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Max Arwood

Matching project tempo mixed tempo audio multi-tracks

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I have tried several times and several ways to match project tempo to pre-recorded tracks.

I have 10 songs that are multi track 10-15 tracks each - not recorded to a click or drum loop.

1) I have tried - Creative sauce - Audio snap tempo mapping.

 

The bad of this method - Don't want to stretch audio - Just want to move tempo map to match the audio.

2) I have tried bouncing tracks that contain good transients (not all tracks play all the way through - no drums in 1st part of song) and dragging to top of time line to use melodyne's match tempo. I have tried all the choices in audio type.

Mixed results - not too good - don't know the best way to manually correct the errors after melodyne's finished.

3) I haven't done the match improvisation.  I tried it many years ago without much luck. Timing is close but not spot on. Probably my playing-timing.  

 

Any help from someone that has had good timing match please chime in.

 

It would be perfect if I could just click a tempo button then drag the "measure" ruler to match the beats - the measure/beat ruler would become movable by measure and beat.  I suggested this feature 15+ years ago. I guess it was not that important. I will ask again in the request forum.

 

Thanks for any help,

Max Arwood

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Don’t turn on audio snap when you map the tempo.  Map the tempo by hand listening to the click.
Audio snap can be used AFTER you map the tempos (when you want to change the original tempos to something different or even them out).

Melodyne has never been reliable enough for me in regards to tempo mapping.

Let me know if you need any help with this!

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Using SetMeasure/Beat at Now is the most straightforward way.

Focus on the track with the obvious on-beat transients, go (with cursor and with Snap off) to first audio beat where you know what beat you want it to be (bar 2, beat 1 for example), choose SetMeasure/Beat at Now for that beat setting (bar 2, beat 1). Do that for the next bar, beat 1, and the next and next - if the tempo strays that much at every bar, or do it every 8 bars or whatever.  (You must do it in an orderly and consecutive fashion, tho - you can't go backwards after setting a beat at Now and re-set a previous beat, in other words.) This is my "brute force" method.

But from what I remember, the Mike's (CreativeSauce) tempo mapping video shows it pretty spot on without any stretching of audio. I actually had some posts on my working out of this issue which combines the CreativeSauce advice with the Melodyne drag-and-drop technique which you can read here - scroll down to near the bottom, a Jan 7 post by me that begins with "Ah hah!" for a description of what I do.

In addition, I have great luck with Melodyne stand-alone which has the precise method you desire of dragging the measure/beat lines to match the actual played audio beats, if needed, but Melodyne does an excellent job of mapping tempo just by itself, I find.   From there you can then export the tempo map and open in a blank CW project. But the above methods (brute force and combo) are the quickest in my experience within CW.

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Posted (edited)

My preferred method is to turn on the click.  Set the starting tempo as close as you can.  Move the clips over to line up the first downbeat  with the beginning of a measure.  (If you have to adjust the tempo for the first bar you may have to realign the downbeat). Open up the tempo view (zoom in for finer resolution),  Then listen to the click and the music.  When the click sounds like it’s not keeping up with the music or getting ahead of the music, draw in tempo changes at  the appropriate places.  (Again, zoom in to make finer changes, or zoom  out for broader changes). The click is your conductor and must be conducting the tempo right with your music.

This method allows your ears to be the judge of how together your conductor is with your band.  (The drummer’s transients aren’t always the best indicator. Different drums sound better slightly ahead or behind the beat so it’s best to have the click where the beat actually is and not necessarily where the drummer placed their kick or snare)

The more you map your own tempos the easier it gets. It’s foolproof when mastered. 

Edited by Blogospherianman
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Posted (edited)

+1 for Set Measure/Beat At Now. It's basically a non-graphical, keyboard-shortcut-based version of the drag-timeline-beats-with-mouse feature that you would like to have. Very precise and flexible, allowing you to make adjustments only where necessary at whatever level of detail you desire.

Using keyboard shortcuts will speed the process, and avoid having to use the mouse at all unless Tab to Transient misses the mark:

- Shift+M opens the Set Measure/Beat At Now dialog; you set one point for every execution. ( I have 'S' assigned because I use it so much).

- Type the Measure number if necessary, Tab to the Beat and type that number if necessary, and Enter to OK.

- Start by Setting the downbeat that should be 9:01 to establish an initial, average tempo; after that, SM/BAN should 'guess' pretty accurately which beat you're setting.

- You can set beats in any order, and go back to set more as needed to get as tight as you want; enable the playback metronome to hear how it's going.

- Do not delete or modify tempo changes that SM/BAN inserts; if you get something wrong, Ctrl-Z (Undo) as many times as necessary go back to where it was good.

- Use PageUp/Down to move by measures and Tab to Transient (Shift+Tab to go backwards) to zero in on beats you want to set. (again, I have modified shortcuts so Ctrl is not needed for 'paging' by measures).

- Use Spacebar to start/stop playback (a lot of people seem to use the transport buttons with their mouse which I find very slow and awkward)

- Note that you can enter fractional beats (as decimals, not ticks)  to set a transient that's not on a beat - e.g. beat 4.5 is the last eighth of a 4/4 measure. 

EDIT: Forgot to mention... since the project is multi-track, whichever clips(s) is/are selected is what Tab-to-Transient will use to set the Now time. Audiosnap does not have to be enabled for Tab-to-Transient to work.

Edited by David Baay
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3 hours ago, David Baay said:

You can set beats in any order, and go back to set more as needed to get as tight as you want; enable the playback metronome to hear how it's going.

For some reason, I would always have problems when going backwards to fill in a new beat before one already set. Now, when testing it doesn't seem that way. Good to know.

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Thanks to all for the help. I will let you know how this comes out.  I am going to try both methods. They both sound plausible. Just got to figure out which is most accurate and which is quickest. Then weigh the difference and pick. 
 

This forum is one of the very best features of Cakewalk.  Glad to be here.

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