How can I just record some piano midi and let Cubase follow?

I just play piano and record midi at the tempo of my heart, then how can I set to let cubase grid, bar, beat, follow what I’ve recorded? So I can add other instruments and the Score would be correct, instead of mass…

With the time warp tool for example.
“Merge tempo from tapping”

(Ah I’ve just seen that Thinkingcap has written, in two lines, what I have just used an entire paragraph for :stuck_out_tongue: )…

Is this the full version of Cubase? (I’m not sure if the following is available in Cubase Artist/Elements)…

  1. Once you have recorded your MIDI Piano Part, set the MIDI/Instrument Track from Musical Timebase to Linear Timebase (in the MIDI/Instrument track’s Inspector, click on the “quarter-note” icon to change it into a “clock” icon).
    (This has the result that Cubase’s Tempo Track can now be modified without changing what you actually hear)
  2. If you had the Tempo in the Transport Bar set to “Fixed”, change it to “Track”.
  3. If necessary, drag your MIDI Part, such that the first downbeat corresponds with the appropriate downbeat in Cubase’s Grid (in the simplest case, that would be, align the first played note with the start of a bar… it is in fact a good idea, generally, to let Cubase have a couple of bars “breathing space” before the music starts anyways :wink: )

There are now two methods available in Cubase (like Thinkingcap said :wink: ) …
(the first is maybe simpler, but the 2nd is probably more thorough, especially if the music isn’t particularly rhythmic, with obvious downbeats).

Method #1
Open the Piano track’s MIDI Part in the Key Editor, select the Timewarp Tool, and working through from left to right, drag the bar lines, such that they correspond with the downbeats of your music (like I said, earlier, this will change Cubase’s Grid to fit the music, without changing what is actually heard).

Method #2
4) Create a new MIDI track, routed to some percussive/metronome sound, put it into Record, and “tap” along to your recorded Piano track, playing, normally, quarter-notes, just as if you were “conducting” the music (it becomes quite easy to do this once you’ve gotten the hang of it, especially seeing as it was you who played the piano part in the first place. And, in any case, seeing as this “tapping” is just a regular MIDI track, you can edit it afterwards until you are satisfied that it fits your music nicely).
5) Put this “tapping” track into Linear Timebase also.
[EDIT] 5b) HughH has discovered a bug with the next two steps, if you have created your “tapping” from a combination of several tracks, or several Lanes on the same track…
If this is your case, then merge (glue) your tapping into a single track before proceeding! [/EDIT]
6) Select the MIDI Part that contains your “tapping”, and set the Left and Right Locators to its boundaries.
7) Go to the MIDI Menu>Functions>“Merge Tempo from Tapping”, and, in the dialog that opens, set “Tapping” to 1/4 (if that is what you had tapped :wink: ), and checkmark the option “Begin at Bar Start”.

That should be it :wink: (You can now put your tracks back to Musical Timebase, if you wish, so you can now modify Cubase’s tempo if desired, and the music will follow).

It’s actually easier than it reads, especially after having done it a few times;). Good luck :slight_smile:.

Just to be completely exhaustive ( :blush: :slight_smile: ) …
Both those methods work with recorded Audio also, provided that you also, before doing any of the above, go into the Audio Pool, and switch off “Musical Mode” for each of the Audio clips.

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Wow! I’ve been trying to work out the best way of doing this for simply ages. Thanks vic_france! :smiley:

Think you for detailed explain, gonna try!

Both methods are OK but what if you could tap the tempo with your foot while playing, and use that info for feeding method #2 ? That should give you the most accurate tempo map since you were tapping it as you felt it while playing your part, instead of trying to recreate it afterwards.

Just for the sake of explaining the method I’m going to use the sustain pedal (CC 64), although you probably will want to use another controller, one that doesn’t interfere with your playing. Depends on what’s available to you on your midi keyboard.

So you start recording, playing the part while tapping the sustain pedal every quarter note. When finished, duplicate the midi track, call it “tempomap” or so, and remove all the note info in the key editor, just keeping the controller data. Now apply the Logical Editor (screenshot attached) to this midi part. Note that we use the “Insert” function.

