I'm currently trying to remix up "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine. Because it was recorded with real instruments I know that its not going to be perfectly in time.

My first approach on this was to manually spilt the song into bars. I've set bpm to 123 (because I believe that to be the best average) and what I find is that some of my clips cover 4 bars on the Cubase grid and some don't, even though my clips are quantized manually to the next complete drum beat.

What is the best approach to tackle this problem?
- Should I turn off "Snap to grid" and do everything manually (which would be very time consuming)? Therefore, completely ignoring the grid altogether .
- Should I group the bars together (to say... make a verse) and then time stretch so that they do line up perfectly on the grid? (Lose audio quality)
- Is there a better way I haven't thought of?
- Or give up and remix a song that was produced with perfect timing?

  • There are also "slicing" plugins that may help, especially if the song's more fluid and wasn't recorded with a metronome.
    – acheong87
    Sep 11, 2013 at 9:01
  • Could you recommend one? I assume some are better than others. I later found out Cubase has such a feature but it isn't always accurate.
    – cworner1
    Sep 11, 2013 at 9:12
  • 1
    I could do a Google search and pretend to have a valid recommendation, but truthfully I'm not familiar with Cubase, so you're better off searching and asking around yourself. That said, I think FL Studio's Fruity Slicer is great, and it's a VST plugin so you can probably load it up in Cubase, or even load up FL Studio itself as a plugin, though that seems like an expensive operation compared to finding a Cubase plugin which I'm sure would work as well if not better.
    – acheong87
    Sep 11, 2013 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


Remixing doesn't necessarily mean you have to have perfect timing compared to cubase. If you have the individual tracks as entities in their own right then applying whatever fx, eq and compression to the individual tracks doesn't require it to hit the beats spot on.

However, if you are adding midi instrumentation to the track then this is a different thing and what I'd be tempted to do (and it is long-winded for sure but worth the effort), is concentrate on aligning the drum beats first, then bass then the various instruments/vocals.

There will be plenty of "spaces" on the beats to cut a small section out to advance the beats immediately following and of course you'll have to retard certain areas by adding small quiet sections. But, whatever you do to the drum tracks you should take note so that you can apply similar techniques to the rest of the tracks so that they line-up perfectly.

If you don't take note of your editing operations all isn't lost because you can edit the other instruments independently.

Another way (but one I've found confusing) is to dynamically alter the BPM in the tempo track.

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