Samplitude Academy – Tempo Adjustment in Samplitude (part 2)


This time we want to take a closer look at the Tempo Map dialog.

Step 1: Set the playback marker to the position at which the tempo or beat changes should occur.

Step 2: Open the tempo map dialog with the command in the marker menu (right-click on the marker bar) or through “Edit” > “Tempo”.


Step 3: Now click on “New Marker”. A new marker will be inserted at the current position.

You can now use the marker options to set the properties of this marker. Now make the new entries, e.g. the tempo in BPM for a tempo marker or the new time signature for a bar marker.

Note: Be aware that the settings are only valid for the markers currently selected in the marker list. For example, you cannot set marker properties such as type or tempo after a new marker has been created.

A bar marker is always placed at the start of a new bar. If the playback marker is at a different position, the marker position is automatically moved to the beginning of the next bar.


Ignore all tempo markers, use project tempo

This option allows you to ignore any previously created tempo markers in your project so that only the project tempo is observed.

This occurs automatically for grid position markers if illogical bar positions are created while moving, e.g. if grid position markers are exchanged (bar 20 before bar 19) or are moved in such a way that this bar position originating from a previous tempo marker cannot be met by tempo interpolation.

Hide tempo markers: This option ensures that all tempo markers in the arranger are no longer shown. If you are in the pitch shift/time stretch mouse mode, this option is ignored.


Musical position after tempo changes

If a tempo marker is changed or a grid position marker is moved, this influences the following markers and audio/MIDI objects in the virtual project.

There are two main possibilities: The time position either remains constant or the musical position remains.

The time position in the virtual project is the absolute position, the musical position is flexible and is displayed by the grid.

Maintaining the musical grid position means that objects or markers are adapted to the newly created grid and their absolute time position in the project changes. If the time position is maintained, the musical position changes accordingly.

When changing the tempo markers, the behavior of markers, audio objects and MIDI objects is controlled separately. By default, the musical grid position of MIDI objects and tempo markers is retained and the time position of markers and audio objects remains constant.

If you drag a tempo marker while holding down the Alt key in Grid Adjustment Mode, the time position of the object remains unchanged.



In this example, the first tempo marker in the second image has been changed. The MIDI object and the second tempo marker were moved correspondingly so that the musical position (3:01:000) was maintained.

If you generally want to keep the time position of objects during a tempo change, select the option „On all locked tracks“ and activate the button tempo14_int in the track header.


Ritardando or Accelerando

To interpolate the tempo of the selected marker with the previous tempo, activate the option “Interpolate tempo with previous marker” in the Tempo Map. During playback the tempo constantly gets closer to the defined tempo at the current marker until it finally reaches this tempo at exactly the current marker position.



Tempo Map modes: BPM mode/Snap mode

In the Tempo Map dialog you can choose between two modes: BPM mode and Snap mode.

In BPM mode you work exclusively with BPM markers and time signature changes.

In Snap mode you work exclusively with grid position markers and time signature changes.


You can toggle between BPM markers and grid position markers at any time. The tempo markers remain the same, but change their type. The effective tempo map and beat grid remain unchanged.

For example, first adjust the bar grid in grid mode to a MIDI recording with many tempo changes. Now switch on the BPM mode and insert musical tempo changes for single sections.


“Tapping” the Bar Grid (Grid Tapping)

You can set grid position markers in the tempo map snap mode during playback.

Step 1: Assign the menu command „Insert grid position marker“ to a keyboard command of your choice, e.g. „+“.

Step 2: Now press „+“ in rhythm with the music during playback to “tap in” the bar grid and tempo map.

The following will happen: At the time of pressing the key, the nearest bar position of the selected bar grid will move to the current playback position and it will be marked with a grid position marker.

Tip: To detect the tempo, work in the bar grid (entire bar borders) first. In a second step, you can edit slight tempo fluctuations in the “beat” grid.


Tempo Track

The Tempo Track can be used to display an overview of the tempo and time changes in your project. The Tempo Track is a graphic display of the project’s tempo map as an automation curve. In principle, each automation point of the curve corresponds to a tempo marker.

The Tempo Map is also available as the “tempo” automation curve and can be graphically edited.


Note: You can choose any track to display the “tempo” automation curve. The track you choose will then be reserved as the Tempo Track.

If you want to create a separate Tempo Track, first add a new track (“Track” > “Insert New Tracks” > “Insert Track(s)”), name it “Tempo Track” and generate a tempo curve by going to “Automation” > “Tempo” and adding a new tempo or time change.


Changes to tempo markers are automatically transferred to the Tempo Track and vice versa. Keep in mind that the tempo track can only be edited in BPM mode; in snap mode it serves solely as a display.


Inserting tempo changes and tempo curves into the tempo track:

Step 1: Double-click (in Universal Mode) or simply click (in Curve Mode or Automation Draw Mode) on the desired position in the tempo curve. In addition to the new curve point a new tempo maker will appear in the marker bar.


Step 2: Starting at the new curve point, drag the mouse pointer upwards or downwards to change the tempo.


BPM value and position can be changed by clicking and dragging curve points. For tempo levels there are always two curve points for one tempo marker, one for position and one for tempo.

Step 3: Right-click to the open the “Tempo and Time Signature” dialog where you can change the values numerically.


Step 4: If you hold down the Alt key while clicking on a tempo marker, the grid is deactivated and the tempo jumps to the neighboring tempo markers are converted into tempo curves.


Step 5: Hold down the Ctrl key while double-clicking (in Universal Mode) or simply clicking (in Automation Draw Mode). Now drag on the created BPM marker to set a tempo curve to the previous BPM marker.


Step 6: To switch back and forth between the tempo curve and the tempo step to the previous tempo marker, click on a tempo marker while holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys.


Step 7: This creates a Ritardando or Accelerando. While holding down the Ctrl key, create a new tempo marker by double-clicking (in Universal Mode) or simply clicking (in Curve Mode or Automation Draw Mode) on the tempo curve. Hold down the mouse button and drag upwards on the created tempo marker for Accelerando, or downwards for Ritardando. This will generate a tempo curve to the previous tempo marker and the corresponding BPM marker will be displayed as a double arrow in the marker bar. The previous tempo is applied again from the newly created tempo marker position.


We hope you have tons of fun working with tempo markers, the tempo map and tempo tracks!

Your Samplitude Team

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