Support for anacruses/pickup measures

Hey hey. Just a QOL suggestion, but can we get anacrusis support?
This would assist greatly with not just composing in hookpad, but transcribing existing pieces/songs too.

Specific behaviour when a measure is marked as a pickup - like an automatic subtraction of number of beats from the final measure, or a marked section of measures - would be positively awesome.
As well, not marking this initial measure as either having a different time signature or filled up with rests (possibly the most exasperating part of this missing feature) when exported to sheet would be great.

On projects (especially where percussion is used), various methods I’ve tried to handle the anacrusis can play very awkwardly - leaving the time signature as-is presents its own issues, setting the time signature to use 2 beats (the shortest possible) can also sound “wrong”.
Worse, when exported to lead sheet, it looks fairly dreadful/amateurish and is absolutely no fun to sight read - at the moment, if I need to export, I delete the notes and measure settings and then draw them in by hand…

If you’d consider developing this, you’d have my thanks!

Hi and thank you for your feedback!

So what we have right now is a setting to add a pickup measure.

This will create one extra measure before the official bar 1. If you have smart drums in your project the drums will play a pickup fill-in on that bar.
Screenshot 2024-04-24 at 09.47.32
However that pickup bar needs to have a defined meter right now so the drums know what to play. Theoretically we could add a section in the settings to define how long the pickup measure should be but I’m not sure that this would be a great feature. After all pickup melodies could be anything from a single 16th note over two quarters to 15 16th notes which would lead to a complicated user interface. We could try to adjust the meter of the drum pickup but for example a 3/4 drumpickup might not sound great if there is a 4/4 meter afterwards. Also I personally don’t see the benefits to have a shorter pickup bar. After all having a full pickup bar gives you the freedom to try out a few different versions of your melody without going into the settings to adjust the length of your pickup bar. Also midi and wave exports need to start with a full pickup bar to make sure the exported track are on the grid of your DAW after importing them.

But you’re right, the score/lead etc. export looks weird.

Here we should at least remove all the extra rests at the start and also make sure the pickup bar is counted as bar 0. I added this to my list of things to fix.


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Ah - classic, don’t know how I missed that. Good to know.

Truthfully me trying to reduce the number of beats was still me trying to remove the rests from the sheet output by force, so if that can be improved, I greatly appreciate you taking a look.

Ah - ok, I have found it.
I appreciate that it nudges everything to the side like an indent - that’s way better than it sticking out on a new line.
So if you’d accept a little extra feedback - I’m not sure I expected to find that in the project settings, though I can see the rationale because it’s kind of a global project setting. This is probably why I missed it.
Would it make sense to add a toggle in the measure options?

Yes, I think it once was in the measure options. I’m not sure why we removed it. I’ll discuss it with the team.