Suggestions regarding time signatures/BPM

Seeing as many, many songs outside of (what I presume is) the original scope of HookTheory use time signatures and require BPMs not yet available, I’d personally like to see a few steps taken towards this to avoid silly workarounds.

a) Perhaps introduce compound time signatures - 6/8 I particularly feel sore about missing, and 6/4 is a time signature I’ve seen near to nowhere.
b) Maybe uncap the BPM or at least raise its upper limit significantly (perhaps with a warning if you go above 240bpm in order to have some artificial constraint) - I’ve found that analyzing quite a few songs has become a pain since their original speeds (such as 300bpm) are difficult to replicate within Hookpad without compromise.
c) Perchance, implementing triplets would be nice, or at least some feature encompassing triplets.

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I totally agree, especially with the triplets!

@MKSTAR26, thanks for the suggestions.

When Hooktheory first started, we only supported what we called “4 beats per measure”. In order to remain accessible to our users who are not familiar with a lot of music jargon, we steered away from talking about specific time signatures for the same reason that we don’t explicitly refer to notes as “8th notes” or “16th notes”.

The “6 beats per measure” option was included to gain access to songs in compound meter. I personally just think of the “beat” as an 8th note rather than a quarter note. Now, as you’re probably aware, 6/8 is typically felt in 2, not in 6. And as you point out, the current BPM cap seems to unfairly cap a 6/8 song to a much slower tempo than a 4/4 song. I think there are a few ways we could go to fix this but perhaps it’s fair to say that upping the BPM cap would be the simplest fix.

Triplets is another tricky issue that we’ve been discussing for a while. In nearly all notation software that I’ve personally used, triplets has always been a UI disaster. When you add 1 or 2 of 3 triplets and then non-triplet notes, the durations get all wonky. We’re trying to envision a clean way of doing this, and we’ll definitely implement it when we know we can do it right.

Perhaps triplets can be placed in “containers” of whatever beats they encompass; for instance 3 quarter note triplets could be placed in a “box” that spans 2 normal beats (in 4/4), and this box, which is now “quantized” to the rest of the song, could be moved around like it was simply a half note. Of course, the triplets could again be edited by entering into the “box,” but it would be a popup that changes these notes, not the notes placed directly on the staff. I have a mockup for such a suggestion, but I can’t upload images yet :frowning:

It’s useful to move around the black bracket on the corner for each eight bars (if you’re in 4/4). I’ve made stuff that was, in terms of sound, in 7/4 time. There are workarounds, but they kind of go out the window if you want to output to MIDI or anything because they get sent out according to the regular time measure bars. It’d be great to have maybe some ‘advanced’ options that include things like more time measures and, maybe, a bit more control over chord options.

@FriendZone, I like the suggestion about forcing triplets to be self-contained groups, which would relieve a lot of headache associated with allowing arbitrary triplets here or there. Would love to see your ideas mocked up, feel free to email us at

@cloned, thanks for the feedback. Are you suggesting having each measure to be able to have an independent time signature?

I’m suggesting that the darker bars between measures be movable. Again, this doesn’t make a huge difference - you can set up the chords to overlap and such, so something sounds 7/4, but the problem comes when you output the MIDI file because it’s still in 3/4 or 6/4 or whatever. If you could move the bar marker (that occurs after 3 or 4 or 6 measures) to some other area, and then have the ‘time measure’ alter accordingly, that’d be really cool.

Some idea: while depressing a certain hotkey, or switching on a “triplet” button located near the time signature menu, will change the mouse cursor into some kind of paintbrush that toggles beats between 4 divisions (no triplets) and 3 divisions (triplets). Notes and chords can be inputted as usual and their durations change as they move across these triplet areas, meaning it is possible to tie non-triplet notes and triplet notes. The two shortest durations (accessed using h or j) stand for time units within a beat and longer durations all refer to beats, so that any given combination of those primitive durations always maps to a unique duration.

Mockup later

Bumping this old thread as its the only one regarding compound time.

As we are using Hooktheory for composing and transcribing, it would be great to have 6/8 as an option and not have the “6/4 is a little like 6/8 but its completely different” conversation. :smile: :grin:

Can you just rename 6/4 to 6/8 since the drum kit treats it like that anyway? (The acoustic kit is missing a snare btw but the club kit plays a decent beat)

@HertzDevil: So, where’s the mockup?