Adding manual Beat Grids to analysed files

Some tracks, especially those from the days of manual drummers, before the days of drum machines and Digital Audio Workstations, MPC production studios etc, don’t quite stay precisely “on beat”.

Such tracks can be a challenge for any mixing DJ to mix into, or out of manually… and just as tricky to make sync with computer generated Beat grids.

The solution is to add manual Beat grids along the track.

In Engine Prime, here’s how to do that.

•. Load a beatgrided track which you need to adjust the beatgrids for

•. On the left hand side of the waveform there are three buttons vertically placed… the top one is Track Data, the middle (looking like a Nail or Golf Tee) is Beatgrids adjust (the bottom one is allthe hot cue and looping options. Choose the Beatgrid option.

• use the mouse to move the waveform left/right… note that there’s a white “stylus line” just left of centre which doesn’t move with the waveform… move the waveform until the place in the track where you want to place a manual Beat grid marker is right on that white stylus line.

• in the left hand side Beatgrid controls, click the beat grid marker button., which is directly under the “Reset” button. A new manual Beatgrid marker will be created oncthat precise spot. You can zoom in, on the waveform using the preferences sliders.

• manual Beatgrid markers show up on the track in Yellow, Auto created Beatgrid markers appear in red.

For a TEST try setting some manual (yellow) Beatgrid markers very close together and very far apart and then try playing the track through that area… the track will speed up and slow down through those beatgrids.


Also effective: using Ableton to snap those older tunes with warp markers. Though admittedly, even Ableton’s sweet autogridding is not without issue, especially when a song is lacking well defined transients of was recorded “live” in a studio over several takes where the overall tracking was offset. Word of advice for users attempting to pursue the Ableton method: if using a compressed source file (MP3 AAC etc) after applying your changes and are ready to export, due so in a lossless format to prevent introducing tons of nasty artifacts.

Sorry @DJ_Boothe, I swear I didn’t meant to hijack your thread. :sunglasses:

That’s ok Lits. And how much is Ableton currently, if users wanted to add manual beatgrids then export the entire warped/speed corrected file out to their hard drive for Engine, to play “straight”?

@DJ_Boothe I was trying to do the manual beatgriding as you described but instead of getting a yellow manual Beatgrid marker, the entire beatgrid is moving to the new place, which isn’t what I expected. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Any advise?


I think I have found the issue. In the Windows Version you have to do a double click on the Beatgrid marker button to get a manual marker. A single click is moving the entire grid.

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@DJ_Boothe I think you need to look at this again… with the double click I get the yellow beat grid marker supposed to be the manual one. But the Beatgrids before that marker are changing as well. With other words moving forward in the track, my grids are more accurate but the ones before the changes are out of sync.

Can you please have a look and advise?

Windows 10 Pro 64bit (with Creators Update)

When I get back to my Windows PC, I’ll check that again for you.

so, just to understand: if beatgrids are set manually the System warps the track automatically? what if i don’t want to have warping but only an Option to sync it to another track via the beatgrids? is there an Option to disable the warp function? and how good does this warp algo work? is it comparable to abletons complex pro or pitch n time?

Beatgrids are in the ear of the beholder… (terrible mis-quote :writing_hand:)… As the Engine Prime software is free, why not download it and try the Beatgrid options on a piece of music which you already know to have “off” beats and let us know how you think it went ?

I did a flying test with Sylvester - you make me feel, I have to say it works fine

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Yay ! Thanks for the feedback. Were you using Windows or Mac ?

A lot more $$$ than the _free_Engine software. :grin: Sonit may not be for everyone. But for those who have it and have a particularly stubborn track…

FWIW, I’ve found the Engine gridding to be pretty intuitive. :wink:

Would be great to know if you guys were successful in editing manual beatgrids are on a Mac or a Windows PC. As I wasn’t on a Windows PC, I want to understand if I am doing something wrong or it behaves slightly different.


We hope to have a series of Engine Prime ‘quick bites’ video’s outlining showing quickly and succinctly ‘how to do stuff’, like this… - coming soon

Thanks Paul.

I got a step Forward…

  1. I checked it with my Mac Mini and it behaves the same - so this is good to not have a different workflow.
  2. I think I got now where I have the disconnect…

If I don’t want to have grid changes to the beginning of the track, I have to ‘lock’ the grid by placing a manual grid marker directly on the marker from the Analysis. By doing so, adding manual grid markers moving forward they will not Impact the previous grid. If I will adjust every grid marker onwards this will work. If I don’t want to edit all grid markers moving Forward - as some might be ok, after I did the first adjustment - I have to ‘lock’ the grid again as described before. To me this is a bit of a cumbersome workflow. Maybe there is a better way I haven’t figured out so far. And yes - we are at Version 1.0… Being familiar with rekordbox and therefore I am used to their workflow for manual grids…

I tried to set the grids manually on the mac, i chose the sylvester track because it has an irregular beat, i just managed to normalize it in a few minutes, i apologize for my english i’m italian


Thanks for confirming. Have you done it like I described or was there a better way you followed?


I followed your method

I posted a video on my FB page so you can see how I did it

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Thanks for the video