DAW Studio One - Stupid Metronome Tricks

Discussion in 'Recording Tips and Tricks' started by PapaRaptor, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor The Central Scrutinizer
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    I have become quite a fan of metronomes/click tracks as a result of working within Studio One. I've also discovered something that I'm sure isn't a huge revelation to anyone. As soon as you get out of 4/4 time the metronome no longer works as I would like it to work. In other words, I can no longer count on it. [​IMG]

    If you work with 4/4 time at 60 beats per minute, you would expect to hear 60 beats after one minute. That works out to 15 bars of 4 beats 15 x 4 = 60. In fact it does exactly that. That's one beat per second or 4 seconds for one bar or 15 bars per minute.

    Now, let's change the time signature to 12/8 and keep 60 beats per minute, you get 2x the number of beats per minute, assuming that you count 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a each as individual beats. You get two beats per second, so we are no longer looking at 60bpm even though the metronome says we are. While our beats are twice as fast as 60bpm it now takes 6 seconds for 1 bar or 60 seconds for 10 bars. At 12 beats per measure, that's 120 beats per minute or twice what we get in 4/4 timing at 60bpm.

    Set the timing to 12/8 and halve the tempo to 30 beats per minute. That will put us right on a tempo that is comparable to 4/4 at 60 beats per minute. If we count it like is usually done in blues, (basically triplet feel 4/4 time), we count 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a only counting the number as beats. This actually gives us 20 counted beats or 5 bars of music (in 12/8 time).

    Confused yet? Wait, it gets better. If we set the time signature to 12/8 and the tempo to 90 beats per minute, and use a blues style metric (meaning only the numbers are beats) 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a we then get 60 numbered beats in one minute or 15 measures.

    TempoComparison.jpg

    What does this matter? It probably doesn't, but this has been one of those things that makes me scratch my head, reach for whiskey and say, "WTF?"
     
  2. glynnd

    glynnd Blues Newbie

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    In 12/8 time I thought a "beat" was a dotted quarter note. Do you have the option to define the "beat" in your DAW. Or am I just making it worse?
     
  3. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    I'm fine with that, I can't count anyways.
    :whistle:
     
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  4. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor The Central Scrutinizer
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    I don't know. I haven't been able to find any explanation of it.
    It was always my understanding that the denominator in a time signature received 1 beat. So in 12/8 time there are 12 beats to a measure and an 8th note gets one beat but in blues, the 12 beats 12 beats are actually divided into 4 groups of 3, with accent on every 4th beat. This give a triplet feel like 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a.

    It's a math rabbit hole I don't care to go down too far. I just wanted to know how tempo affected the two differing time signatures and wondered if there was any historical theory associated with why the metronome in S1 (and also in Cubase) respond exactly the same.
     
    #4 PapaRaptor, Nov 17, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020