Stretch or synchronize a recorded voice audio file with the tempo/timeline in Cubase recorded

Hello, I have watched a lot of video’s about tempo changes, tempo synchronization etc. but still can’t find the answer I want, so I try it here in the forum.

What is my problem:

I have an external single female voice audio file (not just a clip, but the whole song of an existing song) which I want to use in a new created Cubase project. The tempo of this audio file is about 88 bpm.

But here is my problem:

The whole song of the audio fle is not recorded with a metronome, so in some parts of the recorded audio file, the voice timeline is not synchronized with the fixed tempo of the other tracks I created in Cubase. At some points the recorded voice starts too soon in relation with the Cubase tempo.

The imported audio track is just one whole track, not splitted in multiple audio parts.

My question is:

How can I align the whole recorded audio file with the fixed tempo (bpm) of the other (in Cubase) created tracks in such way that the voice always is exactly aligned/synchronized with the timeline/tempo of the cubase tracks.

I really hope someone can help me,

Many thanks in advance

Hello Bart, welcome!

Please watch this video from Dom very carefully. He describes this procedure magnificently.

Once you have done the tempo mapping of the voice, and you are confident that “yes, the vocal falls on the beats of proper bars, it’s just that the rest of the music is missing”, you can import the tracks from the other project (if all bars and beats are taken care of and agree with each other, everything should fall into place correctly). I understand that you have already recorded the music without having the vocal itself?

Hi Ggmanestraki,

Thanks for your reply, I will look at it with patience.

And no I didn’t had the recording first.

I will explain what I am trying to do and what I did so far:

I have an old recording of a complete song (instruments and voice) which I created 25 years ago with Cakewalk. I don’t have the original recording anymore, but I still had an audio file (wav) of the whole song.
With a special tool I sperated the voice from the background music, after the seperation I had two audio files, one with only the background music and one with only the voice (of a female singer).
And the quality of the single voice audio is pretty good (which I can tweak better with using the right plugins).

I imported the 2 audio files in Cubase (into 2 tracks). I first found out the tempo (bpm) of the background track (which is 88 in this case).
The song consist of 6 parts: Intro, couplet, intermezzo, chorus, second couplet and finally the outtro. There are no tempo changes in the song.

Based on the tempo and the metronoom of Cubase I started to record the intro with some instruments, then I started the couplet only with a piano and a drum, then the intermezzo, so far so good (in relation with the BPM of both the imported audio and the new recorded track. But when the audo file (the one with the voice) started to sing the chorus part, then the female voice was a bit to fast in relation with the BPM of Cubase.

So I need to fix the part which starts with the chorus to synchronize/align with the beat of Cubase.

What I have just done is using Audacity to split the whole audio file (the one with the singing voice) into 6 parts . I just imported all these 6 splitted parts in Cubase and will try to synchronize or stretch the one which starts with the chorus. At this moment I am not sure how to do this, but I guess this will be easier (using parts of an audio file) to align with the beat, then just a part of a whole audio track.

Do you think this is a good approach to reach my goal?


@ggmanestraki suggestion is the way to go. But it is kind of flipped around from what seems intuitive.

Dom doesn’t initially warp the Audio at all. Instead he warps the Grid so it follows all the Tempo changes which occur in the vocal recording. Once that is done he sets the Audio File’s Tempo Definition to these Tempo changes. This means the file knows where it is playing at 88 BPM and then a bit later at 89.3 BPM etc. Once the Audio’s Tempo Definition is correctly set you can turn off the Tempo Track and use a fixed Tempo which the Audio will now follow.

I’m currently using this technique in a Project and it works amazingly well.

Yes, but this the step where you either choose to do a lot of work, or just somework after scratching your head for a little bit.

To put it into musical terms. The whole song IS in a fixed tempo, ok. But in the chorus, it’s poco più mosso. Now, if that acceleration is deemed proper, if it fits the song, if you want it, the easiest thing to do would be to “inform” Cubase that the tempo actually changes there, even by just a bit. You do that by warping the grid. But the bars of the song remain the same, so that all your MIDI that you have written automatically follow the speedup. Case one closed.

But if you want to keep it steady, and not have any fluctuation at all, you could either cut the voice into little little pieces that you will later have to align to the music manually, which is a lot of work (and the equivalent of having the singer obey forcefully to the tempo), oooorrr you can still do the same procedure that we’re talking about, and as @raino said, write the tempo definition to the file, after which you can delete the tempo events and have Cubase keep the voice on a metronomic leash automatically, because it will do away with the più mosso part. No cuts and stictches needed!

Hi Guy’s,

Thanx for all your tips, but after I have cut the vocal audio file in multiple pieces ( among them, the first chorus part) I found out that only the first chorus vocal was off beat (bpm).
The other pieces after the first chorus were perfect on beat.

So I manually (grid off of course) tried to move the chorus part a little bit forwards (in line with the Cubase instruments) and now I have a perfect BPM between the first chorus part and the BPM of Cubase.

A second profit to do this, is that I now can easily use the harmonics option to create a second vocal on the chorus part.

And a third profit is that I now got rid of the empty spaces between the different vocal parts.

Using Audacity, it was easy to split all those vocal audio parts and importing them in Cubase.

Thanks for your help!