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Automatically adjust the tempo in Logic Pro

Smart Tempo in Logic Pro 10.4 lets you record a performance without the metronome and let Logic Pro adjust the project tempo to match the tempo of the recording. Alternatively, you can keep the project tempo and adjust the tempo of the recording accordingly.

You can use Smart Tempo when recording one or more audio files, a software instrument, or MIDI tracks. Smart Tempo has three modes: Keep, Adjust, and Automatic:

  • Use Keep mode to align all tempo-related content with the project's tempo settings.
  • Use Fit Mode to have Logic analyze and follow the tempo of a recorded performance or audio file.
  • Use Automatic mode if you want Logic to choose the most appropriate mode based on whether your project has a tempo reference (like the metronome or another region). If a tempo reference is available, the project tempo will be maintained. If there is no musical tempo reference, the project tempo is adjusted to match the tempo of recorded or imported audio files.

To choose a Smart Tempo mode, click the Smart Tempo pop-up menu on the LCD.

Adjust project tempo while recording

To adjust the project tempo to the performance while recording, use the "Adjust" mode. Temporarily use Customize mode when you're recording the first track in your new project. If you record multiple tracks in succession in "Adapt" mode, the tempo map from the last recording will be used.

  1. Create a new project and add audio tracks.
  2. Select "Adjust" from the tempo display on the LCD. The Tempo Track will open so you can see how the project tempo changes as you record, add, or move audio regions.
  3. Before you start recording, you can set up some automatic actions that Logic Pro will take immediately after the tracks are recorded. For example, Logic Pro can automatically trim the beginning of the tracks down to the first downbeat. Choose File> Project Settings> Smart Tempo, then click the Trim Start New Regions option next to the Set New Recordings To: pop-up menu.
  4. Start the recording. During the recording, the project tempo adapts to the recording. Red lines in the region indicate that pace changes have been detected, and a pace map appears in the pace track.
  5. When you're finished recording, press the spacebar to stop shipping.
  6. In the dialog box that appears, you can choose whether to open the file pace editor. The Smart Tempo Editor lets you preview the recording and make adjustments to downbeat, tempo, and other tempo-related parameters.

When you move or change regions, tempo changes are moved to the new location along with the regions. If you add a Drummer track, other rhythm instruments, or Apple Loops to your track, they will automatically use the tempo of the original audio tracks. If you later add tracks to a multitrack recording, you can add them to the track set that Smart Tempo uses to create the tempo map and analyze the tempo again.

When you import an audio file, the tempo adapts to the imported audio files.

Create a DJ mix with Smart Tempo

With the Smart Tempo functions, you can easily create mixes like a DJ, with songs all following the same tempo. You have the option of creating a mix, the songs of which are all played back at a predetermined tempo, or they can adopt the tempo of the song imported first.

To create a mix that will play at a predetermined tempo:

  1. Create a new blank project.
  2. Set the Snapping pop-up menu to Smart.
  3. Double-click the tempo on the LCD, then enter the tempo you want the mix to play at.
  4. Choose File> Project Settings> Smart Tempo, then do the following:
    • Choose Maintain Project Tempo from the Project Tempo Mode pop-up menu.
    • In the “Set imported audio files to:” pop-up menu, choose “Align In + Bars and Beats”. This will automatically turn on Flex for imported files and perform Smart Tempo Analysis to quantize the downbeats and beats according to the grid of the current project tempo.
  5. Import the first audio file. Logic Pro analyzes the file and adapts it to the project tempo you set.
  6. Click "View" in the dialog box to make adjustments in the Smart Tempo Editor.
  7. Trim and move the beginning and end of a song in the Tracks area as desired.
  8. Import the next audio file. The newly imported file is played back at the project tempo.

To create a mix at the tempo of the first imported song:

  1. Create a new empty project.
  2. Set the Snapping pop-up menu to Smart.
  3. Choose File> Project Settings> Smart Tempo, then do the following:
    • In the Project Tempo Mode pop-up menu, click Adjust Project Tempo.
    • Choose On from the Set Imported Audio Files To pop-up menu. This will automatically enable Flex for imported files.
  4. Import the first audio file. Logic Pro will analyze the file and create a tempo map.
  5. Click "View" in the dialog box to make adjustments in the Smart Tempo Editor. It could e.g. B. be that you have to set a new downbeat at the beginning of the file.
  6. Trim and move the beginning and end of a song in the Tracks area as desired.
  7. Set the Smart Tempo to Keep mode, then import the next song into the same track. The imported file is played in the last tempo event of the first audio file.

