I did some score work for a video project. The tracks were composed in Cubase to a grid at 85 BPM. For arrangement reasons, I needed to import the video into Cubase so I could align my composition to editing cues. With all the arranging and cue alignment done, I now need to clean up my tracks for mixing. Problem is, I’m off the grid now.
My solution was to use the Time Warp tool to warp the grid between my musical cues in a manner that brings the music events back into alignment with the grid. This is a relatively simple process, though somewhat laborious on a 45-minute project with a couple dozen cues. However, there are some problems with this.
Namely, you have to be using a tempo track for this. That’s not a problem in and of itself, but if you happen to accidentally grab one of the tempo nodes and move it over, or if you manually change its value in the Info line (or accidentally scroll your mousewheel over it), or if you delete a node, there’s good chance you’ve just ruined the alignment of tracks in your project. The default Time Warp tool warps the grid beneath your audio by creating nodes on the tempo track, leaving your events untouched. But, edits to the nodes on the tempo track themselves CAN cause your audio events to move in response. Furthermore, if you have any tempo nodes AFTER the one you just edited, they will now be misaligned.
I had to discover all this the hard way. I time-aligned my grid in reverse order starting at the end and working backwards. The Time Warp tool moves the grid in fine increments down to .001 of a beat, which naturally inclined me to reach for the “value” tab within the info line to type in a round number. I spent a couple hours meticulously aligning the grid all my audio cues only to find out that each entry in the value tab was offsetting the rest of the project behind me by exactly as much thus undoing all my work. What’s more, I found that the audio events in Musical Mode naturally responded in kind to every tempo offset entry, and now roughly half the tracks throughout the entirity of this project are horrifically misaligned.
This has almost ruined my entire project. At the very least, it’s caused me a dozen or so hours of tedious manual track alignment.
So, what did I do wrong here? Was there a better, easier way to go about this? Also, why doesn’t Cubase make it harder for you to ruin your entire project?