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(Slate)   You think you know the time signature of The Terminator theme song? 4/5, maybe? 6/8? Something along those lines? Well, listen to me if you want to live: YOU KNOW NOTHING   (slate.com) divider line 91
    More: Interesting, The Terminator, theme songs, Levon Helm, opening titles, sheet music  
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4507 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 26 Feb 2014 at 8:05 PM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-26 08:14:27 PM  
I love the fact that even the guy who wrote it didn't know what time signature it was.


"Terminator was very difficult," said Fiedel, "because I was using many different synths and sequencers and because I didn't have midi available on many of them I had to sync them by hand.

What does that mean, exactly? Surely he wasn't just twiddling the tempo knobs until it sounded right.
 
2014-02-26 08:16:11 PM  
I seem to recall hearing the George Micheal song "I Want Your Sex" was also the result of a electronic glitch.
 
2014-02-26 08:22:21 PM  
That is clearly 7/4, with the pulse being 3/4 followed by 4/4.  "1-2-3, 1-2-3-4".

Master of Puppets is 3 measures of 4/4 followed by one of 5/8.

Most Dream Theaters songs have a crazy time signature thrown in there just because they can.
 
2014-02-26 08:25:45 PM  
Pretty cool article. Not sure it is actually in the time signature they claim though.
 
2014-02-26 08:27:13 PM  
It had sounded to me like two different musical pieces with two different time signatures had been overlaid... the percussion in one time signature, and the instrumental in another... as long as you can match up the first beat of each measure, then it will even out.

But this explanation works too... but 13/16 time? Why would you do such a psychotic thing?
 
2014-02-26 08:33:10 PM  
I couldn't tell you for sure, but it sounds to me line a measure of 4/4 followed by a measure of 3/4, then repeating.
 
2014-02-26 08:33:57 PM  

fusillade762: I love the fact that even the guy who wrote it didn't know what time signature it was.


"Terminator was very difficult," said Fiedel, "because I was using many different synths and sequencers and because I didn't have midi available on many of them I had to sync them by hand.

What does that mean, exactly? Surely he wasn't just twiddling the tempo knobs until it sounded right.


Actually I think that's what he means. He didn't have midi, so he had to record one, then record the other live along with the first track.
 
2014-02-26 08:40:03 PM  
It's basically 4/4, but the last beat slides, so it's a bit more than that. It's like 4.1/4.

That's what you get when you work with analog instruments and no MIDI.


/ahh, the days before quantizing
 
2014-02-26 08:40:37 PM  

LonMead: But this explanation works too... but 13/16 time? Why would you do such a psychotic thing?


Because it sounded right? He did it by hand, not as a written score and just played something that gave the sound he was after.
 
2014-02-26 08:41:26 PM  
*reads article*

or 13/16 if fractions aren't your thing.
 
2014-02-26 08:50:10 PM  

fusillade762: What does that mean, exactly? Surely he wasn't just twiddling the tempo knobs until it sounded right.


Analog electronic equipment had no quantizing or sequencing (especially in the days before MIDI), so it was notoriously difficult for a one-man musical outfit to get a group of them to loop in sync. No matter how careful you selected and sliced them, they would invariably grow out of sync over time.

Brad Fiedel sampled some mechanical percussion sounds (pots and pans n things) and then laid them out in a drum loop but didn't bother measuring out the meter of the loop. And then he basically used it as a click track to add bass, pads, and leads, eventually producing the haunting score we all know and love.

But because the song was born out of raw experimentation rather than a pre-planned effort through musical notation, he hadn't the foggiest idea what he had done.
 
2014-02-26 08:53:20 PM  
I express my time signatures in decimals because no one was enjoying the song i was playing anyway.
 
2014-02-26 08:57:00 PM  

LonMead: the percussion in one time signature, and the instrumental in another... as long as you can match up the first beat of each measure, then it will even out.


You don't have to line up individual measures, as long as the start/stop/section/etc. works musically. See also this, from about 5:30 on till everything comes back together at maybe 6:40-ish:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tcW-j7KFgY
 
2014-02-26 09:02:44 PM  
If you had to score it, it would be easiest do do it in alternating meter - 9/8, 4/8 would be the most probable.  13/16 is plausible, but would be a pain in the ass to read.  Might as well do it in free meter.
 
2014-02-26 09:03:16 PM  
I seem to recall that one of the tracks on Steve Tibbets album Yr is 17/23.

Not that it has anything to do with the Terminator films, just that was the weirdest time signature I'd ever heard of.
 
2014-02-26 09:04:24 PM  
Oooooh Prophet-10.
 
2014-02-26 09:05:10 PM  

Scrotastic Method: LonMead: the percussion in one time signature, and the instrumental in another... as long as you can match up the first beat of each measure, then it will even out.

You don't have to line up individual measures, as long as the start/stop/section/etc. works musically. See also this, from about 5:30 on till everything comes back together at maybe 6:40-ish:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tcW-j7KFgY


I was trying to remember where I'd heard something like that recently, and i couldn't remember who it was... Thanks!
 
