Questions & Answers

Metronome needs to support compound time signatures like 12/8 & 6/8

+55 votes
asked Jun 22, 2017 in Studio One Feature Requests by petersalt (1,110 points)
This shouldn't even be considered a "feature" request. It is so basic that it's mind boggling the PreSonus has overlooked it: you need to be able to set the metronome to beat on every dotted quarter for time signatures like 12/8 and 6/8 and the dotted quarter (not the 8th) is the underlying beat for those time signatures. So a 12/8 bar should have four beats (of dotted quarters), not 12 beats of 8ths.

Ideally, you set this up with a simple drop down menu showing what the metronome clicks on, with images of a 16th, 8th, dotted 8th, quarter, dotted quarter and so on.

9 Answers

+2 votes
answered Apr 30, 2019 by markclark11 (620 points)
selected Apr 30, 2019 by petersalt
Best answer

Yes, this is maddening (especially when EVERY sequencer in the 1980s could do this correctly, including those in DOS). Plus, it makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing. Imagine this happening to you.... a client brings a chart in 12/8 with a metronome setting of dotted quarter = 120. I have it set up ready to go... but client sees tempo set at quarter note = 80. 

First thing out of the gate, client thinks I have the tempo set "wrong". Now I have to "prove" I have it set to come out right... So I start the long explanation on how the program bases the tempo on quarter notes (or two 8ths, not 3 like we need here). I show the calculation (120 divided by 3 times 2) that gives us the correct tempo BUT must display the wrong tempo marking to make it come out right.

Next, it's off to the net to find an online metronome set to click at 120. I start Studio One, then client hears they are both clicking at the same tempo, but still is not convinced, so....

Next it's off to Finale, where I set up the tempo as dotted quarter = 120 (because Finale is from the 80s, it can click compound meter correctly). Then, export this Finale to midi file. Then import it into Studio One and presto, Studio one will give the same incorrect tempo marking I already had to make it come out right, quarter = 80.

NEXT... Now that the client understands why it is set wrong to be right, I now have to answer the question why I, as a professional, would use a program that can't handle the most basic of basics, day one stuff when you first start studying music, tempo. So I explain, back in the 1980s EVERY SEQUENCER did this correctly. 30 years later, the ONLY DAWs that do this correctly are Digital Performer, CuBase, and ProTools (and Finale, not a DAW though). This is because these programs were created in the 1980s with the help of professional musicians, and are/were "musical".

Now after 40 minutes of wasted time on this, we start the project. Do they come back? Nope, who wants to work with someone doing all these work arounds "wasting" their time while on the clock? That's what the client leaves with as their impression of me (thankfully compound meter stuff doesn't happen too often).

Please, correct this error. Be the ONLY DAW created in modern times that does this correctly.

PS - I'd love to work with PreSonus to get this set the way musician need it to be musical. Should be very simple to correct.

+11 votes
answered Jun 23, 2017 by Skip Jones (162,440 points)

Thank you for the feature request. 

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+7 votes
answered Jun 1, 2018 by khaledaldajani (330 points)
This is not a feature request, this is a correction. Let musicians help techies with the basics of music theory...
+3 votes
answered Jun 1, 2018 by petersalt (1,110 points)

So true, @khaledaldajani! PreSonus is a really great company, but they seem to have a flaw in the area of music theory. Witness there recent chord editing feature in Studio One 4. This is a great new feature that is mostly implemented well, but there are some glaring flaws in its understanding of altered chords, and more advanced harmony. Oh well, that's another topic.

0 votes
answered Jun 7, 2018 by khaledaldajani (330 points)
Here's a temporary fix that worked for me, which does not solve the problem, nor excuse this basic fault in the application, but is a workaround.

Set the tempo for compound time at 1.5x the tempo you want.

If you are changing time signature in the middle of a song as I do, you can change the tempo with the time change: if going from simple time to compound time do 1.5x the last tempo, if going from compound to simple, do x2/3. This way, you will maintain the same tempo for the song as you swing. You can hide the tempo changes so they do not appear in print by right-click on the tempo change, then click on tempo, then "make tempo marks abbreviated", then right-click it again and click on tempo, then "hide abbreviated tempo marks". There, now the time signature change appears seamless, and the tempo change is transparent, that is unless you are following the metronome...
+1 vote
answered Jun 7, 2018 by petersalt (1,110 points)

Great idea as a workaround @ khaledaldajaniMy method for dealing with the metronome problem is to just create a metronome track that accents the dotted quarters. PreSonus, a truly amazing company in most respects, needs to bone up on dotted quarters as the beat, among other things. Or hire one of us as a consultant. frown

+1 vote
answered Nov 17, 2018 by muhamedaliismaili (580 points)
I like how the metronome works in Cubase 10. Really good job they've done there.
+1 vote
answered Nov 18, 2018 by joonhoahn (630 points)
I honestly feel there should be features that allow for time signatures like 9/12, now that such time signatures are becoming more and more commonplace.

So if we take for example a 3/4, a semibreve would be divided into four segments and then the three of the segments would make up one measure. I didn't make this up by the way.

So if we take, for example. a 9/12, the semibreve would still be divided into 12 equal segments and thus we get quaver triplets and nine of those would make up one measure.

A good example that uses these time signatures, known as irrational time signatures, which are essentially any time signature in which the denominator is not in the power of 2, is "Asyla" by Thomas Ad├Ęs, but with more and more compositions now utilising such time signatures again, I feel those should be available as well.
+3 votes
answered Mar 22, 2019 by johnpainter2 (230 points)
Inexcusable that these time signatures are not available. also what about 7/8, etc?