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I am working on a baroque string piece (Rondeau from Abdelazer) as a way to learn to program strings and in general get better at orchestrating and using the software. One thing puzzles me quite a bit. The original score says tempo is 95, but if I set it to 95 in Studio One, it is unbearably slow. I am currently working on it at 160 and my version is still somewhat slower than most renditions I can find on Youtube. Am I missing something?

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    When I listen to the piece from here youtube.com/watch?v=VVivtti-n-w, the tempo is close to 95. When I check the score in IMSLP conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/b/b5/…, the tempo mark is based on a half note. So, make sure that when you draw notes in the DAW, you treat the half note on the score as a quarter note on DAW. Since the DAW always measure tempo in quarter note – Raven Cheuk Nov 16 '18 at 8:09
  • Hi @RavenCheuk - if you post that as an answer, rather than a comment, then you can earn rep for it. – Doktor Mayhem Nov 16 '18 at 8:44
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Based on your description, it seems there is a problem on how you treat the tempo on score and on the DAW. The easy fix is to treat half notes in score as quarter notes in DAW. (I will be using FL studio for demonstration, since I don't have Studio One. But I believe all these DAWs are similar)

Tempo on the score

You can see the tempo 100 here (in red circle) means 100 half notes per minutes.

enter image description here

Solution 1: Treat half notes in score as quarter notes in DAW

The score indicate that a one beat has the length of a half note, you need to make sure you convey the same meaning in your DAW. Since the major grids in DAW indicates the beat position, you just need to draw the half notes on DAW to fully occupy one major grid as shown below. The time signature in the DAW is 3/4.

For other notes, you just need to scale accordingly, for example:

  • Half note = Full major grid

  • Quarter note = Half major grid

  • Eighth note = 1/4 major grid

enter image description here


Solution 2: Keep the midi note lenght same as the score notation

If you really want to maintain the same note lenghts both in the DAW and the sheet music, then you need to change the tempo in the DAW accordingly. In your case, the tempo in the DAW should be 200 as shown below. In this case, the DAW would be having the time signature of 6/4.

enter image description here

  • So I guess the question becomes, how do I convert score tempo into a DAW tempo? Or rather what does the DAW tempo represent? When I set tempo in DAW, is it for a quarter note? A half note? Something else? – Mad Wombat Nov 16 '18 at 15:17
  • Also, in your screenshot you seem to be treating half notes just like half notes, provided you kept the time. Or did you change 3/2 to 3/4? – Mad Wombat Nov 16 '18 at 15:19
  • For your first question, yes. In DAW, the tempo is simply beat per minute. For the tempo in sheet music, it is also beat per minute, but you need to consider one more thing: Is one beat represented by quartar notes (the common one), half notes or even eighth notes? My DAW is in 3/4 setting in the screenshot. I hope you understand my point now and solved your problem accordingly. – Raven Cheuk Nov 16 '18 at 16:03
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    Depending on the DAW, it might (arguably should) be possible to base the tempo on half notes (usually by changing the DAW time signature to have a 2 in the denominator), in which case there’s no need make the midi data in the DAW different from the notation data in the score. If that’s not possible, I would personally prefer to merely double the tempo in the DAW while keeping the note values consistent with the score. – Todd Wilcox Nov 16 '18 at 16:28
  • For my DAW (FL studio), changing the denominator for time signature would not affect the griding, it only helps you to scale the midi lenght accordingly. Actually, I am not making the midi data different from the notated data in the score, I am just trying to explain the concept here. In the score, we count the half note as one beat anyway, therefore I make the half note in the DAW as one beat too. But your suggestion is also an alternative solution to this problem. – Raven Cheuk Nov 16 '18 at 16:52

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