Questions & Answers

Metronome, 3/8, 11/16, nope... just 4/4, 3/4, 2/4

+38 votes
asked Feb 15, 2019 in Recording by markclark11 (560 points)
edited Feb 17, 2019 by markclark11

4/4, 2/4, 3/4 all good... 12/8, 6/8, 3/8, 11/16... Zikes!

A metronome should work like this. User sets the top and  bottom number. Whatever the bottom number is, that is what the click should set to. For example, 4/4 at 120bpm is easy, works just like it is suppose to. It clicks with the bottom number.

But, if I want to do 12/8 at dotted quarter at 120bpm, then I have to set the tempo to 180 (so it comes out at dotted quarter = 80). Not musical or usable at all. 

What seems to be going on is... the "tempo" number is always based on quarter note, no matter what the base number is. Meaning, if I have dotted quarter = 80, with your metronome to come out at the correct tempo, you have to multiply 80 by 3 (Three 8th notes per beat) which is 240... BUT... you then have to divide that by 2 (because Studioone metronome is ONLY based on quarter notes) which is 120. So, in order to get 12/8 to play at tempo dotted quarter = 80, meter is set to 12/8 and tempo set to 120! This really needs to be corrected. Should not have to do math like this to get to a tempo setting. After this, I then need to create a click sound on a track to give the one click every third note (which does nobody any good when they need to have a bar of click out front).

In the 80s when sequencers first came out, everybody's sequencer did this so it isn't anything to invent. Even the programs is DOS did this correctly. Fast forward 30 years, and now it seems the only DAWs that can do a metronome properly is Pro Tools and Digital Performer. Everybody else does the exact same thing as Studio one. 

All these years, has nobody noticed this? 

Thanks, Mark

5 Answers

+3 votes
answered Nov 21, 2020 by Lukas Ruschitzka (255,350 points)
Best answer

Thank you for the feature request. 

If anyone else agrees or disagrees, please VOTE!

The developers pay close attention to those that are voted on the most. 

You are allowed one vote. You can change your vote later if you choose.

(Here's some helpful info on how to use the voting system)

Please vote the original question / feature request. 

Please DO NOT Vote on THIS response!

+8 votes
answered Nov 14, 2020 by raphaellasne (650 points)
The availability of setting the tempo and metronome on dotted notes is a real issue if you want to play something else than straightforward 4/4 tempos. Studio One developers should listen more to their customers.
+3 votes
answered Nov 20, 2020 by charlesli1 (220 points)
I was totally baffled by this, luckily I knew enough to google it and here we are. Thanks for the explanation. So an easy fix to get the click track with a three beat subdivision is to set the metronome to 3/4 instead of 3/8 and render it that way? I.e. if I want a 3/8 feel, dotted quarter=72, eight note= 216, set it to 3/4, tempo 216, and you will get the desired tempo with 1 accented click and 2 other softer clicks. It seems software is written by engineers, (as well as soundboards), not musicians per se? It is a different language, different sets of rules, needs translation. A bit frustrating, being a musician, just trying to lay down tracks by playing them in and getting the right settings, huge learning curve.
+2 votes
answered Sep 15, 2021 by scottglasgow1 (240 points)
Yes this is totally ABSURD to not have the metronome base click on dotted quarter to be able to write music at 6/8 or other compound time signatures! How many great songs or film scores or classical works are written in these meteres? This has to be fixed as a top priority Studio One and Cubase (which does allow you to produce a compound click audibly but not the metronome at dotted-quarter). When going from SO or Cubase to Pro Tools which so many do with their audio, everything becomes a mess. Only DP (as a DAW) seems to have worked that out correctly.

Why is this a feature not available now? Presonus team please fix this ASAP!
0 votes
answered Aug 3, 2022 by ClaviBenModus (350 points)

This is the effect of creating a music product primarily with DJ's and non-musicians in mind.  This is basic stuff for musicians.  And I heard talk that now musicians use this technology too not just sound engineers.  Is that true? :) Not having the ability to create any time signature I want is like having only 2 tires on a car. That's great for electronic music beat makers for which slow/fast in 3 time signatures is sufficient.  By contrast, various musicians need dozens of time signature combinations so we get 2% of what we need. 

Consider this please: A musical piece can be, and often is, constructed this way: 4/4  then 3/4 then 3/8 > 5/8 > 1/8 > 3/16 > 6/8 > 11/16 etc.. Then the common denominator has to be able to be changed as well: meaning when I change from 3/4 to 5/8 meter I also need the new 8th note to be = to the 8th note triplet from the previous time of  3/4, not the same 8th note duration.  This amounts to a tempo change but it has to be done relationally, between old and new subdivisions. Or I need the 16th note from the 5tuplet in the previous 4/4 to become the new 8th note in the new 3/8 bar.  So the tempo changes too, but the calculation has to be done musically not mathematically because this isn't a math software and we need to work within the musical language and standards. And musicians speak this way: New 8th note = old 8th note triplet.  We aren't anywhere near the possibility of achieving such tempo changes with Studio one, which relate in this way.  Yet this is how music was written 100+ years ago.  It's high time you and other DAW makers caught up with it by now.  I need to be able to change the time signature as often as I want to inside a song and use any denomination I want to.  Otherwise, the creative process is stifled to death.  I need to go back to pen and paper... and unfortunately, I am not able to have a usable metronome beat to my music which uses various compound time signatures and precise tempo changes done through relationships between new&old subdivisions.  I hope I didn't confuse you.

In addition, there is a great need to have a choice of different rhythmical figures in the metronome, not just quarter notes.  One needs to be able to choose 16th notes or triplets and even 5tuplets and 7tuplets, not just 1/4 notes.  I have a 30-year-old metronome who can do that.  Now computer technology is so much more advanced and would be able to offer time-signature combinations to the thousands and ways of relating between subdivisions.  But you guys need to understand the needs of the musicians!  Not all of us are strictly uhm-pa uhm-pa makers...