BPM to MS Calculator
Determine the length of a note by converting beats per minute (BPM) to milliseconds (ms).
Use this calculator to determine the duration of a note in milliseconds when you know the BPM. Here's how:
- Enter the BPM.
- Choose the note you want to calculate the duration of.
- Select the type of note - regular, dotted, or a triplet. Choosing triplet outputs the duration of one note, not the entire set of 3.
- Click “Calculate BPM to ms” and the answer will be shown.
Be sure to use a quarter note as the basis for tempo, otherwise the duration will be off.
To convert from BPM to ms we first need to determine how many ms are in a minute.
1 minute = 60 seconds = 60,000 milliseconds
Divide 60,000 by the BPM to get the duration of a single beat – a quarter note. If our BPM is 100 we can write:
Quarter note duration = 60,000 / 100 = 600 ms.
From here we can multiply or divide to find the duration of other notes. For example, a half note is twice the duration of a quarter note.
Half note duration = 600 ms x 2 = 1,200 ms
A sixteenth note is half as long as an eighth note, which is half as long as a quarter note.
Eighth note duration = 600 ms / 2 = 300 ms
Sixteenth note duration = 300 ms / 2 = 150 ms
You could also divide the duration of a quarter note by 4 to achieve the same result.
Sixteenth note duration = 600 ms / 4 = 150 ms
Calculating dotted notes and triplets works in the exact same way, except we multiply the answers by 1.5 for a dotted note and 0.6667 for a triplet.
Dotted quarter note duration = 600 ms x 1.5 = 900 ms
Duration of one third of a quarter note triplet = 600 ms x 0.6667 = 400 ms
Find the duration of an entire measure by multiplying the number of beats in a measure by the duration of the note that’s getting the beat. You will need to know what time signature you’re working in to get these values.
Duration of a measure = (# of beats in a measure) x (duration of the note getting the beat)
It's important that BPM is measured with the quarter note being equal to one beat when using our calculator, or the duration of a measure will be off. Pay careful attention when working with 3/2, 6/8, and other non-standard time signatures.
Here are a few examples of how to calculate the duration of a measure:
If the time signature is 4/4:
In 4/4 the quarter note gets the beat and there are 4 quarter notes per measure. To calculate the length of the entire measure, use the calculator to determine the duration of a single quarter note and then multiply by 4. You can be a ninja by finding the duration of a whole note and will get the same result (this is because there are 4 quarter notes in a whole note).
If the time signature is 3/2:
In 3/2 the half note gets the beat and there are three half notes per measure. Determine the duration of a half note and then multiply by 3 to get the duration of an entire measure.
If the time signature is 6/8:
With 6/8 time the eighth note gets the beat and there are 6 eighth notes per measure. The duration of a measure can be calculated by multiplying the duration of an eighth note by 6.