Musical Mode vs Linear

I’ve spent some time with Warp tabs, and thus unavoidably with Musical Mode vs Linear, recently. I feel like I might have a little understanding of the concept of Musical Mode, but at the same time I don’t have a good big-picture idea of how it can be used.

In my mind, the Musical Mode/Linear is an “extra” level of control underneath the Tempo Track control on the Transporter Bar: Activating the tempo track will make tracks follow it only if they are in Musical Mode - otherwise they will play as if the Tempo Track wasn’t activated.

Is that correct, as far as it goes?

And moving further, what are other situations where the Musical Mode/Linear tab is useful, besides in the Warp Tab process? I’m having a hard time trying to visualize that.

Thanks!

You must be related to Brains. :laughing:

That was my thought too :laughing:

+1000000000000

When Musical Mode is not activated, that audio clip will always play back exactly as it was recorded, no matter what was going on in the Tempo Track.
When it is activated, the tempo of the audio will “follow” the changes in the Tempo track, relative to the tempo that you set in that column in the Pool… so, if the Project starts at, say, 120 BPM, and “120 BPM” is entered in that column in the Pool, if the Project tempo is then changed to 60 BPM, the audio will play at half tempo.

[EDITED OUT (the next bit was just plain wrong… sorry) ]

Please forget all your other musings about what Musical Mode might be :wink: (life is too short, and you won’t enjoy it if using Cubase gives you ulcers :mrgreen: )

Thanks, vic-france!

Just as an aside … I kind of scoured the ops manual … I didn’t find a word about the “proportional change” you reference (of course I went and tried it out, and found it completely accurate as you described … of course!) - how did you come across that kind of information? ?? :slight_smile:

A quick follow up question, if I could please: I notice that the toggle of Musical Mode/Linear in the Pool seems to be the only thing that determines whether the audio “follows” the Tempo Track - whether it is toggled on or off in the Inspector has NO effect on whether it plays back in Musical mode vs linear. I’ve tried that at least a dozen times, with different audio clips … can that really be right? … or am I making a :blush: here?

Thanks again for everything -

The same way as I have learned most things in Cubase… by trial and error :wink:

A quick follow up question, if I could please: I notice that the toggle of Musical Mode/Linear > in the Pool > seems to be the only thing that determines whether the audio “follows” the Tempo Track - whether it is toggled on or off > in the Inspector > has NO effect on whether it plays back in Musical mode vs linear. I’ve tried that at least a dozen times, with different audio clips … can that really be right? … or am I making a > :blush: > here?

This is often a source of confusion…
Musical Mode (in the Audio Pool, or in the waveform editor) does the job I described earlier. This is something completely different from Musical vs Linear Timebase, as seen in the Track Inspector, which determines merely how Events (Audio events, Audio Parts, MIDI Parts, Markers) begin, in relation to the timeline. (N.B. an audio event is the position at which the clip begins).Once the audio event has begun, according to the Timebase mode, the actual speed at which it plays depends only on Musical Mode in the Pool/waveform editor.

Musical vs Linear Timebase (in the Inspector, or track list)…
Linear Timebase… the event will always start at the same time position (e.g. 1 mn:30 sec), no matter how you change the tempo… so, for example, if the event was originally at bar # 46 with the tempo at 120 BPM (which does indeed occur at 1 mn:30 sec :wink: ), and then you change the tempo to 60 BPM, the event would still occur at 1 mn:30 sec (but which would now be only bar #23, beat #3… Bar #46 would now be arriving at 3 mn:0 sec).
If you switched the Inspector to Musical Timebase before changing the tempo, upon changing the tempo, the event would maintain its musical position, at bar #46 (which, as we have just seen now plays at 3 mn:0 sec).

So it is perfectly possible to have the Track in Linear Timebase, while the audio clip itself is in Musical Mode (in the Pool)… or vice versa.

(as you have now observed, there are no “quick” follow-up questions! :stuck_out_tongue: )

vic-france - You are a Prince (or maybe a "vic"ar? :smiley: ) - thanks so much. I think without your helping me to understand that I was confusing terms, my head would have eventually exploded. I see now why I thought the toggle in the Inspector/Track bar wasn’t working - the events started at the origin!! I of course was able to reproduce your elegant experiment/description above.

I think I need to not think about this for a day or so, then I will ponder the implications of the statement on page 74 of the Operations Manual, “Which time base suits better depends on the type of project and recording situation”. Ah, Steinbergian Specificity at its finest!

Thanks so much again!

Also from here a big thanks to vic_france for a good explanation, it helped me a lot in understanding.

