Old 11-04-2007, 09:59 PM   #1
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Default Tempo Mapping 101

Edit:
This method has been replaced by a much faster method using SWS actions, thank you Breeder: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=118061

================================================== ======================

Tempo Mapping a Freetime Song


EDIT: This action has been renamed, but still works the same:

Markers: Time signature measure from time selection, is now,

Markers:Create measure from time selection (detect tempo)




This new method is very fast and accurate, for getting the click in Reaper to run in sync with a song that hasn't been recorded to a click track. It's in 3 parts:

1. Play the song through in real time, and drop markers at the start of every bar (on the 'one').

2. Edit the markers for greater accuracy (optional, depending on whether close enough is good enough for the material).

3. Convert the markers to tempo markers (the markers actually still remain, but are quick to delete, or you can keep them in case of further editing later).


Part One - Dropping Markers

I would first find the starting bar of the song and drop a marker right there on the 'one'...you may want to delete any space before that point, although it's not necessary...(you can delete this first bar later on if you want, as long as you started converting markers from the project start.)

Then play the song right through in real time, and press 'M' on the 'one' of every bar. When you have finished, it's easy to drop another marker in if you missed one earlier on the first pass.

If you have a lot to do, you may want to map the Space bar to 'markers: insert marker at current position' temporarily, or make a new keymap with that mapping.




Part Two - Editing Markers

Firstly, scan through the song and check all the markers are in the correct position, and redo them if they are badly out. ..I use the kick drum in the song as the reference point, if it's available and tight. If you are happy enough with their position, ie it's 'close enough', then you can carry on to Part Three...otherwise, now we'll edit the markers position so they are completely synced with the kick (or whatever you prefer to use as your reference point.)

To speed up this process, I made a new keymap with the arrow keys mapped to these functions:

Up: Item Navigation: Move cursor to next transient in selected items
Down: Item Navigation: Move cursor to previous transient in selected items
Left: Markers: Previous marker/project start
Right: Markers: Next marker/project end

Make sure you have options-enable snapping checked, and the Kick Item(s) are selected so that Tab-to-Transient focuses only on the Kick (double-click the track to select all the items in the track). Increase the track height and zoom in a bit so you get a decent size to the kick. Now click on the first marker and examine it...if it's a bit late, hit the down arrow (previous transient) and the cursor will jump to an earlier transient...if it's early, hit Up (next transient) and the cursor will jump forward to the next transient.

If the cursor is on the correct transient, then just click on the marker and move it to the transient (with snapping enabled, you can just 'flick' the marker towards the cursor).

Hit the right arrow (next marker) and repeat the process. You can continue through like this quite fast, with your left hand on the arrow keys and your right hand on the mouse. Once you get to the end, give it a good scan over to make sure it's correct, and then go on to Part Three.




Part Three - Converting to Tempo Markers


This is actually the easy part...takes me about 7 seconds to do a 5 minute song! *You want your timebase set to time for this (in project properties).

You'll need this macro:




If like me you have Pref-Editing Behaviour-'Move edit cursor to start of loop selection on loop selection change' checked, then you will need to add a 5th action, Markers: Next marker/project end.

Hit home so the cursor is at the start of the project, then start hitting the macro key (or hold it down if that works for you, it's faster!...it's mapped to Numpad0 and ` here) until you reach the end of the project.





That's it! Now when you enable the metronome, it will play back in time with your newly mapped song...and also loops and tempo fx will sync with the song as well. How cool is that?

* Here's a keymap for the above mappings...it definitely speeds up editing the markers!

https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/29691/T...g.ReaperKeyMap
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Last edited by Bevosss; 05-25-2017 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:04 PM   #2
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That's pretty sweet!

Thanks Bevoss
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:22 PM   #3
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Bev
this is a great tutorial!
Fantastic in fact.
well done!
and thanks

.t
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:09 PM   #4
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thank you! this is very clear and precise!
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:56 PM   #5
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Bevoss, my friend, I owe you a beer! I'm in a duo - drums and guitar. Rather than add another band member, I am going to lay down some bass guitar with a click track.

This method is perfect for me to grab the original tracks, tempo map them, play the bass guitar and remove the original track.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:07 AM   #6
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Great tutorial, Bevoss! Thanks a lot!

Regards,
- Jonas Eriksson
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:36 AM   #7
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"When I had a four track I wrote music ... now I just play with plugins."

