Hitpoint detection/AudioWarp is going bananas

I’m working on a song that was recorded live entirely without a click, and I have meticulously edited the tempo track to follow it. Now I’m at the editing phase, and at first I thought AudioWarp and HitPoint Detection weren’t working, but I’ve discovered that they work fine - it’s the display of the waveform that’s all messed up. The hitpoints are being set right where they should be, but they look extremely wrong, nowhere near transients except at the beginning of the song. They get further and further away from where they should be on the waveform as the song goes on.

I believe what’s happening is that the audio file in the pool has been assigned the BPM at the beginning of the song (124bpm), but this song increases by about 12bpm as it goes on. Is there any way to let Cubase know that the tempo of this file is NOT fixed, so it can draw the waveform to match where the hitpoints actually are, and not where they would be if the file stayed 124bpm the whole time?

Seriously, grabbing a warp marker and moving it affects audio that’s literally seconds later in the song. Editing is impossible right now.

Cubase 9.0.2
Windows 10 64
Steinberg UR824

Here’s an animation of what’s happening; pay attention not to the marker being moved, but the one after it:

Notice that the warping is not limited to what’s between the two warp makers; it’s pulling in stuff from the next warp marker. It’s acting like the warp marker is later than it appears. This makes no sense to me. Am I missing a setting or something?

It gets even worse if I do edits later in the track; the warping affects audio that’s not even on the screen at the time.

This is what automatic hitpoint detection yields:

I need to stress that the hitpoints are being set at the transients, but the waveform display is the part that’s messed up. I’m basically flying blind when I’m editing, because there’s no relationship between what happens on the screen and what’s happening to the audio. I want to punch Cubase.

EDIT: THE PLOT THICKENS - Ok, if I select the TimeWarp tool, the waveform jumps back to where I want it to be - all hitpoints are dead-on. But then I select FreeWarp to do some time-based editing, and the waveform jumps forward again, and the hitpoints are back to being waaaay off. This leads me to believe it’s something simple and I’m just doing something silly. Someone please tell me where I’m being silly.

You are using musical time base ?
Does it make a difference if you use “Audio/advanced/Set Definition From Tempo”
Sorry no Cubase in front of me, right now.

I don’t use musical timebase; everything is linear, and I only use bars and beats. Switching to Musical Mode just speeds up my audio and I don’t want that. I have my tempo track set in stone and I just want to make some simple manual adjustments without Cubase doing any automatic fancy stuff.

So the waveform display is still all crazy. The only time the hitpoints look correct is when I enter Time Warp mode; then the hitpoints appear exactly where they should relative to the waveform:

Hitpoints are dead on. This is how I want the editor to look. This is reality.

But then if I leave the Time Warp tool…

The waveform jumps back. The hitpoints are in the right place “in reality”, but the display is way off and gets worse if I actually do any editing.

I feel like I’m trying to do something incredibly simple but Cubase thinks it’s being “helpful”. I just want to manually stretch some small parts of audio a tiny bit! I’ve done this in previous versions!


…And I want to share just a bit about my workflow, in case I’m doing something that jumps out as incredibly wrong:

  1. I write my drum parts in MIDI with a fixed tempo to start, by hand or by drum pads.

  2. When the drum midi’s structure is complete, I switch on the Tempo Track and adjust the tempo over the course of the song - just basic things, like speeding up/slowing down on fills, or when going into a chorus. Basic “push/pull” stuff until the groove feels right. No audio is in the project yet; I’m strictly MIDI up to this point.

  3. When the tempo editing is done, I lock the tempo track and that is how it stays forever. All audio is recorded after the tempo track is locked, sometimes in just one pass, so a performance could start at 120bpm but end at 128.2bpm or whatever, rising and falling over the course of the song.

This is why I never venture into “musical” mode. I’m not making tempo changes late in the game. I want all the recorded audio to stay right where it is and just wish to be able to fix any timing things via AudioWarp, like moving a lagging bass note right onto the downbeat. But as the images above show, using AudioWarp is impossible since the Audio Editor doesn’t show me what I’m actually editing; it shows me the waveform, and it shows me the hitpoints, but they’re completely out-of-sync and seem to be acting independently, or at least “off” by a constantly-changing interval.

go to top right next to Q and on drop down just choose any (like 1/1, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 etc…). that will change the gridlines accordingly