Tempo Problems and Song Creation\Recording


I’m a nube to the Forum and a bit technically challenged when it comes to understanding all the power and capability of my Cubase 7.5. But I love Cubase. WOW. I’ll buy 8 after I can get my act better together with 7.5. Here’s my issue and some thoughts on how to address my problem but would really appreciate some input from Cubase users who have more experience with song creation and tempo:

I write most of my music at home. I am currently writing a song which will include vocal. harmonies, acoustic gtr, electric guitar, bass, drums at the minimum.

I record everything live using audio tracks, except for drums or synths which use EZ Drummer (midi) and Halion SE.

On a recent song, I started with the drums ( identifying a good tempo) laying down the midi events (Cubase created the midi track) as I pulled samples to the project screen. At this point, I had not created a Tempo map. Next I recorded audio (vocal and guitar). Nothing was recorded in musical mode (audio) or musical timescale (midi). It was just recorded “plain” or linear mode I guess. I played it back and it sounded great. But I wanted some changes in tempo in the chorus…so I read the manual and created a Tempo Map with mild changes at the chorus from 72 BPM to 75 BPM. I set everything to musical mode for audio and musical timescale for midi and now: EVERYTHING SOUNDS OUT OF TEMPO. No idea how to get all of this synced up again. So, before starting all over I thought Id ask for some help. Here are some thoughts I have about setting up a procedure to do this the same way each time and eliminate such headaches, and would really appreciate some help.

  1. Set up my templates so that the project is set up to record a vocal, guitar, bass, etc. reference audio tracks that have a variable tempo (i.e played without a click). I have tried clicks and find them difficult to focus on when I’m into the music. (First question is do I record musical mode or linear mode?)

2.Next: Determine the average BPM of the project. Create a Tempo Map.

  1. Next: Select the reference track or tracks, play back audio using the tempo track, make sure the bars/beats along with the click line up perfectly to the reference audio.

  2. Next lay down midi drums. it is easy to finds drum sounds I like but difficult to align them to the audio after audio is recorded. That why I started with Midi Drums in the current song I am working on. Not sure of the best way to approach this…just info. (Should I lay the drums out in musical timeframe or linear timeframe?)

  3. Convert the drums to audio.

  4. Now warp the audio so that it lines up with a fixed tempo track. (NO IDEA HOW TO DO THIS. IT’s NEW TO ME. I FEEL WARPED HOWEVER :mrgreen: ) The fixed tempo would be the average tempo of the tempo track.

  5. Next, apply the function “Set definition from tempo” to all of the audio.

  6. Next turn the tempo track on, select all the tracks, type the desired fixed tempo in the Transport bar, and the audio will play back at that steady tempo. RIGHT???

Does that sound like how to go about it? Thanks for your advise and counsel. My apologies if beforehand if I’ve explained it incorrectly.



Was hoping for some help. Guess that’s not going to happen. Won’t waste my time doing this again.

Hi JoMark and welcome to the forum.
As you are seeing there are many ways to approach this in Cubase, So here are my 2 cents.
Since you are looking to create music that ultimately has a basically steady pulse, it would be a lot easier to record to either a click or (even better) a scratch drum groove. Your tracks must be in musical time base (the little note). Everything gets recorded onto places in relation to beats and measures. Then you can always alter the tempo down the road. You audio has to be in Musical mode.
Musical Mode and musical timebase are not the same thing in Cubase.

If you like to record you initial tracks without any click or drum beat, Cubase can put it into tempo with Tempo Detection, as long as the track is reasonable straight-foward. that function is the the project menu. I guess you will experiment and see which works better for you.
I don’t record audio much - 99% midi here. But there are some very experienced users here that will help you get going.

Check out some of the links in my sig, sorry will try to post more later, but maybe that can get you started in addition to the good advice Philskeys gave.

My tanks to you both. I’ve done a lot of research and review since I posted and Cubase is amazing simply because of the many tools it provides…even the Quantize box which I’m sure can solve my problem once I understand how to make midi and audio link together. Time warp and audio warp are also great tools, if you understand how to use them. From what I’ve read, it looks like it’s better if everything is rendered to audio first. It almost seems better to work only in one platform…but I’m learning and will continue to do so. Thank you for your time and your thoughts.I’ll check out the links you provided alexis. And thank Philskeys for your advice.