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Bars & Pipes Professional: Time Line Scoring

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When you create a soundtrack for a movie, video, or multimedia production, you often need to synchronize several disjointed sections of music with specific points in the movie.

Bars&Pipes Professional's Time Line Scoring feature gives you a high-level view of your soundtrack, and allows you easily to position any number of music sections in SMPTE time. Each of the music sections is actually a full-fledged Bars&Pipes Professional Song, complete with multiple Tracks and its own Tempo Map.

Use the Time Line Scoring window to load multiple Songs and position them relative to each other. Time Line Scoring adds each Song's Tracks to the Track list and recomputes the master Tempo Map to include the time period of each Song.

You can access other Songs' Tracks by scrolling the Track display down below the current Song's Tracks.

Before you use Time Line Scoring, you must first create, edit, and save each section as a separate Song. Once you add a Song to the Time Line Scoring window, you can still perform all the standard Bars&Pipes Professional editing operations on the Song.


Open the Time Line Scoring window by double-clicking on the Time Line Scoring icon, or using the menu option in the Windows menu.

The Scoring Grid

The Scoring Grid occupies most of the Time Line Scoring window. Rectangular colored areas with Song titles display in the Scoring Grid. These represent the Songs in memory.

The numbers above the scoring grid represent the time in minutes and seconds. By looking at the position of the Song rectangles, you can see at what time a Song begins and ends. For more exact information, click on the Song rectangle with the Magic Wand (please see below).

Only the horizontal (side-to-side) placement affects the Songs' start time.

Adjusting The Zoom

The Zoom In button is the large note. Click on it to enlarge the display by one step. This gives you finer control, but shows fewer measures. The Zoom Out button is the small note. Click on it to reduce the display by one step. This allows more measures to be displayed, at the loss of fine editing control.

Using Time Line Scoring

Adding A Song

To add a Song to the Time Line Scoring window, select the Pencil (or F1 key) and click in the Time Line window. Bars&Pipes Professional opens the File Requester.

When you select the Song you want to include in the soundtrack, Bars&Pipes Professional loads the Song and inserts a colored bar in the Time Line window with the Song title inside. The Song starts at the point at which you clicked with the Pencil. Each Song has a different color, so that you can easily see where one Song ends and another begins.

When you add a Song with Time Line Scoring, the Tracks of the Song are appended to the Tracks that already exist in the Tracks window.

Adjusting The Song's Start Time

One way to adjust the Song's start time is to drag the Song rectangle with the Hand. To do so, click on the Hand button (or choose the F3 key). Then click and drag the Song forward or backward in time.

You can also adjust the Songs start time by entering a start time. Click with the Magic Wand (F2 key) on a Song rectangle to bring up the Song Start Time requester.

The Song Start Time requester shows you the current start time of the Song, in SMPTE time and Song time. Click in either field to enter a new starting time for the Song.

Tempo changes, Time Signatures, and the SMPTE Global Offset affect the SMPTE starting lime of the selected Song.

You can use the Lock to Measure button when you want to move the start time of the Song to the nearest measure boundary when inserting a tempo change. This is handy since the Song Time rarely lands on the beginning of a measure.

To use align your Song with a measure boundary, click on the Lock to Measure button. Bars&Pipes Professional calculates a tempo change and inserts it into the measure immediately before the selected Song. The measure number designated by the Starting Time: prompt equals the sum of all measures in the soundtrack up to this point.

When you first create a Song, notes are generally lined up with measures. However, when you connect multiple Songs in the Time Line Scoring window, note can be shifted in time, relative to their original measure positions. If you need to edit a Track, use the Lock to Measure button, then deselect Lock to Measure when you're finished editing.

Combine TimeLine Options

Each Song maintains its own A-B-A section list, Tempo Map, and Song Parameters. Every time you reposition a Song in the TimeLine, Bars&Pipes Professional must recalculate the complete performance's A-B-A section list, Tempo Map, and Song Parameters from the component parts. As such, it's desirable to control which portions get recomputed and which are left alone.

Use the Combine TimeLine... options in the Preferences menu to control how Bars&Pipes Professional recomputes each of the following parameters:

If the Sections option is enabled, Bars&Pipes Professional computes a new A-B-A section list out of the component parts. Otherwise, it uses the A-B-A section list that existed before the repositioning of a Song portion required recalculating the A-B-A section list.
Tempo Maps
If the Tempo Maps option is enabled, Bars&Pipes Professional computes a new tempo map out of the component parts. Otherwise, it uses the tempo map that existed before.
Song Parameters
If the Song Parameters option is enabled, Bars&Pipes Professional computes a new set of Song Parameters out of the component parts. Otherwise, it uses the Song Parameters that existed before. Remember, the Song Parameters include Lyrics, Time Signature, Chord Changes, Dynamics, Rhythms, and Key Signature.

Removing A Song

Use the Eraser (F5 key) to delete a Song from the soundtrack. Click on the Song you want to delete. A requester asks you to confirm your decision.