Author Topic: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?  (Read 1096 times)

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Simplest version possible of this question - I'm using Garageband running EZDrummer as a plugin. I would like to be able to play a track and play along, but with the benefit of an accurate metronome.

Say for example I pull the track into Garageband - can I then in some way identify its BPM and 'snap' a metronome to it? Think of something entirely electronic that would be more likely to be click-tracked than something from the 50s. Sonic 3 soundtrack or something.

Or do I need to upgrade to bespoke software or Logic Pro or something?

Neomod

  • .. and HEAVY EQUIPMENT
Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2021, 05:32:39 PM »
If it's a 'known' song I guess you could use this and set the bpm accordingly.

https://songbpm.com/

I don't know how good it is.

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2021, 06:47:26 PM »
That's the theory, but it still doesn't account for the tiny amount of dead air at the start of almost any song. It's the snapping of the BPM to the actual song beat that's the issue
 Almost like I'm looking for a software that can identify the beat of an input song, and stick to it.

Thanks for suggestion though, it's a start :-)

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2021, 03:24:47 PM »
I love dropping songs into Ableton to edit them mess around with them, so I've been looking for a good way to identify BPMs for years. But I've never found it. It feels like something technology should be able to do, but as far as I know it doesn't exist yet, at least not properly. Sorry.

Apparently Logic has a tool called BPM Counter that can figure out BPMs, but from what I've heard it isn't very reliable. Never tried it though.

You can sometimes find BPMs by Googling (such as the songbpm.com site linked above), but in my experience lots of BPMs on such sites are wrong.

the

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2021, 04:16:03 PM »
So you're looking to detect the beat of a track but also snap it to the tempo grid.

I've not used GB so I haven't got a Scooby Doo what it's like for detecting and quantising audio, but it seems to be a function:

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=garageband+warp

From my experience with Ableton, there always needs to be some user intervention to correct auto-detection. (Ableton for example will often map the tempo accurately but never ever seems to get the position of the first hit correct, so the whole thing is offset and needs shifting along.) You may find it easier to trim the area before the first beat in the DAW before you quantise it.

In Ableton, once you've warped a track you can save the warp settings alongside the audio file, for recall next time you drag the same audio in - again, don't know if GB does this, but if so it means the time spent twiddling with a track's beat markers won't need to be repeated.

Captain Z

  • Die Hard or Die Tryin'
Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2021, 04:36:15 PM »
I always had near-perfect results with Mixmeister's BPM Analyser. It's a standalone piece of software where you simply drag an audio file onto the interface and it returns the BPM on screen. It used to be free but I see they're charging 3.99 1.99 for the latest version. https://www.mixmeister.com/bpm.php

If you can find an older version available to download for free you shouldn't feel bad about it, I can find a couple of places via a quick Google search but that's at your own risk.

Audacity can create a click track at any BPM you desire.

I use FL Studio and what you describe sounds like it would be easily doable, but that's not really any help to you.

Captain Z

  • Die Hard or Die Tryin'
Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2021, 04:39:31 PM »
I love dropping songs into Ableton to edit them mess around with them, so I've been looking for a good way to identify BPMs for years. But I've never found it. It feels like something technology should be able to do, but as far as I know it doesn't exist yet, at least not properly. Sorry.

Doesn't Ableton automatically identify BPM as soon as you drop any song in? I've used it a little for mixes and mashups and the BPM analysis has nearly always been spot on, even correcting songs that drift off a constant tempo.

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2021, 05:02:45 PM »
Doesn't Ableton automatically identify BPM as soon as you drop any song in? I've used it a little for mixes and mashups and the BPM analysis has nearly always been spot on, even correcting songs that drift off a constant tempo.

Nope. Ableton auto-warps tracks to fit the BPM instead. Warping is fine but it's not what I personally need (I want the original audio untouched).

the

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2021, 05:10:00 PM »
Nope. Ableton auto-warps tracks to fit the BPM instead. Warping is fine but it's not what I personally need (I want the original audio untouched).

Once Ableton has placed warp markers to to denote where the beats are (which you can tweak for accuracy), you can click one to see what the BPM is between this one and the next one.

I sometimes use this for whimsical tempo workage outage - http://www.all8.com/tools/bpm.htm

(I've just realised you can also use it to maniacally mash the keyboard to see how high a score you can get)


I think the original point is that magval wants to drag a track in, have it conform tightly to the beat grid, switch the metronome on, plus use the drummer VST at the same time to play along.

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2021, 05:11:11 PM »
Once Ableton has placed warp markers to to denote where the beats are (which you can tweak for accuracy), you can click one to see what the BPM is between this one and the next one.

Yes, but this still doesn't give you the BPM of the original track, right?

Quote
I think the original point is that magval wants to drag a track in, have it conform tightly to the beat grid, switch the metronome on, plus use the drummer VST at the same time to play along.

That's true, and warping the track to fit their BPM would probably let them do that, if just playing along is the goal.

the

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2021, 05:16:40 PM »
Yes, but this still doesn't give you the BPM of the original track, right?

It gives you the BPM of whatever audio you imported, yes. (Between two points, if it's not a steady tempo all the way through. But if it is, yes for the whole track.)

This is when you're editing the Warp markers. Once it's dragged into an arrangement the Warp markers will glue themselves to the timing of that, but it doesn't change the BPM measurement between the warp markers when you click on them.

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2021, 05:22:54 PM »
It gives you the BPM of whatever audio you imported, yes. (Between two points, if it's not a steady tempo all the way through. But if it is, yes for the whole track.)

Now that is interesting. So the idea is that you can show Ableton where a beat is in a track, and it will give you the BPM for that bit, and then you can extrapolate the BPM for the entire track (assuming the BPM doesn't drift)? Very interested to try this later.

the

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2021, 05:35:03 PM »
Now that is interesting. So the idea is that you can show Ableton where a beat is in a track, and it will give you the BPM for that bit, and then you can extrapolate the BPM for the entire track (assuming the BPM doesn't drift)? Very interested to try this later.

Suggested warping technique

I don't know if there's a display for the average BPM of a whole track's markers, but that's all it would take.

Mathematically you can work out what BPM anything is purely by length in time, number of bars and time signature.

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2021, 03:43:42 PM »
You can but there's an element of perfection that comes with the manual mapping that I just don't know how to do. Sounds OK for about 12 bars then starts to slip and it's impossible to play to both

the

Re: Is there any way to jam to an external song AND BPM/metronome in DAW?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2021, 06:17:08 PM »
Most non-electronically produced tracks will drift off the tempo sooner or later. You'll need to quantise the audio to get it to glue to the same timebase that the metronome is counting.

Seemingly it can be done to an extent in Garageband (from what I've spent 5 minutes Googling), but it seems to be more geared towards correcting timing in audio takes you're recording, rather than importing a whole song and detecting its timebase. Ableton is the only software I've used that's geared towards doing that.


Actually - Mixxx (free DJ software) will analyse a library of tracks and attempts to detect their timebases for DJ mixing purposes - it should map a beat grid onto them which can be edited. I've not used it myself yet, but NoSleep has. Does it have a metronome you can switch on?

Though where that will leave you re. EZDrummer, I don't know. Mixxx supposedly supports VSTs, but I'd imagine it's more for effects than instruments. If you're just playing along (not recording your drums), you might have to have Mixxx running separately but simultaneously with the DAW that's hosting your drums plugin.

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