


You can actually then just click the play button at the bottom right. Don’t be fooled it took about 20s for it to start playing my track.

To output your track ignore everything else in the interface apart from the last tab, select the “Write to file” tab and then click “Render selection…”. This opens a file save dialog that you can enter the output file name and type – my options were Ogg or WAV but it apparently does MP3 too.

There are many options and things are not terribly obvious nor are they apparently documented but this should get you started. I leave those with a bit more time to fill in the details about the filter and effects alterations and the variations in encoding and what have you.

Beware copyrights

Just as an end note really. Remember that despite you modifying the original track beyond recognition that the artist, writer, composer, studio, etc., have copyrights in the material and you should ensure that you are properly licensed in your jurisdiction to use and/or distribute any music tracks whether they run in real-time or are stretched a billion times! Making derivative works like stretches is not an automatic right. Take care y’all.

17 Responses to "Stretch music tracks: awesome euphoric music with PaulStretch"

[…] see my previous post on installing software and stretching audio up to a billion times. Summary […]

bob monkhouse says:

sudo aptitude install libmad0-dev libfftw3-dev

should get you further on ubuntu

bob monkhouse says:

Also, install portaudio19-dev (on ubuntu 9.10 at least) and there is a missing include in Input/MP3InputS.cpp, just add “#include “

[…] guide was inspired by Lifehacker reader pbhj, who pointed us in the direction of Paul Stretch, the application we’re using […]

[…] guide was inspired by reader pbhj, who pointed us in the direction of Paul Stretch, the application we’re using […]

Ben says:

In order to compile paulstretch from source, you’ll need the headers of the necessary libraries (i.e. the *-dev packages):

apt-get install libaudiofile-dev libvorbis-dev libfltk1.1-dev portaudio19-dev libmad0-dev libfftw3-dev

Then executing works flawlessly.

Body Workout 101 says:

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school grants says:

Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

admin says:

@bob, @Ben,

Thanks for your comments, guess I’ve been too long on Ubu’ but now so long as it works I’m not too bothered if it’s through WINE or what, will update if/when I get chance to give it a go.

GW!NEG!ON says:

interesting development with this PaulStretch thing, but i’ve been breaking music for months using AnalogX Autotune, XMPlay, and Sound Recorder from XP, so stretching audio is nothing new for me. i’ll probably mess with this and we’ll see if it’s as easy as my method or not so much…

admin says:

It is very easy, even I could do it! Virtually no learning curve to produce something (see my example). Something good on the other hand …

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Edit: link removed

Jon Jacobs says:

Sweet!!! I’m having so much fun with this. Thank you for a great article.
Hop you are going to do a follow up article with tips and the such.

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ataman says:

could someone please explain to me how to run Paul’s stretch? I’ve downloaded the .zip file, and in doesn’t have .exe, nor .dll in it.. so.. how do i run it? tnx.

ataman says:

disregard that. i got it working! fantastic! thank you mr. Nasca!

Lillyth says:

I can’t get it to work. I’ve got a song in there, and I selected a rate to stretch it at, and it worked for a second, but now it doesn’t produce any sound when I hit play. At all. I’m not just not being patient. It has been over five minutes and nothing. I’ve tried several times, too.

Also could someone explain to me how we can determine how many times something has been slowed down? I keep reading that a song has been slowed down 8oox in articles, but I don’t see that type of number system in there anywhere, only a 151.81x looking thing. Can someone tell me how to interpret that?


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