Match the tempo automatically in Logic Pro X

With Smart Tempo in Logic Pro 10.4, record a performance without the metronome and have Logic Pro adapt the project tempo to match the tempo of the recording. Or, keep the project tempo and flex the recording to match it.

Smart Tempo includes three modes, Keep, Adapt, and Automatic:

  • Use Keep mode to use the project’s tempo for syncing all tempo-related material
  • Use Adapt mode to have Logic analyze and follow the tempo of a recorded performance or audio file.
  • Use Automatic mode to let Logic Pro choose the mode, based on whether or not a tempo reference (such as the metronome, or another region) is in your project. When a tempo reference is present, the project tempo is maintained. When no musical tempo reference is present, the project tempo adapts to match the tempo of recorded or imported audio files.

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

Match the project tempo while recording a track

You can use Adapt mode when recording an audio track, such as a guitar or bass track. Use Adapt mode temporarily, when making a free recording. If you record subsequent tracks with Adapt mode on, the tempo map will change based on the latest recording. 

To get started with Adapt mode:

  1. Create a new empty project with an Audio track. Make sure to choose the correct audio input for the track.
  2. Choose Adapt from the LCD Tempo display. The Tempo track opens so that you can see how the project tempo changes when recording, adding, or moving audio regions.
  3. Before you start recording, you can set some automatic actions Logic Pro will perform just after you've recorded a track. For example, Logic Pro can automatically trim the beginning of the track up to the first downbeat. Choose File > Project Settings > Smart Tempo, then select “Trim start of new regions” next to the “Set new recordings to” pop-up menu.
  4. Start recording. While you’re recording, the project tempo adapts to the recording. Red lines in the region show detected tempo changes, and a tempo map appears in the Tempo track.
  5. When you’re finished recording, press the Space bar to stop the transport.
  6. In the dialog that appears, you can choose to open the File Tempo Editor. With the File Tempo Editor, you can preview the recording and make adjustments to the downbeat, tempo, and other tempo parameters.

When you move or edit the region, changes in tempo follow regions to their new location. If you add a Drummer track, other rhythmic instruments, or Apple Loops to the track, they’ll automatically follow the tempo of the original audio track.

If you import an audio file, the project tempo will change to adapt to imported audio files.

Create DJ mixes with Smart Tempo

You can use Smart Tempo features to easily create seamless DJ-style mixes, where all the songs in the mix conform to the same tempo. You can create a mix in which all songs in the mix play back to a pre-determined tempo, or play back at the tempo of the song you imported first.

In either case, make sure to set the Snap pop-up menu to Smart before you start.

Create a mix that plays back at a predetermined tempo:

  1. Create a new empty project.
  2. Double-click the tempo in the LCD, and enter the tempo you want for the mix.
  3. Choose File > Project Settings > Smart Tempo, then do the following:
    • Choose Keep Project Tempo from the "Default for Project Tempo mode" pop-up menu.
    • Choose "On + Align Bars and Beats" from the “Set imported audio files to" pop-up menu. This automatically turns Flex on for imported files, and uses Smart Tempo analysis to quantize the downbeats and beats to the grid at the current project tempo.
  4. Import the first audio file. Logic Pro analyzes the file, and conforms the file to the project tempo you set.
  5. To make any adjustments in the File Tempo Editor, click Show in the dialog.
  6. In the Tracks area, trim and move the song’s beginning and end as desired.   
  7. Import the next audio file. The newly-imported file plays back at the project tempo.

Create a mix at the tempo of the first song you imported:

  1. Create a new empty project.
  2. Choose File > Project Settings > Smart Tempo, then do the following:
    • Choose Adapt Project Tempo from the "Default for Project Tempo mode" pop-up menu.
    • Choose On from the “Set imported audio files to” pop-up menu. This automatically turns Flex on for imported files.
  3. Import the first audio file. Logic Pro analyzes the file, and creates a tempo map.
  4. To make any adjustments in the File Tempo Editor, click Show in the dialog. For example, you might need to set a new downbeat at the beginning of the file. 
  5. In the Tracks area, trim and move the song’s beginning and end as desired.
  6. Set the Smart Tempo to Keep, then import the next song to the same track. The imported file plays back at the last tempo event of the first audio file.

Refine Smart Tempo analysis and correct tempo detection errors

After you record an audio region or import an audio file using Smart Tempo, you can refine the tempo analysis, and correct any tempo detection errors with the File Tempo Editor

For example, you can set the downbeats of an audio file if Logic Pro didn’t detect them properly when you recorded or imported the audio file. In the main display that shows the audio file waveform, place the pointer over a beat marker (indicated by red lines) you want to make the downbeat (orange lines). A set of circular handles appears along the length of the beat marker. Each handle shows a tag describing the function of that handle. Place the pointer over the beat marker and click the Set Downbeat handle. You can also move and scale beat markers using the handles in the main window.

Other functions available in the File Tempo Editor include the following:

  • To perform actions on the audio file, including reanalyzing the audio file, adapting the project tempo to a region, extending tempo changes, and removing tempo edits made to the file, click the Actions pop-up menu.
  • To double or halve the tempo of the file, click x2 or /2 in the Tempo display. For example, you might’ve recorded an audio track in Adapt mode, and Logic Pro detected the tempo at double or half the tempo you want.
  • To preview the file, click 
  • To add a metronome to the preview, click .
  • To loop playback of the file, click .

 

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