[ardour-users] feature idea: draggable measure lines

philicorda philicorda at ntlworld.com
Thu Apr 6 10:03:17 PDT 2006

On Thu, 2006-04-06 at 11:16 -0400, Paul Winkler wrote:
> Just wondering if this would be useful to anybody else...
> I sometimes record live musicians without a click track and then want to
> line up the bars and beats with what they actually played.
> Sort of the opposite of time-stretching the music to match the grid.
> I want to stretch the grid to match the music!
> This way I'd get easy snap-to-bar editing, and the ability to drive
> jack-transport-aware apps with a real "human" feel.  I can also
> retroactively add a click track - which I've already found really handy
> when attempting to overdub to a particularly difficult drum track (very
> syncopated, weird meter).
> I can do this today, but holy cow it is tedious. Turn on the click
> track, add a tempo marker at the beginning of the first bar, guesstimate
> the tempo of that bar, see how long you can play before it's out of
> sync, adjust the tempo until it's exactly right for the first bar (or,
> with luck, two bars); then move on to the next bar, add another tempo
> marker, rinse and repeat.  
> I end up with tempo markers at the beginning of almost every single bar
> with slightly different tempos... 119.5, 119, 118, 119, 119.5, 121,
> 119,...  and no you can't just take an average, the click will audibly
> go in and out of sync.
> Yesterday I spent almost an hour doing this for under two minutes of
> music.  I know my drummer's not a pro, but hey, I did this with a Led
> Zeppelin track once to figure out what the heck they were playing, and
> the tempo was all over the place.  Humans are like that. Sometimes it
> sounds better that way.
> It would go much, much faster if there were a way (new mouse mode?) to
> adjust the tempo of a bar by dragging.  I think the way this would work
> would be: You select one (or more, via shift-select) tempo markers, and
> then drag left or right. The result is that the tempo of the two markers
> *before* and *after* the selection are scaled automatically to fit.
> (Sanity restriction: you cannot drag farther than one bar in either direction.)
> Anybody else tried working like this?  Any thoughts on the idea?

This is a great idea.
It would be nice if it generated a marker every bar, and then you could
drag the first couple to give it the rough idea of tempo, then a few
others later on when it looked like it was drifting out of sync. Then it
would scale all the intervening markers in the way you suggest.

Ummm. That's pretty much the same as your idea, just with automaticaly
generated markers. I think having a marker at the start of every bar
would be useful as it would make it more obvious to the user if they
made a mistake. (i.e the same length of time could be 16 bars at 120bpm
or 15 bars at 128bpm).

For some reason I don't think the draggable tempo hint markers should be
on the same marker track as the existing tempo track. The tempo track is
derived from the markers and is not really the same thing.

I also suggest everyone looks after their teeth, otherwise they will be
on the same cocktail of pain, antibiotics, painkillers, not smoking, and
making little sense as I am.


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