Advice for Tempo Matching Please

Hi Guys, looking for a bit of advice after reading the manual because I’m not sure which of the Tempo Matching, Warping or Hit Point functionalities are best for my use case.

Long story short, I have a song consisting of two stereo audio tracks, four tracks in total. Unfortunately, one stereo tracks slows down ever so slightly over the duration of the song, and the other stereo track speeds up slightly during the song.

I need Cubase to analyse the beats in each stereo file and match them to the project time grid. This needs to be done beat by beat or bar by bar, rather than just stretching the entire files since the two stereo files are already the same length.

I think I need to match the each audio file to the project tempo during import and then activate musical mode as described here:

The only thing that puts me off is that the docs talk about audio loops which is not really what I am dealing with.

Anyway, looking for advice on the best approach. I realise now, I could have probably tried my suggestion above faster than typing this message, sorry. :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance.

I think I might be better using Free Warp and doing it manually. Or maybe I can get away with chopping each file up into four-bar parts and simply stretching the parts to the grid.

A big question is which of the three tempos shall be the reference tempo: project tempo, tempo of track A or tempo of track B?
If you’re fine with the project tempo I would use Free Warp and adjust each of the audio events individually to the grid. If you have good transients in the events you can use hitpoints and navigation through hitponts (standard key commands are Alt + B and Alt + N on PC) to move around quickly.

If one of the audio events should be the tempo reference you’d have to create a tempo map (use the Tempo Track) first. You’d map the Cubase grid to appropriate spots of the audio. Afterwards you’d Define the tempo to that audio event. Then you would have to do the same with the second audio event. It is much more work.

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Thanks Johnny! Yeah the project tempo is the obvious choice but ultimately any of the three would do since the audio files are very close to the project tempo anyway and were recorded with a click track. They just drift in the opposite direction ever so slightly. :slight_smile:

I too think hit points and then manual warping is the way to go. Just feels like Cubase should be able to attempt that automatically. I haven’t used Ableton for a while but I’m sure it does that kind of matching by default. But I prefer Cubase. :slight_smile:

In case anyone needs closure and is wondering how I got in this state, I was ripping some old four-track tapes using a hi-fi (two-track) cassette player. Recorded side A of the tape (two mono tracks) and then flipped the tape over to do the other two sides were in reverse obviously and then I reversed them back the right way round.

And of course, cassettes slow down and speed up slightly as the spools travel from one side to the other leaving me with tracks drifting in either direction. I might just buy a second hand four track recorder and rip the four tracks in the same direction. :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

THIS is how PROS fix the tempo of ANY recording! Not what you think! - YouTube


That is exactly what I need thank you so much! :slight_smile:

I’m sure I’ve seen that video before when it was released on Steinberg’s Cubase YouTube channel but completely forgot. Thanks for the reminder!

But @Johnny_Moneto response above is fundamentally the same answer. I wish I could mark them both as the correct solution. I can only pick one and I’m going to pick Johnny’s in case @Jari_Junttila’s YouTube link disappears in the future.

I actually watched that video in the past when I wanted to learn more about Tempo Definition of audio events.
Watching Dom is never a mistake.

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