Half speed playback -sound design/video

Hi all

just discovered there’s a half-speed playback option in Pro-Tools so you can half speed a video for more accurate sound design, but everything stays in sync.

Is there a similar feature in Cubase 6? I expect there is in Nuendo but I don’t have the resources to invest in that!

you can use the new elastique pro algorithm with a tempo track to run playback at half speed - or any speed you like… there’s a video demo here:


ah yes I am familiar with this, it’s a good tutorial

I think this would work to an extent. but the feature in Pro Tools is a built in function to halve speed at the click of a button; specifically for this purpose.

Plus not sure if this slows the video down also? Will try it later today

How about the key commands Shuttle Play 1/2x, 1/4x, 1/8x? Works for audio and video. Unfortunately not for midi.

It’s not the most intuitive but once you’ve done it a couple of times it’s quite quick. 3 or 4 steps as opposed to one click. Reaper does this very easily with a slider if you haven’t tried it, but i don’t know what its video editing capabilities are like.

The key commands route is frustrating because you have to keep the key held down to enable varispeed… if only there was a way to lock playback…

Yes, you can play (and reverse) at those speeds, but you can’t actually edit or automate anything while doing so :wink:.

Au contraire, mon ami… though with limitations. (unless this has changed in Cubase 6)

At least like this-

  • Using a Generic Remote command, with the toggle flag set

Playback runs, and you can edit. The limitations of scrub mode apply, no automation, no metronome, monitor does not turn off in tape machine mode (since it is not really playback mode), and probably other stuff I am too lazy to look up right now. But you can move clips and edit stuff.

Yes, I should have said, “usefully edit”! :mrgreen:

I guess that depends on your definition of usefully.

I remember Cakewalk (now Sonar) used to have a couple of buttons on the project window for dropping the tempo by half and some other value but I don’t remember what. This is very useful for us composers who are lousy keyboard players and want to get a reasonably accurate performance at a slow tempo then snap to the actual tempo. This was back in the day when it was just a midi sequencer, maybe Sonar still has this.

But I have occasionally pined or such a button in Cubase. As I think about it, I wonder if this could be achieved by making some settings in the tempo map then turning it on and off?

Well, provided you have all your tracks set to “Musical Mode”, you could simply switch the tempo on the Transport Bar between “Track” and “Fixed”. But unfortunately, that won’t affect the speed of the video.

I notice that the pitch shifts in 1/2 speed playback in Cubase, like a tape machine algo would. Is this determined by the algorithm selected in the pool window or is it fixed? Just curious if its possible to have it keep a stationary pitch thanks to the timeshift algo.

I suppose I can do this by using the tempo map in musical mode, then select elastique, I’m just curious what is the technology behind the 1/2 speed playback and whether that can be replicated with a specific algo for sound design.