Over To You: "I Want To Change All My Music To The Same BPM..."

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Our reader wants to find some software to change the BPMs of all of his songs to be the same. Not only do we think this is a bad idea, but we have no idea if such a thing exists. Have your say below...

One of our readers has a slightly bizarre request. Mike writes: "Does anyone know of software that can batch adjust all of my music to a single BPM? I would like to save my MP3s to all the same BPM to speed up the time it takes for me to ready my next record when I am playing..."

Digital DJ Tips says:

We're really not sure why you'd want to do this. With the "sync" button, you can adjust the BPM of anything to anything in just a second, but of course, that way you also have the option to play the track at the speed it was intended to be played at should you wish, too.

Remember, any processing like this has the disadvantage of degrading the sound quality of your music, and you gain very little by doing this. We certainly haven't ever heard of any programs designed to do this, probably because to be honest, doing so really doesn't make much sense.

So I'm going to throw this over to the readers...

Can you, dear readers, see any instances where this may be a good idea? Have you ever done it for whatever reason? Or would you like to join me in trying to talk Mike out of it? Leave your comments below...

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Comments

  1. I used to see some DJs do this when they were playing analog CDs. They simply wanted to ensure they had solid blends all through their sets.

    Nowadays with software, I wouldn't bother.

    • Ian Williams says:

      Yep! ...i believe Erick Morillo used to have all his CD's burned to the same BPM.

      Mind you, with his ketamine addiction problems (which he's publically discussed), he probably needed to make the DJing process as simple as possible!

  2. Save all music with same BPM? So actually saving e.g 90% of your collection as non-authentic, or am I wrong?

    Imho the sync can indeed do a lot here, but perhaps anyone also knows whether Virtual DJ, Serato, Traktor can load tracks at a default BPM?

    • AudioMaverick.com says:

      VirtualDJ8 shows a "Master" deck. It shows under the visible. If one can have more than 2 deck, say 4 or 6, then just leaving a song in a deck with "Master" selected will allow the songs in every other deck to flip to that speed... when the SYNC button is pressed on the deck to be played. That wouild keep the tracks in their original format and save a lot of trouble when one decides to use a different speed. Comes in handy for the slow dance to NOT have those tracks kicked above 120. Just my opinion.

      From the VirtualDJ8 manual on page 12:
      "The M button indicates the Master Deck. All other decks will sync to the Master Deck if SYNC is pressed on any deck. Click to set any deck as Master or leave the Auto selection on (depends on which deck is currently going to the Master Output) "

  3. Paul Howland says:

    I understand that this is fairly simple undertaking using Ableton Live's warp feature. You could also do the same thing in Acid. I would suggest you do "save as" and keep the original tracks. I think you may find you'll end up with less artifacts if you do not try to keep the tracks at the original pitch when you change the tempo. Another thought, if you have higher quality (.wav or .aif) copies of the tunes, my guess is it's probably gonna work better if you do the time stretching on the higher quality files, and then down convert afterwards if needed. One last thing, all of the preceding assumes that the tracks start out somewhat close to the same bpm, there is a point past which it's just gonna sound like ass no matter what.

  4. Changing the BPM is the proposed (bad) solution. So instead I'm going to focus the problem which is trying "to speed up the time it takes for me to ready my next record when I am playing."

    With modern gear it should take almost no time to match BPMs of a track. I'm wondering if the reader is analyzing track BPMs ahead of time. If not, I some computers or CDJs can take a little while to do the analysis. I'd suggest learning about track preparation before changing the BPMs of songs.

  5. Rodrigo Costa says:

    Hmm besides the technical question, what about the natural flow of a DJ set? I feel a DJ set must have a natural progression in tempo, a build-up if you want, to be effective.
    Playing a 2 hour set at the same tempo will, unless you are a straight-up techno DJ (and even then), bore the hell out of your audience and empty your dancefloor. Just my 2 cents...

    • Dj Shock Africa #BusinessDj says:

      I agree, it is the peaks and valleys, fact that the ride is unpredictable, that makes the journey exciting, myself I like to keep people on their toes by switching things up at least every 40 mins in my sets, I'm sure we all have more ideas to keep things exciting for everyone :)

  6. Jabba The Shedd says:

    Tres bizarre!