This will transform every sustain pedal’s downstroke (CC64, values 127 only) to a new note. Now apply vic’s and thinkingcap’s method 2.

[EDIT] I re-read the remainder of Dirk’s post, and while the following method is basically the same, it does everything in realtime without having to duplicate the track then delete stuff etc. :wink: )…

Well of course nothing prevents you from doing just that!.. provided you had a spare pedal that you can operate from your left foot (presumably, the right foot will be busy playing the piano’s sustain pedal :wink:
You would open a 2nd MIDI track for recording, and use the Input Transformer to filter out the left pedal on the incoming piano track, and another Input Transformer on the 2nd track, filtering out everything except the left pedal. You would also use a 2nd module of that same Input Transformer, to convert that left pedal into some arbitrary MIDI note.
So at the end of your recording, you have both the piano Part and the tapping Part, all in the one pass, ready to perform the remaining steps in method #2 :wink:

vic_france …

you are a true gleaming gem of these forums!

(and thinkingcap, too)

On the other hand, from a purely musical point of view…
I just tried playing a bit of rubato piano (and using the sustain pedal), while also tapping out the beats with my left foot… maybe it’s just that I would make an awful drummer ( :stuck_out_tongue: ), but I found the physical co-ordination horrible… really distracted from what I was trying to play.
Maybe another possible solution would be to use a microphone, and record mouth noises for the beats (then auto detect hit points etc)… I haven’t tried that :wink:.
Or, of course, then go through the audio “mouth” track with the TimeWarp tool :wink:. (and so the circle is complete :mrgreen: )

Thanks again, vic_france!

Excellent method . . .
Sounded easier than time warp for what I do . .

So I tried.
Did a nasty little Key thing with Tempo all over . .
Then tapped a hat in GA SE.
My keys were such a mess that I had to do a couple punches on the hat (good enough for a test).

Got This:
Merge Tempo 1.PNG
Did the function and here’s what happened:
Merge Tempo 2.PNG
It’s a mess! It even chopped up my tap into a million little note in places . . .
Tried again and again with slight changes . . same thing every time.

Then - just to try something - I glued the 2 Lanes/Takes together.
It worked. Got this:
Merge Tempo 3.PNG
So . . what’s the deal? Does it not like lanes?

In any case, thanks for the tips.


You could also consider the opposite approach, which is probably less intuitive for a musician, but it can achieve far more precise and controlled results.

Record everything at tempo with the metronome and then use the tempo track to make all the rubatos, rallentandos, accellerandos, breaths etc.

There are two definite advantages with this approach: first, everything syncs beautifully without any extra effort (with the other method, it might take you hours before you have everything in perfect sync) and second, you have absolute control of the tempo, which means you can change your tempo “waves” any way you want, allowing for more experimentation.

Hi All

On top of all this you can also use both approaches, use the Merge Tempo from tapping and then adjust afterwards using the warp tool to tidy it up, or did somebody say this already. The suggestion of tapping with the left foot while playing takes me back to live performance and bass pedals before we had all the fancy stuff we have now, except it would be even harder to do:-))

Best Regards


I’d just like to thank all those who chimed in here.
Although this is somethig I have not tried, it is something I’ve wondered about doing.

I switched DAWs and bought Cubase 6.5-7 in July 2013, so I didn’t know these options existed, as I’m not at this point in the learning curve yet.

But it is both pleasing & encouraging to see so many offer such detailed help & ideas.

These contributions can only serve to make this forum better & better.

Great work Buds! :slight_smile:

Interesting! :slight_smile:. The fact that it eventually worked after glueing, does indeed suggest that there is a problem with Lanes.
EDIT: I just tried a mockup of your recipe, and I can confirm your findings.(also, same buggy result if you used a combination of several tracks, rather than Lanes on the same track) Certainly seems like a bug to me! (I’ll edit an extra line in the recipe above… thanks :wink: ).