Timecodes for film scoring


Sometimes a film has a leader (a countdown before the film starts) and I’d like the timecode in Dorico to reflect this. In my project, the countdown is 6 seconds long, and in layout options I’ve set the timecode to appear at the start of every bar:

Interestingly enough, the timecode that Dorico provides at bar 1 doesn’t seem to be correct.
Seven beats at 70 bpm should be exactly 6 seconds long, yet it displays 00:59:59:23 at bar 1, instead of 01:00:00:00. I’m not sure why this is, or perhaps I’m wrong - I’m not much of a mathematician anyway.

Kind regards.

one beat at 70 bpm is about 0.85 seconds. Depending on how many decimal places there are in the calculation, seven of those adds up to something short of 6 seconds.

I see! So Dorico shaves off some decimals. Because (60 / 70) x 7 = 6
It makes me wonder if timecodes are affected across the board?

Normally you’d program this using floats without rounding or truncation operations which have plenty of resolution (it just needs mS). Assuming they calculate in seconds as you did here, then I’ll guess there’s a bug in the timecode converter which throws up the visual string, but yeah looks definitely like an issue. Or there could be some odd glitch just at the calculation for the first bar.

Thanks Dan! Indeed, I’ve noticed now that the rest of the timecodes are not incorrect. They line up perfectly, even through multiple tempo and time signature changes.

It is only this first bar that is off for some reason. The film is 24 fps, and so it is offset by literally one frame (00:59:59:23 instead of 01:00:00:00). Not really that big of a deal, just peculiar.

Personally I stick to tempi that are easily divisible, so in this case I would go for 72 or maybe 68. Because I too am not much of a mathematician :slight_smile:

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Yeah there’s probably a first bar glitch then, not too uncommon to have ones like this at boundaries, definitely deserves a fix.

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