Beats per minute (BPM) in timeline

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  • Updated 3 years ago

This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Beats (BPM) on Timeline


This is my very first post on this forum, after a suggestion from Aaron at tech support, so please be kind. :) 

In Camtasia, I would like to have snap markers (or just snapping in general) synced to beats per minute, or more specifically, to the beginning of bars (measures).

If you who read this have ever used a DAW (like Cubase or Sonar) you know what I mean: instead of displaying seconds in the timeline, I'd like to show bars, and make the audio and video clips "snappable" to the beginning of these bars (or perhaps to each beat). That would make it easy to just drag in a finished song from my DAW and create a video that is really in sync with the music. So: if my song is in 128 BPM, I would like to be able to set 128 as the BPM for the timeline in Camtasia. I think this must be doable as it's just a matter of converting numbers from seconds to bars. (All DAWs on the market have the ability to change from seconds to bars.)

For us who are relying on music in our works and not just want to add some background music at random, this would be superb. I have previously worked with Adobe Premiere Pro, but was surprised to learn that this is not possible there, so if would be something that would set Camtasia apart from at least Premiere Pro.

Petter, Sweden


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Petter Dessne

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Posted 3 years ago

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Rick Stone

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Hi Petter and welcome to our community

Likely you were instructed to post here so that others could "vote" on the idea. 

For anyone that is unaware of how you vote for a thread, you click on the Vote button in the upper right corner of this page.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Petter Dessne

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Well, then: Thanks for your welcome, and thanks for voting for the idea! :)
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From around the world, musicians and creators alike would love this feature!

You've got my vote. I'd love it and I'm not even much of a musician.
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kayakman, Champion

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for what it's worth ...

although a long-ago ex-musician, I'm not sure what you're looking for?

if you want a bar that graphically represents 1 minute on timeline, that can be done with captions or callouts

if you want a bar or mark that represents 1 beat [at 128 per min], that becomes more difficult

my math says that 1 beat would be 14.0625 frames on timeline [30 frames/sec]

I believe timeline snapping/positioning is restricted to whole frame increments
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Petter Dessne

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Thanks both for replying and for your interest in this matter! :) Yes, you're correct in that the bars won't line up perfectly with seconds. However, for me, that wouldn't be much of a concern (see below). 

A few days ago I uploaded a video to YouTube on a game engine I've created for my students ( ). The video was "shot" using SnagIt, and the clips were imported in Adobe Premiere Pro (as my university has a site-wide license from Adobe but not from TechSmith, and I'm still awaiting my Camtasia license). To the movie, I created some game music in my favorite DAW (=music software). I did my best manually trying to sync the frames according to the beat, but if you look at the video, you'll see that it's not very accurate. Let's say that I'm 0.3 s off or so at times. That means ten frames!

With all that considered, it's true that whatever BPM value is set, it would never quite line up (apart from 120 BPM of course, that's two beats/second), but I see no problem having a bar starting at, say, frame 1723.97. Just put a marker at the nearest whole frame (1724), and everything would be peachy. :)

I'd like to be able to drag my clips to start at a bar (plus trim them to the end of a bar). In a DAW, this is the default behavior. In video editing software, this would be done using markers, so what I'm proposing is:

1. The ability to insert a number in a textbox representing beats per minute for a song (say 128 BPM).
2. An alternate display for the timeline, so instead of seconds and frames, it shows bars (and then beats I guess, but's not so important). In a typical DAW, one just clicks a button by the timeline to change between bars/beats and minutes/seconds, and some DAWs show both at the same time, I think. It's just a very simple conversion, as you pointed out.
3. That when I have set the BPM value and clicked a "Set bar markers" button, markers will be added for each bar (not each beat), so that snapping is made possible.

BTW, video editing IS possible in certain high end DAWs today, but I'd much rather make a music video (etc) in video editing software than in a DAW, which is really made for making music.

Also, note that doing things in tempo is not limited to music videos. Almost every commercial or ambitious video tutorial with background music is synced to the beat. I learnt the hard way that doing this by hand is, well, hard. :) It would be so much easier syncing to the music using "bar-snapping"!

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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Thanks for the suggestion.  I have made some videos sync'd to music myself.  While the end result is satisfying, the editing can be tedious.  Having the ability to snap to the beats would be a big time saver for these types of videos.

I can't promise we'll add it, but I can tell you that the team has seen your post.  I voted for the idea too, for what that's worth.  Thanks again for sharing your idea with us!
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Petter Dessne

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Dave, Thank you so much for getting back to me. Having developers and other company rep's answering FR posts tells of a company that seriously values its customers. Really impressive! :)

Yes, it would indeed be a big time saver. For me as a film/music producing hobbyist, this might not matter that much perhaps (but of course it's nicer if everything looks really synced up), but in my teacher role I need to prioritize my work. I assume that a big chunk of your customer base consists of educators, communicators, marketing people, and the like, i.e., working professionals, and I guess that none of us have "too much" time on our hands. :)

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