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Old 04-15-2024, 08:46 PM   #1
stevem
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Default Song base tempo lost if using playrate envelope

When I set two or more tempo envelope points with a gradual transition between them, Reaper begins playing at the last tempo entered, substituting it for the original base tempo. It does not return to the original tempo at song start, although the original tempo is still indicated numerically on the graph. Reaper then follows the envelope changes positive or negative but beginning from this new "base" tempo.

EXAMPLE: I begin a new project using the default project settings that specify a project "base" tempo of 120 bpm. I create a track and import an audio media item (a wav file) to track #1. Next, from the View menu I create a tempo envelope, which of course resides on the Master track, and begins at the value of 120 bpm. I then create two envelope points, the first at measure 2.1, also with a value of 120 bpm, and the second at measure 3.1 with a value of 80 bpm, with a gradual change between them requested. The tempo envelope records these two points and values graphically, and does so correctly.

The trouble comes when I then return to the song start at measure 1.1. Although the envelope there indicates that the tempo is set to 120 bpm, when I engage the transport Reaper actually begins playing back at 80 bpm - the last value entered into the envelope. When playback at 80 bpm reaches the measure 2.1 envelope point, the tempo stays at 80, but when it reaches the point at measure 3.1 it drops to 40 bpm. So, it's as if Reaper has substituted 80 bpm in place of the original 120.

Windows 11, Reaper v7.14

I haven't used the playrate mapping feature in many moons, so I can't tell for sure how recently this situation began.
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Last edited by stevem; 04-16-2024 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Additional explanation added
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Old 04-16-2024, 12:13 AM   #2
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AFAIK, there is no paradigm such as "song base tempo" in Reaper.
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Old 04-16-2024, 06:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschnell View Post
AFAIK, there is no paradigm such as "song base tempo" in Reaper.
Okay... song "starting tempo" then? Whatever tempo the song began with, the tempo that is posted in Reaper's BPM box at measure 1.1.
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Old 04-16-2024, 06:42 AM   #4
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The BPM field is intended to display the current tempo at the cursor position. "No tempo envelope, BPM field displays XXX bpm" is equivalent to "tempo envelope with a single XXX bpm point at time zero."

If you think something incorrect is happening, a screencap would be appreciated.
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
The BPM field is intended to display the current tempo at the cursor position. "No tempo envelope, BPM field displays XXX bpm" is equivalent to "tempo envelope with a single XXX bpm point at time zero."

If you think something incorrect is happening, a screencap would be appreciated.
Thank You Schwa,
Please recheck my original post which I have just edited to include an example. A screen capture would not really help since all tempo numbers, both graphic and digital, appear as if correct, however the actual play rate differs from what is shown.
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Old 04-16-2024, 11:21 AM   #6
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Just for clarification are you talking about a playrate envelope (as in the title of your post) or a tempo envelope (as in your example)?
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Old 04-16-2024, 12:07 PM   #7
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Sounds like you unintentionally changed the playback rate, which is in the lower right corner of the REAPER window. Or maybe you unintentionally created a playback rate envelope in addition to the tempo envelope.

If you would like to post a simple .rpp that demonstrates the issue we could confirm what the problem is.

Last edited by schwa; 04-17-2024 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 04-16-2024, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domzy View Post
Just for clarification are you talking about a playrate envelope (as in the title of your post) or a tempo envelope (as in your example)?
Hi domzy, thanks for asking. This could be at least part of the problem. I haven't used this feature in several years, but back then I remember it being called the playrate envelope, and the operation seemed much simpler. When I looked up playrate envelope recently I couldn't find anything named that, or any instructions for it, only the tempo envelope and time stretch. Is there still a separate function called the playrate envelope? How do I find it?

What I'm trying to do is even out the tempo of a live-recorded song that gradually speeds up. This used to be very easy to do by using the playrate envelope.

In any case, the tempo envelope still doesn't return Reaper to the original tempo when the song is returned to its start point. The only way I could have created some conflicting tempo feature is purely by chance, since I'm only aware of the tempo envelope and stretch markers being available, and this last tempo envelope test was starting with a fresh, empty project.

Thanks for the help.

To clarify: When the song is returned to its starting point the tempo envelope SAYS 120 BPM, but the song AUDIBLY plays much slower. It appears to play at whatever tempo value was last entered into the envelope.
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Last edited by stevem; 04-16-2024 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 04-16-2024, 01:59 PM   #9
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if you click on the envelope button in the master track panel of the TCP you should be able to see what envelopes you have enabled / made visible
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Old 04-16-2024, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domzy View Post
if you click on the envelope button in the master track panel of the TCP you should be able to see what envelopes you have enabled / made visible
Well, I just spent an hour researching and writing this reply, only to have it erased when I tried to submit it because my login had expired. I'll try to reconstruct it.

Yes to the above, thanks domzy. Only the tempo map is active, however I see an option there for "Playrate" which wasn't visible to me before. I'm thinking this is probably because I was searching the envelope list in Track #1 rather than the master track. I see it now, so I'll explore that option next. Thanks so much!

But here's some more information on the slow song play. Repeating the Tempo Envelope test I did before, I see that what is happening is that when I create a tempo envelope point and adjust it, either by dragging or by numerical entry, the Track #1 MEDIA ITEM'S playrate is being adjusted along with it. Then when I return to song start the Media Item's playrate remains at the new, lower value, while the Project playrate ratio (lower right corner of screen) still shows 1.0.

So... the question is why adjusting tempo map points simultaneously adjusts the Track #1 media item's playrate, and how to uncouple these two.
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Old 04-17-2024, 03:27 AM   #11
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Ah. File/Project settings, set timebase for items/envelopes/markers to time, and save as default project settings, like so:



When set to beats, which is the default, then media items with embedded tempo information are automatically stretched to match tempo changes in the project.

If you want the default behavior in general but want to override it for individual media items, you can also set this behavior per media item in the media item settings dialog.
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Old 04-17-2024, 09:38 AM   #12
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Default That solves it.

Wow, thank you schwa! and domzy! I never would have figured that out on my own.

Now I'll explore the playrate envelope again.

Best,
Stevem
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