2014-02-26 09:05:30 PM  
DAH-two-three-DOONK-two-three-CLANK-two-three-GONK-two-GONK-two - hmmm,  I wonder what the time signature is...


Exactly what goes through my musical mind everytime I watch the opening credits to The Terminator.
 
2014-02-26 09:11:13 PM  
 
2014-02-26 09:18:33 PM  

JJRRutgers: That is clearly 7/4, with the pulse being 3/4 followed by 4/4.  "1-2-3, 1-2-3-4".


Nnnnnope.  Swing and a miss.  I listened to the clip and correctly identified it after just a few cycles.  Skimmed the marginally interesting article and was moderately pleased to find out the author figured it out correctly at the end.

Here I'll write out the beats for you.  Big dots are emphasized, small dots are not:

• • .    • • .     • • .     . • . •  = 13/16 (thirteen 16th-note pulses per bar)

But seriously, this is basic polyrhythm stuff.  I could have told you this when I was in 6th grade.  Time signatures aren't voodoo magic.
 
2014-02-26 09:23:15 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: I seem to recall that one of the tracks on Steve Tibbets album Yr is 17/23.


What does a 23rd note look like?
 
2014-02-26 09:23:24 PM  

Ishkur: fusillade762: What does that mean, exactly? Surely he wasn't just twiddling the tempo knobs until it sounded right.

Analog electronic equipment had no quantizing or sequencing (especially in the days before MIDI), so it was notoriously difficult for a one-man musical outfit to get a group of them to loop in sync. No matter how careful you selected and sliced them, they would invariably grow out of sync over time.

Brad Fiedel sampled some mechanical percussion sounds (pots and pans n things) and then laid them out in a drum loop but didn't bother measuring out the meter of the loop. And then he basically used it as a click track to add bass, pads, and leads, eventually producing the haunting score we all know and love.

But because the song was born out of raw experimentation rather than a pre-planned effort through musical notation, he hadn't the foggiest idea what he had done.


The early 80s still had voltage triggers and DIN sync. Hell I have one of these (circa 1981) and I can synchronize three different instruments with it.

www.polyfon.dk
 
2014-02-26 09:28:52 PM  

LonMead: It had sounded to me like two different musical pieces with two different time signatures had been overlaid... the percussion in one time signature, and the instrumental in another... as long as you can match up the first beat of each measure, then it will even out.

But this explanation works too... but 13/16 time? Why would you do such a psychotic thing?


Listen to Genesis' "Watcher of the Skies" for a really nuts time signature. At the end break it goes into something crazy like 28/16,* with a sixteenth pair moving to a different position each bar, then that gets overlaid on top of a 6/8 beat on the organ.

And you thought Fripp's early 80s polyrhythms were bad.

*(I am not a Genesis member nor do I play one on TV.)
 
2014-02-26 09:34:09 PM  

fusillade762: Ishkur: fusillade762: What does that mean, exactly? Surely he wasn't just twiddling the tempo knobs until it sounded right.

Analog electronic equipment had no quantizing or sequencing (especially in the days before MIDI), so it was notoriously difficult for a one-man musical outfit to get a group of them to loop in sync. No matter how careful you selected and sliced them, they would invariably grow out of sync over time.

Brad Fiedel sampled some mechanical percussion sounds (pots and pans n things) and then laid them out in a drum loop but didn't bother measuring out the meter of the loop. And then he basically used it as a click track to add bass, pads, and leads, eventually producing the haunting score we all know and love.

But because the song was born out of raw experimentation rather than a pre-planned effort through musical notation, he hadn't the foggiest idea what he had done.

The early 80s still had voltage triggers and DIN sync. Hell I have one of these (circa 1981) and I can synchronize three different instruments with it.

[www.polyfon.dk image 700x347]


Oh, man.

Those things! The old analog and early digi devices could be a big pain. The ReDrums of the world are sooo much easier to make songs with.
 
2014-02-26 09:34:46 PM  

JJRRutgers: That is clearly 7/4, with the pulse being 3/4 followed by 4/4.  "1-2-3, 1-2-3-4".



You're not hearing the ghost beats.
 
2014-02-26 09:39:02 PM  
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones have a song that is in 11/16 time.

The song is called "Almost 12".
 
2014-02-26 09:40:08 PM  

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: And you thought Fripp's early 80s polyrhythms were bad.


I thought they were awesome.

And what thread about time sigs could exist without the mention of the mixed-meter intro for Changes by Yes. I can play it, but don't ask me to count it.
 
2014-02-26 09:41:52 PM  

fusillade762: The early 80s still had voltage triggers and DIN sync. Hell I have one of these (circa 1981) and I can synchronize three different instruments with it.


