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Is it possible to have triplets without seeing the number 3 above or below the notes? I have a song with mostly triplets and it is unnecessary to write the 3 for all the triplets (and it gets really messy with all the fingering numbers). Thank you.
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by Surf.Whammy on Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:52 pm
As best as I can determine, the number or ratio for a tuplet cannot be hidden . . . :)

THOUGHTS

Mathematically--and in Computer Science--these are called "tuplets" as a generality, but some of them have specific names in music notation, where for example a "3:2" ratio tuplet in 4/4 time is called a "triplet" . . .

I prefer "tuplet", mostly because I use some unusual custom tuplets that do not have standard names and standard ratios; but in the context of this particular instance, "triplet" is the correct name, as is "tuplet" . . .

Using "triplet" is more colloquially musical, while "tuplet" is more formally mathematical . . .

The number or ratio (for example, "3" or "3:2", respectively) is provided so musicians and vocalists have a visual cue that the notes are a tuplet and are played or sung with a different cadence or timing . . .

You can specify that the number or ratio for a tuplet is shown above or below, which might provide a bit of help with respect to avoidimg conflicting with other numbers . . .

[NOTE: In this example, I specified that each tuplet's number or ratio is shown below rather than above. This is done for each tuplet, so some can have their numbers or ratios above and others can have their numbers or ratios below. You also can specify whether tuplet brackets are shown, again on a tuplet-by-tuplet basis . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. Another strategy is to use the various articulations for electric guitar and an unusual time signature to create syncopated phrases, which is fabulous . . .

[NOTE: This was an experiment I did with NOTION 3 several years ago, where the general goal was to get a sense of how totally wacky one can be with the various electric guitar articulations. You can see that the NOTION 3 beat cursor in a few measures goes backward and then recovers and goes forward; but it plays and it's interesting to see and to hear the strange collection of articulations . . . :P ]

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Fabulous! :)

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Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by michaelmyers1 on Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:58 pm
Surf is right, you can hide the brackets, which could clean things up some, but not the tuplet identification.

You can also move the bracket and indicator above or below the notes, which might also help.

These things are done by selecting all the notes of the tuplet and then right-clicking to get a contextual menu.

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by roblof on Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:47 am
But if a song consists mostly of triplets shouldn’t one consider changing the time signature to 6/8 (or 3/4) instead?

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by Surf.Whammy on Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:35 pm
roblof wroteBut if a song consists mostly of triplets shouldn’t one consider changing the time signature to 6/8 (or 3/4) instead?


It might make sense to change the time signature, but this has nothing to do with tuplets, because the time signature does not do what tuplets do . . . :)

THOUGHTS

If there are a lot of eighth notes, then it might be easier to use a time signature where an eighth note gets one beat, which is the "6/8" or related strategy, although there are other reasons for using this type of time signature . . .

With a few exceptions, I do everything in the key of C and 4/4 time; but whether the key actually is C is another matter, since it just as easily can be A Minor or one of the modes where all the notes are white keys on a grand piano (Ionic, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian), which I remember with the mnemonic "I Don't Play Lydian Mode A Lot") . . .

I call it the "key of C", but the important thing is that there are no sharps and flats unless I decide a note needs to be sharped or flatted, which generally maps to using sharps rather than flats unless there is a horn section . . .

The best way to make sense of tuplets is to consider drums and syncopation . . .

As noted in a previous post, "tuplets" is a mathematical term that spans all the various musical combinations; so a "triplet" is a tuplet . . .

There are specific names for the standard types of tuplets that appear in music notation--which is fine with me--but I prefer to call them "tuplets", since using this terminology emphasizes the mathematical and geometrical aspects of the Gestalt . . .

In what one can call "popular music", nearly every drum part has some type of syncopation; and when doing syncopation, the high-level perspective is that it does not work when note durations are multiples of two (whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and so forth) . . .

By using dots, you can create mathematically "odd" note durations, where for example a dotted quarter note has the duration of a quarter note plus an eighth note in 4/4 time; but this strategy has the same basic problem with respect to being a multiple of two, which ultimately makes it more "regular" than "syncopated", with the key in this context being "syncopated" . . .

In 4/4 time, when you have a triplet of eighth notes, what happens is that the three eighth notes are played in the time allocated to two eighth notes; and mathematically this maps to switching from what one might call "binary" rhythm to "trinary" or "ternary" rhythm, although this is the terminology I use and borrows a bit from the concept of three and thirds . . .

And there are other ways one can create syncopation using tuplets . . .

For example, if you want to use fives, sevens, or nines, then you can specify a tuplet with a ratio where a larger number of notes are "squeezed" into the time allocated to five, seven, or nine beat units . . .

The important aspect is that instead of working with standard "binary" beat units, you can introduce thirds, fifths, sevenths, and so forth durations, all of which make it easier to do syncopated rhythms . . .

In this respect, the time signature essentially makes no difference, because the time signature is focused primarily on determining which notes get a full beat unit and how many beat units are in a measure, which for the most part has nearly nothing to do with syncopation . . .

Explained another way, the time signature mostly is a way to make it easier to do music notation . . .

For example, you can compose a 5/4 song in 4/4, but then you have to keep track of where measures really begin and end, rather than where they appear to begin and end based on 4/4 time . . .

If you know the song is 5/4, then it's easier to use 5/4 as the time signature; but overall you can do anything with 4/4, although it can be a bit confusing . . .

My perspective is that without tuplets, the set of note durations is "binary" or generally divisible nicely by two in one way or another, which is fine until you need to do syncopation . . .

When you need to do syncopation, you want to expand the set of allowable note durations; and this is where tuplets become both useful and necessary . . .

Consider a tuplet with the ratio "3:2" . . .

This indicates that what normally would be three units of time occur in two units of time, which mathematically makes each note two-thirds of a unit of time . . .

It does not matter if they are quarter notes, eighths, sixteenths, or thirty-secondths, at least in a general sense . . .

What matters is that instead of everything being a multiple of two in one way or another, by using a tuplet you introduce thirds into the set . . .

If the ratio of a tuplet is based on five, then you introduce fifths of a unit of time . . .

If the ratio of a tuplet is based on seven, then you introduce sevenths of a unit of time . . .

This is the way you become able to do elaborate syncopated rhythm patterns for drums and everything else that needs syncopation . . .

But you are not restricted in music notation and NOTION 6 to ratios where the "antecedent" or first number is larger than the "consequent" or second number . . .

In this example, the antecedent is 3, but the consequent is 5, which means that the three notes are played in the time usually played by five notes, which in some respects is a bit like a ritardando or something similar; but instead of being a gradual slowing, it's steady and consistent . . .

[NOTE: I added an extra eighth note to the measure--which is red since it exceeds the number of beats allowed in the measure--to provide the visual clue that the "3:5" tuplet actually causes the three notes to be played over five units of time (not five beats, but instead five relative units of time). In other words, the three eighth notes in the "3:5" tuplet are played over the time usually assigned to five eighth notes, which maps to each eighth note in the tuplet having a duration of "one and two-thirds" of the duration of a standard eighth note . . . . . . ]

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If you are one of the folks who like me nearly constantly is playing syncopated drum patterns in your mind, tapping feet to an imaginary beat, or tapping on the table, then "play" the "3:5" tuplet in your mind, and you will understand that it is syncopated . . .

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[NOTE: Sometimes the drums do not need to be syncopated, but instead one of the more obviously melodic instruments needs to be syncopated every so often . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!

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