Sunday, January 7, 2007

TIPS: Calculate Delay time to synchronize with Beat

I know that most of the musicians and recordists are always confused about how to set delay time in Delay effects. It is very simple, but only if you remember the equation.

  • Delay time in ms (Milli-seconds) = 60000/BPM (Beat Per Minute)

The above equation gives you the timing for every beat (i.e. the delay repeats will be synchronized with your beats).

The same thing in a musicians term will be as under :

  • Delay time for crotchet in ms = 60000/BPM (Beat Per Minute)
  • Delay time for Quaver in ms = 60000/BPM/2 (Beat Per Minute)
  • Delay time for Semi-Quaver in ms = 60000/BPM/4 (Beat Per Minute)

Example :

Suppose your song tempo is 120 BPM, then the delay calculation is as follows:

  • Crotchet timing in ms (Milli-seconds) = 60000/120 (BPM) = 500 ms
  • Value for Quaver is = 500 ms / 2 = 250 ms
  • Value for Semi-Quaver is = 500 ms / 4 = 125 ms

For recordists who are not familiar with the musical terms:

  • Value of Crotchet is for synchronizing with 1 beat.
  • Value of Quaver is for synchronizing with 1/2 beat.
  • Value of Semi-Quaver is for synchronizing with 1/4rth beat.

Explanation :

BPM means beats per minute. So a tempo of 120 BPM means that the song is playing 120 beats per minute. Therefore 120 beats / 60 seconds = 2 beats per second. Since 1 second = 1000 Milli-seconds, hence if we divide 1 second (1000 Milli-seconds) by 2 Beats, we get 1/2 seconds ( 500 Milli-seconds) for every beat.

So, now no one should get confused while deciding the delay time in a delay plugin.


  1. Thanks for this -- it was very helpful to me.

  2. shiver, quaver, twitter... make up any word you want to make it seem more complicated. OR... make a simple equation for dummies:

    60,000 ÷ bpm = delay ms
    take that ÷ 2 for shorter effect,
    or multiply by 2 for longer effect.

    MOST people are already idiots. Don't confuse them more!


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