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 Forum index » How-tos » Production - engineering/mixing
A Strange Midi Sync Conundrum
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ggm1960



Joined: Oct 05, 2007
Posts: 37
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: A Strange Midi Sync Conundrum
Subject description: midi file tempo and sync
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I got roped into doing some music for a guy's little video project. He wants an amped up version of 'Rule, Britannia!'. I don't know much about the song but there's a section of it that is probably familiar to just about everyone. It's public domain so it was easy to find the sheet music but I figured why re-invent the wheel and found a couple midi files figuring it would be easier to manipulate those for the results I'm after.

I preferred one of the midi files over the others but there is a strange problem; the file's tempo is set at 118bpm but the midi note performance is actually more suited for a tempo around 89bpm. This creates a problem because I wanted to have a click track. I tapped a tempo on another midi track but I just can't figure out how to get the music midi data to stretch/adjust/lock in/sync up to the slower tempo!?

I started the project in Logic Pro 9 but really have the least experience with that program so I switched over to Digital Performer 6 where I though sure I could do this but after a lot of fiddling around and manual reading I couldn't figure out how to do it. Finally I switched to Sonar PE7 where I messed about with Fit To Time and Fit Improvisation but still couldn't get the results I was after.

I'm shocked that I can't manage to fix a tempo problem with one of these high end sequencer programs! Anyone else ever run into such a weird problem?

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telstarmagikistferrari



Joined: Jun 16, 2008
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sounds frustrating! My solution would be to use the other MIDI file and modify it until I liked it! What did you end up doing?

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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, I think I understand what you are saying...

The person who created the MIDI file simply ran at the standard tempo (around 120 bpm) and recorded without quantization. (Grrrr)

A possible solution would be to set your clock close to your target tempo then "time-stretch" the midi data -- though you will be REDUCING the amount of time -- a "negative time stretch". This will put the midi events and the midi clock close to being in sync. Once everything is close, you can then work with an editor (such as a piano roll style editor) and drag the events to put them "on beat". To work from the end of the music back to the start might be easy than from beginning to end.

There is no real easy way to do this. Sad

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ggm1960



Joined: Oct 05, 2007
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Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Actually I got set on the right path by brundlefly on the Cakewalk forums. Here's the solution using Sonar:

First I had to delete a couple leading notes to be certain the song's measure and beat #1 were butted up all the way to the left, then I determined where measure 2 beat 1 should be and used that value in 'Transport - Set Measure/Beat At Now'. I did the same thing for measure 3 and measure 5 and by that time the file had sync'd up nicely to 88.5bpm. It was actually pretty quick and painless once I got zoned in on the proper procedure!

It's possible that similar features exist in Logic and/or DP, I dunno, but I did want to avoid the variations inherent in tap tempo if possible so I liked this way of doing it. It was obvious that the midi file had been quantized or this wouldn't have worked correctly and I would have had to use some sort of tap tempo.

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telstarmagikistferrari



Joined: Jun 16, 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice work.
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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ggm1960 wrote:
Actually I got set on the right path by brundlefly on the Cakewalk forums. Here's the solution using Sonar:

First I had to delete a couple leading notes to be certain the song's measure and beat #1 were butted up all the way to the left, then I determined where measure 2 beat 1 should be and used that value in 'Transport - Set Measure/Beat At Now'. I did the same thing for measure 3 and measure 5 and by that time the file had sync'd up nicely to 88.5bpm. It was actually pretty quick and painless once I got zoned in on the proper procedure!

It's possible that similar features exist in Logic and/or DP, I dunno, but I did want to avoid the variations inherent in tap tempo if possible so I liked this way of doing it. It was obvious that the midi file had been quantized or this wouldn't have worked correctly and I would have had to use some sort of tap tempo.


Cubase allows this functionality with audio files however I've never tried it with midi data.

Glad this worked out for you!

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