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### tempo doesn't respect time signature?

May 31 2009 | 9:02 pm

hi,

i’m playing with global transport

if i set the time signature as 4/8 and the tempo to 100 bpm, it seems as if the tempo is really 200 bpm?

in setting my time signature to 4/8 i am setting my beats to quavers, my tempo is 100 BEATS per minute and so in this case 100 quavers per minute.

it seems that max/msp tempo is not beats per minute but crotchets per minute, it does not respect my choice for ‘unit’ when setting the time signature.

also, what is the deal with ticks and resolution?

the max reference defines a tick as 1/480th of a crotchet, so this is tempo and time signature independent.

the global transport patch has "resolution" label which says "480 ticks/beat". now surely if ticks are defined as 1/480th of a crotchet then setting your beats to quavers should set the resolution to "240 ticks/beat".

There is also a resolution output on the [transport] object which is labelled "current resolution (PPQ)". Now, what does PPQ stand for? Parts-Per-Quarter? If this is the case then that’s just the definition of a tick, so that’s constant. And my experimentation shows that I can’t get this output to be anything other than 480. So why have an output that remains constant?

If it was actually meant to be resolution (ticks/beat) then it should change to 240 for a time signature of 4/8.

Also interesting that its a float output.

May 31 2009 | 11:20 pm

A time signature of 4/8 signifies that 4 (top part of the fraction) quavers (bottom part of the fraction) make up a measure, thus the beat (the quaver in this case, bottom part of the fraction) at crotchet = 100 would be 200 BPM. Read up on time signatures to understand how Global Transport and time in Max functions, and also check out the tutorials.

PPQ stands for Parts Per Quarter Note, you can use Google to find out how that functions.

Eli

May 31 2009 | 11:51 pm
 Quote: A time signature of 4/8 signifies that 4 (top part of the fraction) quavers (bottom part of the fraction) make up a measure …

I know.

 Quote: … thus the beat (the quaver in this case, bottom part of the fraction) at crotchet = 100 would be 200 BPM.

Yes.

If the rate is 100-crotchets-per-minute, I understand that equals 200-quavers-per-minute.

I am not questioning or disputing that.

Lets get the terminology right here:
BEATS-PER-MINUTE = BPM

The beat is defined by the time signature:
4/4: beat = crotchet
4/8: beat = quaver
4/16: beat = semi-quaver

So, if you set your tempo to 120 BMP and your time signature to 4/8 then that should be a rate of 120-quavers-per-minute.

But this is not what Max does.

If you set your BPM in Max it actually sets the crotchet-per-minute rate, which I think is incorrect.

 Quote: PPQ stands for Parts Per Quarter Note, you can use Google to find out how that functions.

OK, that’s what I thought. And this is the same as ticks?

So my point still stands, Max defines ticks (PPQ?) as 480 per crotchet. So this is a constant.

Why have an object output which is constant?

The global transport patch and the [transport] objects are contradictory. One states RESOLUTION = PPQ whereas the other states RESOLUTION = TICKS/BEAT, which are not the same thing.

Jun 01 2009 | 12:21 am

So, it also seems that Logic Pro is siding with Max.

What is this? Were all those years in education wasted on me?

Jun 01 2009 | 5:00 am

bpm is a defacto standard – it means quarter notes per minute. It’s what you will find in most, if not all sequencers.

We felt when creating the global transport system it would be better to be aligned with the rest of the industry on that one.

Presumably you know when you are making the time sig change, so you can adjust the bpm value accordingly.

-A

Jun 01 2009 | 11:33 am

It’s basically "The Industry" doesn’t give a tinker’s fart about education. The great unwashed masses think "BPM" (dammit, the unit has been called MM since 1816, wtf is this ‘BPM’ nonsense) are always quarters. As I recall, this goes completely confusing with triple meters.

I don’t know if Cycling ’74 would have enough sympathy with trained musicians to have an mm message that would intelligently handle the relationship between meters and tempo values. Given the fact that for decades the core Max user base was largely people with conservatory-style training, it would be a nice touch.

Jun 01 2009 | 11:54 am

why do people exspect a fixed relationship between
signature and BPM anyway?

it is absolutly possible to compose and notate
a piece of music with different signatures for
different tracks.
and now imagine a metronome which had "quarters"

-110

Jun 01 2009 | 12:13 pm
 jimdrake wrote on Sun, 31 May 2009 19:21 So, it also seems that Logic Pro is siding with Max.

What is this? Were all those years in education wasted on me?

Yep. As others have noted, that’s the way it is. We had another exchange on this forum last fall that enlightened me to the same fact and I was in just the same state of befuddlement. I guess the ‘industry folk’ figured that we trained musicians would be able to grasp and get over it much quicker than the followers of the ‘Temple of 120.’

Jun 01 2009 | 2:58 pm

OK.

Fair enough.

Pro Tools lets you choose what you think a ‘beat’ is independently from time-signature, so I think that’s the best solution. You can just leave beat = crotchet if you want to remain ‘industry standard’ but you can set your beat to reflect your time signature if you want to be musically correct.

I would have thought that Cycling 74 would have put some thought into being musically correct rather than siding with the masses, but hey…

I wonder, what do they think they loose out on by working correctly? Or, what would be the downfalls if not conforming to ‘industry standard’?

I mean, for those who aren’t bothered about details like this, just want to work in 4/4 and make BEATZ then what does it matter?

But then for those who are bothered, why restrict them?

I can’t see any disadvantages of doing things a la Pro Tools.

Right, so, the still outstanding question.

If we’re set that a beat in Max is a crotchet, and PPQ = RESOLUTION = TICKS = 1/480th of a crotchet then why is there an output on the [transport] object which just pumps out a constant? And why is it a float?

Jun 01 2009 | 3:09 pm

What you lose out on if you do not do it the way others do is a default ability to work "correctly" in association with them.

Besides, can musicians even agree on what the beat is? I have been informed on this list that I am completely wrong in asserting that 6/8 has 2 beats in it.

-A

Jun 01 2009 | 3:25 pm
 Andrew Pask wrote on Mon, 01 June 2009 16:09 What you lose out on if you do not do it the way others do is a default ability to work "correctly" in association with them.

How so? I can’t think of an example. Do you have one?

 Quote: Besides, can musicians even agree on what the beat is? I have been informed on this list that I am completely wrong in asserting that 6/8 has 2 beats in it.

At the end of the day, there is no rule. That’s the point.

Yes, normally you look at the 6/8 time signature and count in two, but there are examples where you may take a 6/8 bar in three when changing time signatures etc.

So yes, you are wrong to say that a 6/8 bar has two beats in it. Because saying that means that a 6/8 bar is defined as having two beats in it. Which is not true. Yes it can have two beats in it, and it probably mostly does, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to define what a ‘beat’ is per circumstance.

Jun 01 2009 | 4:36 pm
 Andrew Pask wrote on Mon, 01 June 2009 17:09 Besides, can musicians even agree on what the beat is? I have been informed on this list that I am completely wrong in asserting that 6/8 has 2 beats in it.

-A

 Quote: Yes, normally you look at the 6/8 time signature and count in two, but there are examples where you may take a 6/8 bar in three when changing time signatures etc.

i think you both mix up "beats" with "bars", no?

in a 6/8 signature there are 6 beats, and they are
an eighth note (a quaver) long.

what else could be the basic time unit (beat) when not
what the signature says?

you could also say the "beat" of a 6/8 signature
is "6/8", and a 8/8 is "straight".

of course "beat" is also the most dramatic part in
a piece of music.

"beat" is also when something hits a percussion
instrument, no matter when.

"beat" is also a style of music.

plus there is a punk band called "beat".

there is even a maxforum user called "beat"!

no wait, it is "beate".

she probably measures her music in "beate per minute".

-110

Jun 01 2009 | 5:09 pm
 Quote: i think you both mix up "beats" with "bars", no?

No.

 Quote: in a 6/8 signature there are 6 beats, and they are an eighth note (a quaver) long.

Yes. If you want. It depends. A ‘beat’ is defined per piece of music and could be whatever you want. I can, and often does, change throughout the course of a piece.

Yes, you could have a piece in 6/8 where the beat is a quaver. You could also have a piece in 6/8 where the beat is a dotted-crotchet. This is often assumed when seeing a 6/8 time signature.

 Quote: what else could be the basic time unit (beat) when not what the signature says?

Again, whatever you want it to be. Often music will define the BPM and what the ‘beat’ is explicityly with a marking like this:

This defines the BPM at 120 and a ‘beat’ to be a crotchet.

This can be set entirely independently from the time signature.

 Quote: you could also say the "beat" of a 6/8 signature is "6/8"

No, I don’t think that makes sense.

The point is that a beat can be whatever you want it to be. It could be a crotchet. It could not be. It could be defined or implied by the time signature. It could not be.

These are all valid examples:

 Quote: of course "beat" is also the most dramatic part in a piece of music.

"beat" is also when something hits a percussion
instrument, no matter when.

"beat" is also a style of music.

plus there is a punk band called "beat".

there is even a maxforum user called "beat"!

no wait, it is "beate".

she probably measures her music in "beate per minute".

Jun 01 2009 | 5:17 pm
 Quote: The point is that a beat can be whatever you want it to be.

then i want my beat to be a cheeseburger.

Jun 01 2009 | 5:24 pm
 Quote: then i want my beat to be a cheeseburger.

cool, but max doesn’t let you choose that!

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