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# [Proposal] Timing #/8-signatures; Merge two timing-rules

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I approve this message!
new timing when
I approve this post. It would also be very cool if osu supports more complex timing signature, hope to see this comming with lazer

I would also add something, musically, a 6/8 should always be composed by two dotted quarter note, making [3-3], you say here it can be [2-2-2] (you also said [3-3-3] which looks like a typo) https://i.imgur.com/uJRHaj7.png
Yes Yes Yes! Sounds very good to me, totally approve of this.
Topic Starter

#### Xenok wrote:

I would also add something, musically, a 6/8 should always be composed by two dotted quarter note, making [3-3], you say here it can be [2-2-2] (you also said [3-3-3] which looks like a typo) https://i.imgur.com/uJRHaj7.png
Oh thanks, both of those were a mistake, fixed!
Definitely needed, and nicely written.
I would also add it's "musically wrong" to say that America is mixed between 6/8 and 3/4. Actually, the song is only composed in 6/8 but composed with notes that sometime could tend to look like 3/4. We can see this in this music sheet for example: https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.musesco ... core_0.png

But well I think it's not a problem in the post to show the difference between 6/8 and 3/4 since it sound like a 3/4, but I think it's a good think to make things more precise!

Sorry for being annoying...
Topic Starter
Well, wouldn't that kinda imply that 6/8 can be [2+2+2] since every second measure is subdivided like that? "Mixed meter" is actually a proper term, and wikipedia describes it like that too! Those sheets you've got are just by someone who arranged it and didn't care about indicating it like that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

No worries about being annoying, discussion is what this thread is for!
Hmm yeah it looks like this song is kind of an exception, I never saw that time signature before LUL

Yeah, so on osu, we should also alternate between 2/4 100 bpm and 3/4 150 bpm? Don't look kinda annyoing sv wise?
Topic Starter

#### Xenok wrote:

Yeah, so on osu, we should also alternate between 2/4 100 bpm and 3/4 150 bpm? Don't look kinda annyoing sv wise?
Ah right, we didn't actually consider mixed meters very much and I assumed it would fall into the complex-category and doesn't need to be timed like that, but we (read: dsco) found a ton of loopholes with that right now. The two options to avoid all of those are either 1) requiring them to be timed this way, which I find annoying for cases like this too, or 2) adding the following sentences at adequate places in the guide:
When a certain pattern made up of different time signatures repeats regularly, it is called "mixed meter".
For mixed meters, the start of every measure is required to land on a big white tick.
which we will do for now, along with mentioning that "America" is an example of that. If anyone knows some examples of mixed meters where this could be problematic, please bring them to us!
so uhh i have some concerns

the proposal assumes that all irregular time signatures divide beats in the same way?

the proposal doesn't take care of the main thing it should be addressing, the metronome hits. a lot of those would be left omitted with this proposal (the whole purpose of the upper number is to denote how many times the metronome hits within a certain measure, as far as my understanding goes, please correct me if i'm wrong)
the metronome should not follow the beats only, because that's a thing that depends on different factors, and it isn't important for osu really, if anything it helps with note placements on the timeline and stuff like how to divide patterns and such.

you guys are implying that the metronome should emit irregular pulses which is wrong as far as i understand. the whole purpose of a metronome is to have a regular pulse aligned with the music.

wondering why isn't doubling bpm a valid solution?

#### Xenok wrote:

I would also add it's "musically wrong" to say that America is mixed between 6/8 and 3/4. Actually, the song is only composed in 6/8 but composed with notes that sometime could tend to look like 3/4. We can see this in this music sheet for example: https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.musesco ... core_0.png

But well I think it's not a problem in the post to show the difference between 6/8 and 3/4 since it sound like a 3/4, but I think it's a good think to make things more precise!

Sorry for being annoying...
Xenok is correct that the time signature isn't determined by how the beats break down in a certain measure. The score he linked to is very indicative of many 6/8 songs so it shouldn't be looked at as an exception. It is much less common for music to switch time signatures every measure actually. It's *usually* pretty obvious whether something is 6/8 or 3/4 based on the emphasis patterns/style of the music if you have the ear for it.

