Tempo mapping problem

I am attempting to Tempo Map a recorded version of the 2nd movement of a Rachmaninoff Concerto with the hope that I can later get a different audio track (i.e., Music Minus One version of this same movement) to play back at the same tempo as the recorded version. Then, I will mix my piano part with it.

I am using Cubase 9 Pro (9.0.20).

I did a tempo detect on the recorded audio file. Of course, Cubase sets the tempo track time signature to 1/4. I left it that way so that I could mark every beat. I go to the time warp tool and then play back the audio and move the time warp markers to correspond to every beat. I found that during the process, I would periodically have to move a bunch of “downstream” markers (beyond where I am working) to the right (corresponding to the maximum tempo Cubase allows which is 300) to create room for the markers that I was working on. I have done 10:30 (I am at marker 590) out of 12:18.

According to the info line, the movement ends at 1124.1.4.83. My problem is that all of the remaining warp markers (from 590 up to 1124) are already as far to the right as possible. The Music Minus One file is in the project and is longer than the recorded track (it was recorded at a slower tempo). In theory, I can move markers beyond 1124 to the right. So, I do what I have been doing and move everything up to 1600 to the right. I have the project saved with 1135 to 1600 moved to the right (i.e. tempo set at 300). Then, I can move 1127 to 1135 to the right with no problems. As soon, as I touch marker 1126, the screen “flashes” (i.e., the warp markers jump) and the tempo is solid from 590 to 1600 at 300 leaving me no room to finish the tempo map from 590 to the end of the movement.

It has taken me many hours to do this and I would like to finish it. Is there any way to salvage this situation without losing the work I have already done? Is there a way to tell Cubase that there are fewer markers than 1124 so that the remaining markers can be stretched out to tempos less than 300? Would it help to glue another piece of audio to the end even though it has not been tempo detected?

Thank you for any help.

I tried gluing more audio to the end and it didn’t work. Same behavior. As son as you move tempo marker 1126 to the right the space is filled in with markers at 300 tempo and I am locked out of moving anything.

Does deleting some of the tempo markers help? I not infrequently run into the 300 BPM issue, and deleting helps me in those circumstances.

I am certainly willing to give deleting a try. However, I am new to this and I am not exactly sure how to do it. The manual says something about holding the ALT key while selecting a marker or drawing a box around a group of markers. When I tried that I am not sure that anything happened. Would you please give me the details of how to do that.

I hold SHIFT, put the mouse cursor up where the tempo events are, and it turns into the eraser icon. Then I click on the tempo points I want to delete.

Thank you for the instructions alexis. While holding the SHIFT key I was able to delete tempo events. Unfortunately, the numbered division still exists in the same spot which means that no “space” is created and nothing is moveable.

However, I did discover that if I look at a listing of the existing tempos by position (either in the inspector or the browser) and I change one event at 300 BPM to a lower number, say 100 BPM, it does create room to move the divisions.

So my “last” question at this point is: Does anyone know a way to change multiple 300 BPM tempo events to 100 BPM in an automated way? Can it be done with a logical editor?

For the next time, to avoid the 300 BPM next time (it’s been a while, hope I get this right):

  1. Set the tempo closer to the approximate final project tempo - before doing any tempo mapping (or recording).

  2. If you have a project already recorded at a tempo very far from the final tempo (which I find the main situation that resulted in those 300 BPM points), change the project tempo to something closer to the final one before starting things tempo mapping. You’ll (iirc) need to turn musical mode off (audio tracks), and switch all tracks from Linear Timebase to Musical Timebase before changing the project tempo (before tempo mapping).

Definitely do this on a renamed dummy version of the project, as it’s been a while since I’ve had to do this, and might not have it completely right.

Thank you for the advice, alexis. I will keep it in mind. If I can achieve the results that I want mixing MIDI with the tempo warped audio, I will be doing this many more times in the future.

I’m not sure if this will help you, but it sounds like you’re not using the Tempo Detection ‘features’…

You should do the warping corrections within the Tempo Detection tool, i.e. with the Panel still up on the screen. Once you’ve analysed then the cursor changes to TimeWarp, but the tempo detection is still ‘active’. Therefore you can play through and warp the bars to the music and each time you warp a barline then Cubase will recalculate the following warp markers. Thus you don’t end up with a load hanging around at the end because they get recaluclated every time. In fact, the two buttons at the bottom right of the Tempo Detection Panel control which way Cubase recalculates, forward or backward in the music. By default this is forward, which is what you’d want.


Thank you, GargoyleStudio. You are correct, I had closed the Tempo Detection Panel after the initial Tempo Detection was done. I will certainly give your suggestion a try.

The feature is not obvious, I found out this almost by accident while watching a video about something else in Cubase!! Which is a pity because it makes the tempo mapping tool way more effective.