Time, Tempo, and Metronome

This dialog allows you to specify the time-signature of the music, the tempo of the music, and to control the metronome.

The time-signature and/or tempo can be set at an arbitrary point in the music, and you can change it as often as needed.

The metronome produces an audible 'clicking' sound, to the beat of the music. This is useful to allow you to record your new tracks in-time with the music, which really helps as you add new tracks to your piece.

This dialog looks something like this:


The top half of the dialog box controls the metronome, and can be specified anywhere in the piece. No MIDI event is inserted into any track of the piece as a result of specifying it.

A metronome is a device that produces clicking sounds that click in-time with the music. There are metronomes you can buy, but how would you synchronize it precisely with the music in the tracks?

The metronome sounds are produced because the software temporarily inserts a metronome track into the piece, with the notes of the clicks as MIDI events. That track is muted, or played, depending on the check-boxes below the title-bar (in relation to what the player/recorder is doing). The metronome track is deleted before the file is saved, so it doesn't become a permanent part of the piece.

The default is for the metronome to sound while recording is being done, but not when a MIDI file is simply being played. So the “Playback” check-box is clear, and the “Recording” check-box is checked.

If you want to hear the metronome during playback (which gives you a better sense of the underlying timing), simply click on the “Playback” check-box. Likewise, if you don't want the metronome to sound during recording, click on the “Recording” check-box (which will un-check it).

Below the check-boxes, is a drop-box that lets you specify the sound you want to use for the metroneme. The sounds available to you are any of the percussion instruments (on MIDI channel 10, per the General MIDI standard).

To avoid conflicting with sounds actually used in your percussion track, you should choose a sound different from any used in the percussion track. The drop-box lets you choose the sound, and the “Test” button to the right of the drop-box lets you hear the sound you chose. Simply click the “Test” button to hear the sound.

To choose a sound, simply click on the “Sound” drop-box, and scroll through the percussion instruments in the list, clicking on the one you want. The number to the left of the instrument name is the actual MIDI note number that is used for that instrument.

Note: In order to use the metronome, the player/recorder dialog must specify an actual MIDI playback device. The default of “(none) – Display Notes Only” will not work for using the metronome.

The “Loudness” slider is used to control the loudness of the metronome clicks, and this setting is used in producing a click when you press the “Test” button.

The metronome actually makes a louder click for the first beat of each measure. The loudness you specify with the slider is the loudness of all the other beats of each measure.

In order for any metronome changes to take-effect, you have to click the “OK” button (at the bottom of the dialog). Changing the metronome doesn't (in itself) cause a tempo or time-signature change.

The rest (bottom half) of the dialog box is used to control the tempo, and time-signature in the piece. Any change you specify is made at the current playback position, so be careful to pause the player at the precise place you want to make the change. After pausing it at that right place, make your changes. You can change the time-signature and tempo as many times as you need.

The tempo and/or time-signature you specify is effective from that point in the piece, all the way to the end of the piece, or to the point (beyond there) where you change it.


You specify the tempo as the number of metronome-clicks per minute. You specify it as a number, with no spaces, commas, or decimal-points. A metronome-click coming at the rate of one per second, is specified by the number 60 (because there are 60 seconds in a minute).


The time-signature is shown as a fraction, where the top number is the number of beats per measure, and the bottom number is the type of note that gets one beat. A bottom-number of 2, means half-note, a bottom-number of 4 means quarter-note, and a bottom-number of 8 means eighth-note.

Be aware that in sheet-music, a time-signature consisting of a “C” (called “common time”) is the same as 4/4 time. A time-signature consisting of a “C” with a vertical line through it (called “cut time) is the same as 2/2 time.

The dialog box only lets you specify a time-signature using the numbers.

The top number is specified in the “Beats-Per-Measure” text field. Specify a number, without spaces, commas, or decimal-points.

The bottom number is specified in the “Note Getting 1 Beat” text field. Specify a number, without spaces, commas, or decimal-points.

The Buttons

The buttons are at the bottom of the dialog box.

Click the “OK” button to make your changes take-effect. To dismiss the dialog without making any changes, click the “Cancel” button. Clicking the “Help” button displays this help page in your browser.

Closing the dialog box without clicking the “OK” button is the same as clicking the “Cancel” button (no changes will be made).

Back to Index

Next Documentation Page