03 June, 2009

Tempo automation goes bust.

Just spent an hour with the four track recording in FLStudio attempting some tempo automation. Essentially since the guitar was played free form, that is to say not using a metronome or drum loop, I had to tap out the tempo and set the project to that. From there, I had to line things up at a starting point and pay attention to the changes in tempo that occurred because A) I played without the aforementioned time-keepers and B) tape drift. While my playing is fairly steady, I do not have a heart made of quartz crystal, so I know a good deal of the tempo shifts were me, but I think the only reason the tempo changes so dynamically through out the piece has to do with the drift.
When things get rolling, the tempo is a pretty solid 95.55BPM. As time progresses, though, the tempo shift to as slow as 95.16BPM and as fast as 95.992BPM. May not sound like a lot, over the course of twelve minutes of droning fuzz, the tempo does not even shift a full .5BPM either way, and you're right, this isn't a big deal. Or at least it wouldn't be aside from that FLStudio allows for only coarse (digits left of the decimal) tempo automation. Try as I might, there was no way I could automate the fine (digits right of the decimal tempo) to keep the drum program hitting where it needed to. After about an hour of listening and looking for where I excited the drone to see how far off the grid the tape playback had gotten, adjusting the tempo to reallign it, and setting markers with the tempo values at those points, I can't do jack shit with it. So I hope that comes in handy for you, knowing that you can't automate the fine tempo in FLStudio.
I'm gonna go eat some beanie-weenies.

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