5 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2009 5:23 PM by MattiMattMatt
calumr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi,

Does anyone know if it is possible to set a 3/8 time signature in Garageband '09? I can find the Time popup-menu in the New Project dialog but 3/8 is not listed.

Thanks

iMac 17" dual core, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Christoph Drösser Level 6 Level 6 (11,275 points)
    Right, GB doesn't offer 3/8. It's a very uncommon time signature. Any reason you're not happy with 6/8?
  • MattiMattMatt Level 4 Level 4 (2,420 points)
    calumr wrote:
    Hi,

    Does anyone know if it is possible to set a 3/8 time signature in Garageband '09? I can find the Time popup-menu in the New Project dialog but 3/8 is not listed.


    I'd try 3/4 instead, and think of your quarter notes as eighth notes.
  • calumr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    MattiMattMatt,

    Thanks for the tip - I'll give it a blast!

    C
  • Christoph Drösser Level 6 Level 6 (11,275 points)
    I would still recommend treating 8th notes as 8th notes and use a 6/8 or 9/8 time signature, depending on how the 3/8 patterns are grouped.
  • MattiMattMatt Level 4 Level 4 (2,420 points)
    Christoph Drösser wrote:
    I would still recommend treating 8th notes as 8th notes and use a 6/8 or 9/8 time signature, depending on how the 3/8 patterns are grouped.


    The thing about 6/8 is that it is usually conceived as a 2 beat measure (1, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3). Conductors typically conduct 6/8 as 2; as triplets predate eighth notes, it was the "older version of 2/4"; and it's felt primarily as 2 strong beats (the 1st stronger than the 2nd)... all of which takes you away from the feel of 3/8 or 3/4. Substituting 6/8 for 3/8 changes a triple measure into a duple measure, most likely against its will.

    Unless there's a compelling reason to use 6/8 for the sake of the 8th notes (e.g. converting a MIDI file that needs 8th note parity), 3/4 seems more of a kindred spirit to 3/8.

    Just as 6/8 is "2/4" in disguise, 9/8 similarly traditionally imposes an emphasis of "3/4" over the 3 groups of 3: the downbeat of the first has the most weight, followed by beat 4 then 7: ONE, 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (or ONE, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, 3, 2, 3).

    The listener, after all, doesn't need to know what the value of the subdivision is: eighth, quarter, whatever. But they do know the shape of the measure, if it's 1, 2, or 3 groups of 3. In my mind, maintaining 1 group of 3 by going from 3/8 to 3/4 therefore keeps the listener and composer on the same page. FWIW!