How to use the BPM Tempo to loop and extend Music for Videos

You want to cut loops from the music in your video project? If you know the BPM tempo, it’s easy!

In my latest video tutorial I use the BPM tempo of a background music download to cut seamless loops from the song. Therefore I use a simple formula (Loop = 60 / BPM * 16). Just watch the video for a step-by-step guide or scroll down for a detailed description.

What is the BPM Tempo?

The tempo of music is measured in Beats Per Minute (BPM). That means if you count with the beat of a 120BPM song, then you will end up with 120 in one minute. The BPM is often used by DJs to sync songs during their live set but it is also helpful when editing music for videos.

Determine the music loop length

Based on the BPM we can calculate the duration of one beat, which is 60 divided by the BPM. With the length of one beat we can now calculate the duration of a music loop, which is mostly 8, 16 or sometimes 32 bars. In rare cases the music has a 3/4 signature, then a loop is 12 or 24 beats long.

So the full formula to calculate a 16 beats loop duration is: 60 ÷ BPM x 16
This formula works for 99% of modern music.

Eventually the resulting duration is not a whole number. If the duration has decimals, we can convert them into video frames, because in video editing frames are easier to handle than milliseconds.

In my tutorial I multiply the decimals (only the decimals!) with the frame-rate of my video. Finally I merge the duration (seconds) with the frames and the result is a time-code duration in the format of SS:FF (seconds and frames).

Hint: For editing I use to create a helper object in my video time-line which has the duration of one music loop. This can be a simple color matte clip. The helper can be placed anywhere in the video time-line to cut loops from the song.

How to find out the BPM of a song?

On many stock music websites you can find the BPM tempo in the song description.

If you don’t know the BPM, you can use an online tool to tap the BPM:

Also music and DJ software often includes a BPM calculator (Logic, Cubase, FL Studio, etc.).

Thanks for watching and feel free to comment and subscribe on my YouTube!