warp tool or tap tempo for scoring to film?

Hey guys, I’m curious as to how you go about syncing your music to videos. Warp tool seems very time consuming, and sloppy, bars/measure constantly changing, and wouldn’t be ideal for a live orchestra. I’m sure I’ll become more comfortable in the future. On the other hand, in Logic, you can use tap tempo to find a median for your hit points, of course not every frame will be synced, but the majority will. I’m still not sure if cubase has this function.

Anyways I’m looking forward to some great responses here, I need a new technique and i can’t find in depth tutorials anywhwte


Cubase has a Tap Tempo feature.

Ok I’ll mess around with it when im at my computer. where can i find some tutorials on scoring to film with cubase. please feel free to share your experiences. thanks!

Any other tips?

Warp Tabs are best for getting free recording to a grid.

Right, but using warp also makes things inaccessable for a real orchestra

My top tip for scoring is be prepared to have trouble with the tempi!

There’s no sure-fire single way of doing it. Sometimes I play freely and just ignore the tempo entirely, sometimes I tap a beat to find a tempo and then quantize to that tempo, sometimes I add markers at key frames and then warp the tempo before playing, sometimes I play to any old tempo and then adjust it afterwards. It all depends on what the situation demands. Sometimes it gets really hard to work out the music between cues. Even worse if the edit is changed after I’ve done the music!

I wish that Cubase had nested projects with different tempi that could play at once in a main project, that’d solve most problems!

I don’t think using warp precludes a real orchestra, after all they understand Rits, Rals, Accelerandos etc. and they follow the conductor. And nowadays they even follow click tracks.


The only thing is that the warp tool changes the tempo of the piano roll/sequencer constantly, how is one supposed to make music flow this way? This is great if you’re just adding sound effects and what not, but is there something I’m missing something? Is there a way to make these hit points with WARP and not have the piano roll all manipulated?

You can choose per track whether it follows the tempo when you change it or whether it doesn’t. It’s the button which looks like either a Clock or a Note (Toggle Timebase between Musical and Linear). If you can’t see it then look in the inspector or change TrackControlSettings.

So, if you want to change the tempo but have a midi track stay exactly the same then select Linear mode (the clock) and change the tempo. The midi will stay as it is in that track. Also applies to audio tracks, and in fact all types of tracks. You can swap and change this setting as you need. For example, if you free play a midi part then warp time to fit the midi part (in linear mode), then you can actually put the midi part into Musical mode then delete the tempo and your midi part goes to a metronome style timing - sometimes better than using quantize.


I see what you mean, the piano roll now has a set tempo and doesn’t change with the hit markers, only the sequencer does. I pressed the note to the left of the sequencer, but now when I toggle back to musical the piano roll still has a set tempo.

Also now it’s still not possible to play to a click track, since it’s constantly changing, and the grid within the piano roll is still so altered it will take perfect and erratically playing. Despite the speed remaining consistent.

I wish there was a way to mute the new tempo, and make another click track with the new relative tempo, if that makes sense.

I’m a little confused about what you’re trying to say in the post I quoted above, but I’m sure the answer to your questions are found in the following video:

Not all of it will pertain to your problem, but bare with it. It’ll be worth your time :slight_smile:


nice video, but what I mean is that regardless of how steady the click track is now the grid in the piano roll or sequencer is going to be still altered in order to make the video markers hit points work. the man in the video didn’t really alter the grid, this seems very useful while editing audio samples, I’ll try to mess with things when I’m at my computer, hopefully it will be the answer to my dilemma, thank you

If you add what has been suggested so far (using the Warp Tool and also the Stretch Tool under the Select Tool) with the techniques shown in the video, there’s really nothing you couldn’t accomplish. You do need to play around with these tools and see how they work in order to really understand their potential though. And I’m sure that will be the case for you once you’ve tried them :slight_smile:

Take care!

What I was trying to say is that It’s great how you can set your tracks to linear or time based, that way when I set hit makers the piano roll’s cursor doesn’t speed up, or slow down. But I still find it pretty difficult to play to the click track. No matter what you do, you will always HEAR the click track speeding up or slowing down, and the grid will be altered as well.
Despite the cursor remaining the same speed, or trying to set time measures, I just can’t seem to grasp the concept of syncing midi to film.

What would be great, is that if I could make a click track of the STEADY CURSOR, and if I could mute the new conformed click tempo, if there’s a way to do that I would be ecstatic.

Is it possible to talk to some one via AIM, msn, or skype? I would be extremely grateful.


You can do this by setting the piano track to time base (clock) mode and record on a track set to Musical Mode. Make sure that you change the Metronome to “Fixed” and set the desired tempo. Once you’re done recording you can set everything back to Musical Mode and enable the Tempo Track (i.e. dissable “Fixed” on the Transport) so that the music follows the drawn tempo again. That should give you the results you want.


