Questions & Answers

Ability to Set Measure/Beat at "Time Now" (Tempo Mapping) with a single shortcut/macro

+7 votes
asked Dec 8, 2017 in Editing by mettelus (870 points)

I have searched for this and not found this particular item, but it has been referenced. Tab-to-transient is an excellent tool, but there doesn't seem to be a shortcut/macro to then assign that "time now" transient to a measure/beat on the tempo map. Barring Melodyne 4 (which is clunky when doing this to a cover track due to the sheer size of the file), I have only found references to inserting tempo markers manually, and then ctrl-sliding those (requiring zooming in), and then repeating. This is even more painful with a track that leads into the drums, since that first downbeat wants to slide around.

As an example, if a commercial track is imported and the tempo is roughly known and entered, here is what I am would like to do (this is how it is done in SONAR):

  1. Import the audio track, set tempo as best possible, and slide it right to get the first downbeat properly aligned.
  2. In SONAR, I am used to a command to "Set Measure/Beat at Time Now." Say the first down beat is the beginning of bar 6. The first is set there, and this provides an "anchor" to keep it set for further adjustments (to the right of it).
  3. When used, the "Set Measure/Beat at Time Now" will use the closest grid setting as a suggestion, so slight drifts will automatically pop up a confirmation window of the Measure/Beat to assign and insert a tempo map adjustment accordingly.
  4. Using this method, it is simple to adjust a tempo map without navigating or using the mouse in any way. It is as simple as 1) tab to transient necessary, 2) hit the shortcut to set measure/beat at time now, and 3) verifying the confirmation window (which should simply be Enter, barring any wild tempo variations).

I am submitting this as a feature request only because I am not familiar with macros is Studio One, and not sure if this already exists or how to create a macro to do so. I would like to be able to simply tab to a transient and assign it to [whatever] measure/beat on the tempo map and have the tempo map adjust accordingly - pretty much the same as ctrl-sliding an inserted tempo marker, but quicker and more accurate.

2 Answers

+1 vote
answered Jan 17, 2018 by AlexTinsley (736,020 points)
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0 votes
answered Feb 5 by mettelus (870 points)

I wanted to follow up on this, since the new mapping in 4.1.1 is VERY close, but works on manipulating the tempo track with a mouse, rather than working with the now time (and the keyboard). For me, working with the mouse on the track (after 4.1.1) is actually faster by bypassing snap and dragging to a transient (one can actually set bend marker sensitivity to zero if transients are viewable this way), but this leads to the reason for working from the now time...

People work from (and track) the now time in a project. Particularly when a track is a mix down or pre-master, the transients must be heard and cannot be readily seen visually or detected by tab-to-transient. The dilemma arises from listening to a track and a transient is located this way (yay!), the now time is sitting on it, but I now need to use the mouse to drag the tempo maker to it (ugh). It would be much quicker in this situation to have a macro that allows a keyboard shortcut to move the closest tempo marker (based on snap settings) to the now time. In SONAR, there is actually a pop-up window for verification since if too far along the timeline, it may choose the wrong marker, so it becomes two key strokes (macro to move tempo marker, followed by a return/enter key to accept). The confirmation window is also handy for situations where a rough tempo is initially set by going 8 bars into a song and setting the first marker there (snap can be WAY off in this situation depending on tempo mismatch).

While using a mouse is convenient in many cases, it can be clunky/slow in others. In terms of raw speed with precision, the keyboard will always win out for certain functions.

I *think* that most of the hooks to create a macro to do this are available, but not visible(??). I may also not be savvy enough with macros to find it, but what would help me out greatly is this macro/functionality:

  1. User manually finds a transient and puts the now time on it (either tab-to-transient, or manually locating it).
  2. Macro - using snap settings (typically measure or beat), Studio One will move the closest tempo to the now time (same functionality of mouse-dragging in the tempo track, just done automatically).
  3. A pop-up confirmation (with default control linked to "accept") showing the new tempo assignment of the now time and ability to manually change it.

Since I work with pre-masters often, Melodyne can easily fall apart trying to tempo map, and when setting manually with a mouse, it requires me to both manually find the transient, then mouse-drag to set tempo.


Aside: an "audio microscope" (of sorts) based on user-selected frequencies would also be a nifty addition to locating transients (especially in a full mix) since transients can then be narrowed down by the user to a very tight frequency range (e.g. a 20Hz band on the kick drum, etc.).