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winkpain

Melodyne and tempo - continuing issues [half-SOLVED]

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[Only my second problem, which developed as this post progressed, is solved. The Follow Host Tempo issue remains.]

I am trying to get an understanding of how Melodyne integrates with CW, specifically regarding tempo.

With the ARA integration I understood that it should be fairly seamless in the CW environment. However, working with a track recorded without click and having its natural (but not drastic) fluctuations, I am having what seem serious issues. I do the following:

  • Choose the track and create the Melodyne Region
  • Melodyne analyzes the tempo
  • I listen within Melodyne to its native click which varies with my recorded track and it's spot on
  • I then "Confirm" Melodyne's tempo detection and choose for this clip to Follow Project tempo so that Melodyne  will adjust the clip to follow whatever tempo that I choose within CW. This is as instructed in the manual which then says:
Quote

This triggers Melodyne’s time-stretching and the tempo of the audio file is adjusted to match that of the song. Typical application: You are using an audio file (the
tempo of which you do not know) and simply wish it to match that of the song

This however makes no changes to the Melodyne clip and its tempo and Cakewalk's tempo are not in sync and playback stutters like mentioned below.

I can, in fact, only get the expected corrected tempo results if I:

  • first apply the Melodyne detected tempo map to the project
  • THEN tell Melodyne to Follow Host Tempo
  • and THEN adjust the tempo variations within CW in order to have the clip follow these new tempos

However, at this point the playback of the project begins to fail utterly, without any dropouts or halting of the audio device, but the playback stutters with clicks and pops and visual stuttering of the playback head as well. This in a new project with only this one clip of about 6 seconds, no other current tracks, no VSTs added, and an ASIO buffer size of 1024. It is repeatable after closing, reopening, and starting fresh again.

I can say that if, after the second process above and even though playback through Melodyne is corrupted, I can Bounce to Clip to commit the Melodyne adjustments and then the clip plays back fine and as expected. But surely CW should be able to playback the Melodyne clip with just a few subtle tempo adjustments!

I have poured over the manuals, I do not see what else I should be doing. What is it I am missing??

 

Edited by winkpain
Clearer info

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59 minutes ago, winkpain said:

...and THEN smooth out the tempo variations that had been applied to the project to a constant tempo within CW

How do you smooth out the tempo changes in Cakewalk?

To extract tempo from a clip you need to drag the clip onto time bar.

 

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2 minutes ago, chris.r said:

How do you smooth out the tempo changes in Cakewalk?

To extract tempo from a clip you need to drag the clip onto time bar.

 

Two separate things. 

Extracting the tempo by dragging the clip to the time bar is what I meant above by, "first apply the Melodyne detected tempo map to the project". That is not a problem, in fact it works quite well. This is making Cakewalk "follow" the tempo of the clip so to speak.

The issue is if I want to then alter the tempo of the Melodyne clip to follow the tempo in CW.  The "smoothing" of tempo in Cakewalk (adjusting it any way desired) is what requires the clip to  "Follow host tempo" as is available in the Region FX context menu on the Melodyne clip. Whenever I choose this, all hell breaks loose!

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I found this was hit or miss. It depended on the track I chose to drag to the time line. Example, drag a guitar, Bass or Kick it's a no go. But for me a snare seems to work best. So one solution is if there is no audio snare then create one with midi and a VST, bounce it to clip or freeze the VST and now drag that to the time line. It's not that hard to play a snare without a metronome to most music.   

 

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1 minute ago, John Vere said:

I found this was hit or miss. It depended on the track I chose to drag to the time line. Example, drag a guitar, Bass or Kick it's a no go. But for me a snare seems to work best. So one solution is if there is no audio snare then create one with midi and a VST, bounce it to clip or freeze the VST and now drag that to the time line. It's not that hard to play a snare without a metronome to most music.   

 

I have no issue with dragging to the time line. The track currently in question is a guitar track, and dragging it to apply the track's tempo ends up working perfectly. It is only when I want the Melodyne analyzed track/clip to "Follow Host Tempo" that the problems begin.

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Any ideas why CW can't seem to handle playback of a Melodyne clip with "Follow host tempo"  chosen in the above example??

 

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I'm really hoping someone here will chime in with experience with Melodyne in Cakewalk in the tempo department! 

My confusion is worsening, and I can only imagine there is something I'm not understanding with the ARA relationship between the two programs. I am fine (elated, in fact!) with Melodyne as a standalone and have no problems with its impeccable tempo (and meter) analysis and mapping, but it is only when using it as a plugin in CW that the bizarre (to me) behavior begins.

Now I'm finding that in a totally new project that dragging the audio file to the time bar (for Melodyne tempo map application) is not working as expected. A tempo map comes in, but upon playback it is not in sync with the audio. It seems offset, but by what amount and for what reason, I have no idea.