  7. Mark Dek says:

    When I used CD's i had a few instrumental and some acapella cd's to create an MF DOOM - change the beat -like experience. Combined the CD's in chunks with 2,5 BPM increments.
    Remix Decks were made for this.

  8. Chris Rodriguez says:

    I cannot understand why someone would want to do this. Any party always needs to have it's high as well as low energy points. Not all songs are very forgiving regarding BPM manipulation.

  9. Ableton can do the trick, as i remember. MANY years ago we used the other software, i don't remember the name, to play mixes from two discmans, but later one guy hacked cd-rom firmware to adjust the speed of audio CDs with couple of wires and pushbuttons and it was very popular. Aka procd built from suitcase or plywood.

  10. Brett Hall says:

    My two-bobs worth...
    I can see value in standardising tracks in a particular BPM where the original BPM is close to that; eg '120', '125', '128' BPM. This would allow faster matching without concern about beat gridding (a right PITA in Traktor... better in Serato) or traditional beat matching. It would also allow for the essential BPM shifts within a set as mentioned in the thread. Sounds lazy though yes? Possibly to us purists... however does allow for more creativity elsewhere (eg 4 decks plus... bla bla bla).... the std sync argument. But there is is. How? - best way in my experience is via Ableton which is sometimes simple sometimes hard depending on the source track... but the best tool. I used it extensively to forge accurate beat grids in Traktor for older non EDM style tracks. Hope this helps.

  11. Are you crazy...music has tempo and different beats for a purpose....yes it is fun to beat mix a tracks together in a segment of dance music...but not all the time....unless you are only playing to your self and have no need to change genre or style of music.....but as a Real DJ...you need to play what the people on the dancefloor are wanting to dance to....as DJ's we are subserviant to the punters.... unless you dream of yourself being a GOD DJ....mean while get used to using the sync button.....lol and do not reset all your tracks to the same boring BPM...

  12. Clinton Rockwell says:

    I agree that there is no "easy way" to batch convert all your files to one BPM... using uncompressed files in Ableton would be the best way to do it one by one... but that would take ages. AND more importantly, like most others, i strongly recommend to NOT do this. Many reasons: (1) Need BPM changes to control energy, (2) Songs sound best when played at or near their original BPM, (3) Software can Sync for you, (4) Beat matching is one of the most fundamental DJ techniques and should be mastered if you want to DJ at any level. Once you nail it... it only takes a few seconds to do it. and doing so will keep you engaged as well as the crowd.

  13. Paul Muller says:

    The whole argument of turntables vs. selection vs. beatmatching etc to one side.... I thought about this question a lot and had the same thought as most of the replies, the ONLY reason I could think to do this is if you want to use iTunes/iPod to play back music and have it all at the same tempo to avoid jarring changes of pace in a pre-set playlist.

    In response, yes - either Ableton and warp ($ and time consuming) OR Traktor (with gridded tracks!) and set a master tempo, create a playlist then put the whole thing into "Cruise" mode and record the session output and split the tracks afterwards using the tool or your choice (cheaper and probably faster if you're efficient) BUT it will take as long as the playlist to do i.e.: if you've got 2 hours of music, it will take 2 hours to process.

  14. JOHN LOWERY says:

    I do not normally get involved in these sort of discussions but felt I needed to. The reader Mike has a valid question. Who are we to reason why someone should want to do something their way. I am an old school self taught DJ who used to rush home in my lunch break to mix up one side of a C90. I have always had a DJing interest and teach kids to DJ. I do change the BPM of tracks to get them started so they can have a sense of success at the start to keep their interest. Once they have grasped getting some mixes in nicely I then teach them to beat match without SYNC.

    Who are we to question why Mike needs to this or offer other methods, he may not afford expensive equipment and or software.

    So for free Mike check this out
    http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/chains_for_batch_processing_and_effects_automation.html

    Please people do not crush peoples dreams nurture and encourage.

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