Set the project time signature

Each project has a time signature, which defines how musical time is divided into measures and beats. The time signature contains two numbers separated by a slash (/), which looks similar to a fraction. The first number controls the number of beats in each measure, and the second number controls the beat value (the length of the note that gets one beat).

You can set the time signature of the project in the LCD, the Signature List, or the Signature track. Changing the time signature does not affect project playback, but does determine the time grid in the Tracks area and MIDI editors.

The division value defines the division in all position displays (such as in the editors), and forms the grid for various length and placement operations. The division value is normally set to 1/16 notes, but can range in value from 1/4 to 1/192 notes. If the note value of the division is equal to or greater than the bar denominator, the third value of the position display is removed.

Tip: You can use the Set Next Higher/Lower Division key command to switch to the next highest or lowest division.

The tempo indicator in the LCD always relates to quarter notes, even if eighth notes are chosen as the denominator for the time signature.

When Show Advanced Tools is selected in the Advanced preferences pane, you can also add time signature changes using the Signature List or the Signature track.

Change the time signature

Do one of the following:

  • Click the icon on the left side of the LCD and choose Beats & Project, then do one of the following:

    • Click-hold either of the time signature values, then drag up or down.

    • Double-click the numbers in the field, then enter a new value.

      Figure. Time signature in the LCD selected, ready to enter a new value.
  • In the Signature List:

    • Click-hold the time signature value, then drag up or down.

    • Double-click the time signature value, then enter a new value in the field.

  • Open the Signature track, then double-click the value shown. Set the Numerator and Denominator values (and other settings, if you like).

    Figure. Time Signature dialog with value selected.

For more information about time signatures, see Time and key signatures overview.