#### Kagetsu wrote:

the proposal doesn't take care of the main thing it should be addressing, the metronome hits. a lot of those would be left omitted with this proposal (the whole purpose of the upper number is to denote how many times the metronome hits within a certain measure, as far as my understanding goes, please correct me if i'm wrong)
You're about half right. Time signature as a whole along with tempo marking (i.e., BPM) typically is what determines how many metronome hits are in a measure. 6/8 is almost exclusively counted in 2 and then further subdivided as triplets (i.e., tri-ple-let tri-ple-let) even in measures consisting of 3 quarter notes. 3/4 on the other hand is either counted in 3 or in 1 depending on the tempo marking (i.e. waltz is in 1 typically). There are a variety of ways that the tempo marking could be formatted to include this information (i.e., the tempo marking might be "fast waltz").

If osu! properly took timing into account then 6/8 would look like 2/4 but when you hold down the control key instead of hearing 1/2 snaps your would hear 1/3 snaps. 3/4 would need the option to specify whether it should be counted in 1 or in 3 with the former subdividing by 3 and the latter subdividing by 2.

Edit: I misinterpreted the mixed measure as not being something taken directly from a score (it does seem to show up on most scores for America actually). It must not be that common in concert band or symphony orchestra as I was unfamiliar with it but I was always too lazy to do pit orchestra when I had the chance in high school so maybe it shows up more often there.
Topic Starter
Discussed most of Kagetsu's post with them privately as there was a bit of a misunderstanding of how proper metronomes work, here's a little summary, additionally evolving into the reasoning of why we don't deem double-BPM valid:

A "traditional" metronome only makes one type of tick-sound which represents one beat, and doesn't really have anything to do with the time signature that you want to play in that tempo - When a metronome is set to 60 BPM it makes one tick per second, if you're playing 3/4 in that tempo you take three ticks and mentally sub-divide each tick into two, if you're playing 6/8 in that tempo you take two ticks and sub-divide each into three ticks - Both signatures have the same amount of eighth- or quater-notes, but those notes don't have the same length, only the beats, and that's all what a metronome cares about. That's what the metronome in osu! does too, if you set the BPM to 60 you have one white tick per second and will hear one tick-sound per second in the timing-tab, only when you hold ctrl it will further divide that into two or three ticks depending on what the BeatSnapDivisor is set to. A single metronome can't properly indicate irregular time signatures, because irregular time signatures aren't limited to one tempo.

So this should make clear why using multiple BPM-sections is theoretically the musically most accurate method of timing irregular signatures in osu!. But since that's a relatively high effort, we only enforce the "simplified" version of sticking to one of those tempi, which is then consistent even if the song changes signature.
Now one of the reasons for not deeming double-BPM valid is obviously that it completely incorrect musically, since it uses neither of the tempi that a song actually has, and messes up the meaning of both note-value and beat-value. But some more osu!-related reasons are that 1) it also loses any indication of gameplay, as it doesn't even say how fast the actual "tapping-speed" of the song would be, and 2) it would make songs that switch between signatures be timed even more inconsistently, as you'd have 100 BPM for one part, then 200 BPM for another and then again 100 BPM, which messes up the SV along the way too. On average, the effort for using doubled BPM would be lower (though it could be higher in some cases too), but at the cost of not only losing any musical significance, but also losing an< significance for osu!. It wouldn't represent tempo in a consistent way, and wouldn't give the player any indication of what they can expect from the song. Basically, BPM would be completely meaningless because it would have a different meaning for different songs (or even for the same song when a signature isn't clearly identifyable), so at that point it wouldn't make much sense to have any timing-regulations in the first place.
@chainpullz i think the following lines cover the thing i was referring to

#### Bonsai wrote:

A "traditional" metronome only makes one type of tick-sound which represents one beat, and doesn't really have anything to do with the time signature that you want to play in that tempo -
i gotta disagree with this, first of all why do "traditional" metronomes matter at this point? i mean we're in 2018 and i'm pretty sure electronic metronomes exist and are capable of representing compound or even complex time signatures.

#### Bonsai wrote:

When a metronome is set to 60 BPM it makes one tick per second, if you're playing 3/4 in that tempo you take three ticks and mentally sub-divide each tick into two, if you're playing 6/8 in that tempo you take two ticks and sub-divide each into three ticks - Both signatures have the same amount of eighth- or quater-notes, but those notes don't have the same length, only the beats, and that's all what a metronome cares about.
yes, but you gotta realize the reason why representing the subdivisions with the metronome on simple time signatures (such as 3/4 or 4/4) isn't necessary: the beat on those is always a quarter note, so the notes always get grouped the same way, whereas for x/8 signatures, the way of grouping may be completely different from one song to another, you can have beats that last a dotted quarter note, for other cases it may be 2 eighth notes, there even exist 3/8 which uses eighth notes as the main beat. hence why electronic metronomes do mark the subdivisions for those time signatures.
also regarding the thing you're saying about the metronome should be taking care about the beats only , i think it's incorrect as the metronome is supposed to help you maintain a constant pace aligned with the music so i'd say the metronome should mark the subdivisions too (although quieter than actual beats)

