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Mechanical BPM detector/meter: is there such a thing?

mtarrani

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Searching for a wall or stand mounted BPM meter. All I can find are apps and plug-ins. Is there such a thing as a mechanical (electronic) gizmo that has a large display, is reasonably accurate and affordable? I want something to mount in my rehearsal space for not only me, but viewable by all of the musicians (usually just a trio.)
 

drums1225

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Not exactly what you're looking for, as they're not wall or stand mounted, but I've used the Tempo Ref (company has closed) for many years, and more recently acquired the almost identical RokTempo. They settle all kinds of tempo "disagreements". It/they have done wonders for my awareness of time, tempo, and my tendencies; the small adjustments I made to my playing as a result of this awareness have made me a much better pocket player.

Both devices mount on your snare drum using a plastic rim clip or velcro. Not great for jazz unless you use the hi-hat to trigger it, and you play 2 and 4 on the hats consistently. For your specific purposes, you may be better off with a mobile app and a tablet that everyone can see.
 
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mtarrani

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Not exactly what you're looking for, as they're not wall or stand mounted, but I've used the Tempo Ref (company has closed) for many years, and more recently acquired the almost identical RokTempo. They settle all kinds of tempo "disagreements". It/they have done wonders for my awareness of time, tempo, and my tendencies; the small adjustments I made to my playing as a result of this awareness have made me a much better pocket player.

Both devices mount on your snare drum using a plastic rim clip or velcro. Not great for jazz unless you use the hi-hat to trigger it, and you play 2 and 4 on the hats consistently. For your specific purposes, you may be better of with a mobile app and a tablet that everyone can see.
Thanks. I am looking for something that picks up the entire ensemble, computes the BPM, and has a large enough display for everyone in the group to see. Usually when one musician (not always the drummer, but mostly is) drifts off tempo the rest will follow.
 

bpaluzzi

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Thanks. I am looking for something that picks up the entire ensemble, computes the BPM, and has a large enough display for everyone in the group to see. Usually when one musician (not always the drummer, but mostly is) drifts off tempo the rest will follow.
The apps that do that for a full recording are really only looking for the snare hit (or whatever has a consistent / loud spike).

The TempoRef had an extension that you could get with a separate tempo display (for exactly this situation). I have a GrooveGuide from TempoRef, which is a similar product, but instead of an external trigger, it uses a standard clip-on / stick-on trigger for the snare. You could use that with a longer cable and mount the display box where everyone can see it. The GrooveGuide has a 7/8” rod coming out of the bottom, so you can mount it in lots of hardware locations (it’s the standard Yamaha / Pearl) pipe diameter.
 

drums1225

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Aside from a recorder and your ears, no device or app is going to tell you, "The bass player is dragging, or the guitar player is rushing". They can only discern tempo based on peaks in the music, and that's generally going to be the drums (or your cowbell player, if you're unlucky enough to have one).
 

mtarrani

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Aside from a recorder and your ears, no device or app is going to tell you, "The bass player is dragging, or the guitar player is rushing". They can only discern tempo based on peaks in the music, and that's generally going to be the drums (or your cowbell player, if you're unlucky enough to have one).
I was hoping for something that would indicate the tempo of the song, and not isolate culprits. There are apps that can do that on MP3 files. Since a lot of what I do is brush playing I am not sure that a gizmo that gets its cues from snare hits is going to be any use.
 

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I think an ensemble device like your describing would be difficult to manage/know who is leading the pack astray, so to speak.

It may not be exactly what you're asking for, but Soundbrenner has a wearable 'silent' metronome and app that can sync up to five of their devices. In this case, everyone would be wearing a synchronized device set at the same tempo, that 'silently' pulses the individual to help maintain the desired tempi of the pieces you are playing.

Soundbrenner link: https://www.soundbrenner.com/
 

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Songkey mk4 by hornet is not just for tempo detection but one of the things it does. Its a VST plugin but you can use it separately with one of the plugin apps. It uses all the instruments to determine tempo. They constantly run sales from 50-70% off so you should never pay full price. Right now its 4,20€

 

mtarrani

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Songkey mk4 by hornet is not just for tempo detection but one of the things it does. Its a VST plugin but you can use it separately with one of the plugin apps. It uses all the instruments to determine tempo. They constantly run sales from 50-70% off so you should never pay full price. Right now its 4,20€

Thanks. I stated that I did not want an app. I know of some that would work from the scant recording that I did, but that is too complicated and expensive for a simple rehearsal space solution. I guess a standalone device doesn't exist. I appreciate your suggestion though.
 

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LiveBPM is an app but if you use an iPad everyone should be able to see it. I use it all the time. It picks up the bpm from all instruments (I mean if there is a piano intro or a breakdown with only guitar it will pick up and show the BPM). Most handy music app I use.
 

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Many moons ago the Russian Dragon was utilized a bunch....but as folks have stated....close but no cigar as to what you are specifically looking for......unless everyone has one synched up to a master clock....;)



bt
 

Pre ‘72

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the whole purpose of just having the drummer play to a click?

I think the band’s focus and performance should be based on feel with/against a drummer and not a clock.

I’m interested to hear how you’re planning to use it with a group.
 

mtarrani

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the whole purpose of just having the drummer play to a click?

I think the band’s focus and performance should be based on feel with/against a drummer and not a clock.

I’m interested to hear how you’re planning to use it with a group.
So that the group has a feel for BPM counts. If they can visually see how many BPM a particular song has they will begin to internalize BPM counts. Then if they see a quarter note = 126 BPM on a chart they will begin to know how to set the tempo. In the bands I am in the vocalist or lead melody instrument calls the tempo.
 

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Seems like what you don’t want is what will work ??

You’re going to have to adjust your thinking old man …..

I’d trust what Halldoor thinks above many here …..
 

mtarrani

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Seems like what you don’t want is what will work ??

You’re going to have to adjust your thinking old man …..

I’d trust what Halldoor thinks above many here …..
I will do without then. It isn't imperative - just a nice addition to rehearsals. If there is no gizmo that fits the specs, so be it. Life goes on.
 

mtarrani

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Are there Tempo issues ???

Man I hate those ….
No. None. Just a training opportunity so that they can see the BPM count of what we are playing and start associating that with tempos that use the same or close BPM counts. It's a matter literally being on the same page. We sometimes start songs in different tempos than the ones we previously played them. Not a problem, but for the sake of consistency I thought it would be nice of they could feel what 90 or 120 or 140 BPM is like. The gizmo would not be something for gigs or to isolate problems - just to make us a more cohesive band that is on the same page so to speak.
 

JimmyM

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No. None. Just a training opportunity so that they can see the BPM count of what we are playing and start associating that with tempos that use the same or close BPM counts. It's a matter literally being on the same page. We sometimes start songs in different tempos than the ones we previously played them. Not a problem, but for the sake of consistency I thought it would be nice of they could feel what 90 or 120 or 140 BPM is like. The gizmo would not be something for gigs or to isolate problems - just to make us a more cohesive band that is on the same page so to speak.
Sometimes you feel tempo differently from gig to gig. To me that is the beauty of music, unless it’s outrageously off.
 

mtarrani

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Buy a cheap tablet and put an app in it. Then hang it on the wall.
The apps, including LiveBPM (which I have) jump all over the place with 1 to 2 BPM variations. That is distracting. If it were to smooth those out your idea would have merit. Looking at jitter that is really statistical noise will not work for what I want.
 


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