When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

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twilightsong
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by twilightsong »

Happens to me fairly often. The main reason I bought C6 is to get the new and improved timestretching facility. The older one, in C5, worked okay but there were often artifacts, like "warbly" pianos and such. The new version seems to work perfectly.
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HornForHire
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by HornForHire »

Steve Fogal wrote:What do you do? Start the whole damn thing all over?
Yep! That's what I did with my - soon to be released ;) - new song.
I'd been struggling with it for quite a while and finally found out that the groove and the tempo weren't right...

I deleted everything except the midi track of the Rhodes, upped the tempo a few beats and started from there with a new groove.
Quite a job, but I'm much happier now and it's nearly finished. :)

This was a first for me though, usualy I've got a good idea of where I want to go with a song and play it through on my piano till I'm happy with the tempo and groove.

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NorthWood MediaWorks
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by NorthWood MediaWorks »

If this helps at all, you can check out a little test I did to verify what I'd already seen on youtube for time stretching in C6... So here is a little composition rattled off in about 15 minutes.

I created the tune, exported my stereo mix (some HalionSonic SE, GrooveAgentOne, and my less than great guitar playing), re-imported into a new project then messed with the tempo. It works very well. Hats off to Steinberg on this one!

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Last edited by NorthWood MediaWorks on Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Strophoid
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by Strophoid »

It seems to be mainly the hihat's going wonky with the timestretch, everything else sounds fine.
and hihats are easily replaced in midi anyway :D
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by JohnOnKeyz »

HornForHire wrote:
Steve Fogal wrote:What do you do? Start the whole damn thing all over?
Yep! That's what I did with my - soon to be released ;) - new song.
I'd been struggling with it for quite a while and finally found out that the groove and the tempo weren't right...

I deleted everything except the midi track of the Rhodes, upped the tempo a few beats and started from there with a new groove.
Quite a job, but I'm much happier now and it's nearly finished. :)

This was a first for me though, usualy I've got a good idea of where I want to go with a song and play it through on my piano till I'm happy with the tempo and groove.
I'm old school that way myself. I've re-tracked a couple of songs that way instead of time-stretching it. I try to limit time stretching to smaller events.
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by Guest »

If it's wrong, it's wrong.

Start from scratch, or you'll never be satisfied.

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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by alexis »

Steve Fogal wrote:When you come to realize that a song that you've been working on, perfecting and have progresssed to a certain point... only to realize that the song is say, too slow.

What do you do? Start the whole damn thing all over? Finnish the song as is and learn to like it (with a smile) or finnish it as-is and then Time Stretch (I think is the term/method for this) the entire thing?

I have a tendency to start my songs tempo's out slow in general, I usually give this some good thought and toy with the idea, speed or slow it down as I feel the initial idea out. But sometimes only after I get well into the rest of the tracks, I then realize that as a whole the tempo doesn't sound right anymore.


I haven't done too much with audio, but I just spent all weekend learning how to do this with MIDI. That warp tool is just awesome - I put a tempo marker at every bar, then went to the tempo track, and adjusted to flavor. Friggin' awesome!
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by MarkOne »

Often find that when I set what I think is the tempo and record it turns out to be wrong.

What I have found useful, is to jam the song for an evening on just the piano (or I guess acoustic guitar if you are an axeman)

I have a songwriting buddy who has the most gorgeous Bechstein grand, and when we write at his place I often just play that (while he sits on the sofa and shouts out ideas - LOL) and capture the whole lot on a little olympus recorder or my iPhone, and then when I actually start to work on a recording I'll create the base tempo from the sketch. Usually much happier with the end result that way!
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Split
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by Split »

I have to adjust the tempo of songs every now and then (audio) I always found that the best result is to finish and mix song then stretch stereo file to new tempo using different time stretch software. (when a rerecord is impossible)

But maybe the new C6 time stretch is better overall on multi track stuff, haven't tried it yet.
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NorthWood MediaWorks
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by NorthWood MediaWorks »

Another question or two Steve, how big a tempo change are you talking about? And is there more than one in the tune? Which version of Cubase you running?
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by twilightsong »

I'm always afraid to start over because it never seems to be as good the second time
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by alexis »

twilightsong wrote:I'm always afraid to start over because it never seems to be as good the second time
Wow, so true. And also, starting over seems to be associated with a time-sucking black hole ... come crawling out of the bedroom studio, and everyone else is years older ...
Alexis

-Cubase "Safe Start Mode" (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT)
-Get variable-tempo audio to follow a grid here,
-Replacing freely-timed section into a variable tempo project

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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by JohnOnKeyz »

Steve Fogal wrote:I think we only just get used to hearing what we did at 1st, the original feeling and/or vibe, and then when it's replaced, it's just not the same...and it's NOT...but it's not neccessaily not as good.
Dude, I can't tell you how many times I've been through that exact same thing. Re-playing old parts... I first think... "the vibe that I once had just isn't there!", but when coming back to listen to it later, I see it IS there, and my playing is much better as well. it's really hard to listen and judge objectively when being so attached to the "old" way. :D
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by Paul Woodlock »

twilightsong wrote:I'm always afraid to start over because it never seems to be as good the second time
.. and most often it probably isn't.

Ruining something becuase of a temporary low feeling of tempo is dangerous.

