Time Signature?

anyone give me an explanation of how to use different time sigs in renoise? i’ve looked in the manual and searched the forums briefly but cant find anything!

i’m assuming its to do with pattern lengh but i have no idea how to work it out… thanks!

yes, it does have to do with pattern length.

for example, a 3/4 signature is easily done by changing the pattern length to 48, while a 6/4 uses 96 rows. In both cases, a beat will still be 16 rows long (thus you will have 3 beats of 16 rows each for 3/4, and 6 beats of 16 rows each for 6/4).

you oculd also work with the speed parameter in order to achieve the same result, but if what you need is a constant measure, then probably changing the pattern length is all you need.

Edit => Preferences => GUI => Highlight lines default to different values (3 or 6) could also help you visualize the new schema

Time signatures in Renoise, LINES ARE IN HEXIDECIMAL:

4/4 = 80 lines with highlight on every 8 lines
6/8 = 60 lines with the highlight on every 6 or 12 lines.
5/4 = 50 lines with the highlight on every 10 lines.
7/8 = 70 lines with the highlight on every 7 lines.

(I think the above comes from Foo?, I keep this on my HD in a text file, I think I paste it in the forums every 6 months…)

This is where windows calculator comes in handy. Basically, what you want to do is make sure the calculator is in Scientific Decimal mode… to get this, click View > Scientific … then make sure Dec is selected in the checkboxes at the top.

Now, take the top number and multiply it by the bottom number… so for 7/8 you’d have 7*8 which equals 56 … then you can multiply the result by a multiple of two… the higher, the better the resolution… I’ll multiply the 56 by 2 just to be easy… and I get 112 … then you can switch to hex mode by clicking the Hex checkbox at the top of the calculator. This will convert the 112 decimal to 70 hex

This seems nice and easy, like I wouldn’t need to do the math, but consider that if I hadn’t multiplied by two, I’d have 38 … which isn’t as logical to those people who aren’t used to hex. Also, if I’d multiplied by 4 instead of 2, the hex would result in E0. Odd again to those who don’t understand hex.

So there you are, the best way to calculate time signatures for Renoise. Hope this helps!

To get a fixed time signature for the whole song:
You click on song setting in the bottom left, so on the left bottom window Renoise will display you the real BPM (BEAT per minute) and the actual LPB (LINES per beat).
Next to this is the highlight setting windows.
The beat per minute in renoise that you set, isn’t the real bpm, it’s modified by the speed setting, we could go uber complicate about ticks and rows and everything but there is no need to complicate the stuff.

Basicly, you just play with the BPM and Speed setting, and you watch on the bottom left windows the REAL song time setting being applyed, and then using those setting you set manually with the highlits, the line eating on the beat.

Let have an example :

You want a 4/4 rhythmic at 120 bpm.

So you set manually 120 bpm, but natively renoise is at speed 6 and highlighted every 8 lines.
The bottom left window tells you that on those current setting, the bpm is 120, and LPB is 4, which means, every 4 lines there is a beat at 120 beat per minute. So since higlight is on 8 lines, you have two beat between every highlighted line.
So you can either, change the highlight to 4 lines, or multiply the bpm twice, or change to speed 3 which will give you the same BPM but the LPB will be 8, so every 8 lines you will have your beat, and every 4*8 = 32 lines you will have your bar.

All you need to care is the real BPM/LPB setting in the bottom left window and the highlight you’re setting.

Starting from that you can figure out and build every time signature you want.

Then only if you wanna change time signature in the meedle of a song you need to use the patterns command and use hex.

sweet dude!

thanks a lot for all yr help - i doubt i’d have got my head around it myself - might have come up with some interesting new rhythms but may not have sounding any good !


Shortcuts are F5 for hex and F6 for dec.

So time signatures have nothing to do with the speed parameter in renoise? Its just a matter of changing the pattern lines and possibly using speed to compensate for…well… speed. :X Speed is just for changing the resolution of the pattern and doesnt effect time signature? Sorry if its a stupid question but I never learnt music theory. :s

There’s a speed parameter in Renoise? Since when? :P


LOL> Ok ok… Lines per beat… LPBBB

Hey there, im trying to sort out a 7/4 time signature…would it work out as a 448 pattern length and every 7 rows highlighted and if not what would be right? thanks!

This would be a really great thing for a computer to compute in response to musicians entering what they want in more conventional musical notation.

Like – wouldn’t it be great if you could just say "I want a 3/4 beat at 100bpm) and it tells you how to set up your LPB and pattern length? This would make a great plugin, I’d think… :thinking: Any programmer types interested in taking that challenge on?


