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Step by Step: 3 Ways To Detect the Tempo in FL Studio

Updated on April 8, 2016

How often do you need to detect the Bps of a sample?

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Tempo Detection in FL 12

Tempo Detection in FL 12
Tempo Detection in FL 12

Method #1: Step by Step

The easiest and most obvious way to detect a tempo of a song is by asking your DAW for help. The steps are the following:

  1. Import the sample
  2. Right-Click the sample
  3. Choose the option "Detect tempo"

Please note that if the sample was created by FL Studios, you should have the option "Embedded" when choosing the tempo.

If not, try the fastest tempo options (150 to 300 Bps). That will make the DAW to scan the song and try to find the tempo which would fit the best.

Method #1

You will be asked to wait few minutes while the DAW detects the sample tempo.

Once done, you will be asked if you want to adjust the project tempo to the one of the sample.

I always prefer to click on 'No' and adjust the tempo manually. I have experienced some glitches with the automatic tempo change in the previous FL versions so I prefer doing it manually.

Once that the project tempo is set, you should place the sample on the playlist and adjust the decimals. There are many ways to do that. What I usually do is placing the song/sample somewhere in the middle of the playlist in a way that any easy-to-spot beat would be aligned with a beat marker on the playlist. Then I start to move the decimals arrow up and down, trying to achieve a perfect alignment of the sample beats with the playlist markers. It might take some time.

Drag it up or down until you achieve a perfect alignment...
Drag it up or down until you achieve a perfect alignment...

Another Reminder

Note that some of the songs have a variable tempo.

As an example I had a hard time trying ot figure out the exact tempo value of System Of a Down's song Aerials. Although it's a studio song, it have a slightly irregular tempo, which finally forced me to use an automation clip in order to keep the tempo accurate.

Method #2

Another way to find the tempo of a sample is by using the "tempo tapper" feature.

I usually prefer using it only if the method #1 failed or left me somehow unsatisfied. The steps are easy:

  1. Right click the 'tempo' box
  2. Click on 'Tap'
  3. Start playing the sample on a alternative media player, then switch back to FL and start following the melody tempo by clicking the gray box.
  4. Tap until you see that the tempo data steadily remains the same.
  5. Use the same way as in Method #1 to adjust the decimals.

Make sure to pay attention to the decimals you'll see in the left bottom corner of your DAW (applicamble for FL 12 only). Although not accurate, these decimals might give you a hint on where to start.

Tap it!
Tap it!

The reason why I always rely more on the Method #1 is that it's way more accurate than tapping by hand. I've also noticed that if the Method #1 didn't gave the desired results, then the song have a variable/irregular tempo. Few exceptions may be encountered in extremely noisy samples without a beat line or songs with an overuse of the sound wall technique.

Which method do you prefer?

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Let the Metronome Assist You

Let the Metronome Assist You
Let the Metronome Assist You

Method #3

You've heard it from the poll: the third and final method I propose to you is using a third-party tempo-detection software. I'm going to list some options I've found:

  • MixMeister BPM Analyzer - Free to use and quite accurate.

  • BPM Counter - Free tool to detect the Bpm of any song. The best part about this tool that it can Anne-Lisa... analyze a whole playlist rather than one song at a time.
  • AudioBoxBaby - You don't even need to load a sample song, since it will detect the tempo of any sound that is currently playing on your computer. It's a free tool as well.

Paid Software

There are also paid programs for Bps detection. Honestly I never had the chance nor necessity to try any of them. If you do have experience with any paid Bps detection software, I'd gladly read your review in the comments section below.

While a producer mostly works with raw sound samples or downmixed songs with all of the needed data exposed, detecting the exact tempo of a sample might be quite useful in some situations.

Which are your best methods to detect the tempo value of a song?


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