Markers change position when changing tempo

I wonder if the OP wants to write a music cue starting at a given point in the movie without bothering too much about synchronizing the end if the cue until after it is finished.

In that case, use a separate flow for each music cue, and use the flow attachment position and/or timecode offset properties to line up ONE point in the music and video.


Thanks for the above replies. However, I feel misunderstood and somewhat offended by the responses. I know how cues in music videos work, but I also run into the fact that they start to move out of position once you start fiddling with the tempo somewhere before in the track. And to answer Rob Tuley: it’s a video of 6 minutes, a short animated movie in one piece so to say, with music all the time.
I will try to describe exactly what I did: I had an important cue at 3:05 in the movie, wrote music for it, then went back to an earlier cue, got an idea, but had to change the tempo pretty much at that point and all of a sudden the cue at 3:05 didn’t match at all with the video anymore. And I’m not talking about a second away, it had really moved significantly towards the end.
So, how do I solve this? Maybe try it for yourself and find out what I mean exactly? I get the feeling you don’t completely understand my problem, hence I described my process.
I hope you will reply again.

I’m sorry you feel offended – I certainly didn’t mean to cause offence, and I’m reasonably sure neither Rob nor Leo intended to cause offence either.

Perhaps what you’re looking for is a feature that either adds or removes musical time so that the marker stays aligned with whatever music happens to be at that position. Unfortunately that’s not how the program works, and of course if the software had to delete material to keep that marker in the same place (because you have slowed down the tempo) that would be a bit of a scary operation. However, hopefully you should find it reasonably quick to add some music or delete some bars to bring your marker back into the expected alignment. You might find it helpful to add a bit of system text at the position where the marker is before you change tempo, so you can see what the offset ends up being when you change the earlier music. That might make it a bit easier to figure out whether you need to add or delete music or change the tempo again to bring the marker back into its original position.

Well, I think I finally guessed what you wanted to do in my previous post. In your first post, non-Cubase users had to guess exactly what the Cubase commands did, which wasn’t obvious (not to me, anyway). One way to interpret your original post was that Cubase was doing some sort of automatic time-stretching (or recalculating the tempo) on the music between two points…

Put the music for the 3:05 cue in its own flow, and set the attachment position so the flow starts at 3:05 in the video. Editing the other flows in the project then won’t interfere with that one.

At the end of the process you either make separate audio files for each flow and assemble them outside of Dorico, or you can set the gap between flows to 0 seconds and play the complete project straight through, or you can copy-and-paste all of the finished music into a single flow if you want.

I assume that the OP means that the markers should stay locked to a specific picture frame, and in that case, even with the tempo being changed, the markers should still stay locked to that same picture frame. That is how I score movies in Logic where they are called scene markers, and that is the idea behind placing a marker with video. However I tried it just now and in Dorico the markers do indeed move to another frame when changing the tempo. So I assume that markers in Dorico have another function than in a Daw?

Thank you Andre, that’s exactly how I meant it! I assume the language barrier came into play here :slight_smile:. You describe perfectly what my problem is, so I’m really glad you also looked into it and encountered this issue too.
Hopefully, with the help of Daniel and Rob, now we can come to a solution how to solve this.

Have you seen the two video interviews with Alan Slivestri?

Actually, with markers connected and locked to time code, their position should not change when changing the tempo. That’s the idea behind smtp locked markers.

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Daniel, when markers change their positions when the tempo changes, doesn’t this mean they are locked to the music and not to the picture?

In Dorico instructional videos, the Video markers are presented the way you describe, Andre, and how I would use them in the first place. However, now they act as they do, it appears they either have another function, or they don’t do what you expect them to do.
I think they should indeed be linked to a specific frame in the video, so the marker will stay there no matter what you do with the tempo. Now that they change position, the function apparently does not behave in the way it is meant to be, both in my opinion as well as based on the Dorico videos.

