MIDI tempo detect - variable tempo project

Hi - Coming from Cubase7.5.40 I’ve never used MIDI tempo detect, and I’m having some problems now.

I applied MIDI tempo detect to a piano piece with a chorus at 85 bpm whereas the rest of the song is mainly at around 65 bpm.

There are also a few prominent ritardandos/slowdowns/pauses.

There were a lot of errors in the tempo detect (I should mention that I applied it in C8.5.20 since there’s a documented bug in C9.0.10, then reopened the project up again in C9.0.10), mainly at transitions between major tempo value shifts.

I’m thinking it might be better to apply the tempo shift in stages, one tempo “section” at a time - would that be correct? But I wasn’t able to see how to limit which part of the track the tempo detection is applied to … is it possible to do that?

Thanks for any hints!

Personally, I have never gotten satisfactory results from tempo detection, when there are tempo variations.
You would be better, using the more tedious method of either the TimeWarp tool, or “Merge tempo from Tapping”.

Ah, OK, thanks vic_france.

Such a shame - it could have been so handy!

  1. Sometimes I record “live” (no click track), and even though the song is around 65 BPM for example, I’ve forgotten to move the project tempo before recording from 120 BPM. Using Time Warp is a pain, because one has to do much more dragging of the bars the farther the project tempo is from the actual song tempo. I just can’t seem to remember to set that ahead of time!

What I do here to get the tempo points closer to the actual song tempo (so I can use Time Warp more easily) is put the recorded MIDI track into Linear Timebase, then select all the tempo points in the project window, and drag them down to the approximate song tempo (60 BPM for example). Then I put the MIDI track back into Musical Timebase and move on with Time Warp, much easier.

  1. Sometimes one section of a song will have a very different tempo from the one just before it (Verse at 60 BPM/Chorus at 78 BPM, e.g.), and that really throws Tempo Detect off - the Tempo Detect might choose double the tempo for the chorus, for example. Using the Tempo Detect dialog to choose “1/2 tempo” isn’t something I figured out how to do for part of a tempo track, so that isn’t any help to me.

What I do here is let Tempo Detect try its best, then put the MIDI track into Linear Timebase. Then I select the tempo points in the chorus (for example) that are way off, and just drag them to the approximate appropriate tempo there. Then I put the MIDI track back into Musical Timebase, and do the touchup tempo manipulation in Time Warp.

I’ve done this twice, and it worked OK. It’s definitely best to do this before making manual detailed level adjustments to the tempo map, as all the tempo points after the manipulated ones will become dissociated from their musical positions.

Hope this maybe helps someone else who struggles with tempo manipulation in variable tempo projects!