Tempo Locked and Music Synching

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Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:59 pm
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Tempo Locked and Music Synching

Post by William »

Hi Everyone,

I've had this question a couple of times so I wanted to record the answer in a public place for future reference.

Question: "Why doesn't EnVision allow me to change the tempo after syncing music?"

This forum post answers some of the reasoning behind this problem. To be fair EnVision could (and probably should) allow this but changing the tempo in that way when the music is synced would change how the music line up with the drill and that might have unintended consequences for the designer.

Question: "My music got synced but I'm not sure how. Can I unsync it so I can change the counts and tempo again?"

The music shouldn't become synced unless you actively sync it yourself. So if it is syncing by itself then there is possibly a bug there. That being said, EnVision is really built around working with synced music and it works best in that capacity so we recommend that you do sync your music.

As for unsyncing the music, you can't do that directly, but you can by unloading and reloading the music. Use the Show Manager tool
show manager.png
show manager.png (8.89 KiB) Viewed 30206 times
and press the Music 'Clear' button.
unsync music.png
unsync music.png (17.95 KiB) Viewed 30206 times

Tips on Timeline editing and keeping music Synced:

Here are some resources to look over and provide a description of timeline editing and tips on how best to sync music. I will admit that there are areas of our documentation that are lacking and there should really be a video tutorial on editing the timeline.

Here is a forum post that goes into detail about some of the methodology of the timeline that could provide additional context to this conversation: Bug? locking/unlocking affects the set position

Tips on syncing music:
  1. I find it best to sync my entire song in big chunks before writing any drill. Once the sets are synced at a high-level you can subdivide the internal sets and that will automatically add new set syncing to the timeline. So for example I will usually sync in sets of 16 or 32 depending on how detailed the drill will be. So the process would be:
    1. Sync the entire song in 32 count "sets" before any drill is written
    2. Add 1 set and change the counts of the first set to 32 counts so it matches the length of the sync
    3. Add new sets to the show all the way to the end of the music
      add set marker.png
      add set marker.png (5.54 KiB) Viewed 30206 times
      from the timeline control panel. The counts will be set automatically from the counts of the previous set, so they should all be 32 at this point and if you play it back the counts should be synchronized with the music (when the current time marker is moving)
    4. Now if you want to add a count of 8 for example, go to count 8 in the set of 32 and press the Add Set button again. This will add a new set on the current count and will split the old set of 32 into two sets of 8 and 24 counts.
    5. Repeat step 4 as necessary to add in new sets where they are required
    - This process requires heavy use of the "Revert Performer" tool
    revert performer button.png
    revert performer button.png (7.3 KiB) Viewed 30206 times
    as you move forward as the later sets won't have the performers in the correct position, but this is a tool you should be very familiar with anyway.
  2. Syncing music tutorial: Syncing Your Music - How to Write Drill Tutorial Series. Syncing music is done by pressing spacebar on the downbeats (count 1) of every set you want to create. There are some human-related inconsistencies in this process so don't expect the tempo to be perfect. If you are using live music there is also the chance that the source music does not have consistent tempo either.
    You can go back and resync individual sets by moving where the playback starts if something doesn't line up quite right
    You can edit where the sets line up against the music from the main timeline (which I'll talk about below) with some powerful tools to add or remove counts to your music without breaking all the drill.
Editing the timeline (changing the position of sets relative to the music)
Initial note: Unlocking the timeline will shift where the set flags are by 1 count. This is to handle the difference between set positions and musical sets. Essentially musical sets are placed on count 1 of a phrase because it's more musical and easier to understand that way, but sets are on "count 0" because count 1 is the first step in the direction of the next set. The forum post above goes into more detail about this but just know that it is correct.

Look at the help documentation on the timeline here:

And search for "Timeline" -> "Move Following Sets Toggle", "Snap to Count" and "Lock Timeline" and additionally "Moving Sets and Subsets". That should give you the information to understand how editing the timeline works.

As a reference, these are the three buttons that are used to edit the timeline:
Screen Shot 2022-01-01 at 1.11.43 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-01 at 1.11.43 PM.png (72.78 KiB) Viewed 30206 times
Please add comments and questions below if anything here isn't clear or could be improved upon.

Have a great day!
William Lee
Box5 Software
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