-wow... great sig file!
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:38 PM   #8
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Thanks jakerock, it would be funny if it wasn't true!
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:05 PM   #9
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Bevoss thank you. You score again, fantastic work!!!
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:50 PM   #10
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This really should be stickied AND put in the Reaper manual.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:51 AM   #11
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This is great Bevoss, thank-you so much! :-)
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:01 AM   #12
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I love you in a wholesome and healthy way Bevosss.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleCat View Post
I love you in a wholesome and healthy way Bevosss.



You may also find this idea useful... sort of a part 2 to the mapping tutorial: http://www.cockos.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14816
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:44 PM   #14
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That, Mr. Bevosss... is quite cool.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:53 PM   #15
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for those who find that this is not accurate enough, another idea brught up before is to record an audio based click, then a simple macro to automatically seak each peak and set each tempo marker.

Also, if you find that a measure is off somewhere (because the kick didn't land on the "1" exactly in relation to the rest of the instruments) and want to shift around tempo markers there's also a method I've used that works. Really, this is the biggest FR I'd like to see met, personally, adjusting the tempo markers so neighboring ones scale properly, because the way I have to do it takes a bit of clicking and zooming about.

I'm surprised there are more people now interested in this, seems when we were doing this a while ago it was a just a couple of us?!

The animated gifs of course explain things nicely. Glad it's helping others!

if anyone wants further reading or some different methods of working with tempo maps...
http://www.cockos.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5337

Last edited by Youn; 11-07-2007 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:23 AM   #16
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I want to offer another alternative. Here is a key command to use while playing to drop in tempo markers. It'll drop in tempo markers every time you hit the key, and the tempo will be based off when you last pressed the key. So, similar to what Bevoss is demonstrating above, just more direct way to do it. Of course, you may want to fine-tune the tempo map after the fact, for me it never seems to land on-beat well enough, but good for a rough estimate or when it doesn't matter much if it's off 20 ms, for example.



Apologize in advance if someone already brought this up, can't seem to read every thread in the forum
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Youn View Post
I want to offer another alternative. Here is a key command to use while playing to drop in tempo markers. It'll drop in tempo markers every time you hit the key, and the tempo will be based off when you last pressed the key. So, similar to what Bevoss is demonstrating above, just more direct way to do it. Of course, you may want to fine-tune the tempo map after the fact, for me it never seems to land on-beat well enough, but good for a rough estimate or when it doesn't matter much if it's off 20 ms, for example.



Apologize in advance if someone already brought this up, can't seem to read every thread in the forum
Ahh, that old chestnut! There's some more info and tips about that macro in these posts:

http://www.cockos.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=21

http://www.cockos.com/forum/showpost...2&postcount=22


Personally Youn, I used that way for a while but it just wasn't fast enough or accurate enough for me. There's 2 main problems with it:

1. There is a slight latency when dropping the tempo markers in real time, so unless your computer is ultra-fast, they will always land slightly late.

2. They're an absolute bitch to try and edit without stuffing the grid up! Yes, I've tried your tempo marker replacement trick and it's just too time-consuming for me, alhough I'll use it if I have to.

Whereas with dropping normal markers, they seem to land more accurately, and if you stuff up the position, you just move them! It just makes more sense to me, use normal markers until they are bang on, then convert to tempo markers...which is only another 20 seconds work for a full song. Each to their own, I guess.

Btw, I'd love to be able to edit tempo markers easily too...for now, I archive the markers (as a region) just in case i need to edit further in the future. Haven't had to yet, but you never know...
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:42 PM   #18
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Geez.... What's with the ad-hominan attacks dude?!?!




just kidding... :P

The reason I brought up the other methods is because the music I work with has almost no kick. I'd probably be better off using the snare as an anchor point.

Another problem is that using the kick track, or any close-miced track for that matter, can be misleading because it's most likely the earliest transient in a measure amongst the entire band. They are hearing the sounds as it hits their ear, later then what the OH mics (and in some casese the room mics) so if the band is spread out across the room really grooving well, this type of tempo grid might not also groove well.

Now, I realize most musicians anticipate the beat, but that's not the issue here, I'm just talking about looking at the pulse of the music as a whole to get a more accurate tempo map. I've been finding it's faster and more accurate to use the method I proposed in that thread a half year ago, on a drum room, or better yet, drum sub-mix track, and eye-ball how the grid is distributed across the measure. Again, this is almost intirely due to the nature of the music I deal with, which is slower more free flowing then your disco song (oh, i know you like disco, so that's just my guess

I do use your method when I'm working with much faster/steady music, because I find it is faster and more accurate.

