Ritandos: what's your technique?

I record non-click track songs, usually with a ritando for effect, usually at the end of a measure, to act as an emotional break in the song.

What I ideally do is keep the ritando in the same measure, or sometimes put it at the start of its own measure, but either way the tempo of that measure is very slow. As I use VST drums, I find I have to turn them off in that measure, and program them by hand in that “slow” measure.

So all this takes a few steps. It’s not the end of the world of course, but I was wondering, how do other people do ritandos?


I create a ritardando by drawing a descending line in the tempo track. For pauses and fermatas I insert a short, drastically slower tempo change that immediately returns to “a tempo”. Normally percussion will follow the tempo change so it isn’t an issue for me. An upside is that I keep notation correctly rendered.

So I guess we use similar techniques. :slight_smile:

I’d go about it the opposite way around :wink:
It involves a bit of live playing, so, if you can (or wish to :wink: ), play your rall in realtime (ignoring the metronome), or “tap out” your rall in beats in realtime on a separate track (ignoring the metronome), then use the TimeWarp tool, to line up the bars/beats grid to your live playing, thus creating a tempo track that fits it.

What about tapping the tempo? I’ve never tired in Cubase but liked that feature in Notion.

Can’t be done in Cubase, unfortunately.

Yes, that is what I do, use the Time Warp tool.

I wish there were a way to somehow suspend Cubase’s knowledge of the tempo track during the slowdown, I can’t see any use for it (the VST drums don’t sound good slowing down that much, and to be honest the “intro” to the post-slowdown measure, in the last measure of the ritando, is usually at the tempo of that subsequent measure - not a thing to do with the tempo of the slow-down measure).

I hope that makes some sense, it’s hard to describe clearly.

If I am understanding correctly, yes, that happens to me too, sometimes. Normally, all I need to do is delete the last tempo event.