Musical Mode? Musical/Linear Time Base? Got an aspirin?

Can somebody please explain musical mode for audio to me. Particularly I’m trying to understand the difference between setting something to musical mode in the inpsector, media pool and audio editor. They seem to all be different. The manual doesn’t seem to explain the difference (The manual explains it as if they are all the same) but they don’t seem to all be enabled when you activate musical mode from any one of them.

Musical mode is bad. It doesn’t work and it wrecks audiotracks which are already perfectly aligned without. Best thing is to turn it of immediately in the pool before doing any editting or importing samples.
Once musical mode slips in aligning audio becomes one big inconsistent masacre, turning your project into an alignment trainwreck

I’m not so sure about that. :wink:

I think the OP is conflating Musical Mode, which is for audio files, and Musical Time base.which is for tracks.

Best thing would be to review the sections in the manual, P. 149 for Time Base, and p. 451 in the English version.

I’ve never got friends with it, i trust my own timestreching skills better
Also even when having 128bpm files in a 128bpm project, turning musical mode on, makes them play artifacts

Raphie, follow your heart, but please keep on topic. The OP only asked for an explanation.

Hi abject

Musical mode for audio, in the project window I’d explain it thus. Any audio clips/parts, the start points will remain at the same bar/beats point in the song, but it will not change anything in the audio files themselves, you would have to timestretch from the old tempo to the new one to make it work, as for the other windows you mention, I’m afraid I’m not sure as I never use those.

Best Regards


its only used when u want audio to be flexible and sync to tempo. Say you want to import all new stems that are 130 bpm but you want to see what it all sounds like at 115 bpm.
Enable musical mode then change the project tempo all will change tempo.

For me “musical mode” for audio material is/was used for automated linking/time stretching samples to the tempo of the track, so that when the tempo of the track changes, the sampled content was timestretched automatically to the new tempo.

The easiest way to go is to have a database of samples who are truncated to bars by factory default. If you are going to make your own samples, musical mode is often not so easy to work in, since the sampled content will be timestretched automatically, but when it is not in sync it will produce odd results sometimes. :slight_smile:

I only work in musical mode, makes more sense to me when making music. If you want to add a beat here and a bar there, then a time based track becomes difficult to work with IMHO
But there is no right or wrong, it’s just easier for me to keep everything in musical mode from start to finish.

Please stop confusing the people. :wink: :laughing:

There are two terms:

  1. Musical Mode - Turn it on for an audio file in the Info Line or in the Pool and that file will change speed with the project tempo.

  2. Time Base - this is a track setting, regardless of the type of content the track contains. Its icon is in the track header: a quarter note for Musical Time Base, or a little clock for Time Linear Time Base.

  • A track set to Linear time Base will have the start times of all its events locked to Seconds or Timecode position; if you change the tempo the event start times remain the same.
  • A track set to Musical Time Base will have the start times of all events locked to the bar and beat; if you change the tempo the event start times in minutes:seconds will change, but of course, the starting beat/bar remains the same.

A track can be set to Musical Time Base and have audio files on it that have Musical Mode either on or off, and vice-versa.

Use the right term please! It’s confusing enough for new users since the two features have such similar names.

Thank you all for the help. You’ve helped me do multiple things. 1: Figure out musical mode and musical time base tracks. The confusion I was having has been completely cleared up. 2: You’ve brought to my attention that the manual was updated and that the manual I saved to view when I’m away from my computer didn’t have the info mentioned. Looks like 8.0.10 Updated the manual.

Thanks Steve

That’s helped me with something I never used because I didn’t quite “get” it, but you explained it perfectly.

Best Regards


Steve, thank you! That explained my struggles as well. I’ll take a look at the updated manual as well abject39.

This thread is great! It was just the information I needed to figure out what was going on in the Cubase 9 Sample Editor!