As for the tempo drop key combo, like I said it's much more "rough", no need to point that out again. I've also noticed th latency and forgot to mention you can shift the entire tempo map forward/backward to compensate for this. I used this method once or twice and found it useful for less critical applications, shifting the tempo map then maybe correcting a measure here and there. Again, just another option, that's all, I would think REAPER users are used to having 'em!?


And, I'm still waiting for the day we can move these tempo markers around, having it scale forward/backwards to "stretch" it. I'm hoping this thread and the others will get us to realize what a time-saver THAT will be, heh!

Last edited by Youn; 11-08-2007 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Youn View Post

Again, this is almost intirely due to the nature of the music I deal with, which is slower more free flowing then your disco song (oh, i know you like disco, so that's just my guess
Heh, you take that back!

Well ok, it is true in the context that I like a LOT of different styles...but I'm a lot closer to LD50-era Mudvayne or Deftones & Faith No More for instance than disco (maybe you are thinking of Tallismann??) That's some funny shit, never been called disco before...

Btw I was pointing out why I dropped my old macro, not attacking you Youn...but thanks for the explanation on why you still use your system.
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Old 11-09-2007, 04:52 PM   #20
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Thanks Bevoss, still a buttload of work, this is worth a try.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:45 AM   #21
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Following up the great tutorials here I want to offer a couple more tips. I apologize if they've already been covered (lol)

1. Stretching grid between beats or measures:
http://www.cockos.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=70

2. Linear Tempo map creation AKA free-form grid "warping":
https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/12024/tempomap3.swf.html

In this video I'm placing tempo markers on each beat, but they can be placed in between beats. Actually it's best if they are a little bit after the beat so the following tempo change doesn't shift the grid off the previous beat.

Again, we can't yet fine-tune the envelope points and segments up/down, as far as I've ever known anyways. If we could, all this would be alot easier!
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:50 AM   #22
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Thanks Bevosss, this works really well!

Does anybody know if there is a way to "hide" the markers (i.e. make them invisible) after they've been inserted? I'm finding it extremely difficult to edit anything after the markers have been inserted unless I'm really zoomed in tight (which makes navigation difficult).

Thanks much!

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Old 01-20-2008, 03:09 AM   #23
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Thanks Bevosss, this works really well!

Does anybody know if there is a way to "hide" the markers (i.e. make them invisible) after they've been inserted? I'm finding it extremely difficult to edit anything after the markers have been inserted unless I'm really zoomed in tight (which makes navigation difficult).

Thanks much!

Matt
Yeah Matt, just right-click on the grid icon in the toolbar , you can make them go through or under items, whatever you prefer.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:53 AM   #24
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Yeah, very cool. Well done Bevoss. Your spot on. Very fast, but still you have "hands on control" Love it.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:48 AM   #25
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Yeah I'll leap on the congratulating bandwagon and raise my glass too. Really good stuff. Very handy.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:51 PM   #26
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Hi Bevosss,

I was just using this Keyboard shortcut and for some reason (always worked before) it just stopped.

It was setting the loop selection between the markers, but then just moving on to the next selection without dropping Tempo markers on the way.

I haven't really played with the "macro" style keyboard-shortcut in Reaper much before, though I'd read this thread and set up this shortcut. For me it is one of the most useful things to be able to do in Reaper because I and most of the people I know like to record live and bounce the timing off each other.

So I tried to figure out and came up with this:


Loop Points: Set Start Point
Markers: Next Marker/Project End
Loop Points: Set End Point
Time Selection: Copy Loop Points to Time Selection
Markers: Time Signature Measure from Time Selection
<none>

I think this might have come about because of some changes made to Reaper version 2.029. and added the option "Loop points linked to time selection. Somehow I must have unlinked them without realising. Anyway, this serves as a way to get around it if the option isn't checked.


Question:
I've been trying to get this method to work with time signatures other than 4/4, so far without much success. I'm aware that you can set the time signature up in the project settings, but I'd like to be able to somehow be able to set "gradually transition tempo to next marker".