It is an acoustic guitar track recorded without click, so mildly fluctuating tempo. The file begins at the zero mark. Turning on Region FX for Melodyne on the track performs the analysis, and auditioning the detected tempo within Melodyne (with "Assign tempo" and Melodyne's metronome on) proves a perfect match with Melodyne marking the first downbeat as the 1 of the 4/4 bar. The recorded audio clip, of course, starts with a bit of silence before playing began.

When dragging the perfect tempo map from the Melodyne clip to the time bar, the audio gets "shifted" it seems, and although the tempo map now in CW visually matches the one in Melodyne, the clip does not play back in sync with the CW metronome. Visually, the beats on the grid do not match where they fall in the clip. CW, of course, shows the 1 of bar 1 as being the beginning of the clip. The clip played within Melodyne with the Mel. metronome on still sounds perfect all the way through as well as it's time grid corresponding with beats in the visible file .

If I drag or slide the file position on the track within CW to match up with beat and bar (say, to begin on beat 1 of bar 2 in CW), the tempo map in CW does not, of course, slide along with it and the audio will be quite out of sync with the (CW) metronome within several bars, but it was out of sync to begin with.

In any case, the literature on this makes it sound so easy: drag and drop, and Boom! you have tempo map that follows the recorded track. I see nothing about having to adjust anything afterwards.  Are there settings somewhere that need to be a certain way for this transfer of tempo information to work just so??

It seems to be something in the nature of the ARA relationship and how Melodyne "knows" where bar 1 begins whereas Cakewalk thinks bar 1 begins at the 00:00:00:00 of the file. I don't know...

 

Does anybody??

 

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Posted (edited)

Here is a video of what I'm talking about with the drag-and-drop tempo map issue.

I have aligned the clip in question with its first downbeat falling on the 1 of bar 2 in CW.  Melodyne has analyzed the track correctly.

I drag to the timeline to apply tempo map, and as soon as I do the tempo map imports lined up with the measures in CW but the clip shifts out of sync, as you can see ( I then just toggle undo/redo in video to demonstrate the offset). The amount of this offset is different on different clips.

This does not make sense to me, but is this how the ARA integration is supposed to work??

IJ5FJJg.gif

 

 

 

Edited by winkpain

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I guess I'm relinquishing this to the trash heap  of unanswerable questions, but I figured I'd give it another go in case there is a lone Melodyne-Cakewalk expert user out there with any advice.......

??

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There isn't much information about this feature yet. My guess is 99% of the material created in Cakewalk is done to the clock.  

All the videos I watched used the old audio snap pallet and moving markers method. 

As I said. It was hit or miss for me.  Sometimes it works other times it's a big mess.  I have a lot of old recordings that are multi track live band and it's nice to get some sort of tempo map so I can add keyboard parts and quantize. But so far no luck with that. I do beleieve if I had to get it right I'd be using the Audio Snap Pallet. 

 

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Thanks for the replies, @John Vere !

I have tried with AudioSnap in the past and gave up there with not much luck as far as saving time goes. But I'll give it another go and watch this. I've found that, within CW itself, the only satisfactory way to "extract" a tempo map of a performance done without click is to just map it myself with Set Measure/Beat at Now. This is, of course, time consuming, and I guess I've allowed myself to be sold on the promise of the simple Melo./CW drag-and-drop.  For sure Melodyne does an excellent job within itself of extracting the tempo with all it's nuances and applying it to the meter "grid". And as a workaround and if feasible I can do the work in Melodyne stand-alone and import the perfect tempo map created there and then separately import the audio file. Given the right insert point, then they are lined up.

I just don't get the offset that happens with the ARA drag-and-drop technique. I've confirmed this now on two separate machines/installs of both Melodyne and Cakewalk (same versions each). I get it that the meter "grid" to audio wave form will visibly shift after inserting tempo changes, but there seems to be missing the concomitant anchoring of audio beats to their respective meter beats that occurs appropriately within Melodyne. This does not seem to transfer with the drag-and-drop technique, or in any case, it does so with this offset.

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1 hour ago, winkpain said:

I guess I'm relinquishing this to the trash heap  of unanswerable questions, but I figured I'd give it another go in case there is a lone Melodyne-Cakewalk expert user out there with any advice.......

??

I am no expert, but as what stated in another thread, you might want to play with the time base setting for your tracks. This will have an effect on things moving around or not when applying tempo. I believe that if you leave it at the default of 'musical', things will be moved because the tempo changes and it is trying to keep things at the same measures, and if you select 'absolute' it will keep them at the same timestamp independent of the new tempo. Try it and see if it helps.

image.png.9456147507a33f7858802647debd1e33.png

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1 hour ago, John Vere said:

All the videos I watched used the old audio snap pallet and moving markers method. 

