Tempo detection not working for me?

This may be user error so apologies in advance but if i drag an instrumental into audacity and then drag an acapella, the tempos arent alligned meaning i have to manually play around with the tempo settings to allign them. Should this be done automatically now? When i drag an audio clip in, i dont get any pop up saying the tempo has been detected as 130 etc?
i also dont have the option to select beats or beats and 16th in the time widget like the guide says i should. ive tried uninstalling and reinstalling. please help.

According to Audacity 3.5 | Audacity Support

Tempo detection is done via both audio analysis and metadata checking. If you want to prepare your loop for automatic tempo detection without relying on audio analysis, both acidizer tempo tags or simply writing “123 bpm” anywhere into the filename work.

(emphasis mine)

Thanks for replying. So do you mean i take the instrumental and acapella and rename them to 123bpm before importing it?

I think it mean that if you include the actual bpm of the audio file in the audio file name, then Audacity will treat it as having that tempo. The first file imported will set the tempo in Audacity (if enabled), and other files will be stretched to that tempo, based on their tempo.

I don’t use this feature, so you may need to check the documentation yourself and experiment.

No. Audacity won’t automatically change the timing /tempo (or anything). Usually you don’t want it doing things without you telling it exactly what to do.

About half-way through this video they talk about tempo detection.

I haven’t used tempo detection but but I wouldn’t expect it to be perfect. Beat detection is complicated… There are rests (missing beats) and some beats are louder than others, etc.

The tempo of “real” music often varies a little from moment-to-moment because it depends on the band leader, conductor, or drummer, etc. And some music varies intentionally, starting slow and ending fast, etc.

Most modern music is recorded to a computer-generate click-track, or is MIDI generated, so the temp is rock-solid unless intentionally varied.

…The clock in your soundcard can sometimes be off by enough for the beat to be out-of-sync by the end of a song. The same thing can cause the pitch to be off. That’s a hardware problem so you will ONLY see it under certain conditions when recording and playing-back. It’s not a problem if you are working with software files in the computer because when the file(s) are played they are all affected the same and they stay in-sync.

Thank you for your detailed explanations. So if i start from the top, looking at that video it says if i drag in audio it will prompt me to switch to music view but mine dosent do that. Regardless if im in beats and bars or not or whatever the file name is or format i get no pop up like the video says i should.

Sadly that is no longer always true.

If “Beats and Measures” is selected in the Timeline, and Audacity thinks it has detected the tempo of a file imported into an empty project, Audacity asks if you want to “enable music view and set the tempo to …bpm”. If you say “No”, then Audacity automatically stretches the audio to fit the current tempo setting. What you need to do to avoid this, is to answer “Yes”, and then to reset the Beats and Measures back to where they were, press Ctrl + Z (Undo).

Alternatively, ensure that the timeline is set to “Minutes and Seconds”, and select “No” when prompted for automatic tempo detection.

But this is one of my issues. I dont get that pop up. It just sits in the timeline.

What is your preference setting in “Preferences > Import / Export > Music Imports”?

Ill check in morning and reply back as i want to get this sorted. Just to confirm, im using the latest version and importing an mp3

its currently on ask me each time. Do i switch to ‘switch to b&m and allign with musical grid’?

“Ask me each time” should be fine.

According to this page: Audacity 3.5 | Audacity Support

Tempo detection is done via both audio analysis and metadata checking. If you want to prepare your loop for automatic tempo detection without relying on audio analysis, both acidizer tempo tags or simply writing “123 bpm” anywhere into the filename work.

(emphasis mine)

Try naming a wav file “123 bpm file.wav”, and then import it into an empty project. Does that work?

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