Midi tempo sync to audio - tempo map?

One thing I do a lot in Cubase is record an audio guitar or piano track ‘free time’ without a click track/metronome. Then I use the Cubase timewarp (tempo mapping function) to slave all the programmed midi instruments (drums, bass, other keys etc.) to the varying ‘human’ tempo I laid down with my audio track. Can anyone advise if this is something achieved relatively easily within Ardour? Thanks.

Thanks LP - tap to tempo might be a method, depending if it makes a ‘map’ that is replay-able or not. The reason I like to use the Cubase timewarp/tempo map function (for some tunes) is that for those tunes I really don’t want ‘machine’ tempo, I want a completely human feel. However I programme and record drums and keys etc. to MIDI rather than audio (so I can edit/compose as the tune progresses). So the Cubase timewarp/tempo map gives me the best of both worlds - you can tweak the tempo map as finely to match the free time audio as you like and so retain all the subtlety of the ‘human’ timing variations, but still have the power and flexibility of ‘the machine’. Maybe it’s a feature that will come, perhaps I should ask the Ardour software writers?

You can add tempo changes quite easily in Ardour. I use that function quite a bit when laying down something on top of a previous mix that was played without a metronome. You’d (I believe) have to it section by section “by hand” so to speak, but it’s doable.

Thanks Mr Miles, it’s something I’ve been doing more of recently as I’ve got a bit more ‘arty’ and less tolerant of the relentless machine tempo. Often I’ll compromise and make a tempo map of just 8 or 16 bars and then copy/paste that, so it’s encouraging to know it ‘can be done’. From my point of view, even it’s a few hours work it’s well worth it. The Cubase function does speed to job up a lot, but heh, as long as ‘there’s a way!’

The ability to set the project tempo from audio transients and quantizate midi to it as well is something I’d very much like to see in Ardour too. Even if it didn’t do fancier stuff like automatic audio stretching while retaining pitch it would be a big thing! One of the reasons why I haven’t switched to Ardour completely from Sonar (which in turn keeps me having Windows around… yuch… puke…).

@kbrown : end of your post reminds some engineer saying something like “when you don’t have the hard or software that you know/think/imagine it can produce the sound you like to hear, you have to increase your imagination, to test many things, and most of the times you get a better sound achieved than if you only use a preset…” It’s one of the reasons why we left the OS you quoted ! & of course it includes a “time to spend” element… Are we really in the hurry ? :wink:

Have not tested it yet, but :
could be your friend. Please tell it here if so…

+1 as a “want” feature

+1 as a “want” feature as well!

This video shows how to use the tempo-map to match a freely playing musician. It closes with adding some MIDI accompaniment:

It shows Harrison Mixbus, but the editor is identical to Ardour’s.


WawRobin! That’s super tool! Thanks so much!


p.s. Shortcuts are also comfortable!

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Would there be any way to go from rhythm ferret markers to make the beat markers line up to the rhythm ferret determined split points? I have a MIDI percussion pads, it would be cool to be able to play a simple click track matching the existing audio, and have the beat/bar markers line up automatically on the MIDI note input.