You want to record to a click track…but you also need the tempo of the song to “breathe” in sections. Did you know you can do both with tempo automation? Check it out:


Give Us Your Input

Can you think of a way you can use this on a project? Leave a comment and share your ideas with the rest of us.

7 Responses to “How to Automate Tempo [Video]”

  1. Cush

    I do this a lot. A lot of the drummers that I work with struggle with parts that go to a half-time feel if I keep the tempo at the standard pace. If I just cut it in half for that section, it makes it a lot easier for them to dial into the click. I also tend to get a little mathy with my solo stuff, and automating tempo and time changes is a must since I program drums when i’m arranging the songs.

    This is a good bit of knowledge to have, as it can save you a lot of trouble in the editing stage and latter tracking sessions if you have the drums really dialed into the click. Good call, Joe.

  2. CD

    @ Matt

    I’ve been doing this a bunch in Logic for a project (covering a bunch of 70’s soft rock tunes). The songs were rarely (I think) recorded to a click. So they tend to drift a bit more than change tempo. But it kind of helps I think with adding a little groove versus just having one tempo throughout.

    Anyway, there’s a beat mapping feature in Logic and actually once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. Basically you attach bar markers to transients. I imagine there must be something similar in DP. @Joe is there something like that in PT? That might make PT9 that much more intriguing for me.

    • Matt

      Thank you!! I am looking into how to do it with DP.
      I wish you the best with your project!

  3. Matt Needham

    I don’t like to change tempos within a song. It is typically quite frustrating for a band to perform, and can sound awkward to listeners. However, the idea of pushing a chorus up 2-3 bpm is intriguing.

    One thing I DO enjoy is changing the time signature within a song. Every once in a while I can incorporate 5/4 in a song, and I absolutely love doing so.

  4. clay johnstone

    Been looking for a good explanation of how to do this for a long time Lots of my stuff has a slower rubato intro before going into strict tempo.A real gem of a tip today Thanks Clay

  5. Craig

    Bobby Owsinski gave the tip in one of his books of pushing the tempo slightly in the choruses. I think he suggested about 2-3 bpm. Tempo mapping is perfect for that kind of thing.

  6. Matt

    Joe, thank you for posting this.
    Would you be able to explain how we might map out a tempo for something that has already been recorded without a click track? I know you said it is very laborious but, I may have to do it and it would help me to know how. I’m using Digital Performer but, maybe it is something that is common in all DAW’s?


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