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Bars & Pipes Professional: Tempo Mapping

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The Tempo Map Window

Use the Tempo Map window to create a series of tempo change commands to alter the pace of your music over time. Open the Tempo Map window by selecting Tempo Map from the Windows menu or click on the Tempo Map icon.

The Tempo Map window consists of eight control buttons and a graphic display of the Song tempo over time.

The Tempo Map Display

Most of the Tempo Map window features the Tempo Map graph. This graph displays the tempo on the vertical axis and the time in measures or SMPTE on the horizontal axis.

The graph shows constant tempo in blue, tempo changes in red, and the tempo at the end of each tempo change in blue.

Adjusting The Display

To display in SMPTE time, click on the SMPTE/Music Time button until it shows a film strip. The Tempo Map window redraws the tempo changes against a background of vertical lines at every one second interval.

Once you've entered tempo changes, the spacing between the second markers stretch and shrink as the tempo slows and increases.

To display in music time, click until notes appear on the SMPTE/Music Time button. The Tempo Map window redraws the tempo changes against a background of vertical lines at every measure interval.

Click on the two Zoom buttons to change the range of the display. The Zoom In button with the large note magnifies the view for a detailed look, while the Zoom Out button pulls back for a better overview of your the tempo map.

Editing the Tempo Map

Creating A New Tempo Map

Select New from the Tempo Map menu to erase the current Tempo Map and create a new one. The starting tempo for the new Tempo Map is the same as the old one.

The starting tempo Is the same tempo entered In any of the Transport Controls.

Entering A Tempo Change

Before entering a tempo change, decide what kind of tempo change you'd like from by clicking on the Curve button. It provides four choices:

  • Instant, a sudden tempo change
  • Linear, a change that progresses at a constant rate;
  • Exponential, a change that starts slowly, then accelerates.
  • Logarithmic, a change that starts quickly, then eases into the final tempo.

The Pencil, or function key "F1" inserts new tempo changes. Press and hold the mouse button down over the measure where you want the tempo change to begin. Drag up or down to the set the new tempo and to the right to determine the length of the change. Instant tempo changes have no length.

As you drag the mouse, the Tempo Map window displays a straight "rubber band" connecting the beginning and ending points of the tempo change. The Title bar of the Tempo Map window shows the endpoint of the tempo change in Song-time and the ending tempo.

When you reach the desired endpoint, release the mouse button.

Altering A Tempo Change

To numerically alter a tempo change, select the Magic Wand or press function key "F2". Then, click on the tempo change you'd like to edit. This opens the Edit tempo change requester.

The Edit tempo change requester displays seven parameters that describe the tempo change. The parameters are:

Starting Tempo
Enter the Starting Tempo in beats per minute. Each tempo change starts at one tempo, then accelerates or decelerates to a second tempo, the Ending Tempo. The Starting Tempo of each tempo change is the Ending Tempo of the previous tempo change. As a result, you need only edit one of these Tempos, not both.
Starting Time (M.B.C)
Each tempo change begins at a specific point in the Song. To edit this position in Song-time (Measures, Beats, and Clocks), click on the Starting Time (M.B.C) line and edit it.
Starting Time (H
The second Starting Time parameter displays the Starting Time in Hours, Minutes, Seconds, and Frames. You can edit this parameter, but take note: if you edit a tempo change which precedes this tempo change, the Starting Time for this tempo change changes, because the amount of time in hours, minutes, seconds and frames required to reach this point has changed.
Accel/Rall Curve
The Accelerando/Rallentando Curve lets you change the tempo change Curve type from the four options described above: Instant, Linear, Logarithmic and Exponential.
Select a curve by clicking on the appropriate button.
Ending Time (M.R.C)
Unless a tempo change has an Instant curve, you must specify the duration of the tempo change curve. Enter the time in Song-time after the Ending Time (M.B.C): prompt. B&P Pro calculates a tempo change which occurs gradually between the starting and ending times.
Ending Time (H
The second Ending Time parameter displays the tempo change ending time in Hours, Minutes, Seconds, and Frames. Edit this field to set the tempo curve ending in SMPTE time.
Ending Tempo
Enter the final Tempo in the Ending Tempo: field. The Song continues at this Tempo until the next tempo change occurs.
When you have finished editing the tempo change, click on Okay, to accept the changes, or Cancel, to leave the previous settings intact.

Moving A Tempo Change

The Hand (function key "F3") drags either the start or the end of the tempo change. To drag the start point, click with the mouse just after the start of the tempo change and drag. To drag the end point, click just after the end point and drag. Move the mouse up or down to change the tempo, and across to change the duration.

The Title bar of the Tempo Map window displays the end time and tempo of the tempo change as you drag it with the mouse.

Erasing A Tempo Change

The Eraser (function key "F5") deletes tempo changes. Click on any part of the red tempo change curve to delete it.

Deleting a tempo change also affects the next tempo change. For instance, the slope of the next tempo change is altered when the starting tempo changes.

Conforming A Section

Sometimes, you may need to create a tempo change that forces a section of music to fit exactly within a specific span of time. Do so with the Conform command in the Tempo Map menu.

When you select the Conform command, the Conform requester opens.

Fill in the following fields:

Starting Time
Enter the Starting Time of the portion you want to conform, in Song Time (M.B.C.) The requester automatically adjusts the starting SMPTE time.
Ending Time
Then, enter the Ending Time of the portion. This time you must enter both Music time in Measures, Beats, and Clocks, as well as SMPTE time, in Hours, Minutes, Seconds, and Frames.
Resulting Tempo
The requester then calculates the appropriate tempo change and places it in the Resulting Tempo field.
If you approve of the Resulting Tempo, click the Conform button to insert the tempo change into the Tempo Map.
Otherwise, click Cancel to return to the Tempo Map or enter new Ending Time values to create a different Resulting Tempo.
The Conform option is very useful for scoring to video.

Undoing A Mistake

The Undo option (right-Amiga U) in the Tempo Map menu cancels the last change to the Tempo Map.

Aborting All Changes

The Abort command in the Tempo Map menu restores the Tempo Map to the condition it was in before you opened the Tempo Map window.

Loading & Saving Tempo Maps

To load a Tempo Map from disk, select the Load command in the Tempo Map menu.

Select Save from the Tempo Map menu to save a Tempo Map to disk. Saving a Tempo Map makes it available for use with other Songs, or allows you to try out different Tempo Maps with the same Song.

Disabling Tempo Changes

If you need to disable tempo changes, open the Timing menu from the Tracks window and turn off the Synchronize to Tempo Map selection. Bars&Pipes Professional then uses the tempo you have set in the Transport Controls window to determine the Song tempo for the entire Song.

For more information, please refer to Timing, Syncing and Tempo.