Any ideas?
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:17 AM   #27
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You can relink the loop selection in the options menu temporarily, if you want to avoid that happening again. Cool that you found a way around it anyway.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:23 AM   #28
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Default not working for me

hey i can't get this to work right. i got the macro setup and everything, but when i do it, the time signatures that are inserted get exponentially faster and i end up at like 800bpm or something. any ideas? do i have some option checked that i shouldn't?
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:58 PM   #29
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is there a way to just set 2 markers.(say beginning and end of 8 bar loop for example) Thus defining the rest of the entire grid ?
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:57 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by bernhardtjeff View Post
hey i can't get this to work right. i got the macro setup and everything, but when i do it, the time signatures that are inserted get exponentially faster and i end up at like 800bpm or something. any ideas? do i have some option checked that i shouldn't?
I have got the same problem. It´s actually worse cause REAPER is crashing after using BEVOSS macro.
I got some really mad BPMs like 2654.777.
I think I will post this in the bug report forum.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:01 PM   #31
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hey i can't get this to work right. i got the macro setup and everything, but when i do it, the time signatures that are inserted get exponentially faster and i end up at like 800bpm or something. any ideas? do i have some option checked that i shouldn't?
Yeah...make sure your Timebase is set to time in Project Properties (ALT-Enter)...

I use this macro since Reaper 1.016, when the loop and time selection got unlinked:




Btw you can hold down the shortcut key and it converts the whole song to tempo mapped in about 6 or 7 seconds.

** I'll edit the first post so this doesn't happen again.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:56 PM   #32
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Thx Bevoss,
it´s working for me now.
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:54 AM   #33
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this one is indeed great!

though I have a question which might be embarrassingly simple to answer...:

what if the file in need of mapping is a midifile?
I'm actually in dire need of such an explanation as my head is about to explode.

help me obi-wan kenobi, you're my only hope.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:10 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by ed209 View Post
this one is indeed great!

though I have a question which might be embarrassingly simple to answer...:

what if the file in need of mapping is a midifile?
I'm actually in dire need of such an explanation as my head is about to explode.

help me obi-wan kenobi, you're my only hope.
It should work, just make sure the timebase is set to time when you're converting the markers to tempo markers. You can reset it later...I confess, I haven't tried it with a freetime midi file, although coincidentally, I just recorded someone playing my v drums without a click so I'll check it out soon to see if it works ok. It should...
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:22 AM   #35
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argh yea doing this with a midi file is a nightmare for me. i want to be able to record a basic midi drum track (as midi), select a bar as the time selection, cut a loop of the selection, create tempo markers based on the time selection, and then paste a bunch of the selected midi back in so it fits the grid. unfortunately Reaper plays the midi back either too fast or too slow depending on whether the new tempo is faster or slow than before.

it's easy to do this with audio and i can understand why its behaving this way with midi, but is there any way around it?

p.s. and yea this happens no matter what the timebase is set to!
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:49 AM   #36
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I do this with free midi files all the time. just goto properties of the midi object and select "Ignore project tempo information", then create your tempo map. Render the midi object as FX with MIDI output, and this new take is the tempo-map injected midi object which you can cut and paste around and it should stay intact. You could also quantize the performance at this point by taking away the tempo map and your midi performance remains intact but with no tempo changes, then re-apply a tempo map to create custom tempo for that midi object. crazy stuff. play around with it. bevoss, if you can understand this and want to do a crazy tutorial to more clearly demonstrate it to others, that would rock!
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:19 AM   #37
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thanks so much! pure genius. will get stuck into this next time i get a chance, which is gonna be a couple of days away at least. damn.

awesome stuff though, cheers
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:59 AM   #38
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yes, thank you Youn for explaining further. Working now.

just want to share my feelings on tempomapping a classical piano piece and then trying to notate it in sibelius:

AAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:47 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Youn View Post
I do this with free midi files all the time. just goto properties of the midi object and select "Ignore project tempo information", then create your tempo map. Render the midi object as FX with MIDI output, and this new take is the tempo-map injected midi object which you can cut and paste around and it should stay intact. You could also quantize the performance at this point by taking away the tempo map and your midi performance remains intact but with no tempo changes, then re-apply a tempo map to create custom tempo for that midi object. crazy stuff. play around with it.

bevoss, if you can understand this and want to do a crazy tutorial to more clearly demonstrate it to others, that would rock!
I would man, but I think I'm the one who needs the tutorial here.

But I got the first part, and I assume the second line refers to 'apply track fx to items as new take (midi output)'.

And I assume once rendered alonside a tempo map, the rendered midi item now has those tempo properties.

A question: is there a way to see the tempo properties of a midi item in Reaper somewhere?
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:06 PM   #40
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Yeah, "Apply fx as new take (MIDI output)"...

Think of this as freeing the midi object of any suggested tempo changes. Now it relies solely on the tempo map defined on the master track.

I hope that makes sense.

yeah, "tempo-map-injected" was definitely the wrong term to use.
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