Logical Editor: does it affect Tempo Track and/or automation

Halfway through a rather complicated section of a composition, I realized that my (live) performers will find it much easier to read their parts if I change the notation from ‘quarter-note = beat’ to ‘half-note = beat’. I searched for an efficient way to effect this change in my Cubase midi-orchestra mock-up, and found references, online, that recommended using the Logical Editor’s “half tempo” for this.

However, after a few experiments, it seemed to me that the Logical Editor’s “half tempo” operation extends neither to a midi tracks’ volume automation nor to the piece’s Tempo Track.

Have I got this wrong – am I doing things incorrectly? Or am I right in concluding that the Logical Editor affects neither volume automation nor Tempo Track events?

Thanks, in advance, for any feedback you’d care to give!

There’s Project LE and MIDI LE.

The less than elegant solution: You could use the MIDI LE as you intended, and then put the selection tool into stretch mode and resize the MIDI tracks so everything lines up again.

Thanks, NWP – very promising!

However, when I checked my Cubase documentation, it only differentiated between “opening the LE within the Project Editor versus opening it in a MIDI editor” . . . and I had been using it within the Project Editor all along, with poor results.

I’m actually using a much older version of Cubase – SX3 – and so I’m wondering whether the “Project LE” that you mention is actually something that’s only available in the newer Cubase versions (I also have Cubase 5, but it’s inaccessible to me at the moment [= long story]).

Is the “Project LE” simply what my SX3 documentation says, or a different thing altogether?

Thanks for your help.

PLE’s in the Edit menu, MLE’s in the MIDI menu and available when a MIDI part is selected.

Thanks, NWP. I just did a quick search, and it looks like PLE is only available from Cubase 5 on – unless I’m losing it here, it does not seem to be a part of SX3.

Just to be sure, does PLE include tempo track and volume automation events?

Thanks again.

If the Project tempo is constant (but please use “Track” mode rather than “Fixed”), I prefer to do it this way…
Change each track from Musical Timebase to Linear Timebase (“quarter-note” icon into “clock” icon), then change the Cubase Tempo (in this case, if I understand you correctly, I believe you have to actually double it). This will change the Score notation accordingly. You can now set the tracks back to Musical Timebase.

(EDIT: just seen that you are using Cubase SX3!.. I can’t remember if what i just described is available there)

Hi, johnstaf, and thanks for the tip!
I just tried it out, and yes, it does line everything up properly, but: (I must be doing it incorrectly) the end result is a return to the original notation and tempo. What am I missing here? :blush:

Hi, Vic - thanks for the feedback!

First, yes, Cubase SX3 does allow me to change from Musical Timebase to Linear Timebase. As well – I don’t know if this is different or not – any tempo changes made in Track mode must be done in the Tempo Track itself.

While I do have some tempo changes in my score, I was quite interested to try out your technique, and so I just spent a few minutes experimenting with it on a very simple new midi file, in which I kept the tempo constant:
In one midi track, I created two bars of quarter notes, in 4/4 time, and - using volume automation for that midi track - alternated forte and pianissimo for subsequent notes.

I think I followed your instructions, but while the tempo certainly changed, the notation didn’t. (I must be doing something wrong. . . ). As well, the automation remained as it had been prior to the operation, so that now the alternation between forte and pianissimo took place within each note, rather than from note to note.

I then experimented with first applying the Midi LE preset of “half tempo”, and THEN applying your instructions, and got results that were exactly as I want . . . with one important exception: the automation ended up being twice as fast as the notes themselves, so that, again, the alternation between forte and pianissimo took place within each note, rather than from note to note. I obtained the same results when reversing the order of operations – that is, when first applying your tempo change technique and then applying the Midi LE preset.

I’m sure I’ve not quite followed your instructions properly; however, does your technique apply only to the notes themselves, and not their volume automation?

Thanks, Vic.

It should apply to everything in the Project.

I think I followed your instructions, but while > the tempo certainly changed> , the notation didn’t.

You mean, the actual notes changed tempo?. If that is so, then that track was not in Linear Timebase when you changed the tempo… just make sure that you switch all tracks to Linear Timebase before altering the tempo. The whole point of this excercise, is that it will change the notation, without changing what you actually hear. (You should be able to try it out while the Score Editor window is open, and see the notation change in realtime (except that, here on Mac, I can no longer run SX3 to verify that :wink: )
It certainly works in Cubase 7.0.6 :wink:

Aha! I’d been switching the time base via the Transport Bar! (Funny how one can use Cubase for years, getting into all kinds of detail in some aspects, but totally bypassing some very obvious stuff!). Beautiful – it’s a great technique! I’m afraid to ask how it actually works . . . :wink:

Given everyone’s very kind answers to my question, would I be right to conclude that, if tempo changes are involved, the most efficient solution would be to use the Project LE – ie, that (once I get around to installing my Cubase 5!) it would automatically include all midi automation and tempo track events when applying its “half tempo” preset?

Thanks, again, to everyone, for your help!

[EDITED] (I just posted a rather complicated recipe, but, thinking about it afterwards, I’m not sure it is correct, so I’ve taken it back down, until I can actually test it for myself :wink: )
… but the bad news is that the Project Logical Editor cannot deal with scaling tempo by itself. It can move tempo events’ positions but not their values (and for the job in question, we have to double both position and value)
There is a function in the Tempo track Editor, called “Process Tempo”, which changes values, but not positions.
So you have to use both functions together (I did just get it working, but it was a real hassle! :stuck_out_tongue: )

I really appreciate your research on my behalf, Vic!

My original experiments with the “Midi LE” preset for “half tempo” showed that it did include both values and positions, and – so far as the midi track notes were concerned – it did work. Problem was that it didn’t take either the volume automation or tempo track events with it.

Needless to say, I’m eager to hear any of your results on this!

Thanks again!

No, I maybe I didn’t explain clearly enough…
Forget about the “MIDI LE” (which, ipso facto, handles MIDI events only :wink: )… I was referring to the Project LE, and changing (doubling) the value of Tempo events.

… wait a minute… SX3 doesn’t even have a Project Logical Editor! (no wonder you were confused by my reply!)
(This is also why we have separate forums for the different versions of Cubase :wink: )

O.K… I think the only way to do what you wish to achieve, is to delete all tempo events from your project (so you have, effectively, a “fixed” tempo), then do the recipe I described originally (to get the Score looking correct), then rebuild your tempo map from scratch, manually.

Hi, Vic;

No, I realize that SX3 doesn’t have a Project LE, and that the Midi LE won’t do the trick. I also have Cubase 5, tho’, that I will – sooner or later – be installing in a new computer, and that’s why I’m interested in learning whether the Project LE will be the best route for this kind of operation, in the future. (I only mentioned Midi LE again to corroborate what you’d recently written regarding the necessity of including both note values and position in any attempts.) I’m still keenly interested in whatever you learn about globally changing note durations without changing how they sound, in a way that includes both volume automation and tempo events. (Despite my better judgement, I’m also very curious as to how changing tempo via the linear time base affects the written notation, should you, or anyone out there, wish to explain it. :wink: )

