Technique: Count in to close off-tempo pause (MIDI)

Coming in (for overdubs, etc.) at the right time after a pause that isn’t an exact interval of the time signature can be challenging sometimes, especially if there has been a slowdown leading into the pause.

To supplement “practice, practice, practice”, what I’ve started doing recently is:

  1. Making sure the top grid is set to Bars and Beats.
  2. Drawing a MIDI note after the pause.
  3. Changing the top grid to minutes/seconds, selecting the MIDI note I just drew, and noting its length in the info line up top.
  4. Drawing a MIDI note of the same length at the end of the pause that touches the first post-pause note.
  5. Draw 1 or 2 more MIDI notes of the same length, each touching the note that comes after it.
  6. Then I set the top grid back to bars/beats.

Now, when doing overdubs the MIDI notes give a foreshadowing of the tempo of the post-pause section of the song. I will usually assign them to a VSTi instrument (bass guitar, or drumstick hits), to make the lead-in more musical.

Note: Every once in a while the newly-drawn MIDI notes will change length :astonished: . My original method to try to do this was to drag MIDI notes from after the pause into the pause, while still in Bars/Beats, and of course that changed their length if the tempo was different. I’m pretty sure the above steps get around that, but I saw something recently that made me question this, so I’m keeping an eye out for that still.

Anyone else who works with “off-tempo” pauses have other/better ways to help with the count-in?

PS: To do something similar in Audio - vic_france posted a solution some time back. Basically (iirc) it was to record a few notes in the post-pause section of the song(drumstick hits, snare, etc.), then drag it back to the end of the pause. That’s probably what I was thinking of when I started doing the above for MIDI.