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Create Downbeat for exact SMPTE time [SOLVED]

Go to solution Solved by David Nahmani,

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I have a frame in a video where I want to create a downbeat of a new measure.


This is the best thing I could find on the internet, but I can't help but think that there is an easier way to do this, as I would imagine that people need to do this a lot for film scoring.


"QtheMusic has given a pretty good description of how this can be done, I'll offer my version here. First, make sure you have the tempo track visible in the global tracks in your arrange window. Next, place the playhead exactly where you want the new cue to begin and go to Options>Marker>Create Without Rounding. (So you don't have to "note" where this is as in Qs description, Logic will do it for you.) Open the marker list (default key command is option - M), change the view to Event Position and Length in SMPTE Units, and under Options select Lock SMPTE Position. This way when you make tempo changes, the marker will stay where it is relative to the time code of the video.


I generally only create 2 tempo changes, one (we'll call "A") to serve as a count-in for the new cue, and another ("B") to for the necessary tweaking. First, create tempo change A, set it to the desired tempo for the new cue, and move it to about 2 bars ahead of the marker. Then create tempo change B a bar or more before A. Note the marker's current position relative to the grid, i.e. to which beat within the measure it is closest. Our goal is going to be to get the marker to line up exactly with that beat (I'll call it the "target" beat from now on), even if it isn't a downbeat. In order to do this, put the playhead on the target beat. Make sure you have both a transport window with SMPTE units visible (I like the giant SMPTE display, but it isn't necessary), and your marker list. With these two showing, click and drag tempo change B in your global tracks up or down to move the marker closer to the target beat. Holding control while you drag will allow you to change the tempo by hundredths of a BPM for fine adjustment. The playhead will remain on the target beat as you adjust the tempo, and the SMPTE display will show the playhead's position, so when the playhead's SMPTE position matches the SMPTE position of the marker, the two are perfectly aligned.


Now you've got your marker aligned to a beat, you just need to get that beat to be a downbeat. To do this, you just need to change the time signature in the space between A and B. So for example, if both your first and second cure are in 4/4 and your marker lines up with beat 3, create a bar of 2/4 between A and B. Remember of course to return the time signature to 4/4 immediately after the 2/4 bar.


I think that's about it. With this method, your count-in and tweaking tempo changes may or may not line up nicely (i.e. exactly 2 bars before the marker), but that isn't entirely necessary, as long as you have enough time for a decent count-in. If you're a little more anal and want to make sure they line up nicely, you can play around with them a little, but that's up to you. I know that's a lot of information and it seems kind of complicated, but once you've done it a few times it will feel pretty simple. Please let me know if anything is unclear"

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