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Producer, guitar player, composer and maker of noise.

Ableton Song Tempos in Arrange View

Posted on | June 16, 2007 | 2 Comments

ableton_song_tempo.pngSometimes when I do the final mixes in the arrange view, and change the tempo settings in the time line, the values are not as exact as I want, for example change from 127bpm to exactly 128bpm.

What I do then is to go in and define the min and max bpm range. This way the resolution is much, much better, and I could key in exact bpm values, for example.

It also works as a natural min and max value, unfortunately these values are not honored in the session view.

Speaking of bpm values, I guess most electro house tracks nowadays operate around 128bpm, where 128 is the magical number many producers key in when doing tracks. Those could be easily pushed up to 135bpm or so, for example with complex warp mode.

As for other interesting tidbits about BPMs, my aerobics instructor wants mixes that start with 125bpm, and builds up to 135bpm after ten minutes. I also tend to push it up a little bit at the end, to 138bpm or so, to make the people sweat at the gym in the last minute :-). For kickbox sessions, she wants 150bpm, and that’s a tough number for a lot of music I’m involved in — not hard house or fast techno.

For running purposes, that seems to also be very personal. My wife prefers tracks around 85-87bpm, and that’s a challenge as well, as many tracks in that range are soft ones, not aggressive ones. But there are tricks, for example taking a really fast track, and speed it up somewhat, and even if it’s 2x85bpm, it will work due to the twice-as-much counting, anyway. Now, you could even do 128bpm dance tracks that are actually half the bpm, or 64bpm, but I’ve not seen many examples of those, even if it’s quite doable.


2 Responses to “Ableton Song Tempos in Arrange View”

  1. Brandon E.
    June 17th, 2007 @ 6:28 PM

    As I just recently tried compiling a mix in arrange mode, I also came upon this method, although out of complete frustration. Another way that I found to get more precise settings for envelopes is to hold down command (Mac) or control (PC) as you drag the mouse up or down, and the points move about .01 steps at a time.

  2. Kent Sandvik
    June 18th, 2007 @ 8:52 AM

    Yes, that’s a good hint, thanks.

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