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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:45 pm 
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Location: New Wilmington, PA
I've been using a combination of methods and it seems to work pretty well. I use PCDJ to scan the files and calculate the BPM then I load it up in WinAMP and count for 15 seconds then multiply by 4. If it's pretty close I just round the PCDJ calculation to the nearest whole number and store that in the file (using PCDJ). Most of the time it's pretty close but if it's not or if it comes up with 0 which it sometimes does (even when the file isn't read only) then I just go with whatever my count is when I take the 15sec * 4.

The nice thing about storing the BPM with PCDJ is it actually saves the BPM count in the file and some other programs can read it also... like BPM Studio.


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 Post subject: Re: Tried a Metronome?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 6:38 pm 
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Mystere88 wrote:
After reading through all these posts, I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned or confessed to sitting down with a good ol METRONOME and slugged their way around with a tune. Its not necessarily accurate to the exact BPM, but you can get a really good idea.


The reason people don't do that or use a stopwatch is because it is more difficult and not as reliable. (They are a step ahead, not a step behind.) The computer "tappers" are much quicker and much more reliable and consistent (at least with themselves).

WinBPM also gives a percental degree of accuracy rating to let you know how accurate/consistent the measurment is. I often don't stop tapping until the error rate averages out to under 2%. Even with that, it usually only takes 5-10 seconds per song to get a BPM.

The other thing is with only 20 songs, a rough "feel" for the BPM is all you need. But when you get to managing 1000, or 10,000, or 100,000 songs, the difference between one-five BPM becomes more significant. It allows you to select the right BPM (faster or slower than I'm at right now?) more accurately when DJing.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 7:46 pm 
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Some of these methods seem quite complex, especially when people are buying equipment and such. A simple "tapper" program is all you need, it takes 5-10 secs per song, and is accurate enough for swing-DJing. It's not like we need to beat-match or anything.

Although it's nice having the information at hand, I would argue that the difference between one-five BPM is completely irrelevant for us. Within these limits I feel that the 'feeling' or the 'energy' of the song is much more significant. A lot of swinging jazz tends to have shifting tempos anyway.

More art, less mathmatics please.

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 Post subject: Math and Music?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 1:13 pm 
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More Art? Less Math! I enjoy the study of mathematical principles within the structure of music, and teach it to anyone interested. I find I can make greater art as a musician when I look at something from different angles. Whatever helps for a greater level of comprehension.

I do not have the resources to download any programs to help figure the BPM rate on any tunes. I did try the count the beats within 15 seconds times 4, which led to a sufficient degree of accuracy, but I found that I would trip myself on 1 of any 8 count phrase, and not completing a phrase even though my 15 seconds were up, threw me off.

I created a spreadsheet on Excel that has been even more accurate and easier to use. The number of seconds run down, and the count markers of 8, 16, 24, 32. . . (counting the number of 8 beat phrases) run to the right. Create the Formula takes the number of beats, divided by the number of seconds in which you counted them, the total times 60 to figure the actual BPM. I can use a stopwatch and hit lap on every 1 of the next 8 count phrase. Say I count to 8 within 4 seconds, then it must be 120. What I like is that I can keep counting, hit LAP on the watch each time just to check for accuracy. If I count to 16 in 8 seconds, then I'm still at 120.

I figured to share because this has helped me greatly!


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 5:10 pm 
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Location: Alpharetta, GA (Formerly SLO, CA)
You know what's cool? I think BPM guessing is something that can be learned.

When I first started DJing I would guess at BPMs of a song and sometimes could be off by as many as 40 bpm. Nowadays I'm accurate to about 5 bpm usually. I'm in no ways gifted, just trained. Of course that doesn't help me if I'm looking at a song title, and listening to another song, because i need some amount of concentration to remember the speed of a song i know, then translate that into a bpm. But if i'm just listening to a single song, I'm pretty accurate.

To be clear, I'm talking about just hearing it and saying the bpm, not listening for 15 seconds, counting and multiplying by 4. It's just a feel to me now.

edited: to put the right number of seconds in. ;)


Last edited by GemZombie on Thu May 26, 2005 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:04 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hey GemZombie, does that mean you cats have 80 second minutes in the US? No wonder I need a BPM counter!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 11:44 am 
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As a classical pianist, and now as a very serious teacher, one would think a natural inclination for accurately guessing BPM would also come easily. I'm amazed how very wrong I am most of the time when I guess, but alas, I am getting better. You're right, it s good training.

At my stage, I'm listening to tons of different recordings. For a new dancer, and a brand new DJ, I'm just doing my homework. I don't know my tunes well enough, so I'm trying to catch up.

What I'm finding really fascinating is learing to assess the "feel" of different music. I found a track (now lost in my memory) that felt really really relaxed and laid back, but it clocked at 212 BPM. Other tunes that seem a bit slow, but still danceable that sit around 80 BPM. I'm having a blast learning all this new music, so I'm excited to share with our scene here soon.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 3:43 pm 
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Zot wrote:
Hey GemZombie, does that mean you cats have 80 second minutes in the US? No wonder I need a BPM counter!


