Learn all about the newest Effects, Mastering and VST

See how DJ Jorgen won the DJ.Studio remix contest

  1. Blog
  2. DJ Mixing Features

What is a BPM Finder and how to use it?

Whether you are a music performer, composer, or DJ mixer, being able to calculate the BPM of a song – and then play along to it or use that knowledge to create a DJ mix – is a vital skill to have if you wish to become a serious musician.

These days, there are many tools out there to help you find the BPM of a song, quickly and easily. And they each have their own way of figuring out this information, and varying degrees of accuracy. For this reason it is worth knowing exactly what BPM is, how a BPM finder tool works (and how to use them), and what the perfect tempo finder tools are out there.

TL;DR BPM Finder#

  • BPM stands for Beats Per Minute

  • A BPM finder can quickly and accurately determine the tempo of almost any song

  • BPM finders either use AI and machine learning to analyze a song and determine its BPM, or they require a user to tap along to the beat so that the software can analyze their inputs and calculate the BPM.

  • DJ.Studio lets you upload multiple songs at once, and it can calculate the BPM and key of those songs using the AUTOMIX function.

What is BPM?#

The term 'BPM' describes how many beats occur in a song within the span of a minute.

BPM stands for Beats Per Minute. It describes how many beats occur in a song within the span of a single minute. In a piece of music, a ‘beat’ is a steady pulse that remains the same for the whole duration of the song, unless of course there is a change in BPM mid-song. That pulse gives a basic indication of the time that occurs throughout a song.

This means a song with 60 BPM will play one beat per second, while a song with 120 BPM will play twice as many beats.

Different styles of music have different BPM ranges. Most styles of dance music have an average BPM of 120 to 145 BPM. While other styles of electronic music, like hip-hop, have a slow tempo of around 85 to 100 BPM. Faster styles of dance music, like Jungle and Drum ‘n Bass, are known for their frenetic beats and can reach up to 170 BPM or more.

Why is it Important to Calculate a Song's BPM?#

It is important to know a song's tempo (or BPM) so that you can play along to it, or mix it into a DJ set, at the correct performance speed.

Without a reference to the performance speed of a song, you will struggle to stay in time and blend other songs together in a DJ mix. BPM is a universal language, one that all musicians can understand and use to capture the spirit of a musical performance.

In the case of DJ mixing, knowing the BPM of each song in your mix will help you blend them together more easily. No guesswork. No manually tapping out beats yourself.

Instead, you can use the BPM number to rearrange your mix, so that songs with the same or similar tempo range are as close together as possible. And if a song is slightly too fast or too slow, you can digitally raise or lower the BPM so that it blends in with the other songs in your mix. For example the tempo of house music will generally range from 115-130 BPM. So it helps if you can find tracks within the similar bpm range. You can use this overview of tempos of EDM music to help you find songs with the same tempo.

How to Use a BPM Finder#

The most common BPM finder tools can be found online and used in your web browser without downloading a dedicated app.

Most of these tools are free to use, but some have paid versions that give you access to bonus features such as song key finders and vocal removers. Some free BPM finders only let you use the program a certain amount of times, or limit you to audio files of a certain length, before you must pay to continue to use that service.

Regardless of their monetization model, the most common BPM finders work one of two ways, where you either:

  • Upload one or more audio files to the website and have the algorithm automatically detect the BPM of the song(s) for you, or

  • You play music in the background and repeatedly click or tap on a box in the website, to the point where the website can analyze the pattern of your clicks or taps and give you an accurate BPM reading. The more closely you tap or click along to the music pulse, the more accurate the BPM reading. 

Pros and Cons of BPM Finders#

Both types of BPM calculation methods have their pros and cons.

Websites that automatically calculate the BPM of a song are only as reliable as the audio data sets that they learn from. This means, if a BPM finder is only drawing from a small, low-quality pool of pre-existing songs, chances are the BPM calculation won’t be accurate. BPM finders must be trained by qualified audio and data experts who know how to feed the correct data to the system in order for it to provide accurate BPM readings.

A tap tempo tool, on the other hand, is only as reliable as the person tapping or clicking along to the music. If the user cannot consistently tap or click to the pulse of the music, the BPM reading won’t be accurate. Some BPM tappers can also be either too lenient or strict when it comes to how accurate the user must be.

Below is a quick rundown on the most popular BPM finders you are likely to find online.

Beats Per Minute Online

This tap tempo tool is quick and easy to use. Simply listen to music in the background and click or tap on the Yellow box to the beat of the music. After enough consecutive hits, the software will gradually narrow down what it thinks the BPM is until you stop. Since this is a tap tempo tool, there is no need to upload an audio file. Just click or tap away until you are satisfied with the reading.

Tap tempo tool from Beats Per Minute Online

 

Vocal Remover – Song Key and BPM Finder

As the name implies, Vocal Remover can do more than just find the BPM. It has a built-in vocal remover, pitcher, cutter, joiner, recorder, and more. If you just want to find the key and BPM of a song then upload your audio file to the website and it will use its algorithm as a reference to calculate this information for you. You will then be told the key and BPM of the song.

Song Key and BPM Finder from Vocal Remover

Tunebat– Song Key and BPM Finder

Just like Vocal Remover, Tunebat has multiple functions on the one platform, such as a Metronome and even Song Mastering. To use the find key and BPM values tool, upload your audio file and let the software automatically analyze the song for you. The results will then be displayed to you in a table. It also has a tap tempo tool if you wish to use that instead.

Song Key and BPM Finder from Tunebat

How to Use DJ.Studio to Find Your BPM Quickly and Easily#

DJ.Studio is a powerful mixing program that lets you create seamless and cohesive DJ mixes in minutes.

When you open DJ.Studio, you can simply upload the songs you wish to use for your mix. You can then arrange the songs in the order that you desire and use the AUTOMIX function to automatically rearrange them.

Based on your preferences, AUTOMIX will rearrange your mix based on your preference for harmonic or BPM matching or an equal balance of both. This means DJ.Studio will not only calculate the key and BPM of each song with total accuracy, but also rearrange your mix order so that each song blends in seamlessly together. You can of course manually adjust your mix order afterwards.

DJ.Studio Automix Screen

From there, you can then fine-tune the transition between songs, with your choice of Fade In and Fade Out, Crossfade, and even Ping-Pong rapidly between songs. You can do all of this – and more – in a few seconds, in the comfort of one simple, convenient, and easy to use DJ mixing program. And that’s just a taste of what DJ.Studio has to offer.

Visit the DJ Studio Academy to learn more about the program and start creating more powerful, memorable, and engaging DJ mixes today.

Noah Feasey-Kemp
DJ/Producer
I started DJing when I was 15. Started a record label, residency by a club in Bristol. I’ve played at all the biggest clubs in Bristol (and the small ones) and have entertained thousands of dancers! I love writing about music, DJing, and technology. I've been blogging for DJ.Studio since the start of the project, and am always happy to answer questions and help fellow DJs out!

Frequently Asked Questions about BPM Finders

What is a BPM Finder?
How do BPM Finders Work?
Are BPM Finders Accurate?

Excited to start mixing?