Use Smart Tempo for multi-track recording

With multi-track recordings, Smart Tempo analyzes the multi-track audio files together to create a tempo map. Logic Pro generates a multi-track set that you can edit at any time. In the background, Logic Pro creates a downmix that Smart Tempo uses to analyze the multi-track audio files. Use the downmix to refine the tempo analysis in the Smart Tempo Editor.

You have three options for working with "Smart Tempo" and multi-track recording:

  • You can create a multi-track recording and use "Smart Tempo" to adjust the tempo during the recording.
  • You have the option of importing several audio files into a project and using "Smart Tempo" to analyze them simultaneously while importing.
  • You can select audio regions in the track area of ​​a project and analyze them together using "Smart Tempo".

If you are creating a multi-track recording or importing multiple files into the track area, you must first make the following settings.

  1. Choose File> Project Settings> Smart Tempo.
  2. In the Project Tempo Mode pop-up menu, click Adjust Project Tempo.
  3. If you're importing audio files, choose On from the Set Imported Audio Files To: ”pop-up menu. This will automatically enable Flex for imported files.

Select and analyze multiple audio regions in the track area

If you didn't use Smart Tempo when creating a multitrack recording, you can analyze audio regions after recording them.

  1. Select the audio regions that you want to analyze in the track area.
  2. Control-click any of the selected regions, then choose Tempo> Create Smart Tempo Multitrack Set.
  3. In the "Applies to analysis to" column of the "Smart Tempo Multilracks" window, deselect the regions that should not be included in the Smart Tempo analysis.
  4. Click on "Analyze". In the Smart Tempo Editor you can set the tempo analysis of individual regions in detail. You can also add regions to the multi-track set or remove regions from it and analyze them again at any time.

Edit multi-track set

After you've analyzed multiple regions for the first time, you can edit the multitrack set to add or remove regions from the Smart Tempo analysis. Then update the tempo analysis. In the Tracks area, Control-click any of the regions used in the Multitrack Set, then choose Tempo> Edit Smart Tempo Multitrack Set.

To reanalyze the set, select the regions you want to include in the analysis or deselect the other regions, then click Update.

If you want to create a new multitrack set, click on "Dissolve set". Then choose the new regions to add to the Tracks area, Control-click one of the selected regions, and choose Tempo> Create Smart Tempo Multi-Track Set.

Use Smart Tempo with Software Instrument and MIDI Tracks

In a new project, create a software instrument or external MIDI track, set the Smart Tempo mode to "Customize", then record the performance. Logic Pro creates a tempo map as it does for audio tracks. You can also use the Smart Tempo Editor for software instruments and MIDI tracks. Unlike audio files, Logic Pro Smart saves tempo changes directly to the MIDI regions.

Refine Smart Tempo Analysis and correct tempo detection errors

After you've recorded an audio region or imported an audio file using Smart Tempo, you can refine your tempo analysis and correct tempo detection errors with the Smart Tempo Editor.

For example, you can set the downbeats of an audio file in case Logic Pro did not detect it correctly when recording or importing the audio file. On the main display, showing the waveform of the audio file, place the pointer over a beat marker (indicated by red lines) that you want to become the downbeat (orange lines). A set of circular controls are displayed along the long side of the beat markers. Each element has a tag describing its function. Place the pointer over the beat marker and click the Set Downbeat item. You can also move and scale beat markers using the elements in the main window.

The Smart Tempo Editor also contains additional functions:

  • To edit tempo information in the audio file, click the Edit pop-up menu. You can reanalyze the audio file, apply the tempo of a region to the project or the project tempo to a region, extend tempo changes, remove tempo edits in the file, and much more.
  • To increase the speed of a file to double the speed or to reduce it to half the speed, click on "x2" or "/ 2" in the "Tempo" display. For example, it is possible that you recorded an audio track in Customize mode and Logic Pro detected that its tempo was only half or twice as fast as the actual tempo you wanted.
  • To preview the file, click
  • Click onto add a metronome to the preview.
  • Click onto play the file in an endless loop.

For MIDI files, the Smart Tempo Analysis for a MIDI region does not include analysis for the time signature or the downbeat location. Logic Pro automatically sets the first MIDI note event as the downbeat.

Editing a multi-track set downmix

When editing a multitrack set in the Smart Tempo Editor, make sure you are editing the downmix and not one of the individual regions contained in the multitrack set. In the Smart Tempo Editor, click Downmix on the File Name pop-up menu. Then you can set the downbeat and take other actions on the multitrack set.

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