Fidel didn't use a TR-606, he used a Prophet-10 (released 1978):

www.synthmuseum.com

These things were notoriously "Moogian" in their tendency to drift off key and out of sync. But they had polyphony (you can finally play chords!) and patch memory, and so were well sought after.
 
2014-02-26 09:48:11 PM  
I've never been able to get my head around the difference between 3/4 and 6/8.
 
2014-02-26 09:52:17 PM  

Dragonflew: What does a 23rd note look like?


About 4.3% of a whole note.
 
2014-02-26 09:53:32 PM  

fusillade762: I've never been able to get my head around the difference between 3/4 and 6/8.


One is made of quarter notes, the other of eighths.
 
2014-02-26 09:57:19 PM  

fusillade762: I've never been able to get my head around the difference between 3/4 and 6/8.


I've had problems with that as well. I finally decided that 3/4 was more leisurely (like a standard waltz) and 6/8 was a little busier or more frantic, like "Try Not to Breathe" by REM. Plus a lighter accent on the '4' in 6/8 time, I guess. *shrug*
 
2014-02-26 09:57:24 PM  
Sequential Circuits/Oberheim. It's a seldom used time sig, innovated in the '80s. A band I was in used a S.C. Six Track and the oscillators driven by the sequencer were almost a quarter tone off from the keyboard.
 
2014-02-26 09:58:06 PM  

fusillade762: I've never been able to get my head around the difference between 3/4 and 6/8.


6/8 has more of a syncopated feel to it...

3/4 time: ONE and TWO and THREE and / ONE and TWO and THREE and (like a waltz, strong single beats)
6/8 time: ONE two three FOUR five six / ONE two three FOUR five six (more of a triplet feel)

It's more about feel and pulse and how the writer wants to subdivide the measures.
 
2014-02-26 09:58:43 PM  

Ishkur: Dragonflew: What does a 23rd note look like?

About 4.3% of a whole note.


Drawing that partial flag must be a biatch.
 
2014-02-26 09:58:43 PM  
You guys are hilarious.

-drummer
 
2014-02-26 10:09:41 PM  

DundieAwardWinner: Béla Fleck and the Flecktones have a song that is in 11/16 time.

The song is called "Almost 12".


I love Bela Fleck so much
 
2014-02-26 10:09:56 PM  
this thread:

i.imgur.com
 
2014-02-26 10:12:00 PM  
www.morethings.com
"Amateurs!"
 
2014-02-26 10:12:30 PM  

Herb Utsmelz: You guys are hilarious.

-drummer


Cheers!

(also a drummer)
 
2014-02-26 10:17:18 PM  

Dragonflew: Drawing that partial flag must be a biatch.


It requires a very thin pencil. And a very big sheet.
 
2014-02-26 10:25:40 PM  
www.drummerworld.com


What are these time signatures you speak of?
 
2014-02-26 10:36:29 PM  

fusillade762: I've never been able to get my head around the difference between 3/4 and 6/8.


There really isn't one. The top is just the number of beats per measure, and the bottom number is just which note is the beat (8=eighth note, 4=quarter).  In general, though, they're conducted differently. 3/4 is usually conducted with three beats per measure, and 6/8 is usually conducted at 2 beats per measure.  Other time styles are conducted differently.  (Cut time is just 4/4 or common time played on the half notes...essentially making it 2/2) The key thing is that the orchestra and conductor are on the same page with the notes.
 
2014-02-26 10:37:46 PM  

SithLord: What are these time signatures you speak of?


It's like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.
 
2014-02-26 10:38:58 PM  

Herb Utsmelz: You guys are hilarious.

-drummer


Little boy: "I want to be a drummer when I grow up"
Mother: "Don't be silly. You can't do both"
 
2014-02-26 10:40:09 PM  
s3.amazonaws.com

Frowns on your shenanigans
 
2014-02-26 10:42:23 PM  
This is a fantastic thread.
 
2014-02-26 10:42:34 PM  

ArmoksHolyBeard: DundieAwardWinner: Béla Fleck and the Flecktones have a song that is in 11/16 time.

The song is called "Almost 12".

I love Bela Fleck so much


Saw the Flecktones at Massey Hall in Toronto several years ago, fantastic show.
 
2014-02-26 10:46:08 PM  
Flint Ironstag:

Little boy: "I want to be a drummer when I grow up"
Mother: "Don't be silly. You can't do both"


• How do you tell if the stage is level?
    The drummer is drooling from both sides of his mouth.
 • How can you tell a drummer's at the door?
 The knocking speeds up.
 • What's the last thing a drummer says in a band?
 "Hey guys, why don't we try one of my songs?
 • What do you call a drummer that breaks up with his girlfriend?
 Homeless.
 • How can you tell when a drummer's at the door?
 He doesn't know when to come in.


Etc.
 
2014-02-26 10:47:02 PM  
SOMEONE CALL THE JANITOR! We got DRUMMERS in here ... were going to need a clean up ... possibly some disinfectant, and someo call their girlfriends, they're gonna need a ride home
 
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