Doh!

I meant 15 x 4. sorry. Typed too fast i guess. (*fixes previous post*)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:48 am 
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For those of you who have just updated to iTunes 9.0, be aware that iTunes-BPM for Mac no longer works. Hopefully a fix is in the works.

*EDIT: Nevermind, I was wrong... nothing to see here :roll:

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Last edited by trev on Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:42 pm 
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trev wrote:
For those of you who have just updated to iTunes 9.0, be aware that iTunes-BPM for Mac no longer works. Hopefully a fix is in the works.

Mine still works just fine. :?:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:15 am 
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Yeah, I dunno what happened there. Indeed it started working again after a restart :?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:11 am 
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Do those of you who use tappers sometimes get unsure if they're counting the bpm at half or double time? For example Howlin' Wolf's Spoonful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TwEYuues6Y

It's either around 120 or 60bpm. My first instinct was to count faster, but then I wasn't sure. I've noticed a good rule is that the lyrics go in cycles of 4 beats. But I am still not convinced. Any one out there run into this problem and have any advice for how to deal with it?

some other songs that have confused me
On my way, Mavis Staples - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mU8iv7qdFo
You must have that true religion Mavis Staples - http://www.amazon.com/Must-Have-That-Re ... 172&sr=8-1

All three songs seem to be about the same speed but some I've clocked at double the others. Anyone know what seems so tricky about these songs?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:37 am 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
If anyone uses Matlab (I know we have many engineers and scientists here!), here is an m-file that I wrote to calculate bpm. I can keep this little window open and easily time phrases (example below uses 16 beats, which I found works best for me). Only needs two taps to start and stop the timer. I find it is best to tap on beat 1 for both the start and stop. Every second tap, the bpm displays and can be cut and pasted into iTunes. I think a longer tap spacing (a phrase rather than every beat) is more accurate. This code doesn't have an elegant exit - either do a Ctrl-C or close Matlab or time 1 million phrases back to back.

**********************************

function y=bpm();

numBeats = 16; %(length of phrase to time)
pause; %(start timing on next keystroke)

for i=1:1e6 %(loop forever)

tic; pause; %(starts stopwatch, waits for next keystroke)
x=toc; %(stops stopwatch, x=time in seconds)
y=round(numBeats*60/x) % displays bpm

end

**********************************

Mystere88 wrote:
I created a spreadsheet on Excel that has been even more accurate and easier to use. The number of seconds run down, and the count markers of 8, 16, 24, 32. . . (counting the number of 8 beat phrases) run to the right. Create the Formula takes the number of beats, divided by the number of seconds in which you counted them, the total times 60 to figure the actual BPM. I can use a stopwatch and hit lap on every 1 of the next 8 count phrase. Say I count to 8 within 4 seconds, then it must be 120. What I like is that I can keep counting, hit LAP on the watch each time just to check for accuracy. If I count to 16 in 8 seconds, then I'm still at 120.

I figured to share because this has helped me greatly!


My program is the same theory, but has the stopwatch built in.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:46 pm 
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dontmeanathing wrote:
It's either around 120 or 60bpm. My first instinct was to count faster, but then I wasn't sure.
All three songs seem to be about the same speed but some I've clocked at double the others. Anyone know what seems so tricky about these songs?


Old post but interesting question that never got responded to. I used to worry about this question when I was first starting to tag BPMs, but I gave up on it. Now I just go by instinct. My immediate reaction to Spoonful and True Religion was that they were 120ish. The Staples song was more difficult (and therefore less danceable btw), but I listened to a few seconds in the middle and it was clearly more to the 60 bpm side of the scale.

How can you train your instincts for this question?
1) Stop counting and listen for a sec. Does this feel like a faster song or slower song. I could do lindy basics to the first and 3rd example, and clearly not to the 2nd.
2) Instead of counting 4, count 8. That may help you feel the bars/phrases (or it may not).

What's really going to screw you up is when you come across some blues songs in 6/8 time. Good luck with that.

As an aside, this is why I stopped counting and DJing by BPMs. I now use the completely arbitrary tags of f, mf, m, ms, s. Those arbitrary measures vary by genre (example: medium-fast in Blues is far different from mf in Swing). Combining that with an energy level (hi, med, lo) is much more useful to me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:49 am 
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Location: Indianapolis/Nashville
Ok, i recently got screwed by itunes and when i downloaded 9 it lost all my bpm tags, so i have been using Delay Time (on Jesse's Suggestion), and have found that it is a few counts slow.
For Example, The 1940 Duke Ellington Recording of Cottontail, the original, should be right at 240, but after tapping it out, delay time read 232.
anyone else have this problem?


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