Creating Tempo map from free-recorded MIDI material

Alas, I haven’t found a definitive guide to aligning freely-recorded MIDI material to a tempo grid.

  • I recorded a MIDI track in free time, no click.
  • I want to align the beats to a Cubase grid. So, I naturally start by recording my own “clicks”, which follow my pre-recorded parts.
  • The function MIDI > Function >Merge Tempo From Tapping produces a tempo track, but the click is now out of sync with my recorded MIDI track. It doesn’t seem to be useful at all. I’ve recorded my clicks in Linear mode.
  • I tried Project > Tempo Detection. it doesn’t appear to change anything in the project.

Previous posts on this subject say things like “It’s been covered before…”, but, there’s something basic that is easily overlooked to achieve what seems to be a simple thing.

Ultimately, I want to “smooth out” my rubato-style wild tempo graduations. If I can just get my MIDI track aligned with a grid (along with a tempo map) then I can easily adjust the steps in the Tempo Track to smooth things out. But, how to achieve this?

I’m still using C10, Win, for the moment, if that makes a difference. Looking forward to upgrading soon.

Thanks gurus,


This is the way to go. Select the MIDI Part first.

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I manually align the grid with the MIDI, using the “Time Warp / Warp Grid” tool. There are certainly other ways too…

One of the “other ways”:

  1. Set all MIDI/Instrument tracks to linear.

  2. Move the MIDI parts so that the first note is either:
    ¬ exactly at the beginning of the project start or…

    ¬ near the beginning of a measure (before or after the measure start)

  3. Select the MIDI part containing the recorded click (quarter notes) and execute:
    MIDI > Functions > Merge Tempo from Tapping
    Make these settings and click OK.

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Hi @jgg ,

Try this?

Thanks @alexis and especially @alin89c. Merge Tempo From Tapping does work, BUT the crucial thing I was missing is that you must set all MIDI tracks to Linear before you start. AND set them back to Musical afterwards, of course. Without these two important steps, Merge Tempo From Tapping just won’t do what you want.

The video is more for working with audio tracks - it uses the manual TimeWarp function to set a tempo grid, but for a whole song of widely-fluctuating tempos, that’s a lot of work.

Thanks again folks, much appreciated.


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