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Let's talk BPM


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Don't forget the only difference between tempo and pitch is the range it's in (ignoring scale temperment and stuff like that, which isn't really useful at sub-audible frequencies), the basic rules of harmony can apply to tempo well and historically were

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3 hours ago, zkom said:

It would be more idm to measure the tempo in Hz instead of BPM, f.e. 120 BPM = 2Hz.

tbqfh

Aaaand ... we’re right back to Stockhausen’s Kontakte

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If we're talking Western music theory, I'd say a single cycle would be a bar not a beat since the bar is the repeating pattern, so 120bpm in 4/4 would more practically be 0.5Hz IMO.

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6 hours ago, Stickfigger said:

Wait. You guys make music with all of the instruments going at the same BPM? pfff, how normie can you get.

 

exactly.

 

this post was made by anti-quantize gang

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12 hours ago, yekker said:

Bpm isn't something I pay attention to. Most of the music I made in the past I didn't even change from default 120. I know that lots of hip hop is 90 bpm. What speed does dancier stuff start at ? I really don't know. 

What do you guys like to use ? And do you prefer making slower music or fast music ?

it started out with a kiss

2 hours ago, dcom said:

Sully's Destroyah off Voidsucka has a transition like this, from (broken beat) 4/4 to triplets/sextuplets with the same BPM - too bad the clip is too short to have the return to 4/4. I couldn't find a full version anywhere, but you can hear it from my old dubstep set from 1h38m40s onwards almost in full. It has other polysync tricks, too.

 

1 hour ago, TubularCorporation said:

Don't forget the only difference between tempo and pitch is the range it's in (ignoring scale temperment and stuff like that, which isn't really useful at sub-audible frequencies), the basic rules of harmony can apply to tempo well and historically were

 

2 hours ago, ArtificialDisco said:

If you could play three quarter notes in the space of four that would be 120*(3/4) = 90 beats per minute. It would be a triplet made out of half-notes I think. It's tricky to do at least.

how did it end up like this, it was only a kiss

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14 hours ago, yekker said:

how fast is too fast ? please don't be silly.

220 I think is fast enough. I made a few at the tempo a long ago!

120-140bpm mostly for me for house, techno, acid and dubstep 

170-200bpm for jungle and dnb

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so far everything i did was between 2 and 250 bpms

edit: iirc one track was 300 bpms bc that's the fastest a Monomachine can go

Edited by xox
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4 hours ago, TubularCorporation said:

Don't forget the only difference between tempo and pitch is the range it's in (ignoring scale temperment and stuff like that, which isn't really useful at sub-audible frequencies), the basic rules of harmony can apply to tempo well and historically were

and don't forget that polyrhythms are slowed down intervals lol

 

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3 hours ago, brian trageskin said:

and don't forget that polyrhythms are slowed down intervals lol

 

 

While we're on this line of discussion, we should keep in mid that scale degrees in European music theory also correspond to the height and width ratios of standard page sizes, or at least they did about 500 years ago. So if you like it oldschool that's important.

Edited by TubularCorporation
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2 minutes ago, TubularCorporation said:

While we're on this line of discussion, we should keep in mid that scale degrees in European music theory also correspond to the height and width ratios of standard page sizes, or at least they did about 1000 years ago. So if you like it oldschool that's important.

i have literally no idea what you're talking about, care to elaborate? 

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I also tend to linger in the 100-115 area. It always surprises me how "wrong" it sounds when I significantly alter the BPM of a track I've been working on but have no problems playing other people's music in a completely different range even if I'm already familiar with it at the original tempo.      

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I write all my individual loops at 120bpm because that's a really easy tempo to calculate durations & polyrhythms at. Then when I'm actually recording a track I'll just adjust the speed meter in Buzz until it's matching the mood I'm in. The cool thing about that is that 120 becomes "standard" tuning & every other tempo is detuned consistent to that (ie all of the 90bpm tracks have been pitched down 33.333%, all the 180bpm trax have been pitched up 150%...those numbers might not be right but intuitively I know what I'm talking about). And because I generally aim to make my livejams standard durations (ie 12 equal-length parts, or 16, or 24 etc), when it comes time to make an album i can just start snapping them together like legos, layering them on top of each other & creating interesting unintended harmonic texture

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22 minutes ago, brian trageskin said:

i have literally no idea what you're talking about, care to elaborate? 

I can't find a good online reference, The Elements of Typographic Style has a whole short section on it.

