Changing the playback speed / Playback rate?

I just can not find out how to do that… I have seen that in all kinds of DAWs, lately in Reaper - there is a fader in the transport window where you can adjust the speed of the playback.

NO - I am not talking about tweaking the tempotrack.

When I have a song in 100bpm with a chorus in 130 bpm - in Reaper I can for example set the playback rate to 80% - then it will play the 100 bpm stuff with 80 and the 130 bpm part in… äähm… well - 80% of that :wink:
Without altering the pitch.

I am working in Cubase/Nuendo 60h/week and I never stepped over that feature. Is it there?

I usually do not need a feature like that ( so I never searched) - but lately I have to learn/practice drums and I am using Cubase on the laptop as well, it would be a great help to be able to just slow down the stuff temporary for learning it.


If you mean something like relative playback speed (good for example for slower recording), then I’m sorry, this function is not in Cubase.

Yes that is what I mean. I am just not aware of the english terms because I have a german version in front of me…

Mh too bad, then I will just buy Reaper for the practice stuff…

But you can still slow down the speed, not relatively but fixed. If your audio is set to musical, and the tempos are set correct in the pool for each audio file. Using the right algorithm, the song will follow whatever tempo you want it to play in. If the original tempo in the project is 100bpm and you set it to 80bpm it will play back 20% slower. It sounds more complicated than it is, opening the pool and selecting all files, adjusting the parameters and done. But a dedicated knob for relative tempo adjustment on the transport bar, would be a nice and easy feature.

Yes, but it will not follow the tempo changes already done in the project. By this, you change only one tempo slot from one point to another one.

Actually, this feature could be really handy for MIDI recording in the slower/relax tempo. I would recommend to put it to the Feature Requests.

If the bpm values you indicate in the example above are in your tempo track, then click on the big editor E in the Tempo track panel. This opens the Tempo Track Editor window. Select all tempo nodes in this window. Changing the Value in the Info Line from 100 to say 70, reduces all values accordingly.

Isn’t that a relative change?
tempo 1.png
Tempo 2.png

Hey Frog!

Good point!! And will be helpful in the future!

But what I want is a “non destructive” tempo manipulation feature - In complex sessions it can be a nightmare to apply changes in the tempotrack.I am talking about audioprojects, not Midi. Yes we can use musical mode for the audiofiles (as mentioned above) and I am using this all the time when doing preproduction…

But NICE would be when we could just tweak a knob or a slider in the transport window, slowing down or speeding up the project up to taste - without any desctructice changes.

Would be helpful for:

  • recording complex parts
  • practicing complex parts
  • etc


I know this function from Sibelius, and it’s true, it could be really very nice and useful in Cubase.


I agree that a slider or some setting on the Transport would be a desirable and eloquent solution.

But for the purpose of slowing down a song to refine your emerging drumming skills, this is a viable solution. It’s not destructive and not limited to MIDI. An additional step would be to bounce the song to a stereo mix. You could also use Tempo track versions to quickly switch between the original starting tempo and one that is commensurate with your current drumming skills.

Hopefully this feature will be implemented in the future.

Thanks for your tips! Yes, for now I will just converting the song(s) to stereo stems - exporting the tempo track, setting up a clean new project with files set to “musical”. Should work for now. But of course this is not a solution in a recording situation - and in a more or less complex preproduction situation when you just want to " check out a different tempo" it is always a bit complicated to bounce all events first, changing them to “musical” in the pool etc bevor you try out something.

But when I am using rendered stems anyhow, I most likely will jump over to Logic or Reaper, though I am not used to both of them, but recently I broke my elicenser again and it is always a PITA to fiddle around with an elicenser in a live situation… I would like to have a second USB port on my macbook (so I could skip the hub) and most important I would have not to fear regarding that damn licerser thing… well this is OT now :slight_smile:

Spot-on fiddly mouse-click mania. A slider or something like Logic’s Varispeed LCD in the transport is really required in Cubase!!!

I’ve been a Logic user for some time. The problem is that, for a long list of reasons, I like Cubase better!
Your question sparked my investigation into the possibilities. It’s a work around and not a solution.

Cubase Pro 8 is only used in my home studio. I think the recommendation is to use Cubase Elements when mobile as it uses a Soft-elicenser on your hard drive. No dongle! It’s on my short list of apps to acquire.


Hey Frog,

I think we are looking on that quite the same :slight_smile:

I prefer Cubase WAY over anything else (using Nuendo since year 2000, recently finding myself using C8 for all mobile use as well as in the Studio for mixing)… I have a second C8 license to minimize the risk of a lost/broken dongle vs urgent Studiowork…

I tested Cubase Elements (30 days demo) and it is fine… But I have Logic already purchased and available on my Macbook so I will give it a try, I am very used to have a cycle marker list and live-inputs/software monitoring in Cubase, so I can choose the songs with one click, everything is set up for in ear, PA System etc… Lets hope logic comes with something similar.

So Logic has that varispeed thing? I have not checked in detail yet, I just heard about it. I will try using Logic for playback - maybe this is cool. If not - maybe I buy another (small) Cubase license…