The video is great, as are all Mike's (Creative Sauce) well laid out videos. It is really an alternate to my former go-to of "Set Measure/Beat at Now" as mentioned above.

15 minutes ago, Jacques Boileau said:

I am no expert, but as what stated in another thread, you might want to play with the time base setting for your tracks. This will have an effect on things moving around or not when applying tempo. I believe that if you leave it at the default of 'musical', things will be moved because the tempo changes and it is trying to keep things at the same measures, and if you select 'absolute' it will keep them at the same timestamp independent of the new tempo. Try it and see if it helps.

image.png.9456147507a33f7858802647debd1e33.png

Hey thanks.

Yes I did try adjusting the time base before dragging the clip, but it doesn't seem to matter as far as the offset goes. In any case, whatever time base I've chosen before the drag, the clip is automatically changed to Musical after the drag and the offset occurs.

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Posted (edited)

Ah hah!

Well, thank you again, @John Vere (I continue to chime in on my on post here for the benefit for those others confused by this - I will mark it "SOLVED" after a few more trouble free trials) and thanks to Mike @Creative Sauce for the above linked video and the inspiration to push me to a workflow solution!

Doing this process following Mike's flow in the video I duplicated my track, keeping an untouched reference track (in order to have any lead in or pickup notes available after bringing in the map), I then cropped the work track to my first downbeat and then did an Apply Trimming to the clip.

I then placed both tracks with that downbeat located at bar 2, beat 1. Then I did a Set Measure Beat at Now for that bar 2, beat 1 - just for good measure (heheheh).

Then I dragged the working clip to the time bar to apply the Melodyne tempo map.

THIS works! The tempo map is brought it with the anchor being the downbeat of the working clip being held to it's position in the meter. The visual feedback shows the waveforms and meter grid shifting with that first beat remaining anchored and no offset occurring, as I had wanted all along. This is the solution (I believe)!

Mike's mentioning in his video (at about 12:38) about the trimming of the clip being an important part of the process turned a lightbulb on in my head. It would seem by this that it is the clip boundary, the first one, that is this "anchor point" to the meter grid from which the tempo map is then placed. (And if so the Set Measure/Beat step I mentioned above is, perhaps, not necessary.)  Maybe those in the know are rolling their eyes now saying "Duh!"  Perhaps I'm wowed by Melodyne's "knowing" that the downbeat as played is a downbeat of the meter (it guesses correctly almost always the meter, key, tempo, and appropriate downbeats in it's analysis. It is true, I am very wowed by Melodyne!)  and I thought that all of this "knowledge" would be then shared and brought into Cakewalk with the drag-and-drop integration.  Too much to hope for, I guess, but I'm happy now to at least know that this is how it works.

If I have any of this wrong, please someone who knows, say so.  And Mike, if you're reading, this is an even quicker way to get a tempo map to a track recorded without click - set the first beat, and let Melodyne do the rest!

 

Edited by winkpain

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I totally forgot about that and what happened to you was exactly what I did after watching that video. I forgot that important step.  But the drag drop was still a bit iffy.  An example was I dragged the Audio Kick track to midi hoping I could use it and quantize but it was way out to the grid still. I don't think the drummer was THAT bad. That Musical time trick did solve some other issue> Man I do this stuff figure it all out and then forget!  Glad that worked for you I will certainly follow that video closely next time I need the tempo map. 

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15 minutes ago, John Vere said:

I totally forgot about that and what happened to you was exactly what I did after watching that video. I forgot that important step.  But the drag drop was still a bit iffy.  An example was I dragged the Audio Kick track to midi hoping I could use it and quantize but it was way out to the grid still. I don't think the drummer was THAT bad. That Musical time trick did solve some other issue> Man I do this stuff figure it all out and then forget!  Glad that worked for you I will certainly follow that video closely next time I need the tempo map. 

I haven't tried with a drag to MIDI track yet, but simply the dragging a clip recorded without click (so far I've been testing with guitar tracks which I vary time on intentionally for testing) to the time lime is working really quite well!

To be concise and without extra steps:

  • record a track (or bring one in)
  • duplicate it sliding both clips (temporarily grouped) to where a chosen downbeat is at its chosen meter location (i.e. bar 2, beat 1), where you want your time to begin
  • crop the "working" clip at that point and "Apply trimming"
  • drag the working clip to timeline

That's it. It's done. The tempo map comes in from that downbeat time and metronome follows the track from then on. The "working" track can then be discarded or archived as you wish. So far, only the most idiosyncratic tempo fluctuations (long dramatic pauses, changing strumming accents radically, etc.) will cause slight confusion. Otherwise, it's proven beat perfect so far!

 

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As mentioned above, this latter drag-and-drop tempo map issue is now successfully solved, but the earlier mentioned issue with editing tempos in a Melodyne region FX clip and its corrupted playback when "Follow Host Tempo" is checked still remain a problem.

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