How to make 12/8 key meter

how to write key other things than a 4 key meter

You can select a different meter with a click on the meter button.

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ok but how to set 12/8 key

there is no way to setup 12/8 meter

12/8 by clicking on the 12 option, and selecting the 3 option for the grouping.


ok … why the grouping = 3 ? i do not figure out why and how to setup keys can you please dimistify this for me ?

The grouping is kind irrelevant for the meter itself but more a question of how those meters are perceived. If you have a grouping of 1 you’ll hear 12 metronome counts per bar, with a grouping of 3 you’ll hear only 4 metronome counts per bar as every three quarters are grouped together. As the tempo of the metronome stays the same, a grouping of 3 will give you thrice the speed.

With thrice the speed you will tend to hear it more like ONE two three Four five six SEVEN eight nine Ten eleven twelve which is typically for a 12/8 meter while with the slower grouping of one you will more likely hear each beat as a strong down beat like ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX etc… which would typically be more of a 12/4 meter. That’s why the grouping of 3 is helpful to define 12/8 meter.



Thank you for your great work, I congratulate you for the work you have done with Hookpad,Your musical intelligence, the simplicity of use, the help with composition and the invaluable suggestions of ARIA make it an impressive software

But I use to make songs in 12/8.

The exported MIDI show a 12/4 (which is not the main problem) and I have to multiply the tempo of the DAW by three to hear the same thing that I have done on Hookpad , which is absolutely not compatible with what I have already done in my DAW. Please, can you find a solution for people like me who makes songs in 12/8.

Thanks in advance.

I bought Hookpad for a month to test it and I considered getting the “One-time purchase” version. But I admit that this tempo problem with the 12/8, gives me something to think about, before making this purchase if there is no solution, but I must admit that it will be with regret.

Hi and thank you for your feedback!

We discussed this problem with our 6/9/12 meters a while ago and one of the biggest problems for us was to figure out how the exported midi should look like. It‘s simple enough to tripple the speed in Hookpad and I agree that importing the midi into a DAW the song should sound the same as in Hookpad. If we do this for a song with 120bpm and a 12er meter we would have a couple of different options for the export:

Beat Grouping 1:

  • 12/4 with 120 quarters per minute
  • 12/8 with 120 eights per minute

Beat Grouping to 3:

  • 4/4 with 120 quarters per minute, all quarters are written as eighth triplets
  • 12/8 with 120 dotted quarters per minute
  • 12/16 with 120 dotted eights per minute

In my perception all these options are valid, each one for a different range of song tempos. So the main question is what‘s the most useful for users. After all you might already have a DAW project which has one of those meters and you expect the midi from Hookpad to just fit to it.

Perhaps we could also create some options somewhere in the settings or in the meter selection menu.

What do you think?


Hello Dennis,

Thank you for answering me.

What could be really great is to have the meter and the tempo dissociate as well as the metronome click note length value.

For example, choose a tempo at eighth=100 and a meter at 12/8 (with a real choice of the beat value and the note length). Not to be obliged to choose a dotted sixteenth, dotted eighth, dotted quarter note, dotted half note length for the tempo if you are in a ternary meter.

During my tests a 12/8 song in Hookpad with a tempo of 106 bpm,

-The score sheet export shows a 12/8 meter and a tempo with a dotted sixteenth=106.

-The MIDI export shows 12/4 meter (24 eighths for a bar) and a tempo with dotted half note=106 if I want to keep the song length as in Hookpad.

Among all the things I tried to find a solution, one of them was to scan the pdf of the score with an OMR with tempo change to a quarter note = 106 then export it to xml, import it into Musescore, fix some problems, export as MIDI and import into the DAW to have something that works more or less. Absolutely not viable, isn’t it.

Thanks a lot for your help.

Hope you can find a solution for me and others…

best regards

ditto - the MIDI always comes out as 6/4, 9/4/ 12/4 regardless of the internal 1 or 3 beat setting. which then needs to be translated in other programs… ideally it would be nice to be explicit in the export so the quarter note values or eighth note values are correct - 6/4 or 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, etc although this may be impacting on the instrument performances (or not?)

As we have our own system internally of scheduling notes it should be possible to bring everything into the correct position before even translating it to midi. I‘ll have to investigate that a bit more.

Yes, I agree, when selecting a grouping of three beats, the metronome should also sound on every third beat only. Of course the selected export method should apply to both midi and sheet export.

We‘ll need to have the dotted notes for the group of 3 option as that‘s what you get when you select a grouping of three. For straight 8ths you‘ll have the group of 1 option.

