Warping an entire song

Hi to all,
I’m coming from Ableton and I’ve issue with time warping in cubase 8.5 pro. I’ve read a lot of threads regarding warping and now I’m really confused. Maybe someone could help me.
In Ableton, to warp an entire song, usually I do the following:

  • import the track and set 1.1.1 marker at the beginning of the audio content
  • place a warp marker at the beginning of the track and one at the end
  • move the warp marker at the end to align the transients detected by Ableton to the grid
  • check the tempo of the clip to see if the detected bmp are what I’m expecting and use the metronome to check if everything is on time

Now with Cubase:

  • should I move the grid using Definition-Manual Adjust? This option makes a lot of sense to me, mainly because I can check the resulting tempo of the audio clip in the “Tempo” box near the signature and algorithm. Unfortunately with this method I haven’t a good result, my grid is always not aligned with the “main grid” of Cubase (see picture nr. 1)

  • should I use Audio warp-Free warp? With this option I think I can put a marker at the beginning and one at the end and align the transients to the grid. But how can I check the resulting bpm of the clip?

Thanks in advance for any kind of help!

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 20.28.33.png


The “main grid” is not in sync with the grid of the event, because your project has different Tempo, then the tempo of the audio file/loop. On the screenshot, I can see, Cubase found, the tempo of the audio loop is 117.97. Most probably your project has different tempo.

If you want to sync the tempo of the audio file with your project tempo, you can try to use automatic sync, ie. use Musical Mode.

If you want to do this manually, you can use Sizing Applies Time Stretch tool (under the Object Selection - arrow - tool) in the project window. Or use Audio Warp > Free Warp in the Sample editor.

Hello Martin, thank you for the reply. You were right about the project tempo, it was different from the audio clip.
At the end I think I’ve found a decent way to warping tracks:

  • I setup the grid using the bpm of the track. Unfortunately I haven’t found a good method to know the bpm using only grid adjustments like I’m able to do in Ableton. So I calculate the bpm using external software (like Traktor).

  • I move some transients, if needed, using free audio warp

The only think I can’t get is why I can’t put the track on time using the grid ONLY. It seems that, even the bpm of the track are ok, the grid itself doesn’t fit the track. I know that, in the tracks I’m using, there are no bpm change throughout the tracks.

Maybe this depends on the first beat of the track and the 1.1.1 definition? There is always some “silence” before the first beat… should I remove this or is there a way to definite the 1.1.1 beat?


Yes, remove the silence at the beginning. The ruler always starts at the beginning of the file (event), not from the very 1st beat.

If this is in an empty project another method you may want to have a play with is this:

Trim audio and place at bar 1, run tempo detection, set definition from tempo and then put audio file into musical mode and set desired tempo. The track will now follow any tempo adjustments or changes in a tempo track this way.

NB even in tracks with fixed BPM, there may be un-quantised material which will fool cubase into thinking there are changes in tempo.
If you are certain the tempo is fixed you can always match the grid to track rather than the other way around using time warp tool in project window.
Set tempo to what you think is correct. Select the time warp tool (Warp Grid) and play or scroll through the track looking at how the grid lines up to the beat. Add warp markers where you specifically want to lock the grid to the song and add and move to pull it into line where it begins to stray…with fixed tempo you may only need to correct a few times in the song due to small differences in clock speeds…you might even get away with setting a single warp on the last downbeat of the song.
Note that all you will be doing here is moving the grid to the track, not warping audio to match grid. You can still do this after by setting definition from tempo and setting musical mode for the file (in pool)…allowing to change tempo and have audio follow.

A combination of these methods can also be used to either match grid to totally free time material or to fix tempo of free played material. Personally with free played audio I always use timewarp rather than tempo detection as it retains some original feel between any corrections… Using tempo detection and then changing tempo moves every transient to the beat causing a more quantised feel.