#### Bonsai wrote:

That's what the metronome in osu! does too, if you set the BPM to 60 you have one white tick per second and will hear one tick-sound per second in the timing-tab, only when you hold ctrl it will further divide that into two or three ticks depending on what the BeatSnapDivisor is set to.
this point was already explained, it just happen to be like that because osu uses simple time signatures only, which take quarter notes as the main beat, so i believe subdivisions doesn't have to be there to the metronome be aligned with the music

#### Bonsai wrote:

A single metronome can't properly indicate irregular time signatures, because irregular time signatures aren't limited to one tempo.
so uh i don't understand why you say that, i mean if it was like that why would we even bother to ask developers to add complex time signatures into the editor?
as far i know there already exist electronic metronomes that can actually represent these type of time signatures. they use loud sounds to represent beats and quieter ones for subdivisions which helps a lot when it comes to play music in my opinion.
i can also tell that i've already searched from a ton of different sources finding always the same results from youtube videos, google search others forums, even music making related software such as cubase or guitar pro deal with those time signatures in a similar way, so why would osu use something different?

#### Bonsai wrote:

So this should make clear why using multiple BPM-sections is theoretically the musically most accurate method of timing irregular signatures in osu!. But since that's a relatively high effort, we only enforce the "simplified" version of sticking to one of those tempi, which is then consistent even if the song changes signature.
this wouldn't be a problem if we were with the doubling equivalency method as there would be always a subdivision hitting the beats no matter what

#### Bonsai wrote:

Now one of the reasons for not deeming double-BPM valid is obviously that it completely incorrect musically, since it uses neither of the tempi that a song actually has, and messes up the meaning of both note-value and beat-value
actually doubling the bpm and making all the notes half of the duration is just an equivalency, it would be still readable if you were to read a music sheet (although it would be more complicated because there wouldn't be an indication as to where the notes should be emphasized or how they are grouped), but it's none of osu's business honestly, if it was for this, the equivalence for almost all 1/3 based songs would be also labeled as incorrect as you would be converting a compound time signature into a simple one mapped with tuplets.

#### Bonsai wrote:

1) it also loses any indication of gameplay, as it doesn't even say how fast the actual "tapping-speed" of the song would be
i'd say it's the complete opposite of what you're stating, as for example this map's listing says it's only 72 to 108 bpm but the tapping speed required to play it is actually a lot higher than that

#### Bonsai wrote:

2) it would make songs that switch between signatures be timed even more inconsistently, as you'd have 100 BPM for one part, then 200 BPM for another and then again 100 BPM, which messes up the SV along the way too. On average, the effort for using doubled BPM would be lower (though it could be higher in some cases too), but at the cost of not only losing any musical significance, but also losing an< significance for osu!. It wouldn't represent tempo in a consistent way, and wouldn't give the player any indication of what they can expect from the song. Basically, BPM would be completely meaningless because it would have a different meaning for different songs (or even for the same song when a signature isn't clearly identifyable), so at that point it wouldn't make much sense to have any timing-regulations in the first place.
well that's something that can be addressed with some rulings too, i don't think it would that difficult to so, also the method you're mentioning of halving/doubling because of time signature changes had happened a lot of times, refer to maps like this or this where you could theoretically change the time signature instead of changing tempo.

