The Beat Calculator

To make full use of GDAM's beat information-aware features, you must determine the beat information which describes your favorite songs. The primary tool to assist with this task is the beat calculator. Given an estimation of the bpm and firstbeat location for a song, the beat calculator will graphically display predicted beats over a picture of the waveform. These can be stretched and moved until (if possible) the bars correctly predict each beat.

The beat calculator looks like this:

 Annotated Beatcalc Screenshot

Waveform Display

Here is displayed a picture of a section of the song, overlaid with bars where beats are predicted. Songs can be dropped onto this area in order to load them. Left-clicking near a beat line will relocate it to the position of the click by adjusting the bpm slightly. Clicking while shift is depressed will relocate the nearest beat line by shifting the location of the first beat slightly. Control-click will set the location of the first beat. The second mouse button can be used to highlight a section of the song (not shown), which can then be replayed. This aids you in identifying features within the sound.

Zoom Level

Used to zoom in on / out from the song. Examining the song up close makes it possible to identify features by sight, and perfect the accuracy of the beat information.

Load From Song Selector

The circular button opens the song selector, and the arrow button imports the currently selected song from the song selector, and begins it loading.

Load From Disk

Rather than loading from the song database, any song can be loaded from disk.

Play Selection

The PLAY and STOP buttons can be used to hear a portion of sound. If a portion of sound is selected, that portion will be played. Otherwise, the song will be played from the current position.

Estimate BPM By Tapping

To get a good first estimate of the tempo of a song, click the tap button in time with the music. The bpm value (calculated since the time of the first tap) is displayed, and you can start over by pressing the reset button.

Update Database

Once you are satisfied that the current beat info provides an accurate description of the song's rhythm, use the Update Database button to write the information to the song database. Don't forget to save the database (in the song selector) before quitting, so that you will forevermore be able to have full control over this song.

Current Beatinfo

The bpm and first beat fields hold the current values being used to draw beatlines on the waveform. These values can be set here, although fine adjustments will most likely be made with the mouse on the waveform display.


This slider controls the position within the song which is displayed in the center of the waveform display. When you are zoomed in very close on a song, you'll have to click in the trough and arrows to get fine enough position control.


Like most components, the beat calculator has online help which can be launched by clicking on the button with the question mark.

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