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

mtarrani

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Sometimes you feel tempo differently from gig to gig. To me that is the beauty of music, unless it’s outrageously off.
I agree. But they should at least know how far off the baseline they are. If they find a different tempo that hits a sweet spot and cannot figure out the tempo in BPMs it is a lost opportunity.
 

varatrodder

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Is the Beat Bug still around, or am I showing my age? I remember those clipped to a rim and gave you a visual read out of your tempo.

I think the Tama Rhythm Watch does the same thing.
 

JimmyM

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I agree. But they should at least know how far off the baseline they are. If they find a different tempo that hits a sweet spot and cannot figure out the tempo in BPMs it is a lost opportunity.
Maybe, maybe not. To me, if it works, it’s all good.
 

JimmyM

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I agree. But they should at least know how far off the baseline they are. If they find a different tempo that hits a sweet spot and cannot figure out the tempo in BPMs it is a lost opportunity.
Know what I did? I learned to associate tempos with familiar songs. Like Head Like A Hole is 120, Roundabout is 125 (if memory serves me), etc. For a while I got into that.
 

Drum Mer

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Either get the orchestra on a click (most semi pro and pro orchestra’s do this in the studio’s, for tv shows, and for word clock heavy shows), or they follow you and have to practice with a click at home when they study( something classical schooled musicians do any way, more then modern musicians).

Jittering of a metronome app is only a problem if not everyone can see the app.

Easy and cheap solution: Connect the tablet to a monitor or a tv.
 

Pre ‘72

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Singer calling tempos… first mistake.

Personally, having people pay more attention to a clock on the wall than what I’m giving as a timekeeper would drive me out of the band. 100%

Get a rhythm watch, use it as reference for the tempo at the top of each tune, and call it a day. And do it yourself!!!

Just my 2 cents.
 

RIDDIM

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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.
I've run into these issues. What you have to do is look for relative consistency in the tempos, particularly at transitions. Starting and ending at the same tempo are usually good signs.
 

mtarrani

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I've run into these issues. What you have to do is look for relative consistency in the tempos, particularly at transitions. Starting and ending at the same tempo are usually good signs.
Good advice if one is trying to improve their timing. We wanted to identify and get a feel for the actual tempos using a relatively stable display. Apparently there is no market for such a thing otherwise it would have been invented by now.
 

RIDDIM

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I don't know as there's no market, but given that virtually no one has one limb playing the same thing through most songs, especially if there's anything interactive going on, it's hard to make happen.
 

JDA

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Is this thread still going?
You could do the old Mickey Hart/ Bill Kreutzman thing
before a performance (or in this instance) before a Song.

With the right hand grab each others internal jugular vein (in neck) wait until every one is pulsing the same
then sit down and start the tune.
 

tempobob

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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.
I hear what your saying, but to deal with that I just mentally give myself a few bpm forgiveness On liveBpm. An option would be to put an ipad on a stand w liveBpm, COVER UP the numbers with something and just look at the line below. That would give you that smooth vision that I think you are talk about.BEAT MIRROR is a more line oriented tempo reader
 

drums1225

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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.

For years, I've religiously used the Tempo Ref hardware tempometer, but when it started showing its age (neither of the buttons work and the sensitivity is gone, so it really only registers fairly loud backbeats), I was excited to move to the LiveBPM app instead of spending north of $125-$150 on another hardware tempometer. I even bought a bass drum hoop mounted phone holder.

There are several great things about LiveBPM, but overall, like you, I find it to be too sensitive and distracting. In practical use, there's absolutely no benefit to measuring tempo down to hundredths of a BPM in real time. It's good to have that option, I guess, but there should be a "resolution" setting that allows you to eliminate one or both decimal places, and round off to the nearest whole number, as the Tempo Ref and RokTempo do.

I resigned to the fact that LiveBPM wasn't suiting my needs and I went ahead and bought the RokTempo. The biggest thing LiveBPM does that the hardware tempometers can't, is that it doesn't merely derive tempo from a physical trigger on one source (the snare drum), and therefore can indicate tempo from syncopated rhythms, displaced backbeats, and even other instruments or voices.
 

mtarrani

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For years, I've religiously used the Tempo Ref hardware tempometer, but when it started showing its age (neither of the buttons work and the sensitivity is gone, so it really only registers fairly loud backbeats), I was excited to move to the LiveBPM app instead of spending north of $125-$150 on another hardware tempometer. I even bought a bass drum hoop mounted phone holder.

There are several great things about LiveBPM, but overall, like you, I find it to be too sensitive and distracting. In practical use, there's absolutely no benefit to measuring tempo down to hundredths of a BPM in real time. It's good to have that option, I guess, but there should be a "resolution" setting that allows you to eliminate one or both decimal places, and round off to the nearest whole number, as the Tempo Ref and RokTempo do.

