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Matching a Loop to the Project Tempo

The most common approach to matching audio and sequencer tempo is the one just discussed: a loop will be the basis for a track, and the sequencer will need to use that tempo. In certain situations, though, you'll want the opposite approach. For example, a song may feel right at one tempo, but a great-sounding loop may not fit it properly. If this is the case, you will need to force the audio loop to match the project tempo.

To match an audio loop to the project tempo

  1. Listen to the loop and determine its length. As you can see in this example, the two-bar loop does not fit the project tempo because the two-bar loop starts at the beginning of bar 1 but ends before the end of bar 2 ( Figure 3.14 ).

    Figure 3.14 This loop is two bars long, but it does not match the project tempo.

  2. On the Project window toolbar, hold down the mouse on the arrow button. In the pop-up menu, select Sizing Applies Time Stretch ( Figure 3.15 ).

    Figure 3.15 Changing the action of the arrow cursor. In this mode, resizing an audio part will time-stretch the part instead of moving the boundary.

  3. In the Project window, click the audio part you want to resize and position the cursor at the end of it. The cursor will change icons to include the word Stretch so that you know what you are about to do ( Figure 3.16 ).

    Figure 3.16 The cursor changes to a Stretch icon as the part handle is moved.

  4. Click the mouse on the handle on the part and move the handle to where you want the part to end. The Snap value applies here, and in this case, you want the part to be a two-bar loop from the beginning of bar 1 to the beginning of bar 3.
  5. Release the mouse when the part is properly resized. Cubase displays a status bar as it time-stretches or compresses the file ( Figure 3.17 ).

    Figure 3.17 Cubase uses an offline process to change the duration of the audio file.

    In the Project window, the loop now matches the tempo of the project. In this example, the loop is now two bars long ( Figure 3.18 ). Compare this to Figure 3.14, the loop now ends at precisely the end of bar 2.

    Figure 3.18 The processed audio file fits the project tempo perfectly. Compare this figure to Figure 3.14.

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