Drifting and changes in tempo - what's the best ptactice?


Sometimes I get my hand on a recording where the tempo is drifting badly and have big variations, and sometimes it’s desirable to in example gradually slow down the tempo (rallentando) at the end of a song. Do anyone have a nice step-less, musical and easy way to make Ardour cope with such tempo changes so the grid can be in sync with the music?

Thanks, Jostein

Re-Record the music?

Honestly that is the best solution really. Record it correct the first time. Anything else is a band-aid on the problem.


That is of course the best solution but in no way an answer for what I was asking for. :slight_smile:

For several reasons, you can’t always re-record again (or ask a record company or whatever to do it) and sometimes, you don’t even want to change anything - as an example, Honky Tonk Woman (Rolling Stones) drifts like hell but who want to re-record it? And…

…it’s still moments when fluid and gradually tempo changes, such as accelerando and rallentando are desirable, so I my question is still valid.

I think you are referring to something like tempo ramps, which has been talked about before with a view to implementing them, but as yet have not. So I think the answer is that Ardour cannot help you with this.

If Ardour could have a function for it, then that would be really nice; but in the meantime I would really like to hear if somebody have some good tips or tricks regarding this. :slight_smile: So how do you deal with it?

Do you just turn off the click when recording the last bars of a song that gradually slows down before finishing? Or do you perhaps change the tempo beat for beat? When recording, I do both of this, and when having a bad timed recording, I might even have to just skip the grid and tempo and let a gate do some work for in example drum replacement in stead of using a MIDI sequencer. This is a time consuming task - and sometimes a even a creativity and flow killer. Do someone have a better solution?

Thanks, Jostein

In Rosegarden you can ramp the tempo up and down as you wish, but this will not sync the grid in Ardour.
MDI signal can be sent from Rosegarden to Hydrogen to control kick, snare, symbals etc.


Yes, Rosegarden is something I have used before regarding this, without knowing that the right term is tempo ramps or ramping.

It seems to me that the best solution (when I have control over the recording) for now is to let Rosegarden control the tempo and/or doing it the hard way (adjusting tempo beat for beat). Not that this is something I need to do often, it’s about 4 times the last 3 months it would be nice to have an easy solution for this.

Big thanks to all of you for commenting and making suggestions.


Thanks for the tip …and it’s approx the same way I do it now, and it sucks! :slight_smile:


ok the post is kind of old… but here we go.

I’m not quite sure if I understood your problem. But is Figured out that using the normal Tempo Timeline in Ardour Serves my needs:


I’m recording stuff with my band and like to give my Drummer an Click to his headphones, so all my takes are kind of synced. Also we have tempo changes in our songs, so we need to program the Tempo of the Click before we start recording. For “tempo ramps” i change the Meter to 1/4 and add Tempo Changes to every bar. When i’m at the Tempo i want, I change back to the 4/4 Meter.

But the drummer is not a robot and the tempo always differs a bit. So after the recording I insert a new Tempos to the timeline where the drummer drifted of by usualy 1 or 2 BPM.

For sure. This is really quite a bit of work, but so far the results are really promising. If anybody has a better solution for this.

Please let me know

Yeah. It kind of sucks :wink: But hopefully there will be better tools in the future.