Marching Band Sound Delay Calculator & Converter

Calculate your instrument’s sound delay from anywhere on the football field!


🔔 Patrick R. F. Blakley is SoundDelay.com & FieldTiming.comThis music sound delay calculator will calculate how long it takes your instrument’s sound to arrive at the front of the field from a given position. Enter your field coordinates (in total steps) and you’ll see the note value and BPM to quantify the delay in musical terms! There are many ways to utilize this information, such as show design or drill writing, but demonstrating to performers just how significant the sound delay can be will help their overall understanding of listening situations and why they need to listen back rather than forward! (Keep in mind that this sound delay is doubled when they listen forward because the sound’s total round trip is twice as long!) After your results are calculated you can check out the field graph below to see the arc of all the equivalent sound delays on the football field! On desktops, when you scroll over the graph it gives you your current mouse coordinates (in steps) along the arc at the top right of the graph for reference.

Note: Make sure to use total cumulative steps (not yards).

If you know how many yards away you are just multiply it by 1.6 to get the steps
or click here for a quick reference guide with more info at a glance.

For anyone looking for different note values (other than sixteenth-notes), or to reverse the process (by starting with a set tempo) you can check out the advanced features of this formula on this page! Drummers, don’t forget about this site’s free warmups, or pay whatever you want for the full percussion information packet! Enjoy this sound delay calculator and be sure to share it! Scroll down to start plotting!


This web app and underlying formulas are protected by the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Attribution is required.