Free-time MIDI Performance to a fixed BPM

I have searched to see if this is possible in Ardour. I have a MIDI recording that was made not using a click/metronome. Therefore the notes don’t fit to any grid of any timing. Is it possible to change the beat/tempo map to bring the MIDI recording so that I can quantise the performance and even out the overall tempo of the performance.

I have seen the kind of thing I am after being done in Presonus Studio. (How to Conform a Free-time MIDI Performance to a fixed BPM In PreSonus Studio One - YouTube).

Any help or advice would be most welcome.

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I have been working on this intensively over the last few weeks. I hope it will be in the shape we want it to be in for 7.4

Note however that you’re describing two different things.

  1. conforming the tempo map to a performance
  2. conforming a performance to the tempo map

Which ones are you really interested in?


The process I had in my mind is
a) Record a piece, Detach the MIDI data from the tempo grid
b) Move the the tempo grid to match the midi notes (effectively adjusting the tempos)
c) Locking the MIDI data back into the tempo grid to allow sections to have their BPMs corrected/changed and allow for quantising.

I had not considered option 2 as a solution. Not sure how this would work in practice.

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7.4 will include strong support for this workflow, in a way that we believe is better than that found in other DAWs.

Sadly, it’s not available yet. RIght now, any and all changes to the tempo map will impact existing beat-timed data (which includes all MIDI).


Thanks Paul

That answers my “How do I” question. I now know it’s not doable yet so won’t keep looking for the solution.

I’m enjoying 7.3 but obviously look forward to 7.4 and a possible workflow.

Keep up the great work. Thanks again.


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