Getting out-of-tempo performance to align with regular steady beat

Okay, I’m SURE this has been covered since there are 2000 posts on the topic “Time Warp”, but I’m still lost. Have read the manual, gone to some tutorials, etc. I would love it if someone could point me to a link or video that covers this problem:
I have a monophonic track recorded by a folk musician. I’m using it in a project and adding MIDI instruments, and I want it to have a steady beat. The emotion is great, the tune is great, but there are times when he just stretches or shortens a beat. In other words, he didn’t play to a click. Now, I don’t want to follow his tempo, I want his performance to be steady and align with a regular click.
I know how to get a tempo map to align with the track, speeding up and slowing down, etc., but it’s so out of time at little places that I need to move it to align with a regular beat. Every video I’ve seen shows the opposite procedure.
Any help greatly appreciated!
Thanks.

Create the tempo map, for the file use „set definition from tempo track“ (or similar named). Set the file to musical mode (could be it is done automatically when you do the step before), then adjust the tempo map to a steady tempo.

Thanks. Is there one command that can “adjust the tempo map to a steady tempo” or do I have to go in and change each point?
This track is all over the place in tempo, so maybe I have to adjust each point?

Not at the computer at the moment, but you should be able, to just delete all tempo nodes in the tempo track (editor), apart from the first and the last one, which should then give you a steady tempo, defined by the first and last tempo node.

Deactivate Tempo Track in the Inspector or on the Transport will make a FIXED TEMPO as long as track is in Musical mode

Once again: a track does not have a „musical mode“ it has a „musical“– and „linear timebase“, audio clips have „musical mode“. These are two different things.

At least Im not telling the guy to DELETE his tempo markers, my oh my :astonished:

If you want to be so pedantic at LEAST quote the MANUAL. We ALL know what that little musical note means. Once again, no one is asking for your correction. Find the ignore button

https://steinberg.help/cubase_pro/v10.5/en/cubase_nuendo/topics/editing_tempo_and_signature/editing_tempo_track_time_base_c.html?hl=musical%2Ctime%2Cbase

https://steinberg.help/cubase_pro/v10.5/en/cubase_nuendo/topics/sample_editor_tempo_matching_audio/sample_editor_tempo_matching_audio_musical_mode_c.html?hl=musical%2Cmode

I appreciate any and all help. Thanks esteemed members. I’ve read the manual over and over. I’ve gone to Greg Ondo’s very clear videos.
None of these methods seem to be enough to get this audio track to keep a steady rhythm. It is such a good performance outside of that that I really want to use it. I also tried getting the musician to play in time and that’s not happening.
So, I wonder if anyone knows of a professional “Cubase Expert” who I could pay for a Skype or phone runthrough of a process that might work. Maybe it’s impossible, but I’ve heard some radically time-corrected samples that sound very natural. I really need to be told “Do this. Then do this…”
Any tips appreciated. Thanks.

This video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmEX6tzcg-s

From the 10:00 mark he discusses defining warp tabs to conform audio to a fixed grid, which is (correct me if I’m wrong) what others above have mentioned.

Cheers, Ian

Thanks, Ian. If I was dealing with a drum track played fairly in time, that would be great. Unfortunately for me, it’s a harmonica track played badly out of time. I might be wasting my time, but I’m going to try a bit more to get it where I want it. Thanks!

All that blow and draw to map, ouch

drop the audio file of the performance into your project making sure musical mode is off
the performance will play back at the original performed tempo
completely out of time with the click…

tap in a tempo thats ‘about right’ with the beat calculator

this tempo will be the one that your going to ‘Stretch or shrink’ your performance to, using free warp in vari audio

find the first spot in the performance where its on a downbeat, a clear one that you can work to, and with snap off slide the part so this downbeat lines up to the first beat in a bar on the grid
with snap back on if you set a loop point at this ‘first downbeat’ you created you should find as you press play from this point with click on
the performance will start playing with the click ‘in time’ …
now granted it might soon stray out of time depending on how ‘loose’ the original performance was
its now a question of going into the sample editor and using vari audio, free warp to ‘manipulate’ the perfomance so it works with the click
depending on how out of time the performance is this could be a few warp points, pushing and pulling the audio to fit the grid or it could be hundreds…

Thanks, Toaster. it’s hundreds…

I do it the same way Toaster stated here :sunglasses: