Looking for a way to manually time correct recorded audio

OK, so I have searched for an easy solution to this on the web, and I have read about hit points and related features in the manual. But I still don’t understand how to do what I want to do. So any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have Cubase 8.5 pro. I record my band (improvisation, kraut style) on an 8 track recorder (Zoom F8), import these files into Cubae and then mix and “master” these projects.

We never play to a click, so timing is not Cubase dependent. And everything is recorded live in our rehearsal room, so there is spill on most tracks, but not more than will let me make quite good mixes.

Now, I want to time correct a couple of bass notes. The bass is on its own audio track, with some spill.

What is the easiest way for me to tighten up these few notes manually?


Hi Magnus,
this could become a challenging piece of work. If none of the tracks are on a metronom beat, it requires some work upfront - unless you would want to purchase Nuendo :wink:
I’m not a pro (although I also use CB 8 PRO) but this is what I would do:
Step 1 : Create a new audio track (mono) and record the beat (metronome) with a microphone with sticks or a muted cowbell while listening to the playback of your recording - or doing some click noise with your mouth. Same would work if you load a VST instrument (GA-SE) and record the beats using a midi keyboard and render it to an audio track. DO NOT QUANTIZE. If you follow the tempo variations, this should now be your tempo track.
Step 2 : Run a tempo analysis (Project - Tempo detection) on that new recorded track. Cubase will create a system tempo track that will follow all tempo variations.
Step 3 : edit the bass track (or any other) and select the Time Warp tool. I normall use “manual”. I never was very succesfull using slicing and hitpoints.
Step 4 : Now you see the wave of the track with the peaks and under it the beat grid of the tempo track.
Now (with the mouse) click on one of a peaks that is off grid. An orange vertical line should appear. Pull that peak till it snaps to the grid line you wnat to allign it too

Attention <<

You should make sure the peak before and after the one you want to move is already fixed on a grid. Otherwise the whole track will be shifted a little.

Give it a try…

BR - Zibin

If I read you right, you’re just using Cubase as a tape recorder.

First, just to be on the safe side, make sure that all tracks are set to use Linear Timebase. The chances are they have defaulted to Musical Timebase, and there will be an orange quarter note in the track headers. Click this to get a grey clock. This ties everything to time, not bar positions, and will prevent any edits shifting should the tempo change later (e.g. accidentally).

If all you want to do is change the timing of a couple of bass notes, then it’s just a question of deciding if the note is (1) the right length but just in the wrong place or (2) whether you need to stretch/shrink it a little. (1) is easy - just move it and hide what was there behind and cross-fade the edits. (2) may need a little work and I’d bounce the offending section out to a new file first and then warp it or use VariAudio (see Manual). Hopefully the spillage won’t make it sound too weird but I guess you’re stuck with that.

If you ever want to add MIDI instruments to your mix, you might need to create a Tempo Track and that’s another reason you need Linear Timebase.

Thanks Zibin and Crotchety,

Zibin: Thanks for the walk through. I will however only need to shift a couple of notes, so I will not need any tempo track.

Crotchety: Yes, you are correct that I use Cubase as a tape recorder. I will try doing as you suggest in (1). I assume that the editing here is done in the Project Window wave form, not the Wave Editor.


Yes, Project Window. Have fun :slight_smile: