How do you create a Tempo track?

Hi,

Creating a Tempo track is the most complicate thing for me. I’ve tried many things, but none is completely satisfactory.

a) Play at the metronome, and only at the end do the manual changes at the end of a period or in other critical points.

b) Play the melody in Logic, with no metronome, then try to manually match the beat to the notes.

c) Play the melody in Logic, with Adaptive Tempo selected, then tell Logic to adapt the project tempo to the region’s. This should analyze the beats in the recorded track, and create a Tempo track.

d) Play a metronome click while a reference recording is going. Adaptive Tempo selected. Then, try to let Logic create a Tempo track.

None of the above methods generates a smooth Tempo track. A method that I’ve not tried, and that I think I don’t have anywhere, is beating Tempo while the score is playing. A bit like conducting the performance.

How do you do?

Paolo

Hi @Paolo_T you tried several methods, but maybe not in the correct way. (or maybe I am misunderstanding your requirement).
This is not a specific Dorico question, I think, but anyway:
I use the time warp tool in Cubase to adjust the click/metronome to freely played tracks. It works perfectly.

In Logic you have beat mapping for this, but I find in Cubase the function is much better and easy/comfortable to use.

Here a video that shows this in Cubase (starting at 3:45):

An here for Logic:

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It’s what I use to match an existing performance. Never been able to make it generate a map that is not ‘jumpy’, and has to be heavily manually reworked.

Paola, you didn’t mention what your goal was - hitting a particular mark?

I try to make the score playback as realistic as possibile. To do this, a realistic tempo map is required.

I’m therefore trying to find a way to either perform it, or imitate the one from an existing performance (that is, a performance by real people).

Since there aren’t dedicated functions in Dorico, I try to do it in Logic, and then import the tempo map in Dorico.

I’ve found this a very laborious task, and would like to see if there is a faster way.

Paolo

I would still do this task directly in dorico.

I find it handy that you can type (q=75) in a tempo pop-over and it will create a hidden tempo (in Dorico).

But what I struggle with, is how to create a precise rit, for example (q=75 => q=65)

So, this means inserting all the tempo changes by hand, step by step. It can be done, but it is a huge work. At the same time, it’s not that correcting the tempo automatically detected by Logic is a quick work…

My main issue with manually entered tempo maps is the same of making a score written step by step sound real: there is always that scent of artificial, that lack of free-flow feeling.

Not sure yet. Drawing a diagonal line? It doesn’t sound real to me. Entering slight tempo changes at each quarter, or even a bit more often with slow tempos? I feel it work better. But it is still something made by steps.

Curves in the tempo map would likely work better. Therefore, drawing them could work right now in Dorico. Would this clutter the tempo track?

Paolo

Get out the calculator on your smart phone: 65/75 = c. 86%

I wish we didn’t have to do that, that Dorico would take care of that, but it isn’t that big a deal until Dorico adds the capability.

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The problem for me is that when you sync with logic, that approximation can make things go out of sync. In logic you define rit. with the start and end tempo.

But it seems that the key editor will place the tempo marks to even integers when dragging with the mouse.

An example of how difficult it is, to let Logic create a map from an audio file. What it looks for are transients. But I’m working on an Impressionistic string quartet, where nots attacks are all nuanced, sometimes coming out from silence. The only way to let Logic understand it is the beginning of a note would be to overlay a compressed bass drum.

Paolo

I struggled with backing beats and tracks for so many years, over a decade ago I bought a set of Roland TD-8 Set Vdrums when they came out. And just learnt to play drums., now it’s easy. Took a few years, to get to the level I needed at the time, fast forward over 12 + years ago now. Its enjoyable and I don’t have to be behind a PC for so many hours on top of work and its great cardio if you play double kick, not the answer you may be looking for but it worked for me! Good luck.

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Maybe I should reassemble my TD-8 (with double kick), that I disassembled for lack of room…

Paolo

I do this thing that you are looking for (matching a piece in midi or in Sibelius/Dorico with an actual audio recording, to create a more realistic execution).

Cubase is much better to do the fine edition and correct problems with the automatic process. My approach is pretty much what you can see in the video posted here by Christian_R

From the video, it looks a lot like you do with Beat Mapping in Logic. That is, making everything by hand (unless the hints supplied by Logic are on target, something that nearly never happens to me).

That’s the issue: it takes a lot of time. Hadn’t computer to work for us?

Paolo

Yes, takes a lot of time if the song is long and with a lot of rubato. where is the AI when we need it? Hahahah!

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I analyzed the map created in Logic. What I can see, as already noticed in the past, is that tempo is mostly regular. End of phrases are slowing down at various degrees, and attack is sometimes a bit accelerated for the first beat. But most of the piece runs at the metronome.

This is, all considered, the basic philosophy of musical tempo: keep a coherent beat and a regular pace, and play around it, while keeping it as the universal rhythm to which you have to always return.

So, maybe an alternative is that of carefully crafting the map by hand in Dorico. Be as constant as possible, and when a note has to be slightly anticipated or delayed do not change the tempo speed, but edit the played duration of the note. Make it enter slightly before or after the regular beat.

Actual tempo slowdown or accelerando are to be made with fine tempo slicing, and if possibile with a curve. Just think to the conductor’s baton, and to the minute tempo variations inside each of those movements.

Paolo

Bezier curves for CC data are the best. Cubase has them, Dorico does not. They can make it much simpler to easily and quickly create custom curves tailored to the context of the music. It’s still work, but you can vary your curves to avoid woodenness.

For those who aren’t familiar with them, a bezier curve provides a start point, an endpoint, but also a center point. You can drag the center point up, down, left or right to shape the curve. So if you want a gradual cresccendo with a “back-loaded” fade, just drag the center point right of center until you like it. If you want more of a crescendo, drag it up some.

Cubase Manual - Bezier Curves-,Automation,Note)

If Dorico could add these at some point down the road it would revolutionize it’s CC capabilities.

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