I agree, some times Cubase reminds me of an adventure computer game in the ole days, where you have to guess some difficult riddle in order to continue to next level. :laughing:

But it isn’t all, there are also something about start and ending points in Musical Mode I don’t understand, try this out:

  1. Make an empty project, 96kHz, 24 bit, 120 bmp
  2. Add an audio mono track
  3. record 4 bars from bar 1 to end bar 4
  4. Duplicate Track
  5. Select the clip in the duplicated track and Bounce Selection and Replace
  6. Open Pool, an change the tempo to 180 for the two clips
  7. Activate Musical Mode for both clips

Ok, in my project window the first clip is stretched so that the beginning is before bar 1, with the ending of the clip as a fix point. The duplicated track behave opposite, the fix point is at the beginning of the clip, and the end is at beginning of bar 7.

Now that we have the project described above, try something else:

  1. Select the clip in the first track
  2. Go to the square in the lower right corner and reduce the length of the clip to 3 bars
  3. Now toggle on and of Musical Mode in the Pool

Congratulation, you have now created a Looper!
Not that this has much to do with making music, but it looks fun, now we talking about computer games. :unamused:

(and don’t undo this to much, because then Cubase will crash)

Can any one explain or confirm this behavior?

Without actually trying your recipe, it reads like it may be related to the following issue…
http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5259&p=37889#p37889

Could you try your recipe again, but start your audio recording later than the start of the Project (e.g. start recording at bar #3)?

Thanks for the reply vic_france

Yes you are right, the problem despairs when starting recording for an other position than start of project, then the two clips are fixed at the beginning of the clip as expected.

I will now try to study the related topic you referenced end then come back.

Would you guys be able to answer a “quick question” for me please? Sorry, a “question”, please :wink: ?

“How the tempo which is noted in the pool is determined” - is this correct?

  1. Whatever is typed there, Cubase believes is correct. So if 120 BPM is noted, but you type 300 BPM, Cubase thinks it is 300 BPM.
  2. The above is important because if you slow the tempo track by 50% (as in vic-france’s post a few posts up), the clip will play at 150 BPM (50% of 300 BPM), not 60 BPM (50% of 120 BPM).
  3. Finally - if you import an audio clip, Cubase will try it’s best to “guess” the tempo, and that is what it will put in the pool. But how does it do that for a clip with varying tempos?

Thanks much :smiley:

I tried to figure that out earlier, but never succeeded. Try to look at:
http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=4928

Yes vic_france, you are right, it seems to be the same problem, sorry I didn’t check better before posting.

But now I think I have a workaround, the problem seems to be related to pre-recording. If you go in to Preferences>Audio and set Audio Pre-Record Seconds to 0, the problem seem to disappear.

But of cause, I should go back to the original post the result there, not confuse alexis original post further.

That’s pretty much an accurate assessment of it :wink:
As regards varying tempos, I can merely guess it does its best to calculate an average tempo.

I really just cant reproduce what you’re doing here. I imported an audio file which was recorded perfectly at a tempo of 140BPM. Cubase initially guessed it as 117 BPM (Obviously wrong) so I manually entered the correct tempo in the pool editor. I then set the project tempo track to 70BPM and once I applied musical mode from the pool window, the audio was playing at exactly half speed.

Ok. Now I changed the audio file’s tempo to 180 BPM manually in the pool window and changed the project tempo track to 90BPM, and upon playback, the speed was exactly half again. Setting the tempo track to half the speed of the tempo defined in the pool window always brought the playback at half speed. Is there something I’m doing wrong?..

You are doing everything correctly,Daniel.

What I wrote (in red), I wrote in too much of a hurry, and it came out all wrong (I shall re-edit the original). All I meant to say was, that, even if the tempo that is entered in the Pool is not the same as the tempo in the Project window, if you then change the Project tempo, the percentage change would be respected (as you have discovered for yourself :wink:… the example I wrote was simply wrong :blush: … apologies.
I think I meant to say that, if the clip contained music that was actually playing at 180 BPM (i.e. without Musical Mode), with the project tempo set at 120 BPM, if you then enter 120 BPM (and not 180 BPM) in the Pool, and activate Musical Mode, when the project tempo is changed to 60 BPM, the music would be at 90 BPM.

Very sorry for the misdirection.

You are doing everything correctly,Daniel.

What I wrote (in red), I wrote in too much of a hurry, and it came out all wrong (I shall re-edit the original). All I meant to say was, that, even if the tempo that is entered in the Pool is not the same as the tempo in the Project window, if you then change the Project tempo, the percentage change would be respected (as you have discovered for yourself … the example I wrote was simply wrong … apologies.
I think I meant to say that, if the clip contained music that was actually playing at 180 BPM (i.e. without Musical Mode), with the project tempo set at 120 BPM, if you then enter 120 BPM (and not 180 BPM) in the Pool, and activate Musical Mode, when the project tempo is changed to 60 BPM, the music would be at 90 BPM.

Very sorry for the misdirection.

It’s fine, I’ve still learnt something new and helpful to know! :slight_smile: