2/4 time signature

I am trying to create a song with a 2/4 time signature. I create an external midi file in 2/4 time and import it to my song. It displays OK. When I use Quantize, the time signature goes to 2/2 and the measures get expanded to twice the length

I am unable to replicate your problem using the attached test MIDI file in the Mac version of the BeatBuddy Manager (BBM).
test 3.mid.zip (1.2 KB)

  • Are you using Yes or No in the dialog box when you open the BBM MIDI Editor or

  • Are you pressing the Quantize button?

  • Does this change to 2/2 when it’s quantizing or when you press the Apply button when exiting the MIDI Editor?

  • Does it still happen if you choose No at the Quantize dialog box?

  • Is this happening on a PC or a Mac?

  • Which DAW (digital audio workstation) are you using to create your external MIDI file?

You can try my MIDI test file and see if it’s still happening. If it isn’t, there might be something in your external MIDI file creation process that’s causing this. If you’d like to zip and add your file in reply to this, it might help.

Thanks for the quick reply.

On further investigation it seems that the issue isn’t with Quantize, but how the BeatBuddy Manager represents 2/4 time, and consequently how it converts a pattern from 4/4 to 2/4.

I have included a zip file with 5 files:

BB 4 4 - a blank grid in BBM in 4/4 time. It has 4 beats each of 4 sixteenth notes, which is correct.

BB 2 4 - a blank grid in BBM in what it calls 2/4 time. This is actually 2/2 time - 2 beats, each of 8 sixteenth notes. 2/4 time would have 2 beats, each of 4 sixteenth notes.

Baker Street.mid - the midi file that is in 4/4 that I want to convert to 2/4 to handle the odd 2/4 measure in the song.

Baker 4 4 - the grid generated when I import the file. It has 4 measures; each measure has 4 beats of 4 sixteenth notes, which is correct.

Baker 2 4 - the grid shown when I switch the time signature from 4/4 to 2/4 in BBM. It has 4 measures; each measure has 2 beats of 8 sixteenth notes, which is wrong. It is actually in 2/2 time. If it were in 2/4 time it would have 8 measures; each measure having 2 beats of 4 sixteenth notes.

What seems to happen when you switch from 4/4 to 2/4 is that the number of measures is kept constant and the length of a beat changes, where as what should happen is that the length of a beat should be kept constant and the number of measures should change. If it worked like this, the function would be useful in all songs that are written in 4/4 but which have the odd 2/4 measure. Eg Pretty Woman, Baker Street, If You Leave Me Now, and countless others.

I am using a Mac. The above file was created inside BBM.


KeithArchive.zip (4.3 MB)

The BeatBuddy Manager (BBM) MIDI Editor has been identified and reported on by users to not be up to the task of anything but the simplest of edits (and even that’s shaky). An example of a simple edit might be to move the electronic snare from 40 to snare 38. Anything beyond this causes the inadequacies of the built-in MIDI Editor to surface and cause frustration.

I doubt that the developers are working on solving or improving the MIDI Editor issues in the BBM version that’s being updated now.

Conventional forum wisdom has been to ignore use of the MIDI Editor and instead use a DAW (digital audio workstation).


We do suggest to use other MIDI editors before bringing MIDI files into the BBM. I will report what you have observed, but we may not be married to keeping this editor in subsequent versions of the BBM. Ideally, you will use a dedicated MIDI editor and bring those already cut/created files into the BBM.

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Thanks, I will try that. Is there a really simple MacOS drum editor that you would suggest? Something with the same grid-based interface as the one in BBM?


I do all my work on pro tools so I can’t vouch there, maybe @persist has a better suggestion

For an intuitive and Mac-like interface, Logic Pro X.

Reaper is a shareware/trialware DAW. Interface is more PC-like.

There are several others but these two are the ones I use.

Thanks for the info. I think I may look for a simpler solution on an iPad where I can import a midi file, edit it in a grid, and export it again. DM2 and BR3 look like possibilities and are a reasonable price.

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I don’t get the reasoning for this Brennan. Singular Sound has created a fantastic product in the BB so why not develop the software properly to make it easier for users to develop their songs? The basics are already there so why not enhance it and make it more powerful? It seems there is so much that should be developed but no one can be bothered doing it? In my opinion this just holds the whole pedal back. Yes you can edit and import from a DAW but fine tuning is still done in the BBM MIDI editor. It just doesn’t make sense to me.