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Studio One Tempo Track Tips

PreSonus Studio One Tips & Techniques By Robin Vincent
Published October 2021

The Tempo Track allows you to change the tempo of your song, either abruptly, in a straight ramp, or as a smooth curve.The Tempo Track allows you to change the tempo of your song, either abruptly, in a straight ramp, or as a smooth curve.

Manipulate the timing of MIDI and audio with Studio One’s Tempo Track.

Trying to keep everything together is a bit of a lifelong mantra for musicians. Whether you prefer to languish in free‑form movements or keep things as tight as an atomic clock, you inevitably need to pull disparate parts from disperate tracks towards some kind of common sense of rhythm. Let’s take a look at the Tempo Track in Studio One and see if it can help us hit that downbeat with everything all at once.

The Tempo Track resides at the top of the tracks, in the same place you’d find the Chord Track, Marker Track, Arranger Track and so on. It’s shown with a clock icon, but if you can’t see that you’ll find it under the ‘Global Track Visibility’ icon which looks like a hamburger with a single beady eye staring at you from the meat layer.

Stuck In The MIDI

If your song is made up of MIDI tracks then the Tempo Track can be a useful place for messing about with the timing of your song. When you open it, you’ll find it’s there as a single line set at the song’s tempo, as defined in the transport bar. In the header for the Tempo Track you can enter a tempo and the line will change to reflect that. You can also change the minimum and maximum tempo range to keep your focus where you need it and give a better resolution.

Your mouse pointer has two functions within the Tempo Track. Firstly, in the lower section of the track it becomes a pointy finger, which lets you add a tempo change at that point on the line. Secondly, if you hover towards the top of the track the cursor becomes a trim tool, shown by a short horizontal line with a vertical line on either end. If you click and drag up or down you’ll move the entire tempo or selection up and down. 

Inserting a new tempo change gives you a node that you can move about and place along the timeline, drawing a straight line from the original tempo point. A central node between the two lets you pull in a curve if you want a less linear movement from one tempo to another. To jump tempos rather than transition, it’s easier to enter the tempo value into the box on the track header and hit the ‘+’ to enter the change at the position of the song pointer.

You can create quite complex lines of timing change, and there are a couple of ways of viewing them in the timeline. In the top toolbar under Timebase you have two options: Time‑linear...

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