MIDI PPQN Duration Calculator

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MIDI sequencing hardware and software use a variable number of timing resolutions, with 24 PPQN (parts or pulses per quarter note) being the MIDI File Specification Standard used for MIDI clock byte synchronization, as well as three-byte synchronization needed for MIDI Time Code and Song Position Pointer events. Thus all sequencers should use PPQN that at least have the factors of

as base factors used by any higher resolutions that they support, if master/slave synchronization is needed.

Contributed by: Benjamin Robert Tubb (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



Some commonly used values of PPQN are typically based on either 2, 3, 5, or 7, and can be considered families:

2 48 96 192 384 768 3 72 144 216 288 360 5 120 240 480 960 7 168 436 972

The most unique (and non-conforming) use is of , which is used by Finale. Of course, variants of the above can be used with different combinations of such prime factors; however, in common practice, and in my experience, the most commonly used are (besides 24) 96, 240, 384, and 480. Of these, in my opinion, 96 and 384 are most applicable to recording human timing nuances without needing further masking of the feel by using a factor of 5, or any other beyond 2 and 3 for the universal straight and swing feels that are in use.

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