DJ Daddy


How the 16 Bar Timing

system better than BPM

The 16 bar system: in the past 70’s 80’s 90’s early 2000, there was a system put into place to make it easier to mix records and CD’s. it was called the BPM (beats per minute) to be able to time and section different types of music to make it easier to mix then trying to remember or doing it yourself. This was ok as a start.

Back in the late 1990’s the BPM system was in accurate in the fact it was a judgment call as to which beat count you ended on as your sweep hand rolled around to the 60 sec or minute mark. Well we know now in musical terms that most pop country and dance, R&B funk songs are done in 4/4 time or 4beats per bar of music. This is how the 16 bar system was developed on the West coast of Canada. So using a stop watch start on the first bar or beat then stop the stop watch on the 16th bar or 64th beat and it will give you an exact time of the music the faster the song or lower the time I.E. B-52’s—Rock Lobster---20.77 So the 20.77 attached to the song is the speed and if you are familiar with this tune you already know it’s a fast tune (older disco type). Now another tune in the same speed that might mix with this is 20.99---Hall & Oats---Man Eater try it.

So the lower numbers the faster the song because it takes less time to get to the end of the 16 bar count. I.E. 16.00 to 22.00 are more up tempo songs. Where as mid tempo or allot of pop disco and club tunes are speed wise in the 29.00 to 32.00 classification you will find more popular and danceable tunes I.E. 29.28—Dead or Alive ---You spin me Right Round 30.38 -------S.O.S.----ABBA, 31.33---OMD---If you Leave me Now, 32.38---Into The Groove---Madonna.

So now you have an idea and reference point as to the speed of some songs and the explanation on how you come about and get these very accurate timings for your tunes. Even with Today’s technology and computers the BPM evaluation system in mechanical or computer terms is in accurate as some songs in the same speed in the 16 bar method being judged by the BPM auto computer system comes up very in accurate example if in the 16 bar system let’s say 32.00.

Some songs annualized in the BPM Electronic or computer method come out as 80.5 BPM 137.5 BPM or 45.5 BPM and they in the 16 bar system all will mix. So the automated electronic BPM system does not account for half beats or rhythm of bars in the way they are timed. Where as the 16 bar system is more accurate and exact for mixing 2 songs together. As most of you know you don’t just mix songs by beat but to make the mixes seamless you mix by beat and match up the bars of each song.


16 bar to BPM Formula:

Here's The Magic Number 3840 (That Number Is The Key To The Whole Thing)

To Go From 16 Bar To BPM....Example 32.0 Divide 3840 by 32.0 = 120.0 BPM
From BPM To 16 Bar.....Example 124BPM Divide 3840 by 124 = 30.96 (or 31.0)


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