 

The basic idea is that sometime in the 16th century they started correlating the ratios of page dimensions to musical intervals, i.e. a 1:1 page would be an octave, etc.

Airwindows Chris has his own system:

 

https://www.airwindows.com/airwindows-nodal-tempo-guide/

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4 minutes ago, TubularCorporation said:

That's a different thing, that's absolute sizes not proportions.  But also music related.

I was adding the link to the Elements of Typographic Style article but was too slow. Recheck my previous comment - you're conflating the two.

Edited by dcom
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I didn't ahve any luck tracking down the ETS bit and actually edited my post to change "about 1000 years" (which was easier than saying "the European Middle Ages") to "500 years ago" because what I DID find was a modern typography article that excerpted it in a way that made me second guess my memory.  The ETS page you linked describes exactly what I'm talking about, it even starts with an image of a 1:1 ratio page (which makes a 2:1 ratio spread) but I did mess up and call it an octave instead of unison.

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16 hours ago, rhmilo said:

128 is what I’ve heard. :shrug:

It’s definitely nice and bouncy. 126 if you want to be chill out a little.

Old school techno and house was a lot faster, though. It begat gabba, after all.

128 is handy because a standard 64-beat measure works out to be exactly 30 seconds, which makes phrasing (timing two tracks so their progressions overlap) while DJing very convenient. 

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The more I think about it, there are a number of times where the tempo of the track was dictated by an old record sample, or human rhythm I made with something. I’ll just keep adjusting the tempo, often times in decimals, so that it’s perfect for whatever I’ve sampled. I’m sure a lot of you have done this type of thing too. I normally feel good having a tempo that’s 127.459 or some shit like that. Feels more organic. I can’t believe I just remembered all this, I totally should have mentioned it earlier in this thread! Also, I realized a lot of the stuff I made has been 114, 126, or 134- idk why but I seem to use those three tempos often. 

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On 4/16/2021 at 10:23 PM, TubularCorporation said:

I can't find a good online reference, The Elements of Typographic Style has a whole short section on it.

 

The basic idea is that sometime in the 16th century they started correlating the ratios of page dimensions to musical intervals, i.e. a 1:1 page would be an octave, etc.

Airwindows Chris has his own system:

 

https://www.airwindows.com/airwindows-nodal-tempo-guide/

I guess I get what you mean, even though it is getting slightly time cubey. I notice that Airwindows list tends to have a lot of oldies and classics and really not enough cutting edge electronic music.

I think they have a point but the delivery/explanation is :sini:

Basically I don't think there are these tempo nodes or ideal BPMs in of itself, but I am totally on board with the idea that the whole body of published music (especially widely acclaimed classics) has these emergent characteristics. Like for example if the vast majority of people made their house at 120bpm (maybe theyr sequencers bpm knob was broken ok!) and you put out a 119bpm track, it would sound slow and sluggish maybe, because everyone is used to house at 120bpm. But this is not because 120 bpm is a magic cosmic ideal tempo, it's just what people are used to listening to.

And one thing I also am 100% sure happens (at least to me): pick a track at like 130 bpm, then listen to a bunch of stuff at 120 bpm, listen to your original track - does it sound way too fast or agitated? Probably. Now listen to a bunch of tracks at 140 bpm, really get into it, maybe do a DJ set or something. Once again, listen to your 130 bpm track and I bet it will feel ugh so slow and sluggish.

What I mean by this is how can I even judge a track by the tempo if it all depends on what mood I am in and what is the music I am comparing the track to? I feel like each listener's own personal listening history and preferences play into this a lot.

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13 minutes ago, thawkins said:

But this is not because 120 bpm is a magic cosmic ideal tempo, it's just what people are used to listening to.

Sort of, but it;s also double the low end of the average resting human heartbeat, which is the biological part of why tempos of 60-70bpm or 120-130bpm are so common across so many cultures across so much of history.

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On 4/16/2021 at 7:25 AM, zkom said:

Although a funny thing about ambient is that some ambient tracks actually have relatively high BPMs but the lack of drums create the illusion of chill. The Orb's "A Huge Ever Growing.." and so on is about 128 BPM which would make it clearly danceable if it just had a constant kick or something.

 

 

Generally, when I open Reaper I think of a rough speed (slow, mid-tempo, fast), get an approximate tempo (120BPM) and then add or subtract a few and end up with a track in 122.3BPM, just so it feels very slightly different to a lot of stuff which goes for round figures.

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