Metronome emphasis

It would be nice if we could choose which beats to emphasize in the metronome (now it seems it’s only possible to emphasize the first beat).

As a minimum it should be possible to emphasize at 2 different points in the bar, like beat 1 and 3 in 5/4, but 3 or more would be even nicer.

Some background discussion here, among other places: Can I change the beat pattern of the metronome


Also a feature request: [0008533: Make it possible to edit the metronome click pattern when editing the meter - Ardour Bug Tracker]

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Should I show support for that feature request by adding a comment in the bug tracker, or is this forum thread sufficient?

The bugtracker is the right place. Things don’t get forgotten there.

Not to say that this request is not valid (at all), but it is really easy to make a MIDI track with some percussion sounds for this purpose. Many of my songs have odd time signatures and this has worked really well for me.

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@finotti I agree completely: I find playing to a classic metronome sterile, to the point of discouraging my creative spark. I’d much rather through together a simple groove (“HH on eighth notes, kick on 1 and 3, snare on 2 and 4”) and tweak from there to get the feel right for the song. I have even been known to add a “delayline” to the track. :slight_smile:

I have tried to use Hydrogen for this, but I have not found an efficient workflow. Is there a fast way to import a short 1-2 bar midi sequence from Hydrogen and have it automatically replicated ad libitum in Ardour?
Perhaps connecting Hydrogen to Arbour directly (though jack/pipewire) is the way to go?

For me it is much easier to do this inside Ardour.
My workflow:

  • create a midi track for the drums
  • add an AVL drum kit plugin (Black Pearl or Red Zeppelin to the track (stereo output version for metronom)
  • Create a short region one or 2 bars
  • edit drum events - kick, HH, snare, crash …
  • duplicate that region 100x:
    • right click on region - “region name” → Duplicate → Multi-Duplicate …

For Hydrogen I would program a pattern in HG then record that into an AudioTrack in Ardour
(I think you need Jack setup)
then trim the audio region, Multi-Duplicate the Audio Region (same procedure)

Hope this did not increase the level of confusion.

For my preferred flow some midi editing know-how is required, which does not hurt anyway.
There is a Ardour midi editing master class <o YT from Unfa

Here is a way to do it. It looks long but it is really simple.

  • create a MIDI track and leave “General MIDI Synth”
  • right click the track area (with the mute/solo buttons) and choose “Patch Selector”
  • in “Bank”, choose “Patch Bank 120” and “Standard Drums” (or choose other set of sounds)
  • right click the track area again, then “Note Mode” and select “Percussive”
  • on top, beside “Snap” select the division you want, say 1/4 for quarter notes
  • draw a region of a single bar
  • go down to C#2 (for side stick), click and hold on the beginning of the region and drag to the end (letting it go then) – this will draw quarter notes through out the bar (or you can simply draw the notes you want)
  • if you prefer, move the first note of this bar to a different instrument to accent the first beat, like F#2 for hihat.
  • adjust the velocity of each beat to adjust volumes as you’d like
  • go to Region (on the Menu) → Duplicate → Multi-duplicate… and choose how many copies (number of bars) you need

Note: I believe that by default, these are all the same MIDI region, so if you change one, you change them all. But I am not sure that is the default. If you want to change a single one, right click it, <Name of Track> (on top) → MIDI → Unlink from other copies.

I hope this helps.

Thanks @peter.zenk and @finotti, I’ll have to try your suggestions. Generally speaking, I find editing MIDI tracks in Ardour not the most intuitive job. I’ll have to make time to watch Unfa’s master class. It’s been on my list forever

I was in a similar position some time ago, drums with Hydrogen, Audio with Ardour. Then I had a song with a number of tempo changes, and the sync between HG and Ardour broke.
So I decided to learn Ardour Midi. I agree, it’s not as comfortable as e. g. Ableton. But at least I could get the job done: produce the music.
Once you are on that level you can use midi also for other stuff like keys strings etc …

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