"Merge Tempo from Tapping" Needs Improvement

Well, I’ve been a Cubase/Nuendo power user for many years. It’s such a complex program that you may never know all it can do.

I’ve always missed the feature in my old Cakewalk (precursor to Sonar) where you could take a piece of audio or midi that wasn’t recorded to a click and create a midi track along side it and tap the quarter notes into that track and have the program adjust the tempo track to those notes.

I need to do this fairly often and I usually just manually adjust the tempo track to the audio (or midi). It works but is somewhat time consuming.

But yesterday I discovered that Cubase has my long lost Cakewalk feature, found in the menu MIDI/Functions/Merge Tempo from Tapping command.

I studied it in the manual, tried recording quarter notes and executing the command using the setting “1/4 Notes”. The results were unuseable. The tempo was all over the map and not following the tune at all like I played it. Then I tried the setting “bars”, where you tap one note per bar, thinking that might make the tempo smoother. The results were worse.

I freely admit that I may be doing something wrong, which is the main reason that I am posting this. If anyone has any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated. But if these results are the best I can get from this feature then I’ll have to go back to adjusting the tempo track manually, where I achieved much better results.

A side note: I recently purchased Pro Tools (v9 Native) because it is finally native and I occasionally receive and send work to and from other studios (overall Pro Tools doesn’t hold a candle to Cubase, a huge disappointment) I do not believe it has a feature like Merge Tempo from Tapping. I recently tried adjusting the tempo track manually as I do in Cubase. The results were unusable.

I find it relatively easy.
I suppose the first mistake I made was to somehow reference the “Tapping” track. Wrong.
What I think you need to do is, when you have played and maybe tweaked the notes of the tapping track to the audio material, then delete the tapping track as it has done it’s job which is to generate a tempo track THEN record your further midi tracks alongside the audio which should then reference the tempo track and thence the audio.

I have had it pointed out and notice that there seems to be a regular pattern to the tempo variations as though some sort of quantisiation is going on there but in practise I have never had it affect anythng untoward.

The mistake most people make, is that they forget to set all tracks (including the “Tapping” track) to Linear Timebase rather than Musical Timebase, before applying “Merge Tempo from Tapping”.

Here are some other ways to achieve a similar thing regarding tempo adjustments:


Also, don’t forget the Tempo Detection Tool, which works in oder situations.


That’s what the problem was. I assumed that the guide track I created would line up with the tempo grid. As you said, “Wrong.”

Thanks for showing me the way, Conman.

Thanks Jose,
A great video. I have yet to get this method to work with the files I normally work with (such as a single audio track with acoustic guitar and vocals on it). I’m sure it works flawlessly with drum loops. But perhaps I haven’t spent enough time with these features to get it to work right.

That’s why I’ve posted my question here.


Are you sure? I usually set only the Tapping track to Linear Timebase, and all seems working ok here. But maybe I’m missing something…

But I think it does need improvement…

I’d like to see it coping with missing taps so that if I want to ride a whole section with a constant tempo then I can leave them out and it intelligently lines up the nearest bar when I start tapping again.

Also I’d like to be able to mix bars and beats tapping, i.e. have some 1/4 or 1/2 notes included sometimes for detailed accuracy…

But I confess I haven’t used it for a while, last time I used it I had to be excedingly careful to make sure there was one and (and only one) tap on each (and every) bar. Excuse me if this is now different. In fact, TimeWarp is so much quicker for me, and much more accurate, that I tend to use that instead now. But it’s not so good for tracks which don’t have visible dynamics, so with those tracks you really have to tap them out somehow, it’s the only way…

Cubase on the Atari 20 years back had a real-time tempo follower which could do this sort of thing with more flexibility, so it is possible.


It is essential for MIDI tracks, and for audio tracks that have more that one event on them… so, safest to switch to Linear Timebase generally (you can always switch back again afterwards :wink: ).