If the tempo always seems slow, then time stretch the mix.

In the old days we used to varispeed up the tape while mastering.
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by Strophoid »

Thinking logically you could at least just export and then timestretch to see if another tempo is better. If this gives artifacts doesn't really matter, you should be able to tell if another tempo is better anyway. Judging on how well the new tempo sounds you can decide on rerecording or trying to make the best of it with timestretch.

That's what I'd do anyway, nothing worse than starting over and finding out it didn't make it any better.
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twilightsong
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by twilightsong »

What's weird is that I've gotten okay using Timestretch on a mix, but when I try to do it on individual audio parts the results aren't usable. This is the main reason I bought C6, and one of these days I'm gonna see how it works on this
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by DaveKeir »

Different thought from me entirely. I'm just an acoustic guitar and vox guy. Nuffink else. I don't do "tempos". I just set up the mics and play. That's not to say I don't give a moment's thought to tempo - of course I do. But it's a moment and the recording get's done.

These songs I record in this slovenly way are songs I play live and I've been aware for many years that I play them faster or slower "depending"... The songs don't have a correct tempo. Recordings of them are snapshots. There may be median but, frankly, I don't care.

Before the advent of recording, all composers could do was festoon their scores with adagio to presto markings, or if they were obsessed, then metronome numbers. Interpretation and re-interpretation was everything. We are in danger of setting music in concrete.

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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by twilightsong »

DaveKeir wrote:We are in danger of setting music in concrete.
On the contrary, we're talking about the freedom to make an adjustment IF (and only if) it will improve song, and it's normally just a slight adjustment anyway
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by Sherz »

I reckon some of the best 'feels' I've achieved have occured in a few tunes that were actually recorded with no click, and therefore no fixed tempo. The songs tempo just followed it's own natural ebb and flow. However I realise recording to a click makes life much easier when it comes to editing etc and when you're working with both audio and MIDI/VSTi content.

I'm generally in the 'start over' camp if I later decide the tempo not right. And this does of course mean re-recording all the audio content. MIDI of course is not an issue. Personally I've never found this to be a particular problem:
twighlightsong wrote:I'm always afraid to start over because it never seems to be as good the second time
Subsequent takes I can usually get sounding just as good if not better - it;s just about being consistent in your recording approach, and practiced in your playing. And if it does sound worse...do it again! ...and again! ... :D

I wonder too if you start out at a less-than-optimal tempo there's a risk that you then end up playing each part and not getting the quite right feel.... maybe.

I guess it depends on how much work you've already done too. Particularly, if it's mostly audio content then the prospect of starting over may well be quite daunting. This would certainly be the case if live drums are involved!

I often have around 50% MIDI content in a pop/rock production so replaying a few guitars parts and re-singing isn't THAT big a deal. In fact I did that recently with a clients song. He recorded his original guitars and vocals to a click at 142bpm. W A Y - T O O - S L O W. I sent him back to the mic with a bass and drum track (MIDI/VSTi) I'd created for the song at 150bpm - quite a big jump in tempo... but thankfully he completely agreed that it was much better at that tempo and dutifully re-did his guitars and vocals. 8-)

Time-stretching would generally be a last resort I think...
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by Guest »

I still cannot fathom how you could possibly get that far into a production and *not* realize that the tempo is FUBAR.

That is more than a temporary lapse of judgment.

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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by JohnOnKeyz »

When I write a song for the band, all the parts are played on keyboards to give the others an idea of the structure. I tend to be casual and more relaxed, and the songs come out at a tempo that sounds good to me. But when the band jumps in, changes stuff and adds their parts, sometimes it creates a need for something more aggressive. ...and sometimes the thought doesn't come up (like a mention by another band member or something), until the tracks are basically recorded.

I re-recorded two songs in this band with a faster tempo so far. And I don't expect it will be the last. Just with the way a song is put together, and elements you add to it could change the feel enough to warrant a faster / slower tempo.
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by twilightsong »

Lord Snarebottom wrote:I still cannot fathom how you could possibly get that far into a production and *not* realize that the tempo is FUBAR.

That is more than a temporary lapse of judgment.
For me, I don't think it's a matter of the original tempo being "wrong" but just that a bit faster just seems to make it "better." Also, it's never more than just a few BPM's increase.
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by Lenny Lee »

twilightsong wrote:For me, I don't think it's a matter of the original tempo being "wrong" but just that a bit faster just seems to make it "better." Also, it's never more than just a few BPM's increase.
I'll play with the groove before I start laying down my rhythm tracks and therefore haven't had any problems
with tempo - but as I recall, when working out original songs with bands in the past, most tempo issues that we had were when drummers would speed up and the song would lose it's groove - or no longer felt like it was 'in the pocket'. We had to retrack a few songs for this reason.
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Re: When you find late the TEMPO just isn't right

Post by HornForHire »

Strophoid wrote:Thinking logically you could at least just export and then timestretch to see if another tempo is better. If this gives artifacts doesn't really matter, you should be able to tell if another tempo is better anyway. Judging on how well the new tempo sounds you can decide on rerecording or trying to make the best of it with timestretch.

That's what I'd do anyway, nothing worse than starting over and finding out it didn't make it any better.
Sound advice! :)

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