I resigned to the fact that LiveBPM wasn't suiting my needs and I went ahead and bought the RokTempo. The biggest thing LiveBPM does that the hardware tempometers can't, is that it doesn't merely derive tempo from a physical trigger on one source (the snare drum), and therefore can indicate tempo from syncopated rhythms, displaced backbeats, and even other instruments or voices.
The fact that it requires a snare drum (and sticks) is one of my main complaints. I was able to get it to pick up a tempo from some brush playing where there was a definite "catch" or "zit" in the sweep, but for stirring the soup it got very confused.
 

High on Stress

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Seems to me that this is more of an individual practice task than one for the group. The person that counts off a song can use an app or any standalone metronome device that allows you to tap a tempo and then determine the BPM of that desired tempo. Write down the tempos for all the songs as you run through them and give the list to each musician. Then in between group rehearsals, the musicians work on playing to those tempos ... internalizing them, memorizing how they feel. Then they have an internal frame of reference when someone says "let's try this at around 120" or whatever. Am I misunderstanding what you're trying to do?
 

mtarrani

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Seems to me that this is more of an individual practice task than one for the group. The person that counts off a song can use an app or any standalone metronome device that allows you to tap a tempo and then determine the BPM of that desired tempo. Write down the tempos for all the songs as you run through them and give the list to each musician. Then in between group rehearsals, the musicians work on playing to those tempos ... internalizing them, memorizing how they feel. Then they have an internal frame of reference when someone says "let's try this at around 120" or whatever. Am I misunderstanding what you're trying to do?
I am trying to make it easier for the folks who are counting off the songs by putting up a display for all to see. It is a group task in my opinion. Using a SPL dB meter as a reference for loudness levels paid big dividends in our performances in the past, and I was hoping to accomplish the same thing with a meter large enough for all of us to see. Bear in mind that none of us is a designated leader - we are in our 60s and 70s and not prone to having one person direct us. I've been slipping in aids (including a BIG timer so that we can time songs and sets.) Nobody is trying to play police, just promoting an awareness of factors when it's convenient to do so without trying to dictate. I am fortunate in that everyone has a superb sense of time once we start a song at whichever tempo it happens to be. Just not familiar enough with BPMs to start at a specific tempo called out in a particular BPM.
 

JDA

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I am trying to make it easier for the folks who are counting off the songs by putting up a display for all to see.
don't these guys like listening to you; are they not following; is this the reason; they are not taking direction well...

will they let you count the songs off when you want to
I heard the band in your vids it's pretty loose.

Unless you become more assertive I don't think it's going to happen and I don't think assertive is what your group seems to be about. It's very laid back
 

mtarrani

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don't these guys like listening to you; are they not following; is this the reason; they are not taking direction well...
Did you not read the part where I said that there is no leader? I am not here to lead or direct them; I am attempting to collaborate and make it unobtrusive for them to visualize things.
 

JDA

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Unless you become more assertive I don't think it's going to happen and I don't think assertive is what your group seems to be about. It's very laid back

try speaking softly and carrying a big stick instead of a brush. But that's not your group.
I understand.
It's laid back


seems the Bass man takes the helm
which is good; at least one person has to
usually it's all 4 or 5
you're dragging or
playing so subservient so behind it's behind
no charge just my opinion
without some assertiveness on more than just the bass- a single players part; it's almost coming to a stop.
but I understand.
it's a very quiet unobtrusive band,

in fact for what this band does and where it does it I don't see any issues
wouldn't change a thing
 
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tempobob

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For years, I've religiously used the Tempo Ref hardware tempometer, but when it started showing its age (neither of the buttons work and the sensitivity is gone, so it really only registers fairly loud backbeats), I was excited to move to the LiveBPM app instead of spending north of $125-$150 on another hardware tempometer. I even bought a bass drum hoop mounted phone holder.

There are several great things about LiveBPM, but overall, like you, I find it to be too sensitive and distracting. In practical use, there's absolutely no benefit to measuring tempo down to hundredths of a BPM in real time. It's good to have that option, I guess, but there should be a "resolution" setting that allows you to eliminate one or both decimal places, and round off to the nearest whole number, as the Tempo Ref and RokTempo do.

I resigned to the fact that LiveBPM wasn't suiting my needs and I went ahead and bought the RokTempo. The biggest thing LiveBPM does that the hardware tempometers can't, is that it doesn't merely derive tempo from a physical trigger on one source (the snare drum), and therefore can indicate tempo from syncopated rhythms, displaced backbeats, and even other instruments or voices.
I totally agree. That decimal reading should be an option, along with screen color.
check out Beat Mirror.
 


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