Pool: recorded audio should have Musical Mode, Tempo, Sign, and Key from Project when recorded

WTF with audio clips recorded in Cubase 10.5.20 Pro, such that the clips in the pool have bizarre Tempo, seemingly random Musical Mode and Time Signature?

How can there be any other reasonable behavior than for recorded clips to, by default, have the same attributes as the environment when they were recorded?

  • Musical Mode: this is a Preference for Tracks; why don’t recorded clips have the same setting for Musical Mode as the track where they were recorded?
  • Tempo: why would Tempo be anything other than the tempo active when it was recorded? (either Project or Tempo Track) My Project is 84 BPM, but I have clips showing 158.83, or, my favorite, ???. Seriously, wtf?
  • Signature: this one should be the easiest of all, as there shouldn’t be much debate about the time signature when recording. And yet, clips I’ve recorded have a seemingly random mix of 2/4 and 4/4 (4/4 is correct, fwiw)

This seems to be especially problematic for audio recorded in Cycle mode, which for me is virtually every time.

Cubase has some fantastic features and capabilities for songwriters to adjust tempo, time signature, and key even after recording audio, but NONE of that works correctly if the clip attributes are not correct. So why are they not correct? Imported clips, sure, that’s harder, but clips that Cubase itself records, it seems inexcusable.

IMHO, this is a critical bug, just below a crash bug, as it essentially renders so many Cubase Pro power features useless.

Or is there some magic setting(s) somewhere I don’t know about that would fix all this?

Hi,

The tempo is not overtaken from the project tempo. It’s calculated by algorithm.

yes, and clearly that “clever” approach does not work. an algorithmic approach might be a nice feauture when importing loops (assuming it works), but for audio recorded right there in Cubase, it’s not a feature, it’s a bug. Multiple bugs, actually, as it’s not just Tempo, but also Musical Mode, Signature, and Key that are broken.

it’s a mess, and effects so many Cubase features. i hope it is fixed in the next release.

Hi,

I don’t think it will be fixed, because it’s not a bug. It’s specified like this.

Tempo in the project might change, then you couldn’t set a static tempo for the file. Even if you set a tempo in the project, you are not forced to record with the metronome/click and to the Grid. So then you would get a nonsense tempo again.

By the Musical Mode, do you mean this flag settings should be stored with the audio file?

where does it specify that “your recorded clips will just get any old random value for Tempo, Time Signature, and Key, or maybe just ??? if we’re feeling spiteful” ?

there are many Cubase advanced features that depend use all three of these attributes; you’re welcome not to use them - and you’re welcome to change these attributes if they don’t agree with your intentions. but I can’t see any reasonable explanation for why these values are not set to the best-known information at the time they were recorded: the current Project settings.

sorry for being snarky. I’m just saying that this is most definitely a bug.

Hi,

I didn’t say it’s specified like you described. I said it’s specified like this:

sorry, I meant to put smileys :slight_smile:

since this algorithm does not do anything reasonable for audio clips recorded in Loop mode (loop as in Transport, not as in a rhythmic audio loop), it’s a bug, no matter how well intentioned. I see this especially broken when recording a song section and extending the Left and Right markers an extra measure, so as to capture the beginning and end of a performance.

you had previously raised the possibility of not recording to a click or even to bar/beat. fine, but then by definition you don’t care about the clips Tempo attribute at all, right? so that’s a non-case.

and before recently, when I started using Cubase composition features, like chord tracks and Key track, I didn’t ever bother with setting the Project key, let alone the key for recorded clips. but if you are using Cubase’s powerful transposition features like Chord Track and Key Track, those have to be set correctly, so that if you record that guitar part in the key of Am, say, but that’s the wrong key for the singer, you can change the Project key, and the guitar track is magically pitch shifted in real-time. Cool. BUT, for that to work, a) each audio track you want shifted has to be in Musical Mode, b) each recorded audio clip has to be set to Musical Mode (via the Pool, as the bug(s) I’m reporting here don’t set that flag, even for audio recorded to an Audio Track set to Musical Mode (bug!!!), and c) the Audio or MIDI Track must be set to track pitch (you probably don’t want this for drum tracks, say), d) the Project global Key setting must be set (recorded clips pick up this attribute so they can transpose if Project Key changes), and e) if you forgot to set the Project Key before you recorded those guitar parts, you have to set those tracks Key manually, before you change the Project Key to the new setting, and f) you may want to create a Transpose Track to see visually what’s going on - and you have to create the Transpose Track if you want key changes during the song.

So yeah, there are a lot of moving parts already. Having to go patch up bizarre clip settings in the Pool is problematic, to say the least, especially if they were recorded at different times, where the tempo or key were different than now. That would be no problem if the clips had the attributes from when they were recorded, but they don’t, so you have to go through each one and manually determine these values. PITA!!

SOS has some great articles about how to use these features. Here’s one on Transpose: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/cubase-transpose-track-tricks

Cubase is a very big program and has been around for literally decades. It is completely understandable that some leftover cruft is still there, and I maintain that the way recorded audio clips are assigned Tempo, Key, and Time Signature is likely left over from a previous era, before Cubase had these newer features, like Chord Tracks, etc. Whether or not that’s the case, it is broken, and it’s a damn shame, because it may keep people from using these powerful new composing & arranging features, which afaik are unique to Cubase, taken as a whole. i.e., it’s one more reason to stick with Cubase. But if they’re too much hassle to use, that reason goes away.

I totally agree with you, and I think Martin also knows you’re right - there is no valid argument for a recorded audio file to be given Cubase’s ‘algorithms’ tempo over and above the one from the projects settings.

I think these issues are also linked to Mediabay, as there are similar problems there with these data fields not being intelligently populated.

I agree this isn’t working like it should. While I haven’t properly tested this it seems to only happen for recordings made while looping. One-shot recordings seem to have the correct Tempo. When I loop record I’ll typically stop the recording close to the end of the loop, but it is never exact because it’s done manually. So the overall Audio File length is slightly off from X multiples of the loop length. I wonder if this is what causes the wrongly calculated Tempo setting for the file.

While it certainly is annoying having to set these values (and worse to forget and need to fix that later), the task itself takes like maybe 20s to do - open Pool, Select All, enter Tempo, set checkbox, done.

One thing that has always puzzled me, and maybe Martin has some insights here, is what should a file’s Tempo setting be when it is recorded over the course of a changing Tempo. Perhaps this is part of what’s behind the algorithms? For example say you have a prechorus that starts at 100 BPM but ramps to 104 BPM over the course of 8 bars. What is the proper Tempo for that file?

I played around with the tempo and recording in a test project. tried a bunch of variations using loop and punching out.

In every case a one-shot recording always had the the Tempo in the Pool set correctly to the Project tempo.

Every loop recording had the Pool Tempo set to “???”

I know from the past I’ve had Audio Files where the Tempo was automatically set in the Pool but was incorrect. I couldn’t find any circumstances where I could recreate that. I either got the correct Tempo or question marks. Only thing I can think is that in previous versions incorrect Tempos were assigned but now they’ve become “???”

Finally I used the Tempo Track to ramp from 120 to 126 over 4 bars to record a one-shot and its Tempo in the Pool got set to 123.45 - so average-ish, but I’d have expected 123.00 exactly and it ain’t that :question: :question: :question:

Yeah, I almost invariably record in loop mode, esp audio. On a current project, I changed the tempo - twice - after recording audio, and I had to really sleuth to fix up the attributes, e.g., sorting by time, auditioning, etc. PiTA, for sure.

The majority of the time I’m loop recording too. I’ve basically made it a habit to go into the Pool and set things properly immediately after a tracking session.