changing tempo moves events in musical mode


I am working on longer project which contains several multitrack recordings which I have used set definition from tempo on, so that
I can switch tempos and so forth. However, whenever I change the tempo the evens that comes after that moves.
I want to be able to have things in musical mode, because that way I can use the one recorded guitar that I have and copy paste it from various verses to create the illusions that I actually have two recored guitars,and be able to pan them.

However all the events need to stay at their places (starting right on the bar) as this is where the accurate tempo map is for that event, if they are moved the whole event is screwed up.

So is it enough to just switch back and forth between musical and linear mode whenever I want to change somehting?, and will this even
ẅork at all because then the parts that Should be affected by the switch won’t be affected if I change all tracks to linear mode.

Also, does anyone know where I can read about how to use the project logical editor to toggle all tracks back and forth between musical and logical time base?

help, much appreciated!

In 9.0 there is a preset dropdown for toggling between the two, and possibly iirc one for setting all tracks to one or the other.

Ok, great, thanks, I will try to figure out how to use that. Looking forward to testing it.
However, my initial thoughts are, will it work? I mean, turning off musical mode on the tracks
wont that cause all the existing events that are there on the track to get out of sync? if it is no longer time strectched
appropiately. I mean, as far I know, all I want to happen is that files should not move away from their starting bar position, when I change a tempo
on an earlier part of the song.

3 discreet terms:
Musical Mode
Linear Time base
Musical Time base

If you understand the the terms it will make more sense to use the functions. I won’t explain here, since there are many posts about it, and alexis is familiar with it too.

Are you delegating now?? I left the first part unanswered waiting for you to fill in the gaps! :laughing:

Someone (“hello?”) will have to proofread the below and make sure there aren’t any brain freezes involved, no guarantees, but anyway here’s a start:

Changing tempo can result in a mess until one gets their head around > musical timebase > vs. > linear timebase> .

The first thing to keep in mind is that although > musical timebase > sounds an awful lot like “musical mode”, they are completely different functions! It’s not uncommon for people to use one term when they mean the other, so when reading explanations and posts, it’s important to stop and decide whether the poster is using the correct term … otherwise things make no sense at all and can get very confusing!

Back to musical timebase vs. linear timebase: It’s critical to have the right timebase chosen on each and every track before changing tempo, otherwise things will probably wind up playing at the wrong point in the project. (BTW: a nice feature in Cubase 9.0.20, going back as far as Cubase 8.5 or earlier possibly, is a Project Logical Editor setting to toggle all the tracks’ timebases).

For example, if you have a track (audio or midi) with multiple segments (pieces of music set along the track), and it is set to > musical timebase > (the orange quarter note icon), when you change the tempo and play the track, all the segments will START at the same BEAT as they did in the original tempo.

On the other hand, if your track with multiple segments is set to > linear timebase > (the gray clock icon), when you change the tempo and play the track, all the segments will START at the same TIME (as in minutes:seconds) as they did at the original tempo, but of course that means that the starting beat of each segment will be different than it was at the original tempo.

One last thing, regarding visual “shifts” on the screen when changing tempo: whether the music “shifts” visually on the display when the tempo is changed depends on not just which timebase the track is set to, but also whether the ruler display is in bars:beats mode vs. minutes:seconds. For example, if the tempo is changed with the track in > musical timebase> , and the ruler display is in bars:beats mode, there probably won’t be any “shift” apparent on the screen. But if the ruler is in minutes:seconds mode, there probably will be a visual “shift”.

Conversely, if the tempo is changed with the track in > linear timebase> , and the ruler display is in bars:beats mode, there probably will be a visual shift of the musical bits on the screen. But if the ruler is in minutes:seconds mode, there probably won’t be.

So what is Musical Mode? > First of all, it applies to audio only, not MIDI. Next, > unlike Musical Timebase> , it doesn’t apply to tracks … it’s not possible to put a whole track in Musical Mode. It applies only to individual sections of audio on the track. It’s easy to tell when > Musical Mode > has been activated on an Audi segment - there is a little squiggly line at the top right corner of the segment (sometimes only visible after zooming in).

What does > Musical Mode > do? Consider what happens to a piece of audio when the project tempo is slowed down 10-15 BPM. All the MIDI in the project plays back great from the start of the song at the slower tempo. Then you get to the piece of audio, and it is completely out of sync … it plays back at the original tempo!

The way to have the audio play back at the slower tempo is to place it in > Musical Mode > (before changing the tempo), this can be done by checking the > Musical Mode > box in the Pool (CTRL-P) for that specific piece of audio. Then everything sounds great, all MIDI and audio in sync at the slower tempo.

Hope that helps a bit. There are sections in the documentation dealing with this (or there used to be in the .pdf version, I haven’t checked to see in the on-line version), and that may help as well.

1 Like

Oh, thanks man. That was EXACTLY what I needed, I had no clue how this worked, as you might have guessed.
Ok, so now it seems I only need to learn how the button works so that I know when the track is in musical timebase or linear timebase. I have never figured that out really, on the other hand I have never really used the function, but is the track in linear time base when you can SEE the clock in the inspector? or seeing the clock on that button, does that mean that pushing it will put it in linear time…? I never thought that was clear…

Also, from reading this, if I understand correct, the only time you would like to use linear time base is when scoring for film
and similar right, otherwise you always want things to stick to the bar (= musical time base), or am I missing something?