Dear Embee and Andre,
I understood that markers were linked to video time, so they should not move relatively to the timecode. If your project behaves otherwise (and that you can easily exhibit the problem), it might be useful to post that minimal project with simple instructions to reproduce the problem. This is the most useful help for the dev team IIRC

It’s very simple to see this happening. Start an empty project, attach a video and add markers. Now change the starting tempo or add tempo changes in the tempo map and you see that the markers are on different places in the video.

This happened with the first film scoring I did when this feature was added to Dorico and it happens still now. So I don’t think it’s a project related problem. I tried it yesterday and it still behaves the same way.

Ok, I spent about 1 hour playing around with this and watched the Dorico video about working with video in Dorico and markers. I have to conclude that they do stay attached to a specific frame in the video and so work as expected. Not sure why I could not get this working correctly before.

I created different markers in a short video with a short piano score.
I added tempo changes, immediately and graduals and inserted bars on different spots: The markers stay connected to the same video frame and the smtp numbers stay the same.
I moved a marker left or right which of course will move the other markers as well, but the smtp numbers in the markers stay the same.

So as far as I can see now, they do act correctly as scene markers, staying connected to the frames and not to the music.

Thanks, Andre, I did the same here and also found out that most of them (!) they stay attached to the same frame. However, once I wrote music in the score, I still found some markers towards the end that were moved. Suddenly the music is in a totally different place than before, but I didn’t insert new measures. Beats me why this happens. It’s also a lot of work to line the music up again, once it has been moved.

This is why I suggested you to post any project that exhibits the problem (as this is not as it’s supposed to behave) either here (zipping the file) or to Daniel or any of the dev team if it’s private (copyright issues).
It’s the best way to get rid of (possible) bugs.

I did some more testing, adding music, deleting music, also recording music live, but the markers keep steady in their time code. Not sure anymore now why it would change. The only thought that comes to mind is that somehow you change the marker position itself, but that’s of course obvious. I wonder now if maybe you accidentally had the Insert option on? That would push music from their marker spot for sure.

Hi Andre, Thanks for testing so thoroughly!
I’m 100% confident that I did not use the insert option; this is a tool that I only use on rare occasions.
I did some testing myself too and found out that, when you click on the marker you go exactly to the specific cue in the video, so that’s okay. Remains the fact that music and markers don’t line up anymore when I’ve entered music somewhere in the track. Since I’m not a composer who writes a scene straight from A-Z but tends to compose ‘randomly’ on a scene, the moving music/markers (still not sure what’s really happening) is a big PITA.
Marc Larcher’s idea is a good one, I will do this (hopefully) tomorrow, but anyhow soon.

Hi EmBee,

If you’d like to line up the marker(s) with the music, there are multiple options: i) you can drag the marker in write mode, so it snaps to an exact rhythmic position and adjusts the previous absolute tempo change to make sure the music and marker in sync; ii) if your flow is using a single tempo, you can use the find tempo dialog to find a tempo where all important markers are falling on a beat; or iii) in play mode you can graphically edit the tempo track and you can see whether the markers moved to the expected positions or not. You can find more information in the video that was linked earlier, or here:

If you work in random order on the cues, I think Rob’s advice is a good one, create one flow per each cues. Then you won’t need markers at all, just make sure that each flow has the same video attached with the correct start position.

If you find that markers still move their position relative to the video unexpectedly (ie the time code they display changes), please send me (or Daniel) the project that can reproduce the problem to a(dot)keri(at)steinberg(dot)de with the steps to reproduce it.

It’s been some time since my last post about this, but I found out a few things. First of all: the markers indeed do stay at the same time frame where you put them; it’s the music that moves to other points. It feels a bit awkward that I created a thread about it, thinking the markers moved, but it appears to be as I wrote, that the music moves away. A lot of people tried to help, thanks for that!
So now remains the question of how I can make the music to stay also attached to the same time marker, instead of moving ahead or away from the cue? This would really save a lot of time, as I’ve spent pretty much time aligning everything again. Maybe it’s something really easy, or maybe it’s simply not possible yet. Either way, it would nice if someone can tell more about that.

The music moves away from markers when you change the tempo, that is supposed to happen. Markers stay connected to the movie.