Although described as the world's most intelligent metronome, Drummer ITP is primarily an accuracy training aid for drummers; good timing is critical for a drummer, but it's often difficult to identify where your weaknesses may be. Designed to be used with a practice pad rather than a full kit, the Drummer ITP app lets you play along with a click and see how far ahead or behind the beat your individual hits are.
Across the centre of the app display is a rolling waveform that gives a visual representation of the metronome click. Below is a second rolling waveform display showing the readings from stick hits, picked up from your smartphone microphone. As I'm sure you can work out, the idea is to get the two waveforms to match, your hits lining up perfectly with the internal metronome click. And, fundamentally, that is it but Drummer ITP includes a number of useful additional features to enable you to analyse your performance and keep tabs on your progress.
Located between the two waveform displays — the click and your playing — is an accuracy indicator. This consists of a number of blocks running across the screen, which illuminate depending on how behind or ahead of the metronome you are. The large centre block will flash if you're bang on the click, with the blocks to the left flashing if you're behind and to the right if you're ahead.
Above the waveform displays are your 'scores' for Accuracy, Consistency and Dynamics. The app constantly listens to your playing and displays your score as a percentage. Accuracy is fairly self-explanatory and tells you how 'on' the beat you are. Consistency and Dynamics are slightly different, in that they show how repeatable both your timing and hit volume are. You may not hit every beat exactly with the click, but if you are 10ms behind the beat every time, you'll get a score of 100 percent for Consistency. The Dynamics score is a good indicator of how similar in strength your left- and right-hand hits are. Consistency and Dynamics are certainly as important as spot-on accuracy.
Drummer ITP has two modes of operation: Manual and Rudiment. (Rudiments are a series of exercises used to improve your technique, a bit like playing scales or arpeggios on a piano.) In manual mode, the app runs freely and gives constant feedback on your scores as you play along with the metronome. In Rudiment Mode, you can select one of three Rudiments (with more to be added in future updates), such as single-stroke roll, double-stroke roll and paradiddle. When you return to the main screen and hit start, you're presented with a four-beat countdown, followed by either 30 or 60 seconds of click with which to play your Rudiment. A further display pops up at the bottom of the screen, counting out the beat subdivisions, plus a flashing L or R to show which hand should be playing which beat.
I really like this app — it's got some great features to help you improve your timing and it's incredibly accurate in terms of the feedback it gives. Whether it'll make me a better drummer is up for debate, but it certainly gives me all the tools to try.