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How to tell BB the correct BPM of a sample that should be played as a clip?

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  • How to tell BB the correct BPM of a sample that should be played as a clip?

    Hi there,

    how can i tell BB the correct BPM of a sample that should be played in clip mode when it lacks a clear timing signature (eg. no drums)? Can i include the bpm in the file name or enter it when i load the sample?

    The auto BPM detection seems to work only for drum and percussion loops but i have to play and sync a vocal sample to the clock. BB gets the timing wrong.

    Really hope someone can help me. this is a major issue for me and many people that use BB for playing stems live.

    Thanks for your help
    Last edited by HeinzManne; 04-28-2020, 02:59 AM.

  • #2
    Blackbox uses the song tempo when you use it to record samples. You could tweak the song tempo to the sample tempo, record the sample from an external source (smartphone?), and then tweak the song tempo back to the intended. Then the vocal sample should follow the rest perfectly as you increase/decrease speed if set as a Clip.


    • #3
      You can't. You set the loop length, and it figures out BPM from there. You can't specify a BPM, which I think is the largest flaw for me.


      • #4
        Aaron Is this fixed now? As dycedot described its also the largest flaw for him as it is for me. Please fix this. Its the major deal breaker for someone that wants to use BB as a sample player in a live set with loop libraries. thanks mate!


        • #5
          Clip mode in Blackbox is designed to work with loop libraries. Most libraries come cut to power of two length, including vocal samples. This makes it easiest to drop them into a clip and have them work correctly with the auto length (and BPM) detection. Occasionally, you will need to work a little harder.

          If you are using vocal samples that aren't working properly, drop them into a DAW. If you don't have a length that is an integer number of beats, blackbox won't know what to do with it. You may need to add silence or copy and paste sections to get them to a suitable length. If you are making your own loops from a DAW, it is easiest to export them in a power of 2 length in the first place and life is easy. If you end up with a non-power of two, you will need to adjust the beat count in blackbox for that sample.

          Keep in mind that once you do get the beat count dialed in on blacbox, you can then Save the WAV file and the beat count will be embedded in the file for next time.

          I hope this helps.


          • #6
            It should be added that with adjusted beat counts (non-2^n and in particular odd time sigs), life is easy until you want to use song or seqs mode.


            • #7
              Aaron Sorry - you didnt get the point. its a HUGE hassle if you want to chose loops from your library and use it on the fly WITHOUT a computer. this is the whole point why i bought BB. it acts as a sample player / substitute for ableton. you or the product manager should know this. yes, libraries are usually cut to power of two lengths but i dont know the beat count / length for many samples ad hoc. but i do know the BPM because its included in the sample name.

              Please make it possible that you can enter the original sample bpm per sample which BB then uses to warp it to the global BPM. i´m sorry but the clip mode doesnt work that well often times.

              your machines have huge potential and are well built. they said that you take the time to develop / improve the products. please hold up to the promise and simply listen to your customers that want you to strive and have the best product possible. therefore i´m willing to pay high ticket. it´s just a minor addition but a huge thing for many people using BB in a way that i do (techno liveset, hardware only + the requirement to add loops to spice things up).

              the BPM recognition in clip mode only works for "easy" samples with obvious time elements (eg drums). even for synths that are played in time it is not able to recognise the BPM correctly. therefore it is essential to being able to insert the correct original sample BPM which BB then uses to warp it to the global BPM. please aaron. i´m begging you. listen to your customers and make them happy. then we´ll make you rich. all the best buddy!


              • #8

                I get that you want to type in the BPM and be done. Even if we provide this feature, it won't help content that is not prepared as a loop.

                Please know that blackbox determines the beat count of an incoming clip based only on the length and active song BPM. It does not look at the audio. That is why the trimming of the WAV is so critical and will require a computer if the material wasn't set up properly in the first place.

                We will keep your request in mind and will carefully consider it.


                • HeinzManne
                  HeinzManne commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh ok then at least i know the reason. i thought there is some type of beat detection. this then also means that you cannot "warp" material that is not at a 4/x timing structure. i agree that most sample libraries have lengths in powers of two. so theoretically there shouldnt be a problem. even with my usecase. so you´d recommend to listen to the sample, count the beats and enter them and then they will play back in sample mode at the correct bpm? thanks aaron!

              • #9
                Hi there,

                I just wanted to mention that in my practice a computer is not really needed if I want to adjust raw material for the proper use as a loop.
                For instance if i know the original BPM I can set the BB to that BPM and play the Sample in Sample mode, while recording (resampling) it to a new pad (with quantized recording). Then the new sample can be run in Clip mode, and I can restore the target BPM.

                The reason why I play it in sample mode is, that I can use the sequencer to trigger it periodically and then have some more options to adjust it to actually sound like a proper loop. For instance I can fine tune the length (start/stop point, pitch) or if there is a glitch at the end I can let it fade out (decay, release settings).

                This works for me most of the time without any computer in the game.


                • HeinzManne
                  HeinzManne commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks mate for your input! unfortunately that doesnt work for my application when BB is midi slave and other backing tracks are playing from BB. then i can´t simply alter the BB BPM cause it would affect the playing samples speed.

                • Aaron
                  Aaron commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's very clever. Thanks for suggesting it.

                • Felipe Denegro
                  Felipe Denegro commented
                  Editing a comment
                  resampling rules!

              • #10
                You can determine how to sync it: by 1/16th 1/8 and so on and that will change how the clip is played, not necessarily the BPM, although sometimes, depending on project bpm and clip bpm, the clip will be played much slower or faster without adjusting how its synced.


                • #11
                  I trig my backing tracks in clip mode, deactivating any sync options and choosing the right BPM ... that's all. It just miss the lock fuction for me . But Thanks to Dan Day, this is a good trick


                  • #12
                    Hi people! Newly joined the BB community and this is my first time on the forum to get some issues solved!

                    I encountered the same problem as HeinzManne.

                    I do use my BB to have a no computer workflow for composing. Cause the way I do compose is also the way I play live. I experiment, then improvise based on a sample or a rhythm, and then I play all around adding some stuff, and finally I make some adjustments like sequences, fxs and mixing if I wanna get a release.

                    So yes, for me, cutting the playback is where I lost inspiration..

                    I just get a nice dnb loop pack, and for all rhythm loops, the beat count is set to 512 (by the way I do not have an idea of what a beat count is, it maybe lost in translation in French..) anyway, I have to put it back to zero to get a nice auto detect... But even with packing the presets or saving the sample as a new file... When bb restarts or when the preset is loaded... The beat count is back to 512 and the playback of the loop in clip mode is not working..

                    Maybe it's possible to wipe out the metadatas with a pc?

                    Anyway... If anything can get this solved, the issue remains the same with the non-rhythmic samples...

                    So yes Aaron , I did perfectly get that the BB doesn't look at audio, but I guess that with all the work you've done so far that it must be a way to get the loops work faster within a live session in a seeking/playing/replacing workflow..

                    For example, it could be very useful to add something in clip mode to adjust the sync, cause the none to 1/16 doesn't not really does the job, it justs cuts the sample, it doesn't "readjust it".

                    Furthermore, I didn't get how to trigger or toogle a one shot drum sample set in clip mode like a hat, in the right moment... Even with a 1/4 quantize and the right finger tapping... The sample sets itself on the firsts steps of the four four grid...

                    ​​​​​​​Or maybe I missed something on that part? I hope so
                    Last edited by Flocon; 08-27-2021, 03:37 AM.