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Tempo markings

Here’s how to notate tempo markings using the Soundslice editor.


About tempo markings

In Soundslice, tempo markings have two parts:

  • A metronome marking (in the above example: “quarter note equals 230”)
  • A label (in the above example: “Briskly”)

Both are optional. You can have a metronome marking without a label, or vice versa.

A metronome marking can be visible or invisible. If it’s invisible, it won’t appear in notation but it will still affect synthetic playback.

Tempo markings can be added to any rhythmic position within any bar (i.e., not just at the start of a bar). They will always appear above the top-most visible instrument in your slice.

Adding tempo markings

  1. Select a note or rest at the precise rhythmic position at which you want the tempo marking to live.
  2. In editor’s top panel, open the “Bar” section and click the “Set tempo marking” button . Or search for “Set tempo marking” in the editor search.
  3. You’ll see the “Edit tempo marking” screen:


Here, you can set the following:

  • Tempo — the metronome marking’s beats per minute
  • Unit — the metronome marking’s beat unit
  • Text — the label
  • Visible — whether the metronome marking should be displayed in notation

Editing or deleting tempo markings

To edit a tempo marking, just click on it in your notation. You’ll see the “Edit tempo marking” screen, as detailed above, and you can make changes. To remove the marking, click “Delete tempo marking” at lower right.

Automatic tempo calculation

If your slice is synced with a recording, then Soundslice can automatically determine the metronome marking from your syncpoints. In the “Edit tempo marking” screen, you’ll see an additional “Guess from syncpoints” button:


Click that button and we’ll automatically calculate the metronome marking.

Note: In order to see the “Guess from syncpoints” button, both of the following must be true:

  • Your slice has a recording with syncpoints that account for the currently selected bar.
  • That recording is currently active (i.e., you don’t have synthetic playback, or a different recording, selected)

A slice’s initial tempo

If your slice has synthetic playback active, then the Soundslice speed-changing interface will use BPM (beats per minute) instead of a percentage. For this initial BPM, we use whatever the slice’s initial tempo marking is. You can change this by adding a tempo marking on the very first note of the very first bar in your slice.

Soundslice uses “quarter note = 120 BPM” as the default tempo for slices that don’t have any tempo markings set.

How can I add a “swing feel” marking to my tempo marking?

See triplet/swing feel.

How do tempo markings affect “real” recordings that I’ve synced with my slice?

Tempo markings have absolutely no effect on the playback of real recordings.

Can I change the font of a tempo marking’s label?

Not at this time.

Can I change it so that the metronome marking comes before the label?

Not at this time.

If I don’t have a metronome marking, only a label, could I use “plain text” instead of a tempo marking?

You could indeed use inner or outer text, but you shouldn’t. It’s always better for the system to “know” that a given piece of text is a tempo. This will improve things like MusicXML export.

If I use the “Guess from syncpoints” feature, then later change my syncpoints, does the tempo marking get updated automatically?

No, you’ll need to update the tempo marking manually. That’s a cool idea, though — we’d like to do it in the future.