to end with i'm just gonna say that after our talk yesterday, i'm not against the current proposal for regular time signatures (anything that can divided into beats of the same duration) as it makes a lot of sense and align with the music anyways. for irregular ones though, (5/8 7/8... etc) it's unpractical and not really intuitive to follow when playing/listening to the metronome
the fact that adding multiple red lines shifts the note placement on the timeline should be considered too, at least in my opinion.
I think the bigger concern with double bpm in my mind is that it screws up the metronome with NC. At least in the genres I am most familiar with, a tempo marking of prestissimo isn't typically used as the tempo marking for the entire piece. Most songs that you would want to use double bpm for are actually cut time (e.g., 2/2 time signature). The tempo marking then usually indicates the bpm in terms of half notes instead of quarter notes since half notes get the beat in cut time. Hence with NC you end up with the added effects twice as fast as they should be.
timing ♩•=60bpm 6/8 (as an example) as 180bpm 6/4 poses many problems and is extremely musically inaccurate. timing it as 60bpm 2/4 is not correct either, as its quite obviously not 6/8, but it bears a much stronger musical relation to the way the music is played and written. a 6/8 or a 12/8 drum beat will have a kick on the first eighth note and then a snare on the 4th, (or kick on 1st and 7th, snare on 4th and 10th for 12/8), just as would 2/4. in fact, nearly every song in 12/8 would be instinctually mapped as 4/4 in 1/3 snap divisor by any mapper. to imply it should be timed as 1.5x or 3x the bpm with a 1/2 divisor would not only sound awful in the editor but be extremely musically inaccurate. further, the tempo for #/8 time signatures is very rarely given in terms of the eighth note, it is given in terms of the pulse of the music, for 6/8, for example, it would be given in terms of a dotted quarter-note (3 eighth notes, hence the reason the tempo would be chosen).

you mention that DAWs are capable of producing these complex/compound/irregular time signatures. this is completely true. in fact, if you open any DAW, select 120bpm and select 7/8, the 120bpm will be referential to a quarter note still. if we were to time it as double bpm, 120bpm 7/8 in a DAW is now 240bpm in osu? there is no musical clarity in timing songs this way.

here are the problems that doubling bpm presents:
for music that switches between 4/4 and 7/8 or 5/8 or any other #/8 signature, you will have two bpms for the exact same song and tempo, even if the music is quantized. this makes 0 sense whatsoever and there is no way you can argue that part of said song is 180bpm and the other part is 360bpm. this is extremely common to math rock, and very common in genres like jazz as well.

doubling the bpm results in incredibly inaccurate bpm readings. this is not only the case for #/8 time signatures, but even more-so #/16 time signatures, which are common as pickup measures in jazz and some classical music. quadrupling the bpm for these cases is absolutely mad. for the final movement of Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring,' an extremely important classical piece, you would have to quadruple the bpm for long sections of music, resulting in a completely ludicrous bpm that has a very deteriorated relation to the actual pace of the music. for a jazz example, take 'Big Eater' by The Bad Plus. this song has pickup measures of 3/16 after every 'chorus' section, with mostly 7/8 but also 3/4 and 4/4 sections in the music. it would be absurd to time parts of this song as 120bpm, some as 240, and some as 480. or take this song by tigran hamasyan, where hypothetically you would time the entire song as 560bpm (it's around 140bpm). surely you can see the complete lack of accuracy in doing this.

as for adding red ticks shifting the bpm, i agree it could be added to the guide (with such songs doing it back to beginning prevents this entirely), though its already covered in songs requiring being timed perfectly, if you mean in the ranking criteria.

hopefully this addresses your concerns and explains the reasoning that this timing is necessary, and most accurate musically.
Does anyone actually know the precision used for timing points by the way? I know the editor only displays out to the nearest milisecond but the .osu file format seems to allow higher precision. I know this is definitely respected for SV where you can specify decimal points out to whatever bit limit osu uses (either 32 or 64). It will only display 2 significant digits for SV in the editor but it uses the higher precision when computing slider length.

I managed to hit the space bar and set a red line down that seems to have had a decimal time value the other day from the look of things. If it does indeed allow floating point precision then you could use text editing to eliminate the drift due to rounding when putting down additional red lines.
some clarifications and ideas that i feel would explain the way i see this whole thing and i think need discussion:
1. the metronome is meant to mark regular pulses. so that it helps you mantain a certain pace. using metronome resets (irregular pulses) defeats the purpose of having a metronome in the first place, since the pulses wouldn't be regular, it would make following music a difficult task to achieve
2. the way a metronome works doesn't have much to do with music theory. no matter what the rhythms of the song are, the metronome should always follow the same regular ticking
3. you won't find metronomes marking irregular pulses only. even if some metronomes do mark beats with stronger sounds, they still mark the subdivisions on /8 time signatures. this happens on /16 or whatever 2^x the bottom number is
4. the metronome doesn't depend on the song, so any song using a specific time signature should allign with the metronome. this means that if i take two songs using the same time signature, they both should use the same type of metronome, accentuations within the measure are meant to be executed by the player, not the metronome.
5. in any music making software, if you double the bottom number of a time signature, the metronome would sound as twice as fast. this is because it does mark the subdivisions. note that this doesn't necessarily imply that the song pace is faster.
now i already mentioned that the current proposal covers regular time signatures just fine so that shouldn't be a thing to debate about. but just to make it clear, we're here talking about metronomes only. the purpose of doubling method is not to denote a faster pace, but rather to emulate how a metronome (not music) would sound on those time signatures, especially on irregular ones.

