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Visual metronome

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Visual metronome

Postby jellyjim » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:45 pm

Hello

Not entirely sure where to put this ...

I was watching/listening to a YouTube video of an endless drum track for play along practice purposes and it had a rather neat gimmick. It had a 'visual metronome'. The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 sort of popped into each corner on the beat.

It got me to wondering, is there a precedent for 'visual metronomes'? Whether that be a counting number or a flashing light or whatever.

Do they exist? Are they in use? Are there reasons to use one over an audible metronome?

I've never really encountered one in my personal experience beyond that video or where a LED flashes at a given tempo for maybe LFO speed etc. I don't think I've ever relied on one to keep time though I found the above mentioned video quite compelling (but I was listening to the drums at the same time).

Thoughts anyone?
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:03 am

You can get visual metronomes easily for your Android mobile phone (and I imagine similarly for iPhone). Here's one, for example. My wife has experimented with them for a couple of things she's done. In fact she didn't like them, for an interesting reason. A classic pyramid metronome has an arm that swings and thus gives a visual indication of how long to the next beat. With all the visual metronomes the cue popped, as you say, into existence without giving that visual preamble. Now it ought to be easy to design a visual metronome that does give such an indication but we never found one.

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Re: Visual metronome

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:18 am

...yes, I think the idea has been around for quite a while but tablets have kind of captured the market now and I can't see too many dedicated hardware versions around.

There are some compact gadgets like the Korg MA1BL or the Boss DB30 which include a display. The Soundbrenner Pulse is another interesting one for alternative metronome enthusiasts.
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby jellyjim » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:27 am

Interesting, thanks

But what’s the use case for them? Why would one choose a visual metronome over an audible one?
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:30 am

Just personal preference I guess. I can imagine that drummers playing live might prefer to keep an eye on a display rather than getting a click over headphones.
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:23 am

I explored them seriously when I was doing a lot of work with community choirs making albums. I knew that multi-takes of some songs would be required and then the best bits comped together. An audible metronome would have been virtually impossible so how to ensure tempo consistency across takes...?

The comping did indeed prove to be necessary, but the metronome was not. The choirs may have been enthusiastic amateurs with varying degrees of ability - the conductors and accompanists were not. They were ex-pros and skilled. Tempo was consistent throughout and you couldn't hear or detect the joins.
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby uncleswede » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:20 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:... My wife has experimented with them for a couple of things she's done. In fact she didn't like them, for an interesting reason. A classic pyramid metronome has an arm that swings and thus gives a visual indication of how long to the next beat. With all the visual metronomes the cue popped, as you say, into existence without giving that visual preamble. Now it ought to be easy to design a visual metronome that does give such an indication but we never found one.

This is a very good point your wife makes here :-)

I have found one app ('Tempo' from Frozen Ape - android & iOS) that has a pendulum mode...

https://youtu.be/PqZusnowTX0?t=641
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby jellyjim » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:38 am

"Pops" was a bit unfair on the video

The numbers kind of slur into existence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT2TTTHA91U
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby andy cross » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:52 pm

Here's a precedent from a couple of decades ago:

http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/q-log ... onome/2987
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:45 pm

Isn't a visual metronome also called a 'conductor'?
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Re: Visual metronome

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:48 pm

Yep, and that's what my wife is using now :)

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