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Tempo equalization


Saxophoneguy2001
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I need help and I'm not exactly sure what I need help with. Each time I think I figured something out, I hit a roadblock, then I do a search and find out a different feature that may be better for what I want to do. Then I hit another road block and the pattern repeats. I've also found more articles and videos that I suspect are talking about the feature(s) I'll need to use, but the way they're explained is completely different from what I'm trying to do.

 

So I'll back up to the very beginning. I'm a band director for a program that is going to try to do a virtual production this fall (hopefully you haven't heard that one too often recently....) using a concert band piece. This piece has a couple tempo changes and a few spots with ritardandos leading into fermatas, so the tempo isn't even supposed to stay the same throughout the entire piece anyway. I have a recording that I want to use as a click track with a metronome going throughout, but the problem is that as good as this ensemble is, they also weren't keeping perfect time throughout. The slow section at the beginning has a little bit of rubato going on, and then there are minor fluctuations throughout of a few clicks in either direction. What I'd like to do is manipulate the recording to fit perfectly with a metronome click at the correct tempos, including the tempo changes and ritardandos.

 

I'm very new to this program, so I've been having to learn on the fly and look stuff up. First I was directed to Smart Tempo, and that sounded confusing, but I searched around and then started playing around with it, and I'm still not sure if I was doing things correctly. Then I found a video about it and the guy also mentioned beat mapping like it's something I should be setting up before I even import that audio recording, so now I'm even more confused and I'm running out of time to get this done. (I intended to have it completed about 24 hours from now.)

 

I appreciate any help you can give me, but please don't just tell me what tool or feature to use. Please also tell me how to use it or at least direct me to a tutorial video that explains closer to what I'm trying to do rather than simply how the tool works if you're making your own recording with multiple tracks or something. Thanks!

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Your post carries some conflicting information.

 

a program that is going to try to do a virtual production this fall

So this hasn't really started yet and you're still in preparation ?

 

I have a recording that I want to use as a click track with a metronome going throughout

Where does this recording of a click track come from ? That's where the initial, wanted tempo fluctuations come from, so ideally get your tempo map from there.

 

as good as this ensemble is, they also weren't keeping perfect time throughout.

So the players have recorded their bits already ? Just audio or audio + video ? They did perform to that click track you mentioned, right ?

 

manipulate the recording to fit perfectly with a metronome click at the correct tempos, including the tempo changes and ritardandos.

The recording ? I assume these are multiple recordings, one per player, right ? And - the correct tempo is the one of your click track, which hopefully everyone performed to. So, in essence, they're all pretty much on and you just need to knead phrase endings, breathes and pickups in place, right ? And fix the odd guy who took on the concert band gig in exchange for the gardening course he later found he didn't like ?

 

See, lots of questions.

 

I'll say this: If the players didn't perform to that very click track that you consider correct, then forget it and redo from scratch.

 

If they did, you

- roughly line up all takes on separate tracks, including your click track. This click track will be your reference. Don't bother with Logic's tempo, leave it at 120bpm, you don't need it.

- Listen to the click and player 1.

- Nudge player 1 back and forth until he is mostly in the pocket.

- Repeat with click and player 2.

- Repeat until you have lined up all players.

- Listen to all of them together. It should be pretty close with but a few clashes here and there.

- For these, activate Global Flex View at 1, then Track Flex at 2 and finally Region Flex at 3 on the Regions that you want to correct:

 

348061326_Bildschirmfoto2020-06-09um18_02_10.png.ab7fe37241f66ebfc263e325548ba24a.png

- Then go to town with Flex like this:

 

vocalflex.gif.42f135dd585de041f564aeaf68ae7cfb.gif

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Sorry if I wasn't clear enough before. My band has not yet started working on the production. I'm trying to create a click track for them to play along with when they record themselves. (They'll be recording audio and video.) I have a recording that the publisher put out to advertise the piece (I'm guessing it was recorded by a top-notch university band, but I'm not entirely sure) and I wanted to set a metronome along with it. The problem for me is that they (the university band) didn't record with a metronome, which means that even if the tempo is supposed to be 100, there are times when they dip down to 97 or 98 and times where they bump as high as 103 or 104. It's not a big deal for an in-person performance since it allows the music to breathe, but I can't set a metronome that will properly line up the entire way through. I want that section that's supposed to be 100 to actually be perfectly 100 the whole way through so my students can play with the metronome and the recording more effectively. Also, while most of the piece is supposed to be 100, the beginning is supposed to be slower (84), then it slows down even more to 72. Then there's a fermata before the tempo goes to 100. Later on it slows down again into a fermata before going back to 100. The section that's supposed to be at 84 also has fluctuations in tempo that I want to correct so that I can actually set a metronome in that section.

 

As for correcting minor errors when the kids send me their recordings, I've already experimented there and figured that out (though what you showed me looks better than what I thought I figured out). We recorded one of our pep band tunes. Since I had previously re-engraved it in Finale, I was able to just make a click track in there with a perfectly consistent tempo.

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What you need to do is to map the beats of Logic to the beats of your music. There is a feature that's aptly named BeatMapping. Read up on it here: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH13227?vi ... cale=en_US

 

Manually BeatMapping a song will take about twice the duration of the song so you will get results quickly.

 

There's the automatic Smart Tempo feature as well, which often works, but sometimes not, and if it doesn't, it is a PITA to correct.

 

Report back once you got this sorted and we'll look into straightening the Tempo Map.

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Slow reply on my end, I obviously didn't get this done by my self-imposed deadline and I had to go teach. Then I got distracted by a million other things and I'm finally getting back to this, and I ran into a problem. There's a fermata that happens on beat 4 of measure 14, then the marimba starts the faster tempo at measure 15. It's not letting me drag the marker to that first marimba note to show that's the first beat of measure 15. I'd rather not just let the fermata take up two measures or something since I'd prefer for the measure numbers as I look at that display to line up with the measure numbers in the score so I don't make a mistake somewhere. I already figured out how to change the time signature since it's in 4/4 but there are several spots where it goes to 2/4 for one measure, so I don't want to have to redo the whole thing.
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That worked. I got beat 1 of bar 15 lined up correctly, as well as each note in the measure (it's just marimba and not every downbeat is played, so there isn't a transient for each downbeat to line up). Now in measure 16, I got beat 1 lined up, and the next transient is on the second 16th note of beat 2, so I lined that up. But it's somehow showing that the tempo for beat 1 is 197 while the tempo for the first 16th note of beat 2 is 32 before that next transient gets it back to normal. How is that happening and what can I do to fix that?

The marimba plays 1 &a e a e& 4 &a in each measure, but the &a on beat 1 isn't showing up as a transient in bar 16 for me to fix it.

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I just backed up and tried it all again and I no longer have that problem, but all of the transients in one measure are bunched all within one beat, so for every single measure I have to line up a few different transients just to spread them out and get them placed right, but then the next measure gets bunched together and I have to do the same thing again. There's gotta be a more efficient way to fix this, right?
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I think you're making this way too hard for yourself. Unless there's a delicate tempo change that's difficult to nail, you should be placing Beat Mapping Markers only every bar or even less. You want to even out tempo variations, you're not looking to quantize every single note of the guide track.

If you don't have a note on a downbeat, you can just use the next or previous note and map that to its correct spot.

If placing a Beat Marker not only changes the tempo leading into it (which is expected) but also the tempo after it, there is another Beat Marker somewhere downstream which demands this equalisation so it stays in place. Remove that following Beat Marker before proceeding.

 

Mapping an entire 5min piece should not take you longer than maybe 15 minutes.

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I took a picture of my screen (sorry, I'm not tech savvy enough to know how to take a screenshot of the computer, so I used my phone and then sent it to my computer). Beat 1 of measure 18 starts in the right place. That vertical marker for where the playback begins is where measure 19 is supposed to start, and there's not a single beat mapping marker after the one at the beginning of measure 18. If I put a marker on that spot for measure 19, then I just get the same thing happening at the beginning of measure 19. It's exactly what was happening to measure 15 even before I placed any beat mapping marker there. Each time I put the marker for beat one of a measure in the right place, then that whole mess just moves to the next measure instead of maintaining the tempo it had already figured out. Finding the right transient is tough since there's one for nearly every marimba hit and they're all bunched up, and doing that for every measure is incredibly frustrating as I zoom and scroll back and forth finding the right transient to go with the right beat. That's really why I was doing more than just beat 1, so that I could spread out the transients a little better to actually find the right one.

