Time aligning Grids

Guitar Pro 8 features the importing of audio files and aligning the beats with a few mouse clicks, just sliding beat markers over a waveform. It is non destructive, as you can lock desired markers by doubleclicking on their positions and move only in between markers at will. You can change marker positions later on, not affecting already done edits. The notation editor syncs to it no problem while you can navigate on the audio wave form or in the notation editor…

How to apprach this in more advanced DAWs? I heard the notation section in Cubase is good.

I also heard that DAWs stem from the idea of aligning MIDI onto a fixed(?) audio click. The traditional way of aligning music is approached rather in dynamic and tempo changes, so working in a DAW appears to be anachronistic by its design.

Here´s some workarounds:
How to adjust human (live) music performance to a grid, for adding arrangement (additional instruments) et al later on?
Imagine also a solo piece played in a first take to be orchestrated and due to the high quality of a performer of course not to be time-“fixed” by straightening it to a given click of a DAW or so…

There are italian operas out there with 3 hours running time. The trap can be that beat aligning errors could not be fixed on the longer run, due to misplacing a grid at a certain stage. The locking of audio markers and their non destructive behaviour will be crucial in a DAW in that perspective.

How to handle any traditional music performances in that regard?
I was surprised not to find much tutorials from a traditional perspective to approach music software (??) I would love to see how to manage larger projects time aligning wise, while my impression is that it is not the easiest thing to do assuming mere dragging around markers on a waveform would seem to be no real problem…

After attempts in some DAWs I hope that Cubase ist good at that, not been diving too deep yet.



In Cubase, you can Free Warp Audio to change the timing. You can also make a Grid out of the audio or MIDI recording. Then all tracks can be quantized to this custom grid.

Myself, I’m using the Soft Quantize in Cubase, which doesn’t quantize to the Grid to 100%. You can set the quantize value. This keeps my life feeling and makes the music tighter to the Grid. For me, the ideal solution.

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Thanks for your quick response, Martin!!

Say, I would need additional or less bars in some middle section: Can Cubase handle that vs allowing only non destructive beat editing from left to right with no chance to fine tune already edited sections on the left in the Arrange Window later on?



Then change the Signature to setup 3/4, 3/8 or 5/4, 7/8 Signature, etc.

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that is my concern here:
so you can´t add or delete bars keeping the surrounding arrangement intact?


How exactly should it look like, please?

You can make (for example) the 5-Tuplets to get 5 equal lengths instead of 4, if you want to. They are faster, of course. Is this what you are searching for?

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Yeah, you can do the same stuff in Cubase.

In Cubase, like many other DAWs, you can align the musical grid (bars and beats) to audio or you can change the timing of the audio to the musical grid.

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If I understand you correctly, and I am not sure I do, you can do all that in Cubase.


Thank you for all the input and experience!!
Can I insert additional bars inside a project while keeping the surrounding edits of a grid intact, where MIDI/Audio arrangement is already complete? Of course the inserted measures will have a faster tempo in case, which does not matter as the arrangement/composition process at those particular spots is to be started. However it is crucial to not destroy already edited and finished sections of a grid.

Yep, you can do that, too.

Cubase changes the grid by means of tempo and signature. In the Pro version of Cubase there is a dedicated editor for this kind of work, the Tempo Editor.

You can insert bars or delete bars without affecting edits before that area or after it.
Here’s a link to the manual of that section for further reading.

There are some more ways to work on “time” in Cubase. This is just one of them.


Great info!
I guess that this menue is the heart for my question in Cubase. This is very helpful. I would dive into it over the next time. The securing surrounding areas is not easy to find in other DAWs or a wider workaround as far as I could investigate it at least for the time being…

Again, THX!!

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