Changing Tempos, Musical Mode or Timebased?

I’ve read through how musical mode and timebased mode works and it still doesn’t seem to be doing what I want. I’m writing for a film and I need to change the tempo several times throughout, I put in tempo changes that begin and end so that the tempo after the sections with a faster tempo aren’t changed, but every time I do, regardless of whether i’m on musical or timebased it shifts any music I’ve already written after the time change out of sync.

Is there any way to keep music locked in place regardless of tempo change before it? Or should I just do separate project sessions?


Don’t confuse Musical Mode and Musical Timebase. Musical Mode has to do with whether an audio file will stretch or shrink to match a different tempo. Musical Timebase and Linear Timebase have to do with where the BEGINNING of an audio part or MIDI part are. In Linear Timebase, an audio part or MIDI part will stay at the same TIME (minutes, seconds,…) if the tempo changes. In Musical Timebase, audio and MIDI parts will start at the same MUSICAL point (bars, beats,…) after a tempo change. You probably want everything in Musical Timebase so the beginnings will stay at the same bar and beat. The MIDI parts should stretch or shrink to fit the new tempo but the audio parts will not UNLESS they are in MUSICAL MODE (not to be confused with MUSICAL TIMEBASE). The audio parts are put in Musical Mode in the Pool and there should also be a reference tempo for the clip (i.e. what it was recorded at).

Ok thanks! That helps alot. Do you know if there is any way to prevent music from moving at all one there are time changes before it? My problem is that once I change my tempo to go faster, it means everything after it will also arrive sooner and then be out of line with it’s own tempo and the film. Cubase doesn’t seem set up to make distinct sections in a long score that need to remain at the exact same place in line with the film with several tempo changes. The only way I can think of doing this is to go through the whole film before writing and set up all the tempos in advance, but things change as your write and not being able to make a tempo a little slower or fast without throwing off everything that comes after seems like a huge flaw in Cubase’s writing capabilities. Any advice on how other’s accomplish tempo changes while writing would be really helpful!

This is a very difficult problem in Cubase. So far there has not been a real solution.

One way is to set the midi and audio tracks to Linear Time, and bounce your audio, and turn off Musical Mode for that file. But that only works up to a point.

What I have done is to work on separate cues using separate Track versions. It’s a bit complex, but I did succeed in getting individual cues to to stay where they needed to be. (learn the Track Versions Commands) There’s a bit of a learning curve to it, and you can’t have the whole score play through this way, you would have to render the cues to a track set to Linear Time.

(I assume the problem is to have the MIDI or audio bit not change time, in terms of minutes:seconds … if that’s incorrect, please ignore the following):

Under what circumstances would setting the tracks to Linear Timebase not work all the time, rather than “up to a point”?

Thanks -


e.g., any tempo change with midi involved- the midi will not change tempo if its track is set to Linear Time.

Thank you :slight_smile:

I did a test and it works as expected here.

If any settings I use, have no idea if they matter - just present them.

Preferences set to linear time, not following main ruler.
Looked through tracks for any musical and tricky part was that unless enough track height, timebase does not show - so missed some first.
Made a marker track, called videomarkers, and set timebase linear and put three markers at 20, 40 and 60 seconds.
Then moved some clips to to snap to these three markers, also having main ruler still at time linear.
Also made a marker track, called music marker, with timebase musical, switched temporarily main ruler to bars+beats to have snap working, and put markers on 5, 15 and 25 bars.
Switched main ruler back to linear.
Added tempotrack and activated it.

Changed tempo from start to 100 bpm - and all clips stayed at their time postion, as well as markers with timebase linear. Second marker musical moved as expected.
Activated second markertrack and jumped to second marker at 15 bars - and clicked in tempo track to add a node.
Changed tempo in inspector to 120 bpm.

And all three clips stayed in time postions as I hoped for, but musical markers moved, but not videomarkers.

You basically have to keep track if any musical timbased tracks that are locked, so they move with changes.
One way to have clips in place, would also be to lock them.
I tested insert time at some point, and locked tracks stay - which is good for video track itself.

Don’t know if I did anything unusual here - but that’s how expect to use things.

So those mentioning it is a problem for Cubase - what is that?


This is the problem:

A feature is needed to do exactly that. Even though there are various tricks to sort of make it work, there’s no dedicated feature for it. Please, go the FR forum and request it.

The talk about musical mode in this thread is due to an unfortunate choice of vocabulary (in English anyway) by the programmers, lo those many years ago. The names are similar, but I understood lbidner to be referring to time base for both.

I split the other thread so this one could focus on the OP’s question.

So my test did not answer OP question
"That helps alot. Do you know if there is any way to prevent music from moving at all one there are time changes before it? "

My test above showed how it works to do that - or did I get that wrong?
But no musical mode fiddling in pool or anything, just timebase linear.

I changed tempo in the middle and clips stayed where they were timbased.

I was curious since I am to start doing video score as soon as new video engine is in place.

(None of this has to do with the video engine. )

Check it out: Time linear does what you say, but, what happens when you want to change the tempo for some MIDI tracks that have content both before and after the edit you need to do?

I have fixed this thread, and removed the OT posts, which was my original intention. Please don’t post in this thread about moderation.

Ok, thereby the clash.

lbidner never mentioned midi, so I assumed audio.

You think broader terms with midi as well.

Sorry I spoke…

I’m using both MIDI data and live recorded audio in my program. I’m surprised there seems to be no simple answer to this, just confused as to why this is so difficult to figure out after countless searches, my issue seems to be something that every film composer needs to do throughout composing for film :confused: or am I just not wording my question properly? Whether or not your in linear or time based either your audio moves out of place or the tempo moves out of place an your MIDI data is out of sync when you alter the tempo mapping early in your piece.

Is your score a series of separate “cues” that have their own start and end point, or does the whole score flow in a continuous manner, changing tempo as with a live orchestra following a conductor? If it’s the latter, the tempo changes will require adding/deleting measures to your composition, or maybe a fermata. Playing the opening section faster, while keeping the following section in place with the film, is leaving you with silence in between, right? I agree it’s nice to have all the tempi planned from the start, but you can retroactively use the functions delete time/insert silence.
On the other hand, if there are breaks in the score for dialogue, it would not matter.