1025843923_Weirdtempothinginmeasure18.thumb.jpg.7793ec87d09876d2dc865a4de35083bf.jpg

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Sceeenshots are being done by hitting command-shift-4, then drawing a rectangle with the mouse. The picture then is located on your desktop.

 

As I said, there is another tempo change and/or manually set Beat Marker later which causes that and which needs to be removed first. You need to work from left to right only.

 

Also, if the start of bar 18 is given, I'd probably map the one hit that now appears to be at slightly after 18.1.3 and the other one at slightly before 18.3.3 and call it a day for what's displayed here. These should be easily identifiable in either music and score.

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Well that made things easier. I didn't realize I could just go in and delete a tempo like that. I thought you were talking about manually placed beat markers, which there were none after that point. The faster section with the consistent tempo looks to be pretty straightforward now.

But of course I went back to double check the slower opening and there are no transients showing up for me to attach beat markers to. The help file you linked the other day says "To connect a ruler position to a position in the region where no note exists, press and hold Control while drawing the connecting line. This allows the line to snap to any subdivision, even where there is no note event." Pressing control doesn't seem to be doing anything for me. I'm guessing there's something else in there I'm missing?

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Man, sorry if I'm annoying you with all these questions and new questions that pop up. That's working now, except is still forcing me to snap that beat marker to a spot that lines up with what it already has in place for 16th notes. The note change I'm trying to line up appears to happen in between two ruler markers for 16th notes and it's not letting me place the beat marker precisely where I want it.

 

And of course when I went to go back and try to fix that, I just messed up EVERYTHING I had done later on in the piece.

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Ok, great.

 

- Select your Region(s)

- Ctrl-click>Tempo>Write Tempo To Audio FIle (this makes sure the tempo map that you so meticulously created is actually embedded in the audio file)

- activate Global Flex View at 1, then Track Flex at 2 and finally Region Flex at 3 (pic is in my first post)

- open the Tempo List Editor

- change whatever tempo values need changing. Don't touch their bar positions.

- when you're done bounce the finished guide track, maybe with the click audible and maybe even with a command track where you speak out count-ins, announce tempo changes, etc.

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Thank you so much for your help! All I have left now is to bounce it. But before I do that, is there a way to add in a couple extra clicks to count in the new tempo after a fermata? Basically, measure 14 has a fermata on beat 4, then the downbeat of measure 15 is the start of the 100 tempo, and I'd like to add in two clicks during that fermata at the 100 tempo that lead into measure 15 in time. And then the same thing happens near the end. I have an idea for a workaround, but I'm betting there's probably a smarter and more efficient way that I don't yet know about.
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The built in click will always be at the active tempo, so if you cheated and squeezed in a measure of 15/16, the click will go mad at that spot and I guarantee your players will not appreciate it.

 

The workaround is to not use the built in click, but a software instrument with actual Region(s) of quarter notes of sidestick or cowbell or even a Klopfgeist if you want the regular click sound. Leave that silent at the iffy spots, bounce that track, then copy a bar of click from a section where the tempo actually is 100bpm and paste that bar so that its click #3 falls in the downbeat of measure 15, then bounce the edited track to get a continuous audio file.

 

Or you could, you know, record the two clicks manually and shift the MIDI notes until it sounds right.

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That first workaround you listed is actually exactly what I had in mind. Except I was even able to copy and paste from the end to get the same click sound since I added an extra measure of a click with no other audio to hopefully keep kids from putting their instruments down too quickly in their videos. (I'm only putting together the audio for this project. My colleague is dealing with the video.)

 

Thanks again for all your help. I'll definitely come back and look through this thread again if I've gotta do something like this again, but at least for now this is a huge relief to finally be done with this so we can start to have students record their parts.

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