M.M. Number and Tempo Track: Please allow more note values as the defined beat

Cubase only understands quarters as the beat value. If we were playing a 6/8 tune and tapping our foot at 1 and 4, then we would agree we have a dotted quarter as our beat, and we would define the metronome as dotted quarter = x.

Cubase doesn’t understand that. It only counts quarters, tapping its foot at 1, 3, 5. In this case, for our song to sound as we expect it, we must multiply our tempo value by 1.5.

If we were tapping our foot 60 times a second in our example, Cubase tempo would have to be set at 90 if we wanted it to sound right.


I still don’t totally get it… This has to do with metronome, or quantize, or both?


No track picture search filter is another quirk… sort of… more of a feature request I suppose

This has to do with the number displayed in the tempo track. It should be beats per minute (what beats? defined by the user), now it’s quarters per minute. Depending on the time signature (and its subdivisions), this ranges from non-issue to mind-blown.

My mind might be blown right now - too much coffee and baileys or not enough.

Is there a thread on this somewhere?


Also, is this a feature in other DAWs?

From me.

Another random one.

The last one is from the time we didn’t have metronome click patterns, but even now that we have them, the metronome number still refers to quarters, not the actual beat value.

I think protools has it.

interesting thanks

Completely agree. What would be needed? Well - in fact a decoupling of tempo and signitures, like it is done in writing sheet music. Let me explain: We should be able to assign signatures: 6/8, 7/8, etc. ad lib. and then we should be allowed separetedly to assign a tempo indication, like 1/8 = 120 or 1/4=120, etc. etc… just as needed (iow: name a note duration like 1/4 or 1/8 or… and assign a number of “note value per minute”) In writing sheet music tempo and “time signitures” are two separate items - this is just the way a modern DAW also should handle it.

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Absolutely. I’ve tried explaining this to musicians and they still don’t get it :frowning: It’s Music Theory 101. Compound time signatures 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8 use 1/4D as the beat, not 1/4. Studio One handles this properly.

The consequence is incorrect tempo, incorrect gridlines.

Sure but we really only need 1/4 and 1/4D, that’s standard music theory…

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Eh, I wouldn’t say no to more options!

Steve cleaned up the other thread and merged it all neatly in this one, but I wouldn’t settle for just a dotted quarter.

I agree that a dotted quarter covers most cases, even those of measures count in “pulses”, i.e. 7/8 as 3+2+2, most people count three pulses, one long and two short. You can easily derive the tempo from either pulse, and assign it as a metronome beat, we can do that already for most measures of the type odd/8.

But. We also need half-notes for 2/2, we need a dotted half for fast waltzes, we need eighths for slow any/8 measure (one could argue they could be written in any/4, but it’s not my place to argue with the score writer), we need dotted eighths for any/16 pieces that group in threes. (e.g. 3/16, 6/16 etc…)

And then there are fringe cases of very fast 5/8 or even 7/8 that can be counted as one beat, in order to bring them into the Lento/Adagio/Andante range so that they feel less stiff musically. (Dotted quarter + Quarter = x or Half + Dotted Quarter = x etc…)

Fair enough, knock yourself out! Let’s have options. It would be very simple to have a setting in the metronome pane to define the beat. I’ll bet it won’t happen before version 16, if ever. We’re at v11 now and still no 1/4D. I’m not so concerned about the ratios of two, it’s where it has to be three but Cubase insists on two that I wonder if Steiny realise they have made a music composition tool. 1/4D is an incredibly common value for the beat. There’s issues all through the app with how the grid is handled. I think I mentioned Studio One handles 1/4 vs 1/4D automatically.

It should also be handled in the tempo track. Don’t forget that this is not just a metronome (i.e. Cubase metronome as a device) issue. The metronome in Cubase has become very flexible and can click to any time signature. This is more about the tempo track and what the number within represents. Instead of writing again, have a look below:

I’m not holding my breath either, but you never know sometimes!

Yes indeed. I know the difference between the programmable metronome patterns (which took FOREVER to implement) and the core issue of how the musical beat is handled (or rather, not handled). Which is why I’m agreeing with you that something needs to be done about it.

You’re right the metronome pane is not the right place to do it. I’d be happy initially with a global solution where it’s next to tempo and sig in the transport. The more complete solution would be to implement it in the signature track, and the grid should adapt to the metronome pattern. Not sure about the idea above…

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I’m using the option “Use Metronome Click Pattern Level for Grid Line Emphasis” so my grid lines are always subdivided according to my defined click pattern, so no problem there for me.

I’ll probably do a mockup later in the day to better illustrate.

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I’m using the option “Use Metronome Click Pattern Level for Grid Line Emphasis” so my grid lines are always subdivided according to my defined click pattern.

Well why didn’t you tell me this before? :grinning:

Thanks for that, I’ll check it out…

It’s on the right side of the window, when you click the “down arrow” to change the grid settings!

Here’s a little mockup that explains the “problem” to anyone not familiar with it, and how I’d like tempo changes according to note values to be handled.

Let’s examine this little score.

The metronome is set to Quarter = 96, and the time signature is 4/4. Next measure, there is a tempo change. The previous quarter must be equal to the following dotted quarters. Thus, the beat must fall on the red lines.

In order to have this played properly in Cubase, we have to do the following:

It would be easiest if we could define the count base directly in the tempo track, like this:

In this case, the Tempo value stays constant. It is the count base that has changed. So in essence, a tempo event, apart from the fields Position, Value and Type, should also have a Base field for this to work, which would be a drop down menu identical to the “Score Editor> Form Symbols> Tempo Change according to note values” dropdown menu that shows up when double clicking on the tempo change on the score. (but it would be great if it would accept a sum of values too, for example 5 eighth notes, or a half note + an eighth note, etc.)


Yes – I’d just have it selectable from the signature track though. As per your nice graphic, click on the beat value directly under the time sig to select it.

I’m totally perplexed that the bpm can’t be set to anything but quarters. Seriously?! I just can’t wrap my head around that.

This is a HUGE issue for me with Cubase! I write film scoring for a living. I often write in mixed meters and compound meters. On paper, it is a simple as imagining it and in Digital Performer, producing it. You simply can not set the metronome base at dotted-quarter and it is creatively stifling.

Setting the meteronome click to click on the correct beat does NOT fix the issue with tempo. dotted quarter=80 is something like q=120. It’s a huge mess especially when transferring files to Pro Tools for live sessions or mixing. It is a HUGE blunder of massive proportions— it forces all composers and song writers to only write in quarter note based music of 4/4. 3/4. 5/4, etc.


For me this is the top #1 feature that must be fixed. Digital Performer and Pro Tools have both had this for over a decade! Seriously.