How Is Your DAW At Beat Detection/Tempo Maps?

Audio Plugin Hosts and other audio software applications discussion


I'm a singer/songwriter and I use Studio One as my main DAW.

I'd like to be able to import a complete guitar/voice performance and create a tempo map from it. Studio One does this but I think you have to manually mark the start of each measure. Also, its beat/groove detection misses a lot of beats if they are too quiet.

Does your DAW do a good job of these two functions? Or some other software? Please share your knowledge!
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I'd be surprised if any of them, in any DAW, work perfectly. The operations which do this are looking for regular peaks of energy, and if the guitar (for example) is doing a rhythm which doesn't often fall on 'on' beats, it will fail to determine where the beat is, and probably the tempo as well.

Assuming you're playing freely without a metronome, that will make it a touch more difficult to detect tempo. I'm not aware of any tempo detection functions which detect flawlessly; I use Logic and it's actually pretty good at analysing the source data and creating a general map but one always has to manually edit it to perfection. but once you do, you can use the tempo map both ways; 1. force the unsteady tempo to regular steady tempo. or 2, import your tempo map to the Logic project and make other instruments match that tempo, however it moves around.

I'm not a big 'sample editor' guy but I'd be surprised if RX or things like that don't have some kind of rhythm/tempo detection/extraction functions. Not sure how they might export MIDI tempo maps though other than exporting MIDI files and I'm not sure it does that. I could be very wrong though!

I thought StudioOne was a preference among many mainly-audio-file producers/engineers, so what they've got could very well be the premium abilities available to DAW DSPers. You might just have to suck up and find a way to streamline the process from the tools you've got. It doesn't like it's much different from the Logic process.

It's funny; this kind of thing could _very easily_ be simplified and improved with a bit of neural networking artificial brain shenanigans. But it will take a DAW manufacturer to realise that :)


Logic works pretty well for this... of course it depends on the material. I haven't used Studio One so cannot compare results between them.


I remember that I‘ve seen some video tutorials for Studio One. The best way seems to be using Melodyne on a reference track and then copy the results to the tempo track. But this requires at least Studio One Pro for a free Melodyne Essentials license.


Ah yeah, I've used Melodyne to perform tempo track extraction, quite a few times, and the process is quite different from Logic's.

But some aspects of task itself, if I recall correctly, are a bit fiddly and not intuitive, as least not as intuitive as Logic. But you'll need a mac for that, so maybe try Melodyne? I _think_ you'd need Melodyne Studio though, for the standalone version? Not sure that comes with lesser-than-Studio versions.


Logic does it pretty well. I had tried some of my old productions that were recorded on 2inches and they were spot on.
Same with Cubase 13.


Digital Performer does this really well. Same sort of beat detection algorithm as Logic, but it also includes multiple ways to edit the map when or if the Set Sequence Tempo to Selection command needs massaging.


I will use Tunebat Key and BPM Detector. FL kind of sucks at it. (Unless it's embedded in the sample)


I have used Logic and Studio One for this and definitely prefer Logic. I think they tested it a lot with things like a singer and a guitar, the system seems pretty well set up for that.

I think Logic's detection is really good and they give you more options for manipulating/editing things. I've tried mapping a lot of different material and it does a good job every time, if you know how to use the beat markers and stuff. Usually editing/scaling one marker can fix a lot of problems. The Smart Tempo editor was a little confusing the first time I used it but I got used to it.

For things like a singer and a pianist (MIDI) playing together with some tempo variance you do have to map the tempo and then edit the notes in separate stages unless you do some little workarounds. This is because editing the notes will create a prompt that the notes no longer match the beat markers and it needs to be re-analyzed. I don't recall how Studio One handled that because I didn't do a particular piece like that in it. Since your map doesn't involve MIDI you're probably okay on this front.

The detection in Studio One is OK, the tools are a little easier to use in Studio One but I found the results to be a little worse so I'm not sure about that trade off. It definitely misses beats with quiet material, whereas Logic will sort of "fill in the gaps" in the map and estimate it so to speak. Once you have to time stretch anything I like the algorithms Studio One uses better (elastique) but not how they are implemented. It requires more manual edits. This doesn't necessarily affect tempo mapping, but I thought I'd mention it.


So Logic Pro 11 is fricken insane. I was using some stems yesterday to set up my new template. Fresh dry stems from splice. I would import then directly from splice into logic. They would import unmapped (when I import from my sample browser sononym I actually don’t have to do this part guessing it meta tags it and logic sees bpm), anyways, I keyboard shortcut bound the project tempo to event thing and I would use it and I was so blown away by it that I opened up Ableton 12 and compared it to complex and complex pro. For the first time in my life I thought Ableton has been beat.

Also if you want to get tricky with it you can set up and down beats if it’s getting it wrong if you have something more complex.

Do not sleep on this. If you have logic try it.
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qtheerearranger wrote: Tue May 21, 2024 11:04 am Fresh dry stems from splice. I would import then directly from splice into logic.
This is the easiest thing any DAW can do, Splice stems have the data in them to easily translate to Apple Loops. I'm surprised there isn't a setting in Logic to do this automatically, there probably is you just haven't found it yet.

What gets me interested in this is what a DAW can do with audio not played to a strict tempo. With that in mind Logic and DP are the only ones that don't kill your brain trying to fix the tempo to the audio file.

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