I'm playing a e-drum set. I want to trigger samples which are quite long (1min) during playing. Since I'm not a perfect drum player my playing tempo may have changed when I arrive at the point where I want the sample to play. So I need a plugin (Cubase) which will modify the tempo of the sample.

I can tap the tempo on my drum computer during playing. The drum computer does send a midi clock over midi out. Is there a plugin which is able to pickup the midi clock singnal and modify the sample tempo?

  • lots of DAWs have a tap tempo function built in. I'm not sure whether you can assign a MIDI input to it on Cubase. If you can, then you can just set your VST sampler to sync to host tempo.
    – Mark Heath
    Jun 17, 2011 at 22:00
  • Cubase does have a tap tempo function. But it's only accessible through 2 dialog boxes. No hot key. And: Cubase does not allow to sync the project tempo to an external clock. And it does not allow to modify the project tempo by plugins.
    – Eduard Wirch
    Jun 17, 2011 at 22:19
  • Tim Post - please migrate to Sound
    – Rory Alsop
    Feb 15, 2014 at 9:14

5 Answers 5


It sounds like you just need to quantize the MIDI data since E-Drums work with MIDI. The sample is played using the MIDI data, and thankfully we can change anything about MIDI data. Just drag it where you want it to sound and you're done.

If that's the case, the way you'd do that depends on your program.


While this doesn't directly answer your question because it doesn't involve a VST, you might be able to solve your problem by putting a metronome click in a set of in-ear monitors. This way, you will be playing at the correct tempo when it comes time to trigger the sample. A local band I'm fond of uses this technique in their live shows; however this solution can be inconvenient doesn't generalize to all situations, such as improvisations where you might want to vary the tempo on the fly.

  • Thanks Bob. But that's the point. There are parts in songs when my band mates play alone. They don't hear my metronome click.
    – Eduard Wirch
    Jun 17, 2011 at 21:21

You could try triggering a sample stretch slider to the velocity of a midi in (your drum pad). You can hook up a given midi channel (assuming you have midi in, on a sound card), and connect a given drum pad to the control of a slider that changes the stretch amount (pitch) of the sample. An ideal candidate for that could be NI's Absynth VSTi (can download demo).

You can actually have it so the pitch is also adjusted so only the speed of the sample is affected. Absynth has delays and other effects built in that are a little tricky to start with but can get good results. Also LFOs and a whole load of envelopes. It's quite fun if you get into it.


This seems like the sort of thing that you should be able to do very easily in Ableton Live. Rather than using a sampler, you just put your long samples in clip slots. Then trigger them with something like a Novation Launchpad. You should be able to map global tempo to whatever controller you want, or slave Live to the clock from your drum computer.

You should be able to do all this from the bundled copy of Live that comes with the Launchpad controller.


If you are playing with a click track out can you get out of time? With a click track you don't even have to trigger the samples manually. Just have your DAW play the samples. This is the most technical and advanced way to go about it but all it takes is to play with a click track. Once you do that you can have the DAW be part of the band and do all kinds of cool stuff(lights, samples, effects, etc...).

In a sense your trying to solve the inverse problem which, while not difficult(if you have the software), is very limited and has it's own set of problems.

For example, if you trigger your 1m sample in time but you get out of time then it will be out of time.

All these problems are eliminated if you can play in time with a click track. It's really not hard to do and it offers the most benefit in the long run.

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