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Michael McBroom

Writing using "free meter?"

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I'm working on a piece for classical guitar in which meter is more of a suggestion than a rule, and I want to keep this open, free sort of expression in an arrangement i'm interested in writing. Classical players call this sort of thing 'tempo rubato.'  What I want to do is record the piece using this free meter and then add orchestration to it, using MIDI instruments.

I've never used it before, but it seems to me that the View|Tempo control might work well for this. I don't know if "well" is the best word here, but at least it appears that it will get the job done, unless there's another way to go about this -- hence my reason for posting this note. So, if you were to attempt an arrangement in which the tune's meter was just a suggestion, how would you go about achieving your goals?

 

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Personally I would first try dragging the clip of your guitar recording into the timeline and CbB automatically generates a tempo map.  If that doesn't do a good enough job try using Audio Snap.  Select the guitar clip, activate Audio Snap by pressing Alt+A, click the power button on the Audio Snap palette.  Markers will be generated at each transient, you can adjust how many are generated by the threshold.  In the Tempo field of Audio Snap click on 'Set Project  From Clip'.  This will generate a tempo map for your project.   Melodyne can also do the job but I haven't tried that.  Cheers.

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yeah the auto meter thing isn't how I'd go about it probably, if you're looking for sheet music as an outcome.

Honestly, I'm not sure Cakewalk is the best for sheet music.

But let's say you really want to use Cakewalk. I would record the piece and then go back and find the notes and set the measure and beat

Cake will draw the tempo map

wherever you need to bend the tempo to better match

set the exact beat for various notes

That sounds like what you'd want. Sounds like you've got time and want to do a nice job of having the midi match what you played including tempo variations.

This is kinda old school, but works precisely.

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Thanks for the responses, guys. I'm still digesting what y'all have written, but it sounds like a plan. Tonemangler, I won't be dragging the clip into Cakewalk. I plan on recording the guitar in Cakewalk. Then I'll do what I need to do to fit an orchestral arrangement. Gswitz, I'm not concerned about using CW for sheet music generation, if that's what you're getting at, although I could. I was planning on just writing the score out by hand once I'd finished the project, but you know, I have the sheet music for the original tune, so I don't see why I can't fit the orchestration into the score. I just need it to sound free and not confined by a tight meter is all.

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If you share the piece with me, I could auto generate some pretty good sheet music for you. It won't be perfect, but you could use it as a starting place. I'll hand you back the cakewalk project with the midi etc.

 

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I'm also into this free from grid type of recording in some cases.
There are ways to even keep midi recordings not aligned to any grid by selecting timebase and anchor not being musical so it never follow any tempo changes you do unless you want to.
And if you want later, to simplify some editing - you can align grid to material you select.
- pick a position in time, and set which bar is starting there
- but see to that any midi stuff that was recorded earlier is not musically aligned(set by track or clip even)

Maybe just make markers anchored in time, not bars/musical - on some places to guide and for quick navigation.

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Posted (edited)

I use a drawing tablet and map the tempo by hand drawing in the tempo listening to the click.  This way the tempo is conducted by you. You can even automate the click to be silent in certain places.  It’s very easy to accomplish what you’re needing.  You’ll get better with practice.  It’s also easy enough to adjust meter as well.

Edited by Blogospherianman

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Thanks again for all the valuable info. It looks like, once one knows what one is doing, trying to accomplish what I want shouldn't be all that difficult. Great news!

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