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Beat Detection

Auto Beat Detection is an automation available in Automator Plus that automatically detects the beats per minute (BPM) of a selected audio file and inserts beat markers at evenly spaced intervals from the first sound it detects. This automation offers several advanced controls, including the ability to select the audio clip to detect, set the intervals to insert the beat markers (such as every beat, second beat, fourth beat, eighth beat, or sixteenth beat), and adjust the strength of the markers by setting a value between 0 and 100 to randomly remove some markers. Additionally, you can choose to only insert beat markers between the in and out points of your timeline and change the color of the markers to be added.

The arguments for the Auto Beat Detection automation are:

  1. “Audio”: This argument specifies which audio clip to detect beats for. It can be set to either “Selected Audio” or “First Clip on Track 1”.
  2. “Intervals”: This argument specifies the beat intervals at which to insert beat markers. The options are: “every beat”, “second beat”, “fourth beat”, “eight beat”, or “sixteenth beat”.
  3. “Strength”: This argument determines the number of beat markers to randomly remove. It takes a value between 0 and 100, with 100 meaning all beats will be added and lower values removing more markers.
  4. “Between In and Out Points”: This argument specifies whether to include beat markers only between the set in and out points or on the entire timeline.
  5. “Color”: This argument allows the user to change the color of the beat markers that will be added.
  6. “Start At Player”: This argument determines whether the first beat marker will be inserted at the playhead.

These arguments can be adjusted to customize the automation to the user’s specific needs.

The workflow for using Auto Beat Detection is simple: select the audio clip to detect, hit the shortcut key, and get the markers applied to your timeline. You can then manually add additional or remove beat markers where you see fit. This automation is usually used in conjunction with the Auto Edit automation to easily create multiple fully edited timelines.

However, there are a few limitations to Auto Beat Detection. Firstly, it only works with audio files in wav or mp3 format and cannot load audio from video clips. Additionally, it does not take into account any effects or modifications applied to your audio in the timeline, such as rate stretching. To work with rate-stretched audio or audio tracks of video files, you need to export them to a wav file before using them. Finally, the current beat detection algorithm does not take into account the start of the first beat, so although the tempo is detected correctly, the offset might need to be adjusted manually. Currently, the beat detection algorithm only supports 4/4 time signatures, but updates are being made to remove these limitations.

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