Just a quick note as regards Musical Timebase vs Linear Timbase (and, hopefully, all will become clear :wink: )…
Let’s say you have a very simple 8-bar MIDI Part… it contains just two quarter-notes, the first at bar #1, beat #1, and the 2nd one at bar #3, beat #1. The tempo is 120 BPM, so the first note starts at 00 secs and ends at 00.5 secs, while the 2nd note starts at 04 secs and ends at 04.5 secs.
Now, with the MIDI Track in Musical Timebase, we change the Tempo to 240 BPM.
“Musical Timebase” means that the notes (and their lengths) stay tied to their Bar positions, so now the first note still starts at 00 secs, of course, but now it ends at 00.25 secs (i.e. it now plays twice as fast/lasts half as long). Similarly, the 2nd quarter-note remains fixed at Bar #3, beat #1, but Bar #3, beat #1 now occurs at 02 secs and that note now ends at 02.25 secs (so the two notes now play twice as fast).
Let’s put the Tempo back to to 120 BPM, and compare that with what happens in Linear Timebase…
“Linear Timebase” means that the notes (and their lengths) stay tied to their Time positions, so…
when we change the Tempo to 240 BPM, the notes, and their lengths, do not change at all (because, fixed in time, they remain at 00 secs till 00.5 secs and 04 secs till 04.5 secs, respectively. But… at 240 BPM, 04 secs is now where the start of bar #5 occurs, and 04.5 secs is the end of bar #5, beat #2 (or, if you prefer, the start of Bar #5, beat #3)… so those (ex) quarter-note have now become minims (half-notes)!.. but, because the tempo is now twice as fast, those notes sound exactly the same as when they were quarter-notes at 120 BPM.

So, that is how we can use this method to change the look in the Score, without changing the way it sounds.

As regards the “regular” Logical Editor, which handles only MIDI events, yes, it can move the starts and ends of (MIDI) notes, but not automation, nor tempo events.
The Tempo Track Editor (maybe already in SX3, I can’t remember now) has the function “Process Tempo” which can multiply/divide the values of the tempo events, but cannot scale their positions (while the Project Logical Editor, in later version of Cubase, can only do the contrary :stuck_out_tongue:, but it can scale the positions of Automation events, and also trim their values. )

Thank-you, Vic, for your really generous help, in explaining this to me!
The only use to which I’d ever put the Linear Timebase was to measure, in seconds and milliseconds, the precise durations of something I would have played into Cubase as an improvisation, in order to then deduce the closest approximating note values. I hadn’t stopped to realize that, because Linear Time means that events are tied to standard time measurement rather than to beats and bars, the notation will change according to the note durations implied by changes in tempo.

Some basic experiments just showed me that the very basic ‘formula’ for the relation between note durations and tempo changes is as follows. If we call the old note duration “a”, the new note duration “b”, the old tempo “t”, and the new tempo “N”, then: b = a(N/t).

Not only can this technique transform 4/4 notation into 2/2, it can also transform bars in Simple Meter into bars of Compound Meter. For example, we can transform a bar of 4/4 into a bar of 12/8 by multiplying the tempo by 1.5 – which results in the new ‘beat’ being the dotted quarter note, and the new bar being equal to four dotted quarter notes (which, Cubase measuring ‘beats’ as quarter notes’, equals 4 beats times 1.5, or 6 quarter note beats).

Did you discover this ‘opportunity’, made possible by the relationship of musical to linear timebases, yourself, or was it ever in the Cubase documentation?

Are you saying, then, that (with the newer versions of Cubase,) the Project Logical Editor can scale the positions of time events, but not their values? I don’t know if Steinberg has been smart enough to ask you to work for them :wink: , but would you happen to know whether they have anything in the works that would allow some technique (Project LE or otherwise) to do everything that’s required in this operation?

Many thanks, again, Vic!

Well, the doc does state that Musical Timebase locks events to Bars/beats, whereas Linear Timebase locks them to Time. :wink:
I, too, have used this method, where necessary, to convert from 4/4 to 12/8 etc.

Are you saying, then, that (with the newer versions of Cubase,) the Project Logical Editor > can > scale the > positions > of time [errm > TEMPO > > :wink: > ] events, but > not > their > values> ?

Yes, that’s it.
I hope that they will extend the function, seeing as the PLE’s “Trim” function can scale Automation values, but remains dead when trying to be used on other data (such as Tempo).

Hey, are you guys related? :wink: :laughing: