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How to prevent Logic from messing up changing time signatures

Living Fossil

Senior Member
Hi Logic users,

maybe somebody can help me on this one:

When i have tracks with lots of time signature changes, at the moment where there are some changes, Logic messes up the whole thing.

There seems to be an "intelligent" algorithms that inserts additional bars etc.

Lets say i have e.g. two bars of a 21/8, followed by one 3/8 and then followed by an 11/8.
When i decide to change something or insert some bars etc. it may happen, that those two bars of 21/8 are suddenly followed by three bars in 3/8 before there is the 11/8.

Is there a way to prevent this?

Or is there a way to "lock" groups of bars with changing time signature in a way where Logic doesn't put any new time signatures in between?

(p.s. if somebody wonders, what the purpose of a 21/8 is: it's just a workaround to notate a four bar complex (3x 5/8, 1x 6/8), so it prevents me from dealing with even more signature changes.)
 
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Saxer

Senior Member
I also never understood the "logic" of that. Works fine with the last change in a row but editing in between does often unexpected things.
Sometimes I use a copy of the song as a backup... when things are messed up I can re-import the global track via the import Logic Song menu. At least there's another chance that way.
 
OP
Living Fossil

Living Fossil

Senior Member
@Saxer : Thanks for answering! I also rely on previous project versions to restore things when they get messed up.
However, the problem gets more annoying when i need to insert or cut a portion of time.
In those cases i have to open the previous version, copy the whole list with time signature changes, reopen the new version and paste the whole list.
That's somehow not a very elegant solution....

Another strange behaviour that i noticed:

Lets say there are 20 bars in 4/4, followed by bar 21, where the signature change orgy starts. If i want to shift all those changes to the left (i.e. to bar 19 or bar 18 etc.), it might happen that Logic will not accept certain bars, but put the changes at other bars instead. Again: without any logic, without any reason.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Insertig bars via the main edit menu (right from the Logic Pro X and File menu) includes everything of the global track and works like expected here. Actions like "insert silence at locator positions" inserts the selected cycle length and moves everything after that to the right, including all global events like time signatures, tempo changes, key changes and double bar lines in the score...
And if I want to insert a 4/4-bar inside an 11/8 Logic asks if a 19/8 bar should be the result. That's all fine. It's a bit more abstract than dragging regions in the main window but it's the way to go if all global events should be moved too.

The only thing I can't follow is if I change a bar manually from 12/8 to 13/8: what happens to the signature changes after that? Sometimes it works as expected, sometimes not. To be honest: I don't know what I really would expect. Should the following bar be shortened by an 8th note or should everything from there on be shifted one eigths to the right? When stretching a bar over a certain length it can 'eat up' the following bar. Sometimes hard to follow...

But it's possible to treat the time signature changes like events. If you open the the Key/Measure lane in the global track (don't know the exact English name, it's Taktart/Tonart in German) you can shift-click to select the blocks like 4/4 or 11/8 and drag/copy/paste them. That way it's possible to have a copy "from here on" if something is messed up and paste it back when needed.
 
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Living Fossil

Living Fossil

Senior Member
But it's possible to treat the time signature changes like events. If you open the the Key/Measure lane in the global track (don't know the exact English name, it's Taktart/Tonart in German) you can shift-click to select the blocks like 4/4 or 11/8 and drag/copy/paste them. That way it's possible to have a copy "from here on" if something is messed up and paste it back when needed.
I use this list a lot.
However, it's not always working as expected, that's one of my issues.
Sometimes it just won't accept the values. Let's say i have an ongoing 3/8 that's followed by a complex with lots of signature changes. Now i select all the rhythm changes that start at bar 60 and try to let them start already at bar 37. There would be absolutely no reason why this wouldn't go. However, it may happen that after i placed them at bar 37, Logic refuses this and sets the change to bar 39. Or something like this.
Dragging the events in the Global editor has the same problem.

Now, the really mean thing is that this problem doesn't occur always.
Sometimes it's doing what it's supposed to do. Sometimes not.
And so far, i haven't discovered the "Logic" behind it....
 

Saxer

Senior Member
I had some issued too sometimes ... I always thought I did something wrong when the signatures were off and repaired it somehow with the described workarounds. Probably Murphys Law. So the result seems to be: be prepared for strange things to happen but don't rely on it.
 
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Living Fossil

Living Fossil

Senior Member
@Saxer : Yes, i suppose that's the way to go, at least until an update treats this problem... ;)

However, today i was succesful in copying the signature changes, and i realized another thing:
I tried to move a 24/8 one bar earlier (in the Global editor). Instead, it went back a couple of bars.
BUT: i kept the items selected and dragged them back to the right. And this way, i could access the desired bar.
So maybe one "logic" consists in the behaviour that a signature, when dragged to the left, claims at least as much space as it's long.


signature_changes.png
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Logic can only find target positions of bars inside the grid of the previous bars. So you cant drag a 'global' bar to the left for three beats when the time signature on the left is 4/4. But you could if it's 3/4. It doesn't create the 3/4 just by dragging into 4/4 the bar. It's more like Tetris than iMovie.

btw: looks like an interesting song!
 
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Living Fossil

Living Fossil

Senior Member
Logic can only find target positions of bars inside the grid of the previous bars. So you cant drag a 'global' bar to the left for three beats when the time signature on the left is 4/4. But you could if it's 3/4.
The problem i meant is that sometimes Logic doesn't accept changes that would be possible on the grid.
E.g. there is a 3/8 from bars 50 - 60. At bar 61 a 14/8 starts. Now if i drag this 14/8 to bar 59, Logic maybe puts it on bar 57. Manually, it's then possible to shift it to the right again, i.e. to bar 59, but initally it won't work.
What makes it really tricky is: this problem doesn't occur always. I haven't a clue yet, when it works as it should and when not...
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
The only thing I can't follow is if I change a bar manually from 12/8 to 13/8: what happens to the signature changes after that?
It keeps time signatures after that intact. The notes just may not fall where you want them to, but it counts the right number of beats and places the bars where you tell it to.

So if you enter a bar of 3/8, it is going to stay at 3/8 until further notice.
 
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Living Fossil

Living Fossil

Senior Member
It keeps time signatures after that intact. The notes just may not fall where you want them to, but it counts the right number of beats and places the bars where you tell it to.
@Nick Batzdorf : Thanks for joining the topic!

One problem is that Logic doesn't keep all the following signatures intact.
If you have lots of changes, it may happen that some are omitted.
I will try to make some screenshots from such a scenario.
 
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Living Fossil

Living Fossil

Senior Member
The problem i meant is that sometimes Logic doesn't accept changes that would be possible on the grid.
I made a new vanilla session to try to replicate the problem.

I've got the following results:

- When moving the signature changes in the Global Track, everything was correct.

- However, when typing the new bar in the list editor of the signature changes, i dropped into a constellation where Logic
changed what i've typed.

So i had this situation:

sch_1.png

Now i wanted the 11/8 happen in bar 11:

sch_2.png

But instead of bar 11, Logic made it happen at bar 14:

sch_3.png

However, by manually changing the value (with the following events selected) i could drag the change to bar 11:

sch_4.png
 
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Living Fossil

Living Fossil

Senior Member
2. Changed to 7/8 followed by 4/4. The notes are fongula, but it did what you told it to.
Nick, as promised here is a scenario, where one signature change is omitted:

I have the following constellation:

sch_5.png

When i change the 12/8 to 13/8, everything is as expected:

sch_6.png

But now i change the 13/8 into a 4/4, and suddenly the 6/8 is omitted:
sch_7.png
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
I've always entered time signatures in the ruler, but I just tried entering some changes in the Signature List window and it seems to be okay.

What version of Logic are you using?
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Okay, I replicated your famous Ohne Name session. Yes, the 6/8 is disappearing.

I put notes on the downbeats just to make sure they're all there, and it doesn't change them. But you're right, that is a weird bug.

I can't make sense of it.
 
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Living Fossil

Living Fossil

Senior Member
Okay, I replicated your famous Ohne Name session.
:)
Actually, this famous session has the name "taktwechsel_01" and lives in my "Tests" folder inside of my "Projekte_2019" folder. I'm a bit pedantic about these things, and names like "Ohne Namen" drive me crazy.... ;)
Edit: ok, the "taktart/Tonart-Set" is called "Ohne Namen". :) I ignore this one until there is more than 1 alternative...

I put notes on the downbeats just to make sure they're all there, and it doesn't change them.
Yes, the position of all events (automation data, audio files, midi notes) remains at the correct position. It's really just about the signatures. (But in some constellations, these are extremely important for the orientation...)
 
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