Good method to tempo match imported audio and project?

I often import an audio file into Cubase (10 Pro) to add some percussion. I can detect the tempo of the sample but that will not make it stay in sync with the project.

I can extract e.g. 4 bar sample slices and use the musical mode to match with the project but that’s a lot of work and sometimes the results are undesirable when there are tempo changes in the material.

I can create a tempo track from the imported sample but that yielded some unpleasant results, at least I wasn’t able to keep the beat tight after this.

So my question is if others have found any of theses methods or another method to work OK for them.


First of all, do you want to match the audio to the project tempo or the Tempo to the Audio event?

Both would be good if it worked good… my experience is that if I match the project tempo (track) to the audio material, the groove will go bye bye, so I was thinking that matching the audio to the project is the better idea. But I am open to different suggestions, maybe I just messed up the way I extracted the tempo events from the audio.


If you match the project tempo to the audio, the audio doesn’t change (is not touched at all), so the groove most remain as it was.

Martin, I couldn’t be less knowledgeable on Cubase but I think tim means that the groove he has established in the Project goes out of the window if he matches it to the audio.

When I use Project -> Tempo Detection, the resulting tempo track usually has a lot if spikes. When I add a quantized instrument track, it will sometimes be out of sync for a bar or two and also the groove contains noticeable tempo changes. The promising “smooth Tempo” button on the “Tempo Detection” window is always greyed out. I usually delete all tempo events and manually drag the positions of the sample bar starts to the project bar starts with the tempo warp tool - which is a lot of work but gives OK results.

The other option I have used is slicing the audio material to 2 or 4 bar pieces manually which is also laborious, but when I cut the pieces right I can use musical mode to make them match the project tempo thereby straightening the groove (if, for example, I imported a jazz piece and wanted to add an electro beat).

Both methods work, but I feel like I am not using Cubase right - because it is so much work to process the imported audio bar by bar.