Import audio from reel to reel Align bars-beats?

Hi All please be gentle :smiley:

I have imported a couple of demos from an an old Fostex 8 track.
So in Cubase I have 8 tracks, all perfectly in sync with each other but… the song doesn’t start until bar/beat 2.01.04.

Please help me understand how to change the bars and beats so that the song starts at so that I can begin to add some midi drums.

I have spent hours trying to do this, initially I had different length tracks in Cubase, and tried the group edit, to no avail. Then I re-recorded all 8 tracks so they were the same length tried group edit, moved “event start” in one of the tracks, moved that single track, and then got the message, “tracks are not completely in sync”.

If I had any hair left I’d pull it out !!
Thank you for any help

Go to Project Setup and under Bar Offset, set it to +3. Turn Snap Off, select all the parts and drag them until your happy beat 1 is on bar 2. I say bar 2 to allow for any lead ins. With all parts still selected, enable Snap and cut the parts at the 3rd beat of the previous measure. This will allow any lead ins to play. Select and Delete the unwanted first parts. Reset the bar offset to 0.

You don’t actually need to be on bar one. It will be quicker to just select all the tracks & drag them so the first downbeat is on bar 5. Zoom right in drag all tracks but line up the kick (if there is one) to the bar line.
It doesn’t matter that you have a 4 bar gap before the audio starts.

Assuming your track was a fixed tempo just set the tempo & start work.

If it wasn’t recorded at a fixed tempo things get more complex & you’ll need to learn how to create a tempo map using the warp tempo tool or maybe automatic tempo detection (if your’e lucky!)

Note that to use group edit your files must be exactly the same length. If necessary you can outline all of them with the region tool & bounce selection/replace to make them identical.

Just wanted to say thanks for these responses, both have helped.

Yes, there’s no need at all for everything to start at bar 1. Drag your audio files until beat 1 of the audio aligns with any convenient bar line.

Now the fun starts! Even if you manage to calculate the exact correct tempo figure, there will be drift. Set the Cubase metronome to click out the beats, play the song. It gets out well before the second chorus - right? So you have to construct a tempo map in Cubase that follows the audio. Various methods are detailed in your manual. I prefer manually dragging the Warp Tool to align bar lines with beats. Be careful you don’t create a constantly-varying tempo map though. Quantised drums to an unstable tempo map are MOST unsatisfactory!

And I fear you may have another problem. Did you get the tracks off the reel-to-reel all in one pass, through an 8-channel audio interface? If not, even though you’ve aligned the start points, and the first few bars sound fine, they will drift apart too.

Another rough and ready way i’ve found that works for this kind of thing is to roughly get cubase near to the basic tempo of the track… just count four bars and then split the file/s there… then select four bars on the timeline as you would do for a loop and then use ‘time stretch to markers’. Once this is done then pull the uncut section to snap to the next bar and repeat till you’re done, if the time drift is particularly bad you may have to do this per bar or if it’s not too bad then maybe 8, 16 or more… obviously it will make the tempo a lot closer to ‘strict’ and results vary with the source material but i’ve had some VERY surprising results doing this. Sometimes you do want a tempo map but sometimes not… i’m just reworking an old track i did on my old fostex 280 years ago and used the method i just described… even though i intend to replace everything from the original the time stretched version sounds every bit as good as the original, albeit with no tempo drift now!

This is really annoyingly easy to do. When you made the trim, did you have Snap To Zero on? It works on all tracks in the Edit Group so you end up with a ragged edge, albeit barely visible. Even a few samples either way seems to be enough to throw Cubase off track.

If you edit without Snap To Zero Group Editing works fine. [Edit] Try this for a way of avoiding losing sync:


I put all the tracks in a group folder, moved the first beat to Bar 5 with snap off. Al tracks remained in sync with each other, but none had music throughout the entire song.

So I then bounced all 8 tracks into 2 track audio mixdown which was also in the group folder, and ran tempo detection. Worked perfectly for me, though important that the first beat is lined up with Bar 5 as exactly as possible.