Tempo Mapping Midi part - HELP!


I have a song I’m working on that has a midi piano part playing freely (no click) for the intro and then at bar 45 it locks to a tempo of 105. The song currently contains a freely recorded midi piano part, an additional midi guitar part, and recorded vocals over top. The midi piano part is straight 8ths, but its speeds up and slows down with the phrases, and now I would like to make a tempo map of the performance, but I cant seem to figure out how best to do it.

First off, I made sure that the project starts on the downbeat of bar 2 at a tempo of 105, which is good for the first few bars. Then, using the warp tool in the key editor for the piano part, I drag the beats to match the performance until bar 45, where it locks in with the 105 tempo.

However, the result when I playback is that the midi piano and audio vocals are in sync, yet my midi guitar tracks are COMPLETELY out of sync!! It seems the warp tool is mapping the performance for the midi piano part, but is actually changing how the midi guitar part plays back!!

Any idea what I’m doing wrong? I tried locking all the tracks before starting the tempo map as well, but this made it so the midi piano part was no longer in sync with the vocals. I’m at a loss on what to do!

edit: I think I might know what to do - lock all tracks EXCEPT the piano and then map. Going to try that now and will report back.

The guitar track should have been in time linear, not musical mode.

Ok, I think I understand. And the reason the vocal wasn’t effected was it is one long region, and thus did not experience any time shifts, right?

But before I go back and re-tempo map the whole thing again, what I’m worried about is what if I later discover that the whole song seems too fast and I want to slow it down, or maybe just speed up everything after bar 45. If I set the whole track to “time linear” mode wont that make it so tempo changes no longer have effect?

Maybe I’m better off not tempo mapping this song and just using my ears instead of the grid when adding new parts…

The vocal was in time linear or the straighten up box was checked for one or the other in the pool. You can toggle the setting for later editing.

Yep, but I’d say that the vocal part wasn’t effected because it’s a long part, which didn’t have any warp points in it :slight_smile:

I tend to do quite a bit of tempo mapping of live parts which aren’t to a click, that’s because I often take live rehearsal clips and arrange them into songs. My main method is to use Warp Tempo to match the tempo with the clip (say moved to the the far end of the project), then I use SetTempoDefinition on the audio part, which effectively sets up a bunch of warp points in the audio clip. Then I (save and) delete the tempo changes and the audio instantly goes in time with the new tempo of the song, works really well. When I’m writing and arranging all of my audio clips are in musical mode and I’m always freely adjusting the tempo to get what I need. I have to say that warp tempo and time-stretching etc is a godsend for arrangement and pre-production!!


Thank you for the reply Gargoyle, but I’m new to Cubase and do not follow exactly what your doing. Is it possible to use your method to tempo map an existing midi recorded part but still maintaing the flexibility of changing tempo later?

Going to play around today with tempo mapping and hopefully I stumble upon something that works. The manual is very vague when it comes to this stuff IMO, and searching youtube I come up with people tempo mapping very simply audio tracks and not free form midi recordings with accelerando and ritardandos.

I see the ability to toggle time base between musical and linear for audio tracks (the music note button) but I dont see it for midi tracks? I have multiple midi tracks and one audio track that I all need to read this new tempo map, so I’m assuming I need to put them all in time base before tempo mapping right? If so, when I’m done mapping and they all play back in sync with each other, can I then out the time base back to musical and it will still playback the same, but now allowing me to alter the tempos (which would effect audio and midi?)

Sorry for all the posts, but I may have figured out my problem. I’m looking to time warp in the key editor, and have it temporarily put ALL tracks (not just the one I have open in the midi editor) to linear time base so the tempo changes do not effect the performed parts, and when I’m done its back into musical mode so tempo changes DO effect all tracks. However, it seems that when I open the warp tool in the key editor, only the selected track is put into linear time mode, and the rest stay in musical mode!

Is there a way to make it so all the tracks in my project are in linear time mode while I tempo map?

Tracks can´t be set to musical mode - clips / events can. There is a difference between musical mode and musical timebase!