And to answer your question about the instrument 1 to 3 conversion from the other thread. Yes, that‘s something I‘m also not very happy with. As things were set up at the time when I created all those patterns, I had to basically choose for which tempo/grouping the pattern should sound good. I used three different approaches:

  • normal 12/8
  • 4/4 with eighth triplets for grouping of three
  • 8/8 with sixteenth triplets which is really crazy if I think about it now as those patterns don‘t mix very well with the other two approaches.

In theory I could put lot’s of work in it and create both group 1 and 3 versions for about 100 patterns but the biggest problem is that right now, I have no idea how to fix those patterns without breaking older projects.

Hi Dennis,

Thank you very much for taking care of this and I hope you will find the solutions.

I don’t know if it’s possible and how, but if I can help you I’ll gladly do it.


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thanks! yes, i sorta of realised your patterns relied on the 1 and 3 options vs strictly using metered and having settings for dupel/triplet options. what i do now is use the 6/4 and stretch/shrink the MIDI imported as needed to fit the number of bars.

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Episode 2 : importing 12/8 melody

Import MIDI Melody, choosing “import tempo and meter info”

the 12/8 meter become 4/4 and the key of Eb become C.

When I select all, then try to correct the key everything was transpose 1 and half semitone up wich as a logic but it’s not my melody, so I have to transpose it manualy to keep my key of Eb.

If I change the meter from 4/4 to 12/8 (12/3 for you) the measure become twice longer.

The tempo shown is my original tempo, but not at the right note length.

To make it short (without all the try I made).

Before importing, if I set the key as my original and the meter to 6/1 (Thanks to Fossile)

When I import MIDI Melody and choose “Ignore tempo and meter info”, now the measure length is correct and the melody stay in the original key.

But the metronome is unusable as for the the drum track counting 4 and too slow.

-The tempo should have the choice of the speed and the note length.

-The meter should have the choice of the number of beats per measure and the beat note length.

-The metronome should have the choice of the note length indepently from the tempo and the meter.

Next I will try some 9/8, I suppose that you understand what will happend.

Really hope all of this can be done for a really unrivalled software.

Best regards

so, the 12/1 beat in Hookpad is really 12/4, 6/1 beat = 6/4 etc no actual meter eights (like 6/8, 12/8 etc). so to get the 4/4 drums to “sound right” in 6/4 you need to increase the tempo 150% - so if your original 6/1 tempo was 80, it needs to be 120 in equiv 4/4 tempo – with the caveat that the pattern may or may not be what you want once it’s playing against 6 time vs 4 time - so you might need to look at other patterns to get a more “regular” pattern going.

a couple of newer songs i’m working on are 6/4 and to get them correct with what i think is the correct tempo, i’m had to go to 140, 153, etc BPM. and then in some of my other tools which don’t directly support 6/4, i have to set them to 50%, 66% or 75% (depending on the tool) in 4/4 then export the audio, etc to get them to align in the DAW…

Hi Dennis,
I’ve checked the release notes, and I don’t see any changes for the 6/8, 9/8, 12/8 metrics yet.
Is there anything planned for these problems?
Will I be able to hope that they will be resolved?
I understand that you have a lots of work to maintain and improve this great app, but I just wanted to know if it will be possible in the near future.
Thanks in advance,
Best regards.

Hi, thank you for understanding our situation. I might have to ask you for a bit more patience. I’ve not forgotten the issues with those meters. After releasing song templates and sparks we’ll have to figure out what to do next. Perhaps it’s a big meter upgrade, perhaps it’s something else. Even if I’d start working right a way on this it would take some time. So realistically I would say it could be done not in the near future but perhaps in the not extreme distant future. I’ll keep you posted.

Hi Dennis,

Thank you for answering me.
As I now know that sooner or later you will solve the problem, I can wait serenely.
So I can buy Hookpad “One time payment” at the end of my monthly subscription.

But now I have another problem related to 12/8 and the way ARIA counts the times.
In your tutorial with the use of ARIA, you can choose four bars and ask ARIA for suggestions.
But if you use the 12/8, four bars become one because ARIA counts the sixteen beats in quarter note and doesn’t make the difference in meter. For ARIA 12/8 means twelve beats, so only one measure at a time can be submitted for proposal.

So I was surprised after ARIA stopped working, with a message telling me: “You’ve used your 50 free Aria request today. Subscribe for unlimited access.”
I have not seen anywhere the mention of a limitation to the use of ARIA and I already have a subscription.
I admit that I don’t understand what happened.
Can you enlighten me on this point?
Thank you in advance.
Best regards