I’ve been using Cubase for over 10 years now, and recently upgraded to the most recent Cubase Pro 10. I’m starting this discussion because while there are a lot of features I love about Cubase, I’m constantly finding myself held back by the restrictions of Tempo Mapping. I’ve read through the manual, posted about this before with no concrete solutions, watched youtube tutorials, spoken with Steinberg support over the phone, but still I’m surprised there isn’t an easy solution, and only time consuming or restrictive work arounds to such a vital component of film scoring. Does any one else struggle with this same issue? Here are the issues I face constantly.
- If you’re in the middle of working on your score, and realize you need to change the tempo of a given cue, if you change the tempo, no matter if your tracks are set to Linear or Musical mode, everything after that change is moved out of place. Because even if your midi tracks stays in place, your film has moved. And there seems to be no way to select a mode for your movie track. No matter what you do, something moves so I find myself unable to make a simple edit and having to spend extra time finding some other way or making a new project for just this one cue to make the change.
-Sometimes I realize I need a few extra bars of lead into a new tempo, but I’ve already started writing. If you do that, everything needs to be dragged and dropped into place and now your piece may not even line up to the downbeat. I know you can cut and move around the actual movie, but if you have cues blending from one to the other it’s sometimes makes this really difficult.
-You decide a certain cue would work perfectly elsewhere, but if you’re using midi and that other cue has a different tempo mapped to it, once you drag it over, the music is in the wrong tempo, and often difficult to get synced to a downbeat. And as with the issues above, if you change that tempo, you’ve completely screwed up the tempo of all cues after. I am familiar with using the Time warp grid which help you stretch where you want the down beat to fall but again, same issue applies where it completely screws up the rest of your session.
-If there is an edit change to the final cut of the film, it can be a complete nightmare.
Q: Is there no way to detach the tempo from the tracks so you can just make your tempo whatever you want, whenever you want without adjusting any component of your session? The tempo mapping is often essential for quantizing and lining multiple tracks up correctly, but is there a way to use it without it being so restrictive?
How are you other film score composers working around this? Is there a solution I’ve missed? If find that no matter how much you prepare in advance, setting up your tempo map first before writing, there’s often some need to change the tempo, whether by the directors request or your choice during the writing process. I waste hour and hours fighting with my DAW that eats up valuable creative time when the DAW should be providing the space to work creatively with out restrictions on basic necessities of scoring.
Thanks for your help and discussion!