This isn’t really working out for me, I’ve been at it for a week now and no progress.

What I did so far is this, keep in mind my cursor is at a steady 120bpm.

  1. Import video file
  2. Add instrument track
  3. Line up instrument track to all the hit points to the video, using warp, in fixed mode. Also set that track to linear (clock) mode when finished warping

I wasn’t able to record a click track in cubase, I don’t understand how to set up it’s I/O’s in vst connections. It’s not as intuitive as pro tools. So I recorded a click at bpm of 120 in protools, bounced it, and imported to an audio track in cubase, since the cursor is at a steady 120bpm originally (opposite of fixed tempo mode)
This didn’t work, no matter in musical or linear mode.

I’m extremely frustrated :S

I think we must be misunderstanding what your saying, and your misunderstanding us. I write music to videos occasionally and granted it can be a bit of work to match the tempo sometimes but it’s not that tricky. So, re-reading your posts I think that you might be trying to use the tempo map incorrectly as a way of getting the video hitpoints into the project window, whereas it is actually for providing a click for the music. If this is how you’re trying to use it then I’d suggest you use a marker track instead to mark video events. Not as good because they don’t permeate the project window like the tempo map but that’s what I do. Then I use snap-to-event, or I adjust the tempo map in a musical way to match the hitpoints.

And, we’ve asked before, but you can’t render the click track terribly easily. I think the only way is to create a new audio track and set it’s inputs to be the outputs of the click (e.g. main outs) and then record it in real-time. Make sure nothing else is playing of course.

Another way to create a click track is to use a VSTi and play it with midi, e.g. GroovAgent with two click sounds loaded into it. Then you’d create a midi tick-tock track and duplicate it for as long as you need. Can be a big advantage this way because you can control the beats easily as the song goes on, e.g. triplets, quadruplets, compound time, etc.


It seems to me that it’s been hard for people to suggest what to do (apart from telling you what tools are available) because it’s hard to see exactly what you’re trying to achieve. I get the impression that you have different strands of music playing simultaneously at different tempi, and with some parts containing a MIDI recording of a natural performance, including naturally varying tempo, but that the recording was made ignoring the Cubase metronome - you can decide whether or not to let it stay unrelated to Cubase’s metronome.

Was your reason for considering the warp tool that you wanted to make the grid line up with your MIDI recording? - ie was it that you had a freely played recording and wanted to make the grid match the recording (ie to get Cubase’s bar lines in the right places)? If you do that when the original recording was played with a natural varying tempo, then, of course, Cubase’s tempo will be adjusted to reflect the varying tempo of the original performance, yielding a click of correspondingly varying speed.

If the original variation in tempo is what you want to continue hearing, any further musical tracks added in time with the original recording will have to follow the varying tempo of the original recording - whether or not you’ve made Cubase’s tempo align with the original recording. Alternatively, you can edit the tempo track however you want (after aligning Cubase’s grid with the performance) - eg to make the pulse regular, but then you’ll lose the natural timing of the original performance. Or, as said in an earlier post, you can temporarily switch off the tempo track to make the speed constant.

Cubase can only have one musical tempo at a time - though (probably using linear mode to prevent unwanted tempo changes), you can overlay tracks with their own constant or varying individual tempi, but, of course, no more than one of a set of diverse tempi can be reflected at one instant in Cubase’s tempo track.

FWIW, one option is to let freely recorded MIDI parts retain their natural tempi, unrelated to the Cubase tempo. You then have the option to alter the speed of all simultaneous parts by editing Cubase’s tempo track. Also, you can stretch or compress individual MIDI parts by using Logical Editor to alter the note lengths and timing, though that’s rather fiddly.

Another thing to do is to isolate each ‘scene’ or ‘theme’ into a separate project at it’s own tempo, then you’d join them together freeform later.


My reason for using warp is to align the cue’s of the video where I set my markers (scene changes) to the sequencer/grid/piano roll. I’m not trying to warp my actual midi notes after free playing, just the grid in the piano roll/sequencer to correspond to the markers, but this makes the tempo change since I have to be in fixed mode. I also set my midi/pianoroll track to the clock so the cursor is set to the original NON fixed tempo, and is steady, which atm is 120bpm.
I thought after doing this I could just import a 120bpm click track from protools, but they still don’t correspond because when i go back to fixed tempo, the click track from protools doesn’t follow the cursors of course.
I don’t have any tempo changes right now, or time measures, simply markers and then warped the grip to them.

Even if I could get a steady click track with the steady cursor, which is 1/10th of the problem, I’m still going to have issues with the grid being different sizes in different sections.
I’ve also tried having a midi track in linear mode to follow the non fixed tempo (120bmp) but it wasn’t working out.

I’ll try to apply more of your help when I get home!
Is it possible to speak with any of you via skype or teamviewer?
Shocking there are no video tutorials of this, thorough ones anyways.