Configuring and Using BPM

(Updated 2017-7; BallroomDJ version 3.13.4)

BPM is optional.

BPM in BallroomDJ is beats per minute.

Measures per minute (MPM [sometimes written as bars per minute, which sometimes is confusingly abbreviated as BPM]) is harder to use for non-musicians as some dances such as Tango, Samba and Paso Doble are in 2/4 time.

When researching BPM/MPM, be careful to note whether the measurement is in beats or in measures.

To convert measures per minute (MPM) to beats per minute (BPM), multiply the MPM number by the number of beats per bar (this is the top number in the time signature). For Tango, beats per bar may be 2 or 4 depending on whether the time signature is 2/4, 4/4 or 4/8. For Samba and Paso Doble beats per bar is usually 2. For Waltz and Viennese Waltz, beats per bar is 3.

BallroomDJ will display the BPM setting for a song, and if the speed adjustment is changed, the adjusted BPM setting. In the song editor the BPM range of the dance is also displayed (if set).

User Interface Changes

1) The Song Editor will display the adjusted BPM for the song and the BPM range for the dance.

2) The Music Player displays the BPM and adjusted BPM for the dance.

3) The music player menu has an additional BPM menu selection to set the BPM for a song.

4) The song editor has an additional BPM menu selection to set the BPM for a song.

Enabling BPM Display

To enable BPM display, select Configuration from the main menu, select Options, and select the User Interface tab. Change Enable BPM Display to either BPM or MPM. The BPM/MPM settings only changes the labels -- there is no automatic conversion.

To display the BPM in the music manager, select the Options -> Display Columns menu, select the BPM checkbox and select Save.

To display BPM in the song editor, select Options -> Field Selection, select the BPM checkbox and select Save. You must exit and restart BallroomDJ for this change to take effect.

Setting the BPM Ranges for a Dance

Edit Dances

In the Edit Dances tab, the BPM range settings for the dance can be set in the Low BPM and High BPM fields. The time signature for the song can also be set. The defaults that come with BallroomDJ are in beats per minute. If you want to display measures per minute (bars per minute), you must change the low and high BPM settings.

Setting the BPM for a Song

There are different ways to set the BPM for a song. Entering the BPM directly into the song editor using the BPM menu selection in the player or song editor while playing a song.

Song Editor

To set the BPM in the song editor, enter the BPM and select the Save button. Note that the BPM range for the dance is displayed next to the dance selection.


To set the BPM while playing a song, first select a song or songs to play. Select the Play button. Select the BPM menu selection in the player or song editor.

The BPM Counter window will display. Click in the blue box for each beat of music. Once the BPM has stabilized, select the appropriate time signature and then select the Save button. If you need to start over, select the Reset button to reset the BPM counter.

The BPM will be populated in the music manager. Note that the song is now selected and must still be saved. Select the Save button to save the BPM changes. If the song is edited without saving the BPM changes, the new BPM will not display.

BPM Counter

Similarly, the Play button in the song editor can be used to play a song, and the BPM menu selection in the player can be used to set the BPM for the song.

Speed Adjustments and Adjusted BPM

When the song playback speed is changed, the BPM and the adjusted BPM will display. If the BPM Counter is used with a speed adjusted song, the actual BPM is calculated based on the speed adjustment.


Song Editor

Last modified 9 months ago Last modified on 2017-08-04T08:02:32-08:00