Tracks are in linear timebase.
If I understand your problem correctly, the way you should do it is:
-In the project window /Key editor use the timewarp tool (in standard mode) to determine the project tempo of by adjusting the bars / beats referencing the MIDI performance. At this point it does not really matter, what timebase the tracks are in, since you´re only creating a tempo map.
-When you´re finished with the tempo map, select the audio file - “advanced - set definition from tempo”.

That´s it. You now just have to make sure all tracks are in musical timebase and all audiofiles are in musical mode, (which will happen automatically when applying “set definition from tempo”) before changing tempo.´

Thanks for your post thinkingcap!! I tried your suggestion of tempo mapping in the project window, but thats throwing midi all over the place! For example, I have a bell part that starts on bar 14, and simply adding a warp grid on the piano track at bar 2 has moved this part all the way to the beginning of the song!!

So I am missing something fundamental I think, as I cant imagine this is how its suppose to work. Should I be locking my tracks first or something?

Can you send the project file…?

I’ve uploaded the project file pre tempo mapping. Of course it doesn’t contain the audio for the vocal track, but jus the project - thats not important as I’m really just trying to tempo map the midi. Maybe I should have changed the instruments playing the midi to Halion instruments so you could hear the part…sorry about that.

Let me start over explaining what I’m trying to do.

I started a song with a tempo of 105, but recorded midi NOT to a click so I could preform the part freely and with some artistic license. I then proceeded to record an audio vocal melody over top (by ear - no click obviously) as well as adding midi Guitar and now midi bells as well (I’ve actually replaced the piano with bells). The guitar & piano play from the beginning of the song, the new bell starts at bar 14. The audio vocal started recording at the beginning of the song and is one long take.

Now, liking how this song is taking shape and my midi performance, I’m looking to tempo map my midi piano performance so I can actually tighten up the vocals and bells to some sort of grid. Here are my steps.

  1. Drug all parts manually so the first note of the piano started on bar 2 beat 1 - song is still in sync with itself but not to a grid.
  2. Opened the piano part in the Key editor so I can better see how the notes relate to the grid.
  3. Activated the Time warp tool (in normal mode) and placed a marker at the downbeat of bar 2
  4. Tempo mapped the piano part in the key editor, working from left to right.

When I play back the piano part with the click its perfectly in sync! however, when I play back the piano with the rest of the tracks (midi guitar, midi bell, vocal audio) the vocals and piano are in sync but the midi guitar and midi bell are WAY OFF and not even close to being in sync!!! They start off in sync, but as soon as they hit one of the new tempo changes created by tempo mapping, they are no longer in sync with the piano. I bet this would also be true of vocals if it wasn’t one long recording.

What am I doing wrong?!
Heavens Door Cubase 1.2.5 tempo map test.cpr.zip (1.18 MB)

Sent you PM.

Assuming there’s nothing corrupt about the project file (which I’ve not downloaded) then you need to:

  1. turn every single track (midi and audio) to Linear Timebase (clock icon)
  2. in the pool un-check musical mode for all audio files
  3. set the WarpTime button to be WarpTime only (rather than ‘musical events follow’, click the small arrow below the button)
  4. then when you move the bar lines nothing will move in the project

I’d recommend switching the midi tracks to edit-in-place so you can see them in line with the bar line, and I personally use zoom horizontal in/out a lot to get the bar lines in the right place (as well as my ears on play-back).

Then when you have the metronome clicks in time with the music you can start to put things (or everything) back into musical timebase and maybe the audio into musical mode so if you change the tempo then they will follow.

[Beware that time-stretching audio may degrade the (quality of the) sound]


Thanks Mike, but it turns out the whole problem was with shared copies of my regions, or at least thats the current theory, as once thinkingcap turned these into real parts he was able to tempo map the first part, and I was able to continue off that file no problem.

I wonder if there is a bug in shared copies that causes tempo mapping to work oh so wrongly?

Hoh, that makes some sense in certain combinations of music mode and Time Warp because you’re effectively moving the bar-lines for one shared copy and therefore the others in the project will move their notes so they’re relatively the same to their bar-lines too… But, er, brain ache is setting in… I think we’ve found a useful tip, nice one TC!