I must say, of all the audio sounds I use in Ableton Live when warping, bass lines are the hardest ones to sound good.
The only practical way where I can’t hear artifacts is if I import bass audio lines and warp them in re-pitch mode, which would make sense as there’s really no direct warping happening in this case. Then again, I can’t easily change pitch, and I need to keep all audio material in the same BPM range.
You could hear warp artifacts especially in the other warp modes, maybe much less in complex mode. But in complex mode, the bass lines lack punch, an important ingredient with bass sounds. So I end up layering tracks, adding even more compression, eq:ing, and it gets more and more artificial and muddy. Sigh.
The other approach, maybe the best if someone is trying to release material with a good bass line, is just to avoid bass loops and create the bass sound via MIDI clips and software synths in the final production. That way you have full control of the quality, and you could change BPM, pitch, and other parts without loosing quality. It’s easier to modify MIDI information, as well, compared with audio loop cut/paste operations.
Which leads to another important issue about using MIDI clips in Ableton Live (to be continued…).
By the way, all those images in this blog? Well I work in a group that develops software for professional photographers, so I have tons of my own photos floating around every day when I develop SW and test it out, of which this blog is one way to export them out to the public.