It’s now time to play…. Name That Meter!

Since my last odd meter loop stirred up so much interest around the internets, I figured I’d step it up and get all kinds of crazy with another, more complex groove. And rather than tell you what meter it’s in, I decided to turn it into a contest of sorts. Here’s the deal. The first person to respond in the comments section with the correct time signature will be the lucky winner of:

– A meet and greet with Dream Theater the next time they play in your city (A quick game of D&D is also included).

– An Igloo cooler full of yellow snow (vintage snow, from like 1974) signed by Frank himself.

– A 3 month subscription to the member’s only area of

In total, a prize package valued at almost $30!

Come on down!
Come on down!

Loop #115

So, here it is. The mystery odd meter loop. Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure it out.. and don’t try to dance along to it. That’s not going to work out. And most importantly, be sure to leave your answer in the comments section. The winner will be notified via carrier pigeon in the next few weeks.

Preview Here:


Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

13 thoughts on “It’s now time to play…. Name That Meter!

  1. OK wise guy. I don’t know if you could play this for 5 minutes. If so, my hats off to you.

    I totally cheated — I turned on grid lines in Sound Forge, set it to 16 divisions, and stretched the selection until I had 16 16th notes lined up with the grid.

    Which if you’re following along at home, means the first 2.188 seconds comprises one measure of pretty good 4/4 breakbeat.

    Divide 2.188 by 16 and you get 0.13675

    Divide the loop length by and you get 53.84277879341865 — and since on top of being batsh*t crazy meter, the loop swings, I’m guessing it comprises 54 16th notes. This I can verify by shifting the loop 16 16th notes right, which gives me 12 quarter notes with 6 16ths left over.

    Now it also seems to cleave in the middle cleanly, so my final answer is 27/16.

    What I hear it as is 3 groups of 7 followed by a group of 6. Not that I could actually play along with this.

    Ryan you’re probably up on this stuff but what this loop brings to mind is Horacee Arnold’s album “Tales of the Exonerated Flea” — you can hear healthy samples of it at

  2. I agree with chaircrusher’s assessment of 27/16, although I would like to proudly note that I counted through it using various permutations until one of them (4+3+4+3+4+3+3+3) lined up (not precisely with the beat groupings but with the overall meter). It would have been easier, but the end of each measure is designed to hide the 1, and you think the beat is somewhere else until the backbeat comes in. Beautifully deceptive.

    I feel like I’ve been warming up to this with all the Mars Volta I’ve been listening to this week (and, really, every week). There’s a 29/16 vamp in “Cygnus… Vismund Cygnus” that blows my mind every time.

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