Are the tracks set to musical time base as default?

Also, what in event in when its NOT in musical mode, is there a name for that? Also, any quicker war rather than going to the pool to switch between musical mode and not?

thanks a lot for all the help, both of you!

You’re welcome. I put it together for others remembering how painful it was to figure it out myself. Caution, I wouldn’t take it as gospel until it is blessed by one of the smart high-volume operators here, or ideally until you work through it and decide for yourself.

Some answers to your questions below in red bold underlined

Wow, Thanks again, can’t wait to get on with my project. Its a long sort of concept song
with about 8 songs in one long song. It going to be a masterpiece :slight_smile:

Do you know how to see a certain event in the pool, so that I know exactly what event it is in the pool
which I want to toggle between musical mode? it takes a while to just open the pool and then
scan through all the clips to find the right one. In other words I want to click at an event in the arrangement window
and then that should get me to the pool where that particular event is already selected, is that possible?

also, thumps up for Arthur, steinberg should include it in the next update

Not at DAW, but iirc if you select audio event in project window then Ctrl-F (ALT-F? … etc.) it will be selected/highlighted when you open the Pool.


It’s definately starting to clear up, or at least I thought so, untill I watched two tutorials on youtube.
One of them explains the difference between musicla and linear timebase just like you:

However, this movie explains a situation where things seems to be the other way around, where it is actually
setting things to linear timebase which keeps events from moving out of sync

This tells me that I still don’t fully understand how this works yet. In this latter video, the guy seems to have
his stems lined up to the grid and to the tempo in cubase, so why is it a bad thing that tom events move, why is that a move which causes
the music to be out of sync, shouldn’t musical mode keep things IN sync?

feels like I’m getting deeper down the rabbit whole…

Actually you don’t need to go to the Pool at all. If you select an audio clip in the Project Window the Info Line will show if Musical Mode is on for the underlying file & you can change it here. You might need to config the Info Line to see it.

Naw, this video is very misleading & doesn’t do what the maker thinks (using the wrong terminology is a good first clue, ignoring the pool file setting is the second).

Musical Timebase anchors everything (part start & end, fade length, etc.) to a ruler based on bars & beats. Where Linear Timebase anchors to a mm:ss ruler. When the Tempo gets changed the alignment between the 2 rulers changes. In the video (starting around 3:20) you can see he has both rulers showing. If you look at the beginnings & endings of his audio parts you’ll see that they don’t change location on the mm:ss ruler when he changes the tempo.

The reason his clips are initially moving around when he changes tempo in Musical Timebase is because he has not set the files to be in Musical Mode.

A some point after a certain amount of great research like you’re doing - you may want to just open a project and start working and when it comes up give things a try one way or another. The only thing I recommend at that point is … “Save As” every time before you change the tempo on a project, that way if you make a mistake (Musical Time Base? … Linear Time Base? … on which tracks?? … Aargh!!) you can always go back to where you started from - I have found it pretty much impossible to recover from those mistakes, if something goes awry I just trash the “Saved As” project and go back to the original one.

You could do worse than doing a search on this forum for posts by " vic_france " - guru in all things Cubase, and has posted extensively on various use cases of tempo change/Musical vs. Linear time base/Musical mode, etc. Just one for instance: How can I just record some piano midi and let Cubase follow? - Cubase - Steinberg Forums

Good advice.

Forgot to thank both of you! I really learned some things in this thread

No prob!

Remember, a good rule of thumb is: when changing to Linear Time Base, the start of the part/clip will remain at the same min:sec value, but its starting bar:beat value may change.

Conversely, when changing to Musical Time Base, the start of the part/clip will remain at the same bar:beat value, but its starting min:sec value may change.

Ahhh, a Cubase time koan.

Koan Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster ? Really? Hmm, do you have any of that stuff you have left over to share by any chance? “Snatch the pebble, grasshopper!” :laughing:

I would love one button.

  • call it “Fix State” or “Freeze Frame” or whatever :stuck_out_tongue:

pressing it lets me change the tempo and warp everything and keep everything in time and in relative place to the tempo change…
(without having to bounce this or that and/or click around in the pool window etc.)

Now, when I change the tempo, not even the locator bars keep the loop in the same “space or bars”

-importing from other projects could also benefit from this…

  • Importing 4 bars from 130 bpm into 120 bpm should … you know… work its magic and be adjusted to the new tempo and placed accordingly in the same “relative” space as it was in the old project - just stretched to the new tempo
    (again, without having to bouce everything etcetc beforehand… as there might be stuff one wants to use on the left and right of the start/end locators of the event)

should/could be so easy…

Now I’m not quite sure I’m knowing what you’re saying/thinking, but … I’m pretty sure there are many times when I change the tempo and everything “stays put”:

  1. All audio in Musical Mode (don’t have to go to the pool to turn that on, just select the audio clip and change it in the Info Line).
  2. Ruler in Bars and Beats
  3. Tracks in Musical Time Base.

I might be forgetting something that “moves” even under these circumstances, if so can you point out something that “doesn’t behave” … ?