it would be appreciated if you use the numbers i put to reply, so that it's easier to discuss
Topic Starter
1 2 3 4 5 german counting:
Who says that the metronome-concept you're describing is relevant in the first place? The osu!metronome™ never really helps anyone with maintaining a certain pace at all, because you can't hear it in the editor (except the timing-tab where you usually don't spend much time in) and you can't hear it during gameplay (except for Nightcore-mod, which sounds terrible with doubleBPM in almost every case). The field where you put in the value that you are proposing to double is literally titled BPM for "Beats per Minute", if you double that value it's not the correct BPM anymore. I don't see how these characteristics that you are demanding of a metronome are relevant for osu! at all.

(3: You can mark subdivisions in osu! without doubling BPM by pressing ctrl)

(4: A metronome that marks beats with stronger sounds and subdivisions with weaker sounds does depend on the song, and the osu!metronome™ is one of those. Also, you can just write irregular time signatures as "additive signatures", in which case they are not written as 7/8 but as (2+2+3)/8, which is just a stylistic difference. Thus, 2+2+3 and 3+2+2 would be different signatures, and hence require different metronomes)
@1: you seem to have some misconception that not doubling the bpm results in a less-accurate tempo to what the music would be played as. for starters, this is an incredibly subjective thing, as some people will alternate 1/2 divisor at bpms even as low as 180 and above while single tapping 180 below, and some will single tap 1/2 divisor all the way to 280.

secondly, doubling the bpm is incredibly inaccurate in many cases too. take these three songs: [1] [2] [3] [4]. are these songs 384bpm, 580bpm, 320bpm, and 345bpm? or are they 192, 140, 160, and 115bpm?

@2/3/4/5: i don't get the obsession with metronomes? i don't know where to begin in addressing this. you admit firstly that metronomes don't have much to do with music theory, and then in the same breath imply that the way music should be timed in osu should be based entirely off of metronomes? i don't see the basis for this conclusion? beats per minute is not respective to metronomes only. music is very commonly marked in beats per minute now that metronomes are widely available for practice and performance, and in the case of #/8 time signatures it's very rarely given in values of the eighth note. when you're timing music in osu, just as if you were to transcribe a piece of music, you wouldn't just go by the smallest subdivision that is commonly played (it would be ludicrous to do this for any song primarily in sixteenth notes, i.e.: stream maps) so why would you do it for music in #/8 time signatures?

beats per minute is just that. beats per minute. there are two beats in a measure of 6/8; it is a compound duple meter, meaning two beats of 3 eighth notes. all compound meters in #/8 will have the beat written in terms of a dotted quarter note. perhaps you are getting confused by the fact that a beat has multiple meanings in music, but this is all basic music theory. this is why 3/4 is different from 6/8 in feel; they have the same number of eighth notes both, but a measure of 6/8 will have two beats and a measure of 3/4 will have three. this is why music in 6/8 has the same drum beat as a 2/4 drum beat, and also why the tempo markings for 6/8 will be played in terms of a dotted quarter note. for example, if you have a 4/4 piece in adagio tempo, that is roughly 70bpm. for a 6/8 piece in adagio tempo, you would have 3 eighth notes roughly equal to 70bpm. bpm is an objective measure of tempo that did not previously exist in music due to clocks not being objective enough. it would be as if you were to mark a 6/8 piece as prestissimo tempo because each eighth note is being played much faster than the quarter notes at 4/4. similarly, if you were asked to play 6/8 at 100bpm, you would play such that 3 eighth notes are equal to one beat. or 7/8 at 100bpm, two eighth notes equal to one beat and so on. it honestly seems you are passing judgment on something you are unfamiliar with or do not have background/trained experience in.

why would you change this when marking bpm in osu?

metronomes do not always play to the lowest subdivision of the time signature anyways. take 12/8 or 6/8 metronomes for example, in compound meter. it is extremely common to practice these to 4/4 or 2/4 metronomes respectively, especially at higher bpms. in fact, when taught, they are essentially always taught as triplets in 4/4 and 2/4, because the eighth notes are more easily and comfortably played as triplets than individual beats.

just because there is a metronome that plays when you insert a bpm in osu doesn't make the bpm revolve entirely around the rate at which the metronome ticks (which can be changed simply by holding ctrl in the timing panel anyways).