As a noob/beginner i would love this, i have a LOT of difficulty understanding these concepts, and many questions, maybe i can ask the questions that a complete beginner probably would have (at least i do):

The answers are from 2009, does this “speed” parameter still exist? I believe it does not, but if yes, how do i find it?

4/4 is 128 pattern lenght lines? (since a answer 13 years ago said it was 80 lines in hexidecimal).
If i use the 64 default value is still 4/4?
He also says “with highlight on every 8 lines”, what does this means? In this case a beat is 16 lines?

The renoise description the Lines per beat (LPB) section says that for a 4/4 i should use a 4 or 8 LBP resolution, so if a increase it to 16, 32 it is still 4/4? If i change to 18, 24 it’s not 4/4 anymore or is still a 4/4 but “custom”? (i dont know the correct term)

Is this all really necessary/crucial to make good percussion?

Where can i read/watch anything related to this topic in trackers?

Those are honest questions, really sorry, but i’m REALLY dumb with these concepts lol!

The concept of the grid lenght of tracker is a bit arbitrary so it’s most related to the user to chose the way to use it.

But yes the 64 lines lenght default pattern is mostly considered as a 4/4 signature (the most common) if you divide the lines by 2, 4, 8… or multiplicate by 2, 4, 8… it stay at 4/4.

The 48 (or 96) lines lenght pattern is related to a 3/4 signature.

I worked on some 3/4 musics and I was a bit lost into patterns… I was not used to this lenght! :sweat_smile:

Speed or tempo are not related to this in fact.


LBP x number of beats you want in a measure = pattern length

this is only complicated slightly by whether you choose to display line values in DEC or HEX… HEX is nice once you’ve wrapped your brain around it if you work in LPB of 4, 8, or 16, because each beat lines up with 10, 20, 30, etc. DEC is nice for other LPB as it’s a little easier to work the multiples in yr head. although setting the highlight value accordingly kind of obviates the need for DEC for me most of the time.

you can set the highlight length to help you visualize under Song–> Song options…

You can also set the default pattern length here

please note that tempo and LPB are tangential to this. LPB is like “resolution” and tempo/bpm is song “speed”

one might choose an LPB that is a multiple of common subdivisions of the beat, so if you’re writing something that feels 4/4 you might want an LPB of 4,8,16,32, etc. If you were writing in a triplet feel or 3/4, 3/8, 6/8, 12/8, etc. you might choose an LPB of 6,12, 24, etc. But LPB is somewhat independent of meter. Say you wanted 4/4 but with heavy quintuplet feel… you might choose an LPB of 5,10 or 20. or say you just wanted some wonky 4/4… you could set your LPB to 7 or 9 or 15 or 31… sky’s the limit. Just depends on what you want to do.

there’s a great little tool called “fractional notes” that I use all the time as a key command for triplets, quintuplets, septuplets, whatever… that way I can just leave my LPB at 16 and have freedom to write subdivisions according to whim. if i’m writing in triplet feel or 12/8 or whatever I’ll usually go with 24 LPB

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This is just about mathematics, dude. :sunglasses:
But first you have to know something about rhythm:

If you know what 4/4 means the answer in terms of how to in Renoise is clear. It’s 4/4 if the distance from one beat to another is 4 lines at least, or a number of lines which can be divided by 4 in an even amount of times. So 4/4 would have 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 or 256 lines per beat and a pattern length of 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 or 512 lines. If you would change LPB to 18 your pattern length should have 18, 36, 72, 144 or 288 lines in theory, but it still wouldn’t be 4/4, because you can’t divide 18 by 4. If you would change LPB to 24 your pattern length should have 24, 48, 96, 192 or 384 lines and it would be 4/4, because you can divide 24 by 4.

Quite simple, if you choose 8 LPB every 8th line is highlighted, which means the background is grey instead of black, provided that you’re using the standard color theme.

Now that you know what LPB means and that 8 LPB means that there’s a beat every 8th line, which is highlighted, you will understand the speed parameter, and there’s only one. The speed parameter is BPM, and as the name “beats per minute” already says, this parameter is for the speed. So if you have 8 LPB and 125 BPM, it means that there are 125 beats or 125 x 8 lines = 1000 lines in one minute. The standard setting for BPM is 125

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you could still have 4/4 with 18 LPB and pattern length of 72, just non-standard subdivisions of the beat. it would be a perfect setup for a song with a heavy nonuplet feel, lol.

you could make some deeply wonky beats with this one, but would still be 4/4

Ok, let’s call it “real 4/4”, which can’t be done in Renoise with 18 LPB, because everything in between the beats couldn’t be edited with exactly the same distances. But you’re right, basically it’s still 4/4, but not “real 4/4”. :wink: