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  • Automatic Beat Detection

    Song Surgeon Version 5 contains automatic beat detection. When you open a song, Song Surgeon automatically calculates the BPM of that song. This BPM is used to calibrate the tempo and metronome for that song as it opens in the program. To be specific, if the BPM is calculated at 120, that Tempo value will appear in the Time Display area above the main playback controls. This value of 120 BPM value will increase or decrease within this display as, as the tempo is adjusted up or down by the user.

    Continuing the above example, the metronome setting is also set to 120 for this song, as the song opens. Thereafter this BPM value will can be adjusted by the user from this starting point.

    Before implementing this feature we compared and tested several different technologies. Here is a summary of what we found:


    The BPM readings from Song Surgeon Ver 5 were comparable to, and as accurate as, the best available technology.


    The BPM technologies we tested worked well with Rock, Country and Pop music. They were less reliable with Jazz. They were the least accurate with Choral and Orchestral music where there often is no defined pulse.


    There are times when the bpm reading may be off by 50%. This is due to the fact that the programs are not given the “metrical level”. In other words, they are not told, and have no way of knowing, the time signature for each song, e.g. does the quarter note get 1 count, or the eight or the half. By default these programs typically will display the faster of the BPM rates.

    Even when the numerical BPM value being displayed for a particular song is not correct, the program is detecting a musically correct pulse, i.e. in time with the music. For example Song Surgeon calculates the BPM of the song “Hotel California” to be 148. The true value from the sheet music is 74, or ½ that value. In the bigger picture it is irrelevant which value is used as the default value from which to increase or decrease the tempo, because either one can be used as a starting reference point from which change can be measured.

    Below is a comparison table of BPM data comparing Song Surgeon to its competitors across a range of different musical genres.

    Actual BPM
    Hotel California 148 148 148 148 74
    Baby, Now That I've Found You 118 118 118 117 118
    Telephone Line 142 144 144 144 72
    The Heart of the Matter 176 176 176 89 87
    Louder Than Ever 139 NA 185 140 70
    Candles 176 174 115 89 87
    Just the Girl 111 111 111 112 112
    Come Clean 117.58 117 118 117 58
    Here We Go Again 142 142 142 144 143
    Heaven 124.5 124 NC 123 NA
    Vivaldi four Seasons - Winter 148 145 144 148 141
    Arrival of the Queen 108.01 107 163 108 80
    Hallelujah 102 172 NA 105 85
    Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21 166 114 115 115 55
    Pachelbel Canon id D 130 132.44 117 133 60
    Take Five 168 170 124 172 81
    One Finger Snap 238 155 NC 92 128
    Take the A Train 79 158 170 161 80
    The Girl From Ipanema 123.74 125 123 126 61
    Sing, Sing, Sing 108.54 108 NC 110 110
    O Nata Lux (Lux Aeterna) 168 NC NC 144 72
    Like Snow (Midwinter Songs) 152 NC NC 144 72
    Lament for Pasiphae (Midwinter Songs) 138 NC NC 136 66
    Midwinter Walking 176 173 NC 112 86
    Intercession in Late October 152 NC NC 117 100

    To learn more about Song Surgeon go to our main page. There you will find a video instruction as well